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Angela Matijczak portrait

Angela Matijczak

Ph.D. student


CV » [PDF]


B.A., University of New Haven

Angela Matijczak is a first-year student in the M.S.W./Ph.D. combined program at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Social Work. Broadly, Matijczak is interested in the field of human-animal interactions and the potential benefits and/or risks of pet ownership. More specifically, she is interested in the influence of relationships and bonds with pets on individuals experiencing adversity. 

Matijczak earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, with a double minor in Sociology and Latin American Studies, from the University of New Haven in 2017. After graduating, Matijczak worked as a lab manager for two years at the Innovative Interactions Lab at Yale University. At the IILab, Matijczak collaborated on research projects investigating the influence of dogs on child socioemotional development, as well as studies investigating stress relief in both adults and children from interactions with both therapy dogs and pet dogs.  

Matijczak moved to Richmond in June and has been working as the project coordinator at the Children, Families, & Animals Research (CFAR) Group, led by Shelby McDonald, Ph.D.. As a part of the CFAR team, she is primarily responsible for working on a study in collaboration with Richmond SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now) that investigates childhood exposure to animal cruelty and its influence on children’s mental health.  

In her free time, Matijczak enjoys reading, playing guitar, listening to podcasts, and eating pizza. She cites her dog, Penny, as a constant source of inspiration and support.