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Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthCAAT

2nd Annual Jamie DeRita Rodriguez Memorial Animal Protection Symposium

Jamie DeRita

Watch the Previous (2020) Symposium on YouTube

July 20, 2021
5 - 6:45pm EDT
Online (Zoom)


The Jamie Derita Rodriguez Memorial Animal Protection Symposium will be held on July 20th, 2021 on Zoom. 

This symposium honors the life of Jamie DeRita Rodriguez, who passed away in June 2020. Jamie was CAAT's event coordinator from 2012-2018, and was known to many of our friends and colleagues for her tireless work on our many meetings, conferences and symposia over the years.

Jamie was famous throughout the Maryland shelter and animal welfare communities as someone who could not say no to helping any animal that needed a home. She was known to regularly pick up animals she saw in her daily travels, and to work non-stop to find them perfect homes. Her CAAT family will honor her with a series of presentations about our deep relationship with animals and adoption of lab animals, with brief testimonials from family and friends interspersed throughout the event. Her family has also started a fundraiser to secure the future of her four children. Please consider donating any amount here.

A GoFundMe account (see below) has been set up to support Jamie's children—please consider contributing. 

Guest Speakers

  • Martin Stephens
    Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT)
    How the U.S. Animal Protection Community Contributed to the 3Rs
    Martin Stephens is a senior research associate at the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He promotes the “Three Rs” —innovative methods that can replace, reduce, or refine the use of animals in testing and research. At CAAT, he was the founding director of the Evidence-based Toxicology Collaboration, where he coordinated the development of new approaches to assessing the performance of test methods. Prior to joining Johns Hopkins University in 2011, Dr. Stephens advocated for the protection of animals used in research, testing, and education for 26 years while at The Humane Society of the United States. He served on the National Academy of Sciences’ committee that produced the landmark report on Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century: A Vision and a Strategy. He received numerous awards for his contributions to alternative methods and animal protection, including the Society of Toxicology’s Enhancement of Animal Welfare Award. He received a PhD in biology from The University of Chicago.
  • Amy Fultz
    Director of Behavior and Research, Chimp Haven, The National Chimpanzee Sanctuary
    Chimp Haven's Story

    Amy Fultz co-founded Chimp Haven in 1995 with many others. Amy has been at the sanctuary since 2004 and has worked with chimpanzees for 24 years. She is responsible for the socialization of the chimpanzees, and overseeing the enrichment and training programs at the sanctuary. Amy and her staff also conduct observational research on the chimpanzees as they adjust to life at the sanctuary. Amy has extensive professional experience after working in zoos, sanctuaries, and research facilities doing behavioral work. Her area of expertise is introductions, having conducted over 300 introductions at Chimp Haven. She has published and presented a number of scientific papers based on her research and is the recipient of an honorary Ph.D. from Centenary College.
  • Ellie Hansen
    Writer, animal advocates and CEO of Lovable Pets, Inc.
    Inspiring Stories of Laboratory Dog Rescue
    Ellie Hansen is an award-winning writer, animal advocate, and founder and CEO of Lovable Pets, Inc., a holistic pet supply company located in Billings, Montana. In addition to writing for popular pet magazines, her published works include two books —Laboratory Dogs Rescued: From Test Subjects to Beloved Companions and Fly to Me: Extraordinary Lessons of Life and Death from a Little Dog. Ellie is also the Animal Research Outreach Coordinator for the Center for a Humane Economy and a Humane Policy Volunteer for the Humane Society of the United States.

Register | Donate to the GoFundMe