Emily Tronetti, Ed.D., is a 2024 graduate of the Ed.D. program in Educational and Professional Practice at Antioch University.


Dr. Emily Tronetti

Dissertation Committee:

  • Stephen Brookfield, PhD, Chairperson
  • Dana McPhall, JD, Committee Member
  • Sarah Bexell, PhD, Committee Member


animal sanctuaries, farmed animals, animal agency, humane education, animal consent, sanctuary education, farmed animal sanctuaries

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Farmed animal sanctuaries provide lifelong care to formerly farmed animals. Many strive to educate their community about farmed animals and promote more compassionate lifestyles, such as veganism. Important to this is cultivating empathy and concern for the well-being of individual farmed animals. Essential to well-being is agency, which is the capacity of a living being to engage with their environments and to make choices for themselves. Farmed animals outside of sanctuaries have had their agency systematically suppressed and denied. Sanctuary educators can bring awareness to this and inspire alternative, agency-centered relationships with not only farmed animals but all living beings. To aid in this endeavor, this practice-based dissertation included the development of a resource guide for sanctuary staff and volunteers about recognizing, supporting, and teaching about the agency of farmed animals in sanctuary education. Following Stephen Brookfield’s (2021) Materials Development Dissertation outline, this paper describes the inspirations for creating these materials and the development process in detail. This process included inviting scholars and practitioners to review the materials and offer feedback, which is shared in this paper. This paper also reports on how the materials will be disseminated to have the most impact on the field. There is also discussion on the broader implications of this work in countering oppression and facilitating more equitable and compassionate ways of coexisting with all beings. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA ( and OhioLINK ETD Center (


ORCID: 0009-0004-5824-5841

Dr. Tronetti and Skittles


Prior to starting Antioch University's EdD program, Emily Tronetti (she/her) obtained her Master of Science in anthrozoology from Canisius University and a Certificate in Applied Animal Behavior from the University of Washington. Her professional background includes working in various settings with other animals and teaching the humans who care for them.

During her doctoral studies, Emily discovered her passion for farmed animal sanctuaries. As a transdisciplinary scholar-practitioner, she hopes to continue exploring adult humane education in the context of sanctuaries and shelters for other animals. Through her work, Emily aims to inspire humans to compassionately coexist with each other and the more-than-human world.

To connect with Emily and learn more about her work, visit: