Kelly Hathaway-Almstrom

Kelly Hathaway-Almstrom, VG23

Biography

Massachusetts

B.A. in Psychology, Bay Path University, 2020

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

I appreciate that the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine offers unique graduate programs. Although the three programs vary in their specialties, I like the idea of having the opportunity to collaborate and take electives from the other programs. The One Health approach was especially appealing to me due to the nature of animal, environmental, and human health being inextricably connected. I have always been passionate about conservation efforts. This program is well-rounded in allowing students to collaborate and build professional relationships, gain real-life experience in externships, develop real solutions for important conservation issues through independent case studies, and develop important skills needed to start a career in this field through the various offered courses.

What are your interests and/or experience relative to your program?

I recently completed husbandry and clinical internships with the Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Program at the New England Aquarium. I assisted with the triage, treatment, and transport of over 500 cold-stunned sea turtles that stranded in Cape Cod. I also volunteered at the National Marine Life Center to assist with the rescue and rehabilitation of local stranded pinnipeds and sea turtles. Additionally, I volunteered with monitoring diamondback terrapin nests through the New England Coastal Wildlife Alliance. I previously assisted with collecting data about seabirds and environmental conditions in Rhode Island through the Seabird Ecological Assessment Network (SEANET). I am also an Animal Rescue First Responder volunteer for the Mystic Aquarium. I have experience with public health and research methods through a previous internship at UMass Medical School. I also helped start a sustainability club on my undergraduate campus to promote environmental health. My conservation interests include ocean and marine wildlife conservation, law and policy, climate change, endangered species, conservation psychology, and research.

What are your career goals after completing the program?

I have been looking into applying to law schools for the next step in my career. Specifically, I am looking at schools that have conservation, environmental, and animal law specialties. I have also considered pursuing a Ph.D. in conservation biology to further my work with sea turtles. My ideal job would be working as an attorney or researcher for marine conservation or environmental organization.