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Champagne, an anthropology and biology major, shares her experience working with primates

Dec. 9, 2011

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Franklin Pierce junior and Fall River, Mass. native Kelsey Champagne gave a presentation about her internship at the Southwick’s Zoo, New England’s largest, in Mendon, Mass. this semester. Champagne is a dual Anthropology and Biology major and her internship as a Primate Zookeeper provided knowledge beyond the classroom in those two areas.

During the internship, Champagne gained experience in a zoo environment through feeding and interacting with the animals, as well as cleaning their living areas. “I went in with the fear that I was going to be treated like an intern but they treated me like I was a zookeeper,” said Champagne. “Everything they did, I did and through that I feel like I got a lot more experience than I thought I was going to.”

At the beginning of the internship, Champagne was following what the zookeepers told her to do. By the end of the summer, she knew what the needs of the individual animals were. Part of her work at the zoo also included behavioral observation on some of the animals.

For her future, she knows she wants to work with primates but she is not sure where. “I know a door will eventually open up somewhere in this field but it’s such a specialized field that I can’t really say where that door will be,” said Champagne.

As for her experience at Franklin Pierce University she says, “With the help of my advisors (Professors Goodby and Veilleux), avenues in my life originally thought unattainable are now within my grasp. In an environment rich with a culture of its own, and where professors know you not only by face and name, but also academic interests, Franklin Pierce is shaping Renaissance men and women of tomorrow, even if we are still figuring out who we are along the way.”

We have no doubt that this Fall River, Mass. native and future Franklin Pierce alum will figure out who she is and make us all very proud. Champagne is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John W. Champagne of Fall River, Mass. and a graduate of B.M.C. Durfee High School.


Franklin Pierce University is a private, regionally accredited university grounded in the liberal arts, with a focus on personal attention and high-quality instruction. The University consists of the College at Rindge and the College of Graduate & Professional Studies. Degrees are offered through the doctoral level. The institutional mission focuses on preparing citizens and leaders of conscience for a new century who make significant contributions to their professions and communities, whether their aspirations are local or global.

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