Dr. Melissa Howard is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Health Promotion & Disease Prevention, and a Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES). She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses including public health education, health behavior theory, intervention design, health communication, and social research methods. Her research and practice interests center on substance abuse prevention for adolescents and young adults. Dr. Howard serves as a co-investigator on a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration funded project that aims to reduce health risks among young adults in Miami-Dade County, with a specific focus on FIU students. She also plays an active role in shaping FIU policy and programs to ensure a healthy environment with respect to health behaviors, including substance use. Dr. Howard enjoys volunteering as a Special Olympics Health Communities clinical director, managing health education for populations with intellectual and developmental disabilities.