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Master’s in Animals and Public Policy (MAPP) Candidate 2020

B.S., Animal and Poultry Sciences with an emphasis in Companion and Laboratory Animals, Virginia Tech, 2018

What were you doing before entering the Masters in Animals and Public Policy program?
I was doing a mix of things. I worked at a veterinary hospital as a veterinary assistant. I did two zoo internships with exotic animals. I worked in animal care for a non-profit private animal organization and was a back-up technician for the mobile vaccine van for the same organization.

What aspects of MAPP led to your decision to join the program?
I was looking for a 1-year graduate program that would make be a better animal care professional and the MAPP program checked off everything I was looking for. I enjoy analyzing and discussing animal issues and I am excited to get a more in-depth knowledge of animal issues and learn how I can play a role in influencing them through politics.

Interests in and experience with animals
My strongest interests are shelter welfare and animals in captivity. I have a lot of experience with companion animals. This past year I got a roughly 1,000 hours of experience with exotic animals in a zoo setting. I have some classroom-type experience with livestock and lab animals, along with small amount of wildlife volunteer work. Lastly, I did undergraduate research in poultry nutrition.

What do you want to focus on at MAPP? What drew you to this?
I want to focus on issues in zoos such as safety and zookeepers’ role in decision making and issues in companion animals such as shelter welfare, breed standards, and emotional support animals/service dogs. I have been drawn to these issues due to personal experience and I believe my education through the MAPP program will help me learn the best way to influence them through my career.

What are your career goals?
My career goal is to be in a role where I can actively contribute to improving the status of animals in society and the human-animal relationship and also be a voice for animals and animal caretakers. Most likely I plan to work in a shelter/rescue setting, a conservation/zoo setting, or both at some point in my career, but I am open to other career paths. I am also strongly considering veterinary medicine to elevate my influential role in the animal care field so I can combine my knowledge of animal issues with medical knowledge to better serve animals.

What are your outside interests?
I enjoy lake activities like paddle boarding and wakeboarding. I like to go on hikes, but never get around to doing it much. I enjoy taking my dogs for a long walk in the park down the street from my house in Virginia which sort of resembles a hike. I go snowboarding at least once every winter as well.

Number of pets? What?
My family has two English Yellow Labs named Nelson and Ranger.

MAPP Externship: Animal Advocacy and Animal Sheltering in the Midlands of South Carolina

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