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

B.A., Psychology with minor in Animal Science, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, 2018

What were you doing before entering the Masters in Animals and Public Policy (MAPP) program?
I took a gap year to finish my undergraduate research project, volunteer, work on graduate school applications, and travel. I taught an Animal-Assisted Therapy and Animal Welfare class at a women’s prison. Then I toured around the countries of New Zealand and Iceland. Lastly, I participated in political actions regarding animal rights and environmental issues that affect wildlife and humans alike.

What aspects of MAPP led to your decision to join the program?
I have always had a passion for changing the world by shifting the way we view and, in turn, treat animals. This program illustrates that concept better than I could have imagined. The other programs I applied to were focused on animal-assisted therapy. Although that still interests me, I love that this program also emphasizes animal welfare. This program is unique for its ability to promote careers that benefit both animals and humans.

Interests in and experience with animals
I have had a variety of pets growing up including rabbits, dogs, fish, and a turtle. For a while, I worked as a dog walker and a dog sitter. During college, I studied animal-assisted interventions. I was involved in two research projects that examined reading dog programs. For both, I interacted with therapy dogs and children (some with disabilities). I investigated how these interactions affect both the human and animal involved, but I mostly focused on the human side. I now want to shift my focus on the animal side by exploring how our decisions impact the lives of both domesticated and wild creatures.

What do you want to focus on at MAPP?
I want to focus on the possible solutions to human-animal conflict and how to apply them. My main goal is to be a promoter for coexistence. Ideally, this would lead to a world where humans and animals can benefit from each other either by living separately or by helping one another. What drew you to this? On the MAPP website, I read about an alumnus who was searching for a way for people to live peacefully with the deer that roam nearby their homes. I knew at that moment that this program, and whatever job it leads me to, is and will be my vocation.
What are your career goals? My dream is to be a spokesperson for animals worldwide. Specifically, I want to work with non-profit organizations that fight for wildlands to remain undisturbed from human interference. I also want to be a part of legislative actions that enforce animal welfare. One day I want to open a sanctuary that provides a place for animals to be rehabilitated and returned to the wild.

What are your outside interests?
I enjoy any outdoor activity but especially hiking. I also like to read and write in my journal. Traveling around the world, including around my local area to discover new places or activities, is one of my favorite hobbies. I’m an adrenaline junkie and I have been skydiving, bungee jumping (twice), paragliding, hang-gliding, scuba diving, and more. I like to keep myself active and take risks, but I also enjoy spending a night at home playing board games or watching an inspiring film.

Number of pets?
One dog (Breed: Maltese Poodle)

Is there anything else you would like to share?
I’m so excited for this year and very grateful for the opportunity to learn from you all!

The MAPP Student Experience
Click here to learn more about the MAPP student experience from Tania’s perspective

MAPP Externship: World Animal Net: Including Animal Welfare in International Policies for Animals, People, and Planet

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Full list of MAPP capstone research projects >>

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