I am only halfway through my Anthrozoology program, but have already started thinking about what I want to do for my internship and what type of work I want after I graduate. Since I need to work full time during my internship, my options are limited. Right now, two options that I am playing with are the Philadelphia Zoo and Chenoa Manor, which is a local farm animal sanctuary. The reason the zoo is one of the options for me is I currently have mixed feelings on zoos. Is the suffering of captive animals (maybe not all are suffering, but definitely some) worth the gains in education and conservation? I am hoping an internship there would help me answer that question. I got the opportunity to visit Chenoa Manor last month and it was a unique experience. It is a 25 acre piece of land that is home to over 100 animals all rescued from different situations such as the farming industry and medical testing.
As far as work after I graduate…I am not as sure. It is possible that I will continue a paid position for whichever organization I internship for, although Chenoa Manor does not currently have any paid employees. It is all volunteer based. My plan is to switch working full-time at Microsoft into a part-time position. This way I will be able to pursue my passion of technology and my passion of animals at the same time. Down the road, I will likely switch to a full-time animal related job. I will spend some of my time on a new dog rescue I have recently started. I started PA Dog Rescue a little over a month ago and it is still it its very early stages. Although a degree is not necessary to start a dog rescue, I believe the education I receive from Canisius will help me on that venture. A class that will be particularly helpful is Shelters, Rescues, and Pounds that I will be taking next semester.
My love of technology
My love of animals
When I first applied to the Anthrozoology program at Canisius, I had some concerns about my lack of formal education with animals. Currently, I am working full time at Microsoft as a Software Consultant. My Bachelor’s and Master’s are in Computer Science. I also have a minor in Mathematics. I have not had any classes or jobs that dealt with animals.
One of the great aspects about the Anthrozoology program at Canisius is they consider applicants with a Bachelor’s degree in any major. I was worried since Computer Science and Mathematics are so unrelated to animals, I would struggle and feel out of place in the program. Boy, was I wrong! All of our student’s backgrounds are so diverse. We have students with biology backgrounds, as well as nursing, legal documentation, anthropology, and much more. We even have another fellow computer scientist! The diverse nature of our student’s backgrounds is what helps make the program so unique and successful. Everyone has their own skills, personal experiences, stories, point of views, and thoughts about the various topics we study. You may look at something one way and the viewpoint of a fellow student opens your eyes, helping you see it in a different light.
If you have never taken an online class at Canisius, you may wonder what you should expect. Canisius utilizes two software programs in their Anthrozoology program. These programs are Desire2Learn (D2L) and GoToMeeting (GTM).
Desire2Learn is an eLearning program that offers many capabilities. The Anthrozoology professors use this as one of their main classroom tools. The following is a list of the most commonly used functions of D2L.
- Content – This is where professors upload course readings, assignment instructions, and any other material needed tor the class.
- Discussion – A blog where the professor and students can collaborate, exchange ideas, and talk about the current class topic.
- Dropbox – A repository to submit papers and other assignments to the professor.
- Grades – View the grades for your assignments and any feedback the professor left.
- Classlist – View the names, email addresses and profile picture of your professor and the students in your class.
GoToMeeting is a tool used to hold interactive, online meetings. Your professor and fellow classmates are able to join the same meeting and collaborate in real time. You are able to dial in with your phone to listen and participate in voice conversations. For the full experience, connecting with an internet enabled device allows you not only voice, but also video, chat, and desktop sharing. If you miss a meeting or want to listen to part of the conversation again, meetings are able to recorded to be saved as an mp3 file.
Even if you typically struggle with technology, GoToMeeting and Desire2Learn are easy to learn. You will spend less time worrying about the technology, and more time focusing on your classwork.
The online Master’s degree Canisius offers in Anthrozoology is different from your average online program in many ways. One of the coolest ways that it differs is an aspect of the program they call the OCC. This stands for On Campus Component.
At the beginning of every Fall and Spring semester, the Anthrozoology students and professors travel to the Buffalo campus for an intensive 4 day weekend to kick off the classes. This weekend accomplishes several things. During a typical OCC, you attend class, listen to guest speakers, tour the campus, and attend mini field trips. However, the most important aspect of OCC is the ability to meet your professors and fellow students face to face. This experience is invaluable to an online program.
After the OCC is over, everyone heads home to continue their classes online. Throughout the semester, your classwork will involve emailing and chatting with your fellow students. Since you now have a background of these students and are able to put faces to the names, it makes the interactions much more personal and meaningful. I believe for these reasons, it also increases the quality of education you receive. Below is a picture from the OCC that took place in the beginning of the Spring 2015 semester.