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Meagan Rock, A03, V14

Recipient: Echeverria Scholarship, Caccomo Annual Scholarship

As a high-school student required to perform community service to graduate, Meagan Rock, A03, V14, resigned herself to doing her 80 hours at a nearby animal shelter. Fifteen years later, she recalls: "I never left."

By the time she graduated high school, the Stoughton, Mass., native had clocked some 1,600 hours at the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) shelter in Brockton. She kept working at the Brockton shelter during her summers as a Tufts undergrad. After college she went to work fulltime for the MSPCA, eventually serving five years as director of the MSPCA Animal Care and Adoption Center in Boston.

“At the Boston shelter we took in 6,000 animals a year, including sometimes more than 40 cats a day in the summer months,” Rock says. “It wasn’t just kittens. We literally saw every companion animal you could imagine: dogs, cats, gerbils, hamsters, rabbits, huge birds, small birds, snakes, lizards. Each animal received individualized care.”

Currently she is co-president of the Shelter Medicine Club at the Cummings School. “The shelter is a place where you can do something every day to make a difference,” says the owner of two pets from the Animal Care and Adoption Center, a Boston terrier, Rose, and a domestic longhair cat, Sprocket.

Dr. Emily McCobb, V00, VG02, director of shelter medicine at Cummings, says: “Meagan is thoroughly committed to improving animal lives as a career. She also is a natural-born leader who can tackle complex ‘people’ problems with grace and style, and who jumps right in when there is work to be done.”

This summer Rock will be working on a research project evaluating the nesting behavior of lab mice to ensure their conditions are comfortable.

Animal welfare, she says, is “a huge part of who I am as a person.”