- 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
I am currently a full time Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) student at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. I am also a veterinary student representative for Zoetis.
What were you doing before entering the Masters in Animals and Public Policy (MAPP) program?
I was working as a veterinary technician in rural Ohio for several months between starting the MAPP program and finishing my Bachelor of Science (BS).
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 narrow 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 Masters in Animals and Public Policy degree in your current position?
I use my MAPP degree experience almost every day in discussions with fellow DVM students. The MAPP program has granted me a broad understanding of the issues surrounding animals, their many uses by people, and their current place in society, and my fellow students are often very interested in discussing these matters with me. I’ve had discussions with my peers on topics varying to why milk production in dairy herds may not be clearly indicative of animal welfare to why captive hunt facilities pose a real threat to native wildlife and livestock alike, among other things. I feel that the MAPP program will allow me to become a very well-rounded veterinarian, and it has equipped me well for a (hopeful) career in the field of shelter medicine.
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 pursing my DVM.
What did you enjoy most about participating in MAPP?
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.
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.
MS in Animals and Public Policy
The MS in Animals and Public Policy (MAPP) is an intensive, 12-to-16-month graduate degree program that focuses on human-animal relationships and their implications for policy and community action.
Center for Animals and Public Policy
The mission of the Tufts Center for Animals and Public Policy (CAPP) is to conduct and encourage scholarly evaluation and understanding of the complex societal issues and public policy dimensions of the changing role and impact of animals in society. Work conducted by the Center is based on the tenets that animal well-being matters, that animal and human well-being are linked, and that both are enhanced through improved understanding of human-animal relationships.