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Ericca Gandolfo

M.S. in Animals and Public Policy (MAPP) Externship Experience
May-August 2021
Government Affairs Summer 2021 at the Animal Welfare Institute
Ericca Gandolfo

For the final component of my M.S. in Animals and Public Policy, I selected the applied track and completed my externship requirement with the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) in Washington, D.C. For three months, I supported the Government Affairs department as a Legislative Intern. I had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects and issues, including preparing documents for meetings with Congressional offices, writing articles, a book review, social media campaigns, and outreach for federal legislation, such as the INVEST in America Act and the MINKS are Superspreaders Act.
In my time at AWI, I learned first-hand the intricacies of animal policymaking and was able to apply lessons and skills I gained the months prior during my time in the MAPP program. In addition to laying down the foundations of animal welfare, advocacy, and policymaking, the curriculum focused on strengthening my ability to communicate effectively, prepare for inevitable opposition, and still drive change. Being at AWI following the completion of my MAPP classes allowed me to practice much of what I learned in the classroom and furthered my understanding of animal advocacy and policymaking today.

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