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Sara Pantel

Master’s in Animals and Public Policy (MAPP) Candidate 2021

B.A., Biology & Spanish, Tufts University, 2015

What were you doing before entering the Masters in Animals and Public Policy (MAPP) program?
I was working as an Inpatient Assistant at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston, providing nursing care to hospitalized pets. Before starting at Angell, I worked as an assistant in a small veterinary practice north of Boston. I also completed internships centered around marine conservation at the Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation in Samos, Greece, and at the New England Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center.

What aspects of MAPP led to your decision to join the program?
I was drawn to the program because of the curriculum – I like that it provides the opportunity to develop “hard skills” like research methods and policy analysis and to explore various animal issues through electives. It was also one of the only programs I found that focused on human-animal interactions, as opposed to animal-centric programs in wildlife biology or human-centric programs in public health.

Interests in and experience with animals?
My interests involving animals are many! The majority of my animal-related experience has been focused on companion animals, having worked in animal hospitals in the Boston area for several years. However, I have also been fortunate to volunteer with working dogs—both guide dogs for the blind and sled dogs—which has fomented an interest in the ways in which humans leverage their bond with animals to satisfy needs in their communities. At the same time, I have always been interested in wildlife conservation, something that was confirmed through my internships with Archipelagos and the NEAq. I also have some yet-unexplored interests, like the ethics of farming animals, particularly in the U.S. I am looking forward to digging into these ideas in the MAPP program.

What do you want to focus on at MAPP? What drew you to this?
With such varied interests, I’m not yet sure what I will focus on. One common thread among my experiences up to this point has been the power, both good and bad, of human-animal interactions to impact society, and I am looking forward to learning more about how policy affects these interactions and, by extension, society.

What are your career goals?
I’m still sorting out the specifics, but in a broad sense, I aim to build a career working to improve the ways in which humans and animals interact. I am hoping that the MAPP program will help me flesh that out, or at least guide me toward my next step.

What are your outside interests?
I like to cook, bake, play the violin, and spend time outdoors.

Number of pets? What?
Unfortunately, I don’t have any pets of my own. But my parents have a black lab named Dolores, whom I love dearly, as well as a turtle named Frankie.

Is there anything else you would like to share?
I am excited to meet everyone in the MAPP program and to take this journey together!

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