Back to Stories & News

September 13, 2018 –  Katie Street recently joined Morris Animal Foundation as the Project Coordinator for the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, a “golden” opportunity to impact a world-class canine health research project.

Katie grew up in Iowa, but the quirky atmosphere of Macalester College’s academic rigor lured her to Minnesota for her bachelor’s degree in psychology. While there, she conducted research looking at the effect of meditation on risk-taking decisions. She also worked at the University of Minnesota, studying the effectiveness of parenting classes at easing post-deployment stress for military families.

Katie’s love of research next took her to Michigan to get her master’s degree in social work. While there, her research focused on improving communication between teens and their doctors. Katie recruited and retained participants, carried out the study protocol, conducted participant interviews, analyzed qualitative and quantitative data and helped write up the results for publication. Working with golden retrievers and their owners is a snap compared to chasing down teenagers, says Katie!

Katie also worked at a local nonprofit focused on closing the academic achievement gap between socioeconomically advantaged and disadvantaged students. While there, she facilitated a partnership between the University of Michigan and the nonprofit in which she led a team of graduate students. The team’s findings were used for promotional materials, grant applications and overall program improvement. She also created a data dashboard to improve reporting and access.

Katie then settled in Colorado because of her love of camping, hiking, mountains and mild winters, compared to Minnesota. It was here she found Morris Animal Foundation and the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study.

Since Katie already had a background in longitudinal research, the concept of applying the field to companion animals seemed simultaneously revolutionary and obvious. Very early in her life, Katie had a phobia of dogs, but it didn’t take long for a Maltipoo named Molly to make a dog lover out of her. While Katie has not (yet!) adopted her own dog, she takes every opportunity to give love to her friends’ dogs and, of course, Peewee, her Southern painted turtle.