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Legge Melissa

Melissa Legge

Graduate Students
School of Social Work


Supervisor: Dr. Bonnie Freeman

Melissa Marie Legge is a third year PhD candidate at the School of Social Work at McMaster University.
Prior to joining McMaster, Melissa completed her BSW at Dalhousie University, and her MSW at Ryerson University. As part of her masters degree, Melissa conducted research on the role of animal-assisted interventions in anti-oppressive social work practice. Her social work experience outside of the academy has largely been with youth, particularly in the area of social circus programming, in residential mental health programs, and in emergency shelters.
For her doctoral research, Melissa will further explore the well-being of humans and other animals in shared social environments through an analysis of the involvement of other-than-human animals in social work practice in Ontario. Scholars have not yet interrogated the way our social services and social work more broadly centres upon the human animal. Melissa hopes that her dissertation will begin to fill this gap by documenting how other-than-human animals are integrated into and neglected by social work practice. The aim of this research is to begin to create a critical conceptualization of animal-assisted interventions in social work in Ontario.