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Molly Mcnamara

Concurrent MSSW/VSW Graduate


Molly is originally from St. Louis, Missouri but grew up in Racine, Wisconsin. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Missouri, Columbia and received her Masters of Social Work from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in May of 2016. She chose the University of Tennessee, Knoxville for the sole purpose of completing the Veterinary of Social Work Certificate. Molly has always had an interest in the human-animal bond and the positive benefits people can receive from the interactions with animals.

During her concentration year field placement, Molly was working with the Knox County Schools and Human-Animal Bond In Tennessee (HABIT), using a HABIT dog as a therapeutic measure in the schools, working with grades K-12. She worked one on one with students and the animal for counseling purposes, as well as working with the “Ruff Reading” program within the schools.

 Molly has always grown up around animals and currently lives with her boss, who is a Border Collie/Lab/Pitbull Mix.

Molly is pictured with her dog, Pedro. 


Since graduation I have been working with Dr. Zenny Ng on his research project at ETCH. We are researching the effects of Animal Assisted Intervention on preoperative anxiety and the dose of sedation medication in children, more specifically oncology patients. We bring in dogs before patients who are enrolled in our study receive their lumbar punctures. It is an amazing project and working with Dr. Ng has been incredible! It is awesome to see the growth of AAI and the VSW program!

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