Who is making those incredible graphics?
Enjoy getting to know Melanie Aycock, LI’s new Graphic Design Coordinator. This is an informal interview series with employees of the Leadership Institute to let you get to know us beyond our trainings. The questions ask them to describe what makes them tick and their experience with LI at various levels. 

What made you want to work at the Leadership Institute?
I was first attracted to LI after learning about its mission and impact on the conservative movement.  I love how the organization is action-oriented, but not hysteric.  But after hearing about the company culture during my interviews, I knew LI was for me!

What unique skills and background do you bring to your new position and how do you hope to utilize them? 
I earned degrees in both Graphic Communications and Political Science, so this position at LI is the perfect intersection of my interests and skills. During my time in school, I also interned in the Creative Department of the Heritage Foundation and served remotely as a Graphic Designer for YAF. I hope to use the skills I learned from these experiences to help communicate LI’s message effectively and—well—make things pretty??

If you moved here from another area, how does the DC area differ from your hometown?
I am originally from the Suburgatory of metro Atlanta (Suwanee), but I spent the last four years in the middle-of-nowhere, South Carolina (Clemson).  As you can imagine, DC/Arlington is certainly a change of pace—more exciting and much louder!

Who has had the most impact on your political philosophy?
I know they often get a bad rap, but my professors honestly had the most impact on my political philosophy.  I fully exhausted Clemson’s selection of political theory courses, so I have those professors to thank for teaching me the fundamentals of politics and law while encouraging me to think for myself.

What is the last book you read and how would you describe it to get others to read it?
Atlas Shrugged.  Who is John Galt?

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I love trying new things—exploring the city, trying unique food, attempting (key word) random work-out classes, and signing up for activities I’ve never tried before (…softball…).  I also love running, hiking, and walking (I’m kind of like a dog).

If you could visit any destination in the world, where would it be and why? 
Vienna, Austria.  Because who wouldn’t want to visit Hayek’s hometown?

If you got to choose a group lunch outing, what type of food would everyone be eating?

What is your favorite family tradition? 
Every Thanksgiving, my entire family goes down to my aunt’s farm in Dublin, Georgia (the middle-of-nowhere… are you noticing a pattern?).  We eat a ton of food, go on nature walks, and shoot guns (of course).

What are your thoughts about pineapple on pizza?
Keep your fruit off my pizza.