Melissa Cannavo, Columbia College

Ms. Cannavo, a junior at Columbia College, has set her path to use medicine to serve the underserved. She was chosen for the Summer Medical and Dental Education Programs, focusing on health care disparities. She worked with the Director of Service-learning and with faculty in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of South Carolina to mentor minority students. She currently leads a multi-year legacy service-learning project to address the diabetes epidemic in South Carolina. She is the key person linking the Department of Family Medicine, Columbia College pre-med students, and C.A. Johnson High School’s Health Science Magnate program designed to encourage minority students to pursue allied health. The project delineates the health profile of C.A. Johnson High School, including students, faculty, staff and administrator, and develops a program to address changing their health behaviors. The intent is to extend the program to the community and situate C.A. Johnson as viable and working health care resource in the community. Finally, she is organizing a trip by Columbia College students, through International Partners in Service-learning, to spend Summer, 2013 in Guayaquil, Ecuador in medical service-learning. Throughout her undergraduate career she has demonstrate a whole-hearted commitment to serve others.

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