M.S. in Animals and Public Policy (MAPP) Candidate 2022
B.S., Education. University of Memphis 2010
I left my most recent position to make a career change and pursue my dream career in animal advocacy.
What were you doing before entering the M.S. in Animals and Public Policy (MAPP) program?
I have been in fine dining as a server at Hemenway’s Restaurant, part of the Newport Restaurant Group in Rhode Island, for the last five years. However, I left the position to pursue my dream of attending the MAPP program and creating a career in animal care, advocacy, and policy. I have been volunteering as much as I was able to within the last year’s COVID-19 restrictions to begin gaining experience working with animals. It was difficult to make such a big transition during a global pandemic, but the pandemic was also what made me realize now is the time to pursue my goals.
What aspects of MAPP led to your decision to join the program?
One of the most exciting things about the MAPP program is seeing the diverse array of different topics that the faculty and students of the program are passionate about and creating change in. I am very interested in animal law but also love that I know my main interests will probably shift as I go through the program. It truly seems like the possibilities this program provides are endless.
Interests in and experience with animals
I grew up having many animals including various lizards, turtles, rabbits, cats, chicks, and dogs. While I always loved and was surrounded by animals it took me 33 years and having many different jobs to realize this is my passion. I probably have the least amount of experience working with animals of anyone in the MAPP program for this reason. I having been reading lots on the subject over the last year and am eager to make up for lost time. I am specifically interested in factory farming, wildlife, and animal law.
What do you want to focus on at MAPP?
I am interested in combining animal rights and civil rights to improve quality of life for animals as well as humans. For example, looking at how factory farming can not only be detrimental to the animals but often includes poor working conditions for the workers, environmental racism in the communities in which they exist, etc.
This program was not something on my radar, I didn’t even knew something like this existed. I have been vegan for four years and attended VegFest in 2019, and came across Tufts’ booth where I learned about the MAPP program and the Animal Matters seminars. I participated in the seminars and found them absolutely intriguing and enjoyable and I was hooked! I virtually attended the Animal Law Conference in 2020 and that solidified for me that this is what I was meant to do.
What are your career goals?
I want to be involved in policy making, continue on to law school and and create laws that protect not only animals but people as well.
What are your outside interests?
I love being outdoors, hiking, and am always looking for new trails or mountains to do with my pup. I have moved quite a lot and enjoy exploring new cities. I love the NBA and doing Fantasy Football every year. I’m very passionate about and involved in doing community and antiracist work.
Number of pets? What type?
I have an eight year old Golden Retriever named Dudley. He has been my adventure partner as we have moved from Memphis, Tennessee, to California, to Rhode Island.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
I am ecstatic about joining this program. Especially after the lack of social and mental stimulation over the last year I am very much looking forward to learning, growing, and building relationships with my fellow students and the professors.
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