Kara McPeak '16 CLAS Combines Degree with Love of Animals

kara mcpeak

Kara McPeak ’16 CLAS (English) began her studies at Villanova as a science student taking pre-veterinary courses. After a few classes, Kara realized that she wanted to study English and switched her major to English with an Irish Studies minor. As she entered her senior year, Kara wanted to take on an internship. After speaking with an advisor in the Office for Undergraduate Students, her advisor pointed her to Paws & Affection, a non-profit working to provide service animals to disabled children. The non-profit was looking for a Marketing intern and it provided a perfect way to combine Kara’s English degree with her love of animals. Recently, Kara visited campus with service-dog-in-training, Kelly, and answered a few questions.

Have you had other internships and when and where?

This past summer I had an internship at a startup, The Dodo, located in SoHo, New York City.

What are you doing at this internship? What is your role?

My role at Paws and Affection is the Marketing and Management intern. Therefore, I help develop the monthly newsletter, manage social media accounts, publicize fundraising events, and represent Paws and Affection at events and on outings. Additionally, each day I work with the dogs to help maintain their training program.

What activities are you involved with at Villanova?

I am involved with the Villanova Special Olympics Fall Festival Committee, Villanova Equestrian Team, Faith and Learning Scholars Program, and Level.

What was the most beneficial part of your internship for learning?

My internship provided the opportunity to develop my writing, communication, management, and social media skills. Additionally, the exposure to service dog training increased my knowledge about dog behavior, psychology, and disability rights.

What was the most enjoyable or memorable day of your internship? 

The first individual outing I participated in with Cricket, one of the service dogs in training at Paws and Affection, was the most memorable day at my internship. While Cricket and I were out running errands, we were a true team. He allowed me to brace on him as I walked, picked up things that I dropped, and aided in a transaction by providing the cashier my debit card, among many other tasks. Seeing Cricket’s months of training being used in real world situations, and imagining how he will use these skills to help the child he will be paired with was truly inspiring. Also, he brought so many smiles to so many people, it was easy to be proud of the dog he had become and the job he is being trained to complete.


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