Mara-Daria Cojocaru spent her first COVID-19 lockdown in the United Kingdom thinking of new ways to combine her academic and creative work to be of relevance outside of her usual circles. She refers to her new work as animal-assisted philosophy. Cojocaru sought out the Animals and Human Health (AHH) professional development certificate to learn more about our complex relationships with animals and how animal-assisted interventions can be successful.
With deep gratitude and appreciation for her influence and leadership, the Institute for Human-Animal Connection (IHAC) is announcing Associate Director Erica Elvove’s departure from our organization. After 13 years of service to IHAC, Erica is now transitioning to her new role as the Senior Vice President for Conservation Engagement and Impact at the Denver Zoological Foundation.
The Institute for Human-Animal Connection is pleased to welcome Jen VonLintel as one of the newest members of our adjunct faculty teaching team for the Animals and Human Health Certificate. Jen VonLintel, MS, is a licensed school counselor in Loveland, Colorado, specializing in animal-assisted interventions (AAI) in school settings. She has a passion for learning about the human-animal bond and building programs that benefit her school community.
The Institute for Human-Animal Connection (IHAC) is excited to welcome Dr. Kevin Morris into the role of Executive Director beginning June 1, 2021. Kevin has served as IHAC's Director of Research since 2016. In addition, Kevin is a Research Associate Professor and the American Humane Endowed Chair at the Graduate School of Social Work. Kevin has overseen the development of IHAC's robust research agenda and looks forward to leading the Institute into the next chapter.
After 15 successful years as the founding executive director of the Institute for Human–Animal Connection (IHAC), Clinical Professor Philip Tedeschi has decided to step down from the executive director role on June 1, 2021, and return to teaching full time at the University of Denver's Graduate School of Social Work. Philip will continue to teach and be involved with the Animal-Assisted Social Work Certificate and online professional development programs.
Leah wanted a career change that included working with horses and dogs. She became a Life Coach and completed the Animals and Human Health Certificate through the Institute for Human-Animal Connection. The program helped Leah start her own business and integrate animals in an ethical and responsible manner.
The holiday season is upon us again, with its typical spectrum of emotions from joy and happiness to grief and despair. Perhaps these emotions are also amplified by issues unique to 2020, such as the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and racial injustice in the U.S. There are also many aspects of the holidays that might be experienced as stressful by a dog or any companion animal species.
Shanti Hill-Gauer earned her MSW and AASW certificate in 2013 and is now the owner and clinical director of the Wish Fulfilling Tree – Therapeutic Ranch. The Wish Fulfilling Tree provides animal-assisted therapy services to youth in Sonoma County, California.