Christina is currently a second year graduate student at the University of Tennessee in the Master of Science in Social Work program and she is the Veterinary Social Work Graduate Assistant. Christina’s undergraduate degree is also from UTK, and she received a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Sociology. Christina’s introduction to the nuances of human-animal interactions began with an environmental ethics course in her major and the varying perspectives and theories on the ethics of conservation and sustainability. After graduating, Christina worked with AmeriCorps VISTA and the Community Action Committee locally in a variety of grant programs, and eventually in communications at a mental health residential facility. It is through community outreach and residential mental health that Christina became more interested in micro perspectives, specifically social work. The Veterinary Social Work program is a natural progression for Christina, and helps connect interpersonal social work to her undergraduate degree and broader interests in humans and the context of environment.
Christina’s first year field placement was at Shangri-La Therapeutic Academy of Riding (STAR), where she explored self-care for caregivers (human and nonhuman animals), and integrated mindfulness in an equine facilitated mental health group. Her specialization field placement is with the HABIT program in Knox County Schools, and her co-worker is Shadow a HABIT therapy dog. Christina is available through her position as VSW-GA to meet with prospective and current students, and would love the opportunity to answer any questions about the program or her experiences. Christina is open minded with her future goals in Veterinary Social Work and is constantly learning new things; from her professors, peers, readings, and from the animals she has the opportunity to work with.
Christina is pictured with Momma.