student Spotlight

September Student Spotlight with Sofia Fogel, MPA '18

Sept 16 Student Spotlight

Passion is often the cornerstone of a studentís success. Sofia Fogelís passion lies in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, topics not often addressed by a Master of Public Administration. Sofia tells us about her pursuit of this career path, the flexibility and efficacy of the Nonprofit Administration track in paving a path toward that pursuit, and more.

Why did you choose the MPA program at Baruch?
I decided to pursue an MPA with the intention of applying it toward a career in wildlife conservation policy and/or animal welfare policy. Baruch was my top choice because of the program's exceptional faculty and diverse student body. Because of my classmates' various perspectives and experience in public service, I learn as much from them as from my professors. Baruch provides a forum in which to share professional insights, expertise and inspiration. The professors in SPIA have a genuine investment in our learning and success, and are experienced in the field as well as passionate about their specific subjects.

MPAs arenít often thought of as a bridge to a career in wildlife conservation and animal welfare. How did your professors, school administrators and the program itself cater to your aspirations?
The flexibility of the MPA curriculum has allowed me to orient projects and papers towards these topics in almost every course. My professors have been enthusiastic and receptive, and have even discussed collaborating on designing curriculum for a course around animal policy. While it's true that the MPA route may seem a bit untraditional, the degree offers a specialization in nonprofit management which inspired me to intern at an animal welfare nonprofit called Animal Charity Evaluators. Having now joined the staff at ACE, I have really enjoyed the ability to directly apply discussions and skills from the classroom to my work there.

What do you do as Special Programs Manager at Animal Charity Evaluators?
I'm currently organizing our first academic symposium, which will take place this November at Princeton University. The event will feature esteemed speakers in various social science fields whose work benefits animals and/or the animal advocacy movement. Speakers will discuss the philosophy of Effective Altruism (upon which ACE's work is predicated), as well as present their own research and discuss opportunities for further research that has the potential to benefit animals.

What are some initiatives you'd like to see implemented? How would you like to be involved in them?
Our research symposium is the initiative I was most excited about when I came on board at ACE. I couldn't be happier that I've been given the opportunity to spearhead its planning and organization. The symposium has already grown from just an idea to a full-fledged project, and I would love to help it become not only a successful event this year but also an annual program.