Picture of Samantha Finckle

Samantha Fincke


Biology and Social Anthropology, Boston University College, 2013
M.S. in Animals and Public Policy, Tufts University, 2017


Current Position:
Associate Director of Community Operations, Animal Rescue League of Boston

What were you doing before entering the Master’s in Animals and Public Policy (MAPP) program?
After graduating from my undergraduate studies I spent two years working at the MSPCA in Boston as a community animal welfare specialist and veterinary technician.

What aspects of MAPP led to your decision to join the program?
I was interested in moving from working in a single shelter to impact pets throughout communities through larger scale animal welfare work. The research component of the MAPP program as well as its connection to the Center for Shelter dogs first drew me to the program.

In what ways do you use your MAPP degree in your current position?
The baseline knowledge of animal welfare research has been essential in my work in community initiatives. I often use published data to support conversations that I have with non-animal related organizations to address the interest of animals in human health. I also use the data and statistics education that I received to compile data for grant reports and additional grant asks. The network that was created through my MAPP experience has helped me to navigate animal welfare in Massachusetts.

Tell us about your MAPP project or preceptorship. In what ways did it help you form your career goals?
My MAPP project on accessible veterinary medicine lead right into the work that I do now in addressing gaps in veterinary care. I have always been extremely interested in access to veterinary care for all and was able to spend close to a year learning about the research surrounding veterinary medicine and animal welfare. This project also helped me realize the importance of data collection and has molded my behavior to continue throughout all future professions.

What did you like most about the MAPP program?
I enjoyed the well-rounded education most about the MAPP program. There are portions of animal welfare that I would have never thought to study personally, but which have become very important as a base of knowledge for me. I also am extremely grateful for the people I have met through the program who have provided opportunities for me that I would not otherwise have been able to access.

MAPP Capstone Research Project: Modeling Accessible Veterinary Care