Jessica Sparks MCM’14
Jessica Sparks MCM’14 is currently a PhD student at the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work teaching in Conservation Social Work. She joined the MCM Program with an interest in socioeconomic risk factors in indigenous populations and the implications for biodiversity conservation. Originally from St. Louis, she has a BA from UNC in Sociology and French Language and a Master of Social Work from Washington University and is also a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. Jessica’s background in crisis intervention, specializing in working with trauma and violence survivors, includes having led community crisis response teams after large scale traumas such as Hurricane Katrina, the Virginia Tech shootings, and the Boston Marathon bombings. When she moved to Boston in 2011 and began volunteering in the Animal Health Department at the NE Aquarium, she reignited her lifelong passion for wildlife conservation and started a career change into conservation medicine. In the MCM Program Jessica was awarded a Tufts Institute of the Environment Fellowship to help fund her Externship and Case Study project, Associations of Chinese national identity and perceived disease risk with wildlife consumption: A cross-sectional survey based study at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in China. To read more about her experience in China: http://vet.tufts.edu/jessica-sparks-14/. Jessica has also been a guest speaker in MCM course Research Skills I: Systematic Review and Analysis for the past two years.