Master’s in Animals and Public Policy (MAPP) Candidate 2017
B.S., Biology with Environmental Science minor, Stonehill College, 2016
What were you doing before entering the MAPP program?
I graduated from undergraduate school this past May. I spent my summer giving horseback riding lessons, working as a veterinary technician and enjoying beach days here and there!
What aspects of MAPP led to your decision to join the program?
When I stumbled upon the program during a random Google search, I thought it was to good to be true and knew that this was my next path in life about halfway through the Open House in January. I loved that the program served as a framework and that the structure was flexible and designed in a way that lets the student iron out the details. I loved that all of the students had common passions, but each student brought new ideas and goals to the table, for the group to all feed off. Most importantly, I immediately felt so at home with the MAPP faculty and was inspired by the support they provided for students. I was looking for a program where I could motivate myself, while experiencing new things. I wanted to be a part of a program that would let me find my way as I went, exploring new ideas and pushing my personal boundaries to integrate my goals and passion in a fresh and creative way. With this program I have found that.
Interests in and experience with animals
Animals have amazed me in countless ways my entire life. I grew up on a small horse farm, which was an environment that always encouraged any type of animal interaction. When I was five, I announced at my pre-school graduation that I wanted to be a veterinarian. Since then I have surrounded myself with animals on a regular basis. I am an avid equestrian and have experience working as a veterinary technician at several small animal clinics. During the summer of 2014 I traveled to Chaing Mai, Thailand with a veterinary service group to provide care for Elephants at Elephant Nature Park, as well as surgical care for stray cats and dogs.
What do you want to focus on at MAPP? What drew you to this?
I am a planner, which sometimes can lead to missed opportunity, by sticking to the plan. The first goal that I set for myself upon my acceptance into the program was to avoid making a strict plan. With that said, I do not have a specific focus for the program, but rather want to take the opportunity to explore things that I wouldn’t normally. I want to work towards ending animal suffering and injustice while increasing both my education and the public’s, however I do not have a set plan to get there. I am looking forward to finding my way day by day based on the new interests and fresh perspectives on topics that spark my curiosity.
What are your outside interests?
I love to hike with my dog, ride horses, read, and in general enjoy the outdoors!
Number of pets? What?
Olive, a three year old English Black Lab (frequently called Doodle!)
Stella, a two year old Calico Kitty
Puffy, a 10 year old Maine Coon Cat
Thai, a three year old Maine Coon/Siamese Cat
Holly, a 19 year old Quarter Horse
Rumor, a 23 year old Quarter Horse
Peer, a 23 year old Norwegian Fjord
- Virginia Shugrue
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.