Alumni Alexandria Laing at a beach with a dog

Alexandria (Lexie) Laing


B.A., Integrative Biology, Harvard University, 2019
M.S. in Animals and Public Policy, Tufts University, 2020


Current Position:
Veterinary Assistant, Banfield Pet Hospital

What were you doing before entering the Masters in Animals and Public Policy (MAPP) program?
I was an undergraduate at Harvard University playing for the varsity women’s Ice Hockey team at Harvard. This summer I took an intensive organic chemistry class at Harvard Extension School.

What aspects of MAPP led to your decision to join the program?
I am very interested in the interactions between humans and animals and the effects that they have on one another. This class allows me to analyze the intervention that humans have on animals’ well-being through the policies and change they implement.

Interests in and experience with animals
I am interested in mostly in small animals such as dogs and larger animals such as horses. I’ve volunteered at an animal shelter, primarily working with dogs, but there were cats there as well. I also volunteered at a barn, handling and caring for horses.

What are your career goals?
My main career goal is to become a veterinarian. I believe that this program will help bridge the gap between animal medicine and human medicine and better understand the lengths and difficulties that goes into making those distinctions.

What are your outside interests?
I am very interested in sports.

Number of pets? What type?
I have one pet. He is a Siberian husky named Dakota.

MAPP Externship

I worked with Dr. Carl Kirker-Head, an equine veterinarian, to research and characterize the current status of on-site farrier services at selected veterinary teaching hospitals, to help qualify the relationship between farriers and equine veterinarians and their effect of equine health. Additionally, we compared the results to a similar study published in 2010. Over the summer, we transitioned the survey Dr. Kirker-Head created in 2004 from a word document to Qualtrics to send it to the selected representatives. To do this, I utilized what I learned from the MAPP program to reach out to participants and transform the survey. We made significant changes to the questions while keeping it similar enough to compare it to the 2010 results. For my final paper, I wrote a literature review of the farrier-veterinarian relationship, including Dr. Kirker-Head’s characterization in 2010.

See Externship Experience presentation here: