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Grace Phillips

M.S. Student

I grew up on a farm outside of Richmond, Virginia that has always focused largely on rescuing and socializing animals, both large and small, promoting animal education, and providing positive human-animal interactions. In the spring of 2023, I graduated from William & Mary, majoring in Biology and Psychology. Following graduation, I worked with the Center for Human-Animal Interaction at VCU Health. Having grown up on a farm, I have always had a love of working with animals of all kinds and understanding their needs to provide them with the best possible interaction and care. My experiences with rescue animals on the farm, animal shelter volunteer work, and research with therapy dogs contributed to my desire to use research as a means of advocacy and promotion of animal welfare. I am currently a graduate student in Dr. Lisa Gunter's lab in the School of Animal Sciences at Virginia Tech focusing on studying shelter dog welfare. I am interested in understanding how positive human-animal interactions and relationships can benefit both humans and animals, as well as working to improve shelter and rescue animal welfare.