B.A. in Theatre Studies, Wheaton College, 2011
M.S. in Animals and Public Policy, Tufts University, 2018
IACUC & Science Specialist, The Forsyth Institute
What were you doing before entering the Masters in Animals and Public Policy (MAPP) program?
I worked in nonprofit arts administration for 2 theaters and 1 museum after college. I also volunteered with my mom for her small, foster-based, nonprofit cat rescue organization. When I knew I would be changing careers and pursuing the MAPP program, I worked for a pet groomer while fulfilling my prerequisite requirements.
What aspects of MAPP led to your decision to join the program?
Since I knew I had a passion for animals but did not want to become a veterinarian, I became interested in the MAPP program for the exposure to animal-oriented careers and skills outside of veterinary medicine.
Interests in and experience with animals
In my current role in laboratory animal welfare, my MAPP education gives me the ability to approach my work with a more nuanced and well-rounded understanding of the history of animal research and the issues surrounding it. During my job interview, my employer noted that it would be beneficial to have someone with an animal welfare perspective join a team of primarily scientists. Some of my other responsibilities such as proofreading manuscripts and managing literature references have benefited from my time in the MAPP program due to the focus on research and writing skills that we practiced in our research methods class.
Tell us about your MAPP project or preceptorship. In what ways did it help you form your career goals?
During my MAPP externship with Brown University’s Office of Research Integrity, I was immersed in an environment that quickly became an example for my career goals; the professionalism, the focus on animal welfare, and the fact that my colleagues valued my intelligence and contributions all encouraged me to take the next steps in my new career path. I was afforded a fair amount of freedom in choosing my final project topic, so I took the opportunity to explore a specialized area of laboratory animal welfare: retirement prospects for nonhuman primates after their time in the laboratory. While I may or may not be required to know about this specific topic in future roles, the fact that I have an understanding of it will contribute to my understanding of the broader issues I will encounter in my career.
What did you like most about the MAPP program?
I most enjoyed the breadth of topics covered and the opportunities to dive deeply into areas of interest during final papers or group projects. I also connected with some of my classmates and have come out of the program with a close group of friends who have supported one another during our job searches after the MAPP.
Is there anything else you would like to share with prospective MAPP students?
The MAPP program is entirely what you make of it; take advantage of the opportunities to explore things that are unfamiliar to you and you will be surprised by how different your aspirations are at the end than they were when you started.