Exie Lightfoot, VG23

Exie Lightfoot, VG23



BA, Biology with a specialization in Ecology and Conservation, Boston University, 2019

Why did you choose to pursue this degree, and why did you choose Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine to pursue this degree?

I’ve always been interested in law, the environment, science, and animals ever since I was very young. While I was in school, I gradually focused more on science and research, which I enjoy and value, but have since come to realize that my true passion is being an advocate for animals, especially wildlife and “livestock”. The MAPP program seems to perfectly integrate my interests and passions and will allow me to gain the education and experience I need to make meaningful contributions to policy regarding animals.

While in MAPP I would really like to focus on our relationship with the animal kingdom and how we think about other species, particularly wildlife and animals we see as livestock. People categorize different species into arbitrary boxes and make decisions about how we should feel about and treat those animals based on these boxes. We give them labels like “pest” or “pet” or “food”, and our policies surrounding animals often reflect these labels. It is sometimes useful, but we fall into a habit of relying too much on our biases. It’s unscientific. Given this, I’d love to explore how to change the way we think about other animals and our place in the environment, as well as the policies we implement to match more closely with the reality that modern science and research present.

What are your career goals after completing the program?

I do not know the exact career path that I will take yet; I’m interested in a wide variety of options and would like to further explore what will be open to me as I make my way through the MAPP program. Ultimately, my goal is to help change the way we think about our relationship with other animals and our place in the environment/animal kingdom, and assist with the implementation of policy that reflects that change.