Adventures in Animal Studies at Madonna

animal studies students at the zoo

LIVONIA, MICH. – Madonna University animal studies students engaged in a plethora of learning experiences during the fall 2023 semester, especially those who are members of the Animal Awareness Club. 

A trip to the Toledo Zoo was a highlight and included a behind-the-scenes tour of the Zoo's impressive aquarium. Students learned about the complex logistics of maintaining such an enormous tank inhabited by several medium-sized sharks. The students also enjoyed watching tiger cubs play and observing polar bear cubs splashing in their pool. 

In keeping with the University's service-learning component of each degree program, the Animal Awareness Club conducted a donation drive for pet food and supplies for the Michigan Humane Society.  Several points of collection, on campus and at other locations, attracted an overwhelming number of donations. "We are very proud of our students who initiated and completing the project with such great results," said Andrew Domzalski, Ph.D., animal studies program director, professor, and chair of humanities at Madonna. 

On the academic side, two new courses were offered for the first time this fall; Animal Law and Policies and Human-Animal Conflicts. These courses engaged students in current issues at the crossroads of human and animal co-existence. 

Animal studies students and other members of the Madonna University community attended a lecture presented by Detective Kelly McLaughlin from the Wayne County Prosecutors Office. McLaughlin's talk, The Processes and Challenges of Prosecuting Animal Cruelty - A Case Based Analysis, was of particular interest to the animal studies and criminal justice students. 

Additionally, Domzalski and the University's broadcast and cinema arts program produced two, soon-to-be released videos to help promote the animal studies program to people interested in a career working with and advocating for animals. Recorded at the Detroit Zoo, the first video highlights the fruitful, fourteen-year collaboration between the Zoo and the University. 

The second video features an interview Madonna University's President, Chris Dougherty, Ph.D., and his wife Joanne who talk about rescuing two pug brothers and the importance of the human-animal bond. 

To learn more about the animal studies program at Madonna, please visit the website: https://www.madonna.edu/academics/programs/animal-studies/index.php