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Frank’s Interest in Animals

Milking cows

Longstreet Farm, Holmdel, NJ

Founding my high school Conservation Club

Xaverian High School, Brooklyn, NY

Witnessing lambing

Hadley Farm Equine Center, Hadley, MA

Volunteering with a Rustic Pathways Sea Turtle Save Project

Punta Mala, Costa Rica

Exhibiting snakes and reptiles

Staten Island Zoo, Staten Island, NY

Caring for family pets (kittens/cats, puppies/dogs)

Brooklyn and Staten Island, NY

Interning in Animal Care and Nutrition

Staten Island Zoo, Staten Island, NY

Collecting urine samples from goats for use in urinalysis lab

Hadley Farm Equine Center, Hadley, MA

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Equine Affaire

Springfield, Massachusetts Eastern States Exposition Center—November 11-14, 2021

Working and volunteering in Equine Care

Hadley Farm Equine Center, Hadley, MA


That’s Zulu for “Hello” or, more literally, “I see you”, as in “I respect and acknowledge you for who you are.” I’m Frank Catalano—born in Albania, adopted, and raised by my dads in New York City. I am a sophomore Animal Science major at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Welcome to my bio!

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Animals, of all species, have always played a major role in my life. From an early age, I enjoyed milking cows at Longstreet Farm in Holmdel, New Jersey, a short distance from my home. I also take great pleasure in spending time with, and caring for, my grandparents’ dogs and cats. I like to travel—both with my family and on my own. My travels often involve animals in their natural habitats. My family and I have been to many national parks where we experienced nature unfamiliar to us in the city. We encountered bears at Jenny Lake; pronghorn and elk in Grand Teton; moose on the Snake River; bison at Yellowstone and Custer State Park; rattlesnakes in Scottsdale; ospreys on the Colorado River; sea lions and elephant seals in Monterrey Bay, and humpback whales in Alaska’s Inside Passage, just to name a few. I also traveled on my own to Punta Mala, Costa Rica, as part of a sea turtle rescue and conservation program. Costa Rica’s rainforests are a favorite travel destination because of their diversity of wildlife. I encountered toucans, macaws, tree frogs, toads, green sea turtles, howler, spider, and capuchin monkeys, the friendliest of sloths and the shiest of coral snakes and eyelash pit vipers. I swam with bottle-nose dolphins in the Caribbean and rode horses and mules wherever possible.

At school, I founded the Conservation Club and enlisted various speakers from my Costa Rica travels. Using my Punta Mala experience in cleaning beaches and nesting sites, digging and maintaining hatcheries, collecting sea turtle eggs and transporting them for safe hatching and return to the wild, I advocated for stronger environmental protections of these amazing reptiles. I also proposed and designed an agricultural space and apiary as part of my high school chapel’s expansion plan. I became a Junior Docent at the Staten Island Zoo, where I exhibit animals to the public. So far, I have qualified to demonstrate the Everglades Ratsnake and Chuckwalla lizard. During the summer of 2021, I served as an Animal Care and Nutrition Intern with the zoo. At UMass, I am in my second year of working at the Hadley Farm. At its Equine Center, I care for the herd by feeding, watering, and walking the horses, cleaning their stalls, and fitting them with protective equipment. In November 2021, I further explored my interest in equine science by attending the Equine Affaire in Springfield, Massachusetts—one of the largest horse shows in the country. While working and volunteering at the Hadley Farm, I also had the chance to witness lambing and to collect urinalysis samples from the goat herd (for my Anatomy lab class). Given my interests, skills, and experiences, it was no surprise that I chose to major in Animal Science.

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Within the realm of veterinary and animal science, my main interest is using technology to improve the medical treatment and welfare of all animals. My goal is to unite my compassion for animals with my passion for innovation. In high school, I completed a three-year STEM curriculum. At UMass, I am proud to be selected for the four-year iCONS (Integrated Concentration in Science) certificate program designed to prepare qualified undergraduates to be problem solvers, leaders and innovators in science and technology. During the summer of 2021, I worked as a laboratory intern at New York Community Hospital, and in 2018, I also participated in a certificate program at Georgetown University’s Medical Institute. I can see myself designing and engineering prosthetic devices for animals. Because of our shared interest in “creating the best life for animals” and belief that “animals make us human”, Dr. Temple Grandin is my hero and inspiration.

My main interests include gaming and music. I am self-taught in piano and tenor saxophone. I’m also a Star Wars fanatic, and you can often find me lightsaber dueling around campus.

Link to Dueling Club Website

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