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Keynote Speaker

Justin Kurup , James Logan High School

As a former Humane Education Manager at the East Bay SPCA in Oakland and APHE Board Member, Justin Kurup is excited to join APHE at this year’s virtual conference! Justin spends his days teaching in the Ethnic Studies, Language Arts, and Performing Arts departments at James Logan High School in California. As the Director of Speech & Debate, he has coached numerous national and state champions in several competitive performing arts categories since he started at the school in 2017. Justin grew up in the same city that he teaches in and felt it was important to give back to the community that helped raise him.

He is a proud alumni of University of California, Davis studying Animal Science where he further developed his love for companion animals. Justin later earned a masters from the University of San Francisco in his true calling; Urban Education & Social Justice. Though he has many passions, Justin enjoys writing poetry and traveling the world. He doesn't go anywhere without his ride-or-die, a playful pit bull mix named Meeko. With a commitment to social change rooted in humor and compassion, Justin sees his students as storytellers, truth seekers, and the ones we have been waiting for to set us all free.

Speaker Bios

Katie Campbell, Humane Animal Rescue of Pittsburgh

Katie is a Humane & Wildlife Educator at Humane Animal Rescue of Pittsburgh. She previously worked at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium as a Conservation Education Specialist and YMCA Camp Soles as their Lead Nature Counselor. Katie studied Zoology at Kent State University, earning her B.S. Her favorite part about being an educator is getting to share her love of animals and conservation with others and inspiring them to make a difference in the world.

Sandi Comunale, Humane Animal Rescue of Pittsburgh

Sandi is currently a Humane & Wildlife Educator at Humane Animal Rescue of Pittsburgh.  She has a B.S. in Biology and M.S. is Environmental Science & Management, and has previously worked at the Student Conservation Association, Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, and Carnegie Museums. Sandi is honored to pursue her passion of empowering the public to care about and protect animals and the environment, as well as making education enjoyable and accessible to all facets of the community. 

Time: April 27, 1:45 P.M. - 2:30 P.M.  EST

Back to the Bare Necessities: Evaluating & Evolving Your Education Department’s Mission For The Changing World

Dr. Tess Collett

I am a Clinical Psychologist with a masters in social work and a masters and PhD in clinical psychology. I have 8 years of experience and a specialty in psychological testing and love the work that I am fortunate enough to do in not only looking at the individual but the system in which they act and are impacted by. I work primarily with adolescents and young adults. The testing that I conduct is very comprehensive and includes identifying and conceptualizing various types of trauma, the impact it has on a developing individual's functioning and providing evidence-based recommendations for family, therapeutic and medical treatment teams and academic professionals who are closely working with these individuals. I work as an independent contractor testing throughout the country, consulting and advocating with various professionals as well as collaborate daily with a team of other testing psychologists, with whom I closely work.

Time: April 26th, 1:15 P.M.- 2:00 P.M.

Trauma-Informed Teaching: Effects of Trauma on the Developing Child and Strategies for Educational Professionals

Laura Fanthome, Ontario SPCA and Humane Society

Laura Fanthome is the Humane Education Manager for Ontario SPCA. Laura uses her former positions as a teacher and environmental educator to design Humane Education for their AnimalSmart Program. She has also had a former career as a Veterinary Technician to help educators and students relate to animal behaviour and animal welfare. Laura holds a Bachelor of Education degree, Bachelor and Masters in Environmental Studies, and a Diploma in Veterinary Technology.

Time: April 28th, 1:30 P.M. - 2:15 P.M. EST

Humane Education: Experiential Learning and Inclusivity 

Mike Farley, University of Toronto Schools

Mike Farley has been teaching middle and high school Geography and Environmental Studies for 20 years in Toronto. He is also a Sessional Lecturer for the University of Toronto’s Master of Teaching program and a member of the Institute for Humane Education faculty at Antioch University. Mike completed his MEd degree in Humane Education in 2021, and organized the inaugural Educators for Animals Conference that brought together educators from around the world who are incorporating animal protection into their school communities. Mike is a frequent presenter at conferences in Canada and the U.S. on topics such as human rights, environmental issues, and animal protection. In 2014, the Royal Canadian Geographical Society presented Mike with the 'Innovation in Geography Teaching' award, the highest honor for K-12 Geography teaching in Canada.

Nandita Bajaj, Population Balance

Nandita Bajaj is the Executive Director of Population Balance, a U.S. nonprofit that offers education and solutions to address the impacts of human overpopulation and overconsumption from a humane education framework. She completed her M.Ed. at the Institute for Humane Education in 2021, and recently joined its faculty to teach the Human Rights core course and the Pronatalism & Overpopulation elective (which she designed). Previously, Nandita worked as a high school physics and math teacher and an administrator in both the public and independent school systems, as well as an engineer at Bombardier Aerospace. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Society for Humane Science, which provides education on ethics and alternatives to animals in research, testing, and teaching in Canada.

Time: April 26th, 2:05 P.M. - 2:50 P.M. EST

Exploring Our Relationship to Animals in Classrooms and School Communities

Bailey Gilbert, PAWS

Bailey Gilbert is the Education Coordinator for the education department at PAWS (Progressive Animal Welfare Society) Animal Shelter and Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Lynnwood, Washington. She has a background in environmental education and passionately believes that educating the youth of today will enhance our chances of a greater tomorrow. At PAWS she has helped create an asynchronous virtual humane education program as well as a multi-visit teen program focused on mission-driven, service-based learning.

Time: April 28th, 2:20 P.M. - 3:05 P.M. EST

Engaging Teen Leaders in Your Community

Michael Kaufmann, Green Chimneys

Michael Kaufmann has been actively involved in Human/animal Interaction Programs, Animal Welfare and in Humane Education for 35 years. In 2005 he joined Green Chimneys Children’s Services as Farm and Wildlife Director and is the Director of the Sam and Myra Ross Institute at Green Chimneys, dedicated to education and research on the human connection to animals and the natural world. At Green Chimneys, he directs all aspects of the nature- based therapeutic/educational programs and supervises the Institute dedicated to education and research on the human connection to animals and the natural world.

Kaufmann started his career as a humane educator at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) in New York City and continued at the American Humane Association (AHA), a national child and animal protection organization that promotes the highest standards of competence among child welfare and animal care and control professionals. At AHA he served as a national spokesperson with a special focus on humane education program development, the correlation between animal cruelty, domestic violence and child abuse and equine welfare issues. Subsequently he represented the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA) as Director of Education and Communication and editor of the national magazine STRIDES. Today his focus is on Green Care, the concept of working with animals, plants and nature to enhance human environments and lives. He continues to lead and facilitate workshops and seminars internationally and edits and contributes to various defining publications in the field of nature based education, therapy and activities. 

He currently serves on the board of trustees of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International, is an advisor to the International Center for Anthrozoology, Norway, is on the advisory council of TAT Center for Human Animal Interaction, Vienna, Austria, Advisor to The Canadian Institute of Animal-Assisted Interventions, serves on the editorial board of  People and Animals: The International Journal of Research and Practice, and is on the editorial board of the magazine GREEN CARE, Switzerland.

Time: April 28th, 3:10 P.M. - 4:00 P.M. EST

Caring to Learn, While Learning to Care

Indra Lahiri, Indraloka Animal Sanctuary

Indra Lahiri, PhD was called “a storyteller, dreamer, and friend of the animals,” by the Anishinaabe Medicine Man who adopted her into the tribe of the White Earth Nation, naming her “Ishkudeikwe” (Woman of the Fire). She has rescued thousands of animals from dire circumstances, and tells their stories in her writing and speaking, living amongst them between her travels.  In the course of her decades of learning from the animals, Indra founded Indraloka Animal Sanctuary (2005) and since 2014 has volunteered her time as a consultant, helping other sanctuaries to succeed.  In addition, she has taught, mentored, coached and keynote addressed tens of thousands of people on a range of topics that are always, at their core, based on ethical leadership and compassion for all. Indra has keynote addressed global audiences as varied as scientists, bloggers, vegfest attendees, activists and peace activists.

Her award-winning blog and podcast, "Sanctuary Stories that Save Us," which chronicles sacred moments with rescued animals, is followed by over 20,000 people on every continent.  Indra is grateful to have the opportunity to dedicate her life to helping traumatized animals rediscover joy, love, and trust.

Before devoting herself full-time to animal rescue, as the founder of Global Inclusion Strategies Indra provided expert coaching and consulting on diversity, equity, inclusion, and cultural competence. She is the author of an academic book chapter, a critically acclaimed manager’s guidebook, several research reports, and numerous articles on cultural competence and leadership.

The sanctuary is not named after Indra, but rather she is named after the Hindu God Indra who created Indraloka (Sanskrit name for the heaven for the Gods).

Time: April 27, 12:55 P.M. -  1:40 P.M. EST

Weaving DEI into Humane Education

Tara Lenehan, RedRover

Tara Lenehan obtained her BA in Communication studies with a minor in the University Writing Program at the University of California at Davis. Tara has pursued her love of teaching and education through social and emotional learning (SEL) and humane education programs while focusing on the power of the human-animal connection.

Tara is currently an Education Coordinator for RedRover and is excited to be able to fuel her many passions as she lends her support in outreach and facilitation of the RedRover Readers program.

Minhhan Lam, RedRover

Minhhan Lam supports the RedRover Readers program and Kind News™ magazine as Program Coordinator at RedRover. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Human Development from the University of California, Davis, with a focus in humane education. Minhhan nurtures her lifelong love for animals and nature through helping coordinate content for Kind News and collecting kindness stories from fostering connections with teachers and donors. 

With over 15 years in the animal care and welfare industry, Minhhan hopes to continue supporting RedRover in examining its programs with a more inclusive lens and help build a more empathetic society for all. As a first generation Vietnamese-American, she feels that it’s important to reflect on our own unique experiences: our upbringing, culture, and different identities all contribute toward the attitudes and relationships we have with animals, humans, and nature.

Time: April 26th, 3:00 P.M. - 3:45 P.M. EST

Inclusive Kindness in Humane Education

Dr. Janine Muldoon, University of Edinburgh

Janine has been a Research Fellow for 16 years, with a focus on children and young people's perspectives, transitions and relationships. For the past 10 years, her focus has been on children's relationships with pets in the context of family and broader culture. This work began with a project funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), which assessed how best to promote a duty of care towards animals among children. Subsequent research has extended to animal welfare educators and adult pet owners. Her most recent work was a collaborative project with the Scottish SPCA and Blue Cross to ascertain the key challenges associated with looking after pets. This was undertaken with a view to identifying how the charities might work together to provide the most effective support services, preventing stress in pets and pet owners and the unnecessary relinquishment of pets.

Professor Jo Williams, University of Edinburgh

Jo is Professor of Applied Developmental Psychology and has over 20 years research experience, with human-animal interaction a key focus. She sits on the Board of the International Society for Anthrozoology, the SCAS (Society for Companion Animal Studies) Mental Health Working Group, the Fostering Compassion Board of Trustees, the Scottish Animal Welfare Education Forum, the Puppy Trade Working Group and the Animals and People Together Group.

TimeApril 28th, 12:05 P.M. - 12:50 P.M. EST

Identifying the Best Ways To Educate Children About Animal Welfare: The Key Challenges & a Toolkit to Support the Development and Evaluation of Interventions

Savanna New, Jacksonville Humane Society

A former French teacher, Savanna New transitioned to the humane education field in 2015 after discovering a passion for animal welfare while volunteering to walk dogs at her local shelter. As the Jacksonville Humane Society's (JHS) Education Manager, she oversees a wide variety of humane education programs that engage over 1,500 children in grades K-12 annually. A wearer of many hats, Savanna is also a part of the JHS Development team and assists with all external communications, including social media content creation. In late 2020, Savanna decided to put her pandemic-induced TikTok addiction to use and began focusing on leveraging the platform to promote JHS and the importance of pet adoption. In less than a year, she was able to increase the JHS TikTok following by more than 35,000 and build a brand new audience of supporters.


Talk the Tok: TikTok 101

Alexandra Protopopova, The University of British Columbia

Dr. Alexandra (Sasha) Protopopova, PhD, Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB) is an assistant professor in the Animal Welfare Program at the University of British Columbia and the NSERC/ BC SPCA Industrial Research Chair in Animal Welfare. Sasha’s research aims are to improve animal shelter practices, improve companion animal welfare in shelters, pet homes, and in assistance roles – all within a One Welfare framework. Sasha earned an MSc and a PhD in Behavior Analysis from the University of Florida. She has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and is a frequent presenter in scientific and professional conferences. Sasha spends her days conducting behavioral research, teaching university classes in animal learning, going on hiking trails, and cuddling her dog.

Time: April 27th, 2:35 P.M. - 3:20 P.M. EST

Companion Animals and Climate Change: Identifying Links and Opportunities for our Field

Macy Sutton, Antioch University

Macy has a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Education (EdD) with a specialization in humane education through Antioch University. She worked as an occupational therapist (OT) with diverse populations for over seven years and became a yoga teacher to enhance both her work as an OT and her personal life. Recently, Macy transitioned into a research position examining the effect of diet on chronic diseases. She is driven to cultivate harmony among living beings and the natural world and is particularly passionate about animal rights. Pre-COVID, Macy enjoyed tabling at events with animal rights organizations. Macy lives with her partner and two loving cats, Knuckles and Ruth, in Maryland.

Emily Tronetti, Antioch University

Emily has a Master of Science in anthrozoology, the study of the relationships between humans and other animals. She’s currently pursuing her Doctor of Education (EdD) in Educational and Professional Practice with a specialization in humane education through Antioch University. Emily also has a Certificate in Applied Animal Behavior and is a Fear Free Certified animal trainer. She owns Coexistence Consulting and strives to improve the relationships between humans, other animals, and the natural world through humane education and consulting. Emily’s passion for animal welfare led her to co-found the Humane Alliance of Rescue Trainers, a nonprofit that connects animal shelters and rescues with behavior support. Emily and her spouse live in Virginia with Aela the herding mix, Aldo the papillon, and Nora the adorable cat. 

Time: April 27th, 12:00 P.M. - 12:50 P.M.  EST

The Future is Now: The Need for Adult Humane Education

2022 Virtual Conference:

Teaching for the Future

April 26th-28th, 2022

© Association of Professional Humane Educators