The Ohio State University, dual enrolled while in high school
B.S. in Zoology at Michigan State University, 2010
M.S. in Animals and Public Policy, Tufts University, 2013
DVM, Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, 2017
I am currently an associate veterinarian at Rotherwood Animal Hospital in Newton, Massachusetts.
What were you doing before entering the Master’s in Animals and Public Policy (MAPP) program?
I was working as a veterinary technician in rural Ohio for several months between finishing my BS and starting the MAPP program.
What aspects of MAPP led to your decision to join the program?
The MAPP program stood out to me as very different from any other program I was considering. I had just finished my undergraduate degree and had been very involved in veterinary research, and the other Masters programs I was considering were focused on similar research in biology or biomedical sciences. At the time I was torn between pursuing a career in a science field or dedicating my future to animals, their welfare and their care. The MAPP program seemed like it would be one that would allow me to expand my horizons instead of narrowing them down to a specific science, and I felt it would equip me with the skills needed to make a real, palpable difference in the lives of animals.
In what ways do you use your Master’s in Animals and Public Policy degree in your current position?
I feel that the MAPP program allowed me to become a very well-rounded veterinarian. I have a better understanding of the different ways people relate to animals than I had before completing my MAPP degree, and that has had a huge impact on how I relate to and communicate with my clients. I am a better advocate for my patients as well as shelter animals, laboratory animals, food animals and wildlife than I would have been without the thorough education about those groups provided to me by the MAPP program. I feel that a veterinarian has a responsibility to serve as a source of knowledge about all animals, not just my specific patients, and the MAPP program has both provided me with information on non-companion animals to share with my clients as well as taught me how to stay up to date on animal related issues and advocate for animals.
Tell us about your MAPP project or preceptorship. In what ways did it help you form your career goals?
My MAPP project was a survey-based study regarding the use of and interest in scientifically studied and validated husbandry practices among Thoroughbred breeders in Massachusetts. The project helped me gain an insider’s perspective of the current state of Thoroughbred breeding in the state and gave me a better appreciation of the challenges faced by race horse breeders. Working with Dr. Carl Kirker-Head as a mentor and being able to witness his interactions with horse breeders truly demonstrated to me the value the words of a veterinarian can have to animal owners and helped push me in the direction of pursuing my DVM.
What did you like most about the MAPP program?
I really liked all of the guest speakers. It was fascinating to have discussions with so many people from so many different aspects of the animal world: people who work in shelters, lawyers, government officials, farmers, veterinarians, etc.
Even when I disagreed with their point of view, I learned a lot from the many and very different people the MAPP program exposed me to, and the experience definitely improved my skills in communicating with people who hold different views than I do. I also very much liked the open-endedness of the program. I generally felt like I was able to pursue my own relevant interests while writing papers or completing projects, but I also still felt like I had a clear understanding of what was expected of me in the completion of those projects.
What are your outside interests?
My biggest hobby is dog agility; my current competition dog, Valkyrie, and I compete at Master’s level AKC agility most weekends and are competing in the AKC National Agility Championship in 2020. I have started training our younger dog, Fish, in agility as well, and our retired dog Toby practices from time to time. My husband and I spend the warmer months hiking, fishing, golfing and in general spending time outdoors. Like many veterinarians, many of my interests are focused on my own pets (the dogs go hiking and fishing with me as a rule).
Number of pets? What?
I have a Cardigan Welsh Corgi named Tobias, two Swedish Vallhunds named Valkyrie and Fyris (aka Fish), two black cats that were formal ferals named Vito and Isaac, a leopard gecko and two salt-water fish tanks with a variety of creatures living in them.
Is there anything else you would like to share with prospective MAPP students?
I found the MAPP program to be a fantastic experience that truly helped me shape my career goals. It is a valuable program for anyone, whether they are considering veterinary school or another career.
Full list of MAPP capstone research projects >>
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