Institute for Human-Animal Connection and Zoology Foundation Teams:
Sarah Bexell, PhD | Anna Buckman | Maggie Lantzy, MSW | Hanna Lee | Julia Senecal
The Institute for Human-Animal Connection at the University of Denver, in collaboration with the Humane Education Coalition and Zoology Foundation, is conducting a collaborative research project to assess the state of humane education in PreK-12 schools across the United States. This study, when completed, intends to provide a baseline snapshot of the state of humane education that will serve as reference into the future about the planned improved status of the incorporation of humane education in educational settings to improve the health of and relationships between humans, other animals, and the planet. This session will share preliminary findings of this study.
About our Speakers: Sarah Bexell, PhD - Director of Humane Education, Institute for Human-Animal Connection, University of Denver Sarah Bexell has worked in wildlife conservation, humane education, and sustainable development for over 25 years. She holds a BA in biology and environmental studies from Augustana College, a MA in biological anthropology from Northern Illinois University, a MEd in secondary science education from Georgia State University, and a PhD in early childhood education with a cognate in science education from Georgia State University. Currently, Sarah is a Clinical Associate Professor with the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work as well as the Director of Humane Education for the University of Denver's Institute for Human-Animal Connection. At the University of Denver, she teaches courses and internships in Sustainable Development and Global Practice and Humane Education. Sarah is also a Faculty Member with the Institute for Humane Education-Valparaiso University and the Director of Conservation Education at China’s Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.
Anna Buckman - Graduate Student, University of Denver School of Social Work Anna Buckman is in her foundation year at the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work and hopes to receive her Master of Social Work with a certificate in Animal-Assisted Social Work in 2020. For her undergraduate degree, Anna studied at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and received a BS in psychology. During her undergraduate studies, Anna worked with the education department at the Chattanooga Zoo to create a “sensory safari” program that allowed special needs children and adults to experience the zoo using their five senses. Throughout her life, she has had a passion for animals and has worked closely with Young Williams Animal Shelter in Knoxville, TN, fostering over 200 puppies and older dogs over the past several years. Anna is currently working on humane education research at the University of Denver for the Institute for Human Animal Connection and hopes to promote the inclusion of humane education in curricula in schools across all age groups.
Maggie Lantzy, MSW - Program Director, Zoology Foundation Maggie Lantzy is the program director at the Zoology Foundation, a non-profit animal sanctuary and humane education center in Larkspur, CO. She holds a BS in psychology from the University of Mary Washington and a Master of Social Work with a certificate in animal-assisted social work from the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work. Her background includes in-home and school-based applied behavioral analysis therapy for children with autism, as well as animal training and care. As the program director of the Zoology Foundation, Maggie is responsible for all humane education programming including camps, tours, group events, and public speaking engagements for the foundation. She is currently pursuing the credential of Certified Humane Education Specialist with the Academy of Prosocial Learning. Her goals in the field include policy change, spreading and teaching humane education, and advancing welfare initiatives to ensure the best treatment of all species and the environment.
Hanna Lee - Graduate Student, University of Denver School of Social Work Hanna Lee is in her concentration year at the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work and will receive her Master of Social Work and the Animal-Assisted Social Work Certificate in June 2019. She has over six years of experience working and volunteering in shelters, interning with wildlife rehabilitation centers as well as equine assisted therapy centers. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Redlands, receiving a BA in psychology and minor in human-animal studies. She has always had a strong interest in the relationship between social issues and humane education. Hanna is currently interning with the Institute for Human Animal Connection at the University of Denver as well as working on humane education research with the Zoology Foundation.
Julia Senecal - Graduate Student, University of Denver School of Social Work Julia E. Senecal has worked in education, policy, and program development for over 10 years. She holds a BA in public administration from the University of Central Florida and is currently a second year Master of Social Work student at the University of Denver. Upon completing her undergraduate coursework, Julia spent several years working within the Education Service of the Orlando VA Medical Center, where she had the opportunity to develop curriculum and build program evaluation measures for the facility’s medical and continuing education operations. Julia went on to teach special education language arts and biology within middle and high school settings in Oklahoma City and South Florida. While in the classroom, she incorporated humane education principles into her teaching practice, including the implementation of experiential projects such as creating a “for students, by students” food pantry. As an MSW student focused on research and policy, Julia looks forward to continuing her work devoted to promoting the inclusion of humane education in classrooms and alternative settings around the world.
Participants who attend all three live panel discussions are invited to download a certificate of completion from the University of Denver's Institute for Human-Animal Connection with three contact hours documented!