My name is Maddie Junion-Sherman and I was born and raised here in Wisconsin. I attended UW-Madison from 2013-2016, where I obtained a bachelor’s degree in Biology. Since then I have worked at a number of different jobs, the most recent of which is a veterinary assistant position at a small/exotic animal clinic in Madison. I have always had a deep love and appreciation for animals of all kinds. My interest and care for animals has now taken me down the veterinary medicine path and I am one of the lucky few selected as a DVM Candidate at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine! However, I had never really been involved with primates until my volunteering experience.
When I heard about a primate sanctuary in Wisconsin, I was immediately intrigued! I was fascinated about the possibility of interacting with an entirely new species. I have always had a deep interest and connection to the scientific field and with this typically comes some familiarity with animal testing. A sanctuary for former research macaques to live out their lives in a peaceful and well-deserved retirement sounded like something I absolutely was interested in becoming a part of. As a quick Google search for Primates Incorporated showed, they were even looking for volunteers to help with caretaking. I put in an application as soon as I could and I have now been a volunteer with Primates Inc. for close to two years.
During my volunteering experiences, I have gained such a deep appreciation and love for the boys and girl I help take care of. From cleaning their bedrooms to prepping their meals or enrichment, every action is important and necessary. I love watching the monkeys interact with each other and the volunteers. They certainly all have very different personalities! I have also been able to learn about monkey behaviors and body language, which has even helped me be more cognizant of body language in the species I see daily during my veterinary assistant duties.
I can at least partially thank all of my wonderful fellow volunteers and the amazing women who work each day at Primates Inc. for my acceptance. I have been able to speak at length about the work Amy, Fallon, Hilary, Bre, and Amber have done and my small role in assisting them, not only to interviewers at colleges, but also to my own friends and family. I have been able to discuss firsthand how important primate retirement is after many years of allowing humans to move science forward. My hands on experience with these sweet beings undoubtedly made me a more attractive candidate. I am so excited to begin this new chapter in my life and I would not be able to do it without Primates Incorporated!
Mars – Maddie’s favorite monkey though it’s a tough choice.