Picture of Sara Pantel with her dog

Sara Pantel


B.A., Biology & Spanish, Tufts University, 2015
M.S. in Animals and Public Policy, Tufts University, 2022


What were you doing before entering the M.S. in Animals and Public Policy (MAPP) program?
I was working as an Inpatient Assistant at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston, providing nursing care to hospitalized pets. Before starting at Angell, I worked as an assistant in a small veterinary practice north of Boston. I also completed internships centered around marine conservation at the Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation in Samos, Greece, and at the New England Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center.

What aspects of MAPP led to your decision to join the program?
I was drawn to the program because of the curriculum – I like that it provides the opportunity to develop “hard skills” like research methods and policy analysis and to explore various animal issues through electives. It was also one of the only programs I found that focused on human-animal interactions, as opposed to animal-centric programs in wildlife biology or human-centric programs in public health.

Interests in and experience with animals prior to joining the MAPP program?
My interests involving animals are many! The majority of my animal-related experience has been focused on companion animals, having worked in animal hospitals in the Boston area for several years. However, I have also been fortunate to volunteer with working dogs—both guide dogs for the blind and sled dogs—which has fomented an interest in the ways in which humans leverage their bond with animals to satisfy needs in their communities. At the same time, I have always been interested in wildlife conservation, something that was confirmed through my internships with Archipelagos and the NEAq. I also have some yet-unexplored interests, like the ethics of farming animals, particularly in the U.S. I am looking forward to digging into these ideas in the MAPP program.

What are your outside interests?
I like to cook, bake, play the violin, and spend time outdoors.

Number of pets? What?
Unfortunately, I don’t have any pets of my own. But my parents have a black lab named Dolores, whom I love dearly, as well as a turtle named Frankie.

MAPP Capstone Research Project

The purpose of this study is to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on a small segment of the dairy industry: medium-to-large dairies in Connecticut. Through in-depth and structured interviews with farmers and their staff, the project will delve into the economic effects, the experience of farm staff, and potential impacts on the cows. In doing so, it aims to shed light on previously unacknowledged ways in which the pandemic affected individual dairy farms.