- Kecil John, Maggie Lubarski, & Katie Licht
B.S. in Zoology with a concentration in Zoo & Aquarium Science, Michigan State University, 2013
I would tell current and future students to work hard and never lose sight of what they want. Also, if you see an opportunity, such as a job or internship, always go for it and apply. The worst they can do is say no, but at least you tried. Maggie Lubarski
Lubarski graduated from Michigan State University in 2013 with a B.S. in Zoology with a concentration in Zoo and Aquarium Science. After graduation, Lubarski accepted an internship at Potowatomi Zoo in Indiana, where she interned for three months before being offered a temporary job as their full-time dietician. When this position ended, Lubarski found an internship at the Ringling Brother’s Center for Elephant Conservation. While working with retired Asian Elephants in a free-contact environment, she learned about elephant research, animal husbandry, and animal welfare. The Ringling Brothers offered Lubarski a full-time position as an elephant caregiver in one of the circus’s traveling units when the internship concluded.
Lubarski accepted a position at the Dallas Zoo as an elephant keeper in the fall of 2015. She credits MSU for preparing her for the job, with classes such as plant biology. Lubarski used knowledge from the class to identify toxic and non-toxic plants when cutting branches to feed elephants. Although it was challenging to move across the country to a Dallas, where she didn’t know anyone, her new coworkers have been welcoming.
Lubarski attributes her success to hard work, determination, and perseverance. Although she hasn’t had a chance return to MSU since graduation, she hopes to visit campus soon to see her sister and catch up with old professors.
Currently, Lubarski is enjoying her time as an elephant keeper at The Dallas Zoo, where she is eagerly awaiting the arrival of new elephants from Swaziland.