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New major presents new opportunity
Monday, April 25, 2011
By Molly Dougherty
William Woods University will
offer a new major this fall—a
bachelor of science degree in
equine general studies, with
concentrations in equestrian
studies, therapeutic riding, equine
art, equine media and equine
“When I heard
about this new
degree, I could
hardly believe it,”
said freshman
Schumacher. “I
want to go into
riding so this
fits perfectly.”
WWU boasts
an equestrian
studies division
rich in history
and success. The
riding program
started in 1924,
and in 1972
William Woods
was the first school to offer a
bachelor’s degree in equestrian
science. An equine administration
major was instituted in 1992.
The equine general studies
major is designed to meet the
need for a more generalized field
of equestrian studies that will
prepare students for careers in
the horse industry outside of
training, riding, instructing and
facility management.
“As the equine profession is
expanding and evolving into
different areas, our equestrian
studies program wants to remain
on the cutting edge of changes
in the academic field.  This new
program of study allows us to offer
a comprehensive selection of
equestrian degree options,” said
Dr. Sherry McCarthy, vice president
and academic dean.
Schumacher commented, “I
know a lot of other people are
just as excited as I am. It is truly
amazing that WWU is now offering
three equine degrees.”
The therapeutic riding
concentration will teach students
to develop methods for teaching
riders, to understand anatomy and
physiology as it relates to therapy
riders and to achieve equine-
assisted therapy success.
The art concentration will allow
students to explore techniques and
methods of design and application
in a variety of art media, such as
painting, three-dimensional media,
metal casting, photography and
print making.
A concentration in equine
media will focus on utilizing
the best practices in print
and production in equine
media while learning about
the standards and
practices of the equine
media industry.
The equine leadership
concentration will promote
an understanding of the
methods of leadership
used in the business
world and equine industry
settings, as well as the
development of decision-
making, negotiation and
leadership skills.
“This innovative, new
major provides incredible
career flexibility for students,”
Claudia Starr, equestrian studies
division chair, said. “If they are
interested in a job producing
equine-related media, leading an
equine non-profit organization or
company or running an equine-
assisted therapy center, they will
benefit from the new program. The
major is designed to lend itself to a
multitude of equine-related
career pursuits.”
The Talon 2
Jennifer LaGesse, a junior from
Benton City, Mo., recently passed
the American College of Sports
Medicine Certified Personal
Trainer examination.
WWU athletic training instructor
Cindy Robb said, “This is a
significant achievement because
it’s a challenging exam. Having this
certification will make Jennifer far
more marketable in her job search.”
To become a certified personal
trainer, an individual must be at
least 18 years of age, have a current
CPR certification and pass the
ACSM Certified Personal Trainer
exam. Once certified, individuals
must complete 45 continuing
education credits every three years
to maintain their certification.
LaGesse prepared extensively
for this examination. She spent
six months reviewing the material
and attended a three-day personal
trainer workshop the weekend
Student receives personal trainer certifcation
By Molly Dougherty
before the test to
review what she
had learned in
the classroom.
Woods has more
than prepared
me for the exam.
I owe my success
to the teachers
at William
Woods because
I would not
be where I am
today without
them,” said LaGesse. “I also owe
my success to my husband and my
daughter. They supported me all
throughout school.”
LaGesse is doing an internship
at Audrain Medical Center in their
cardiac rehab department, and
she is a licensed Zumba instructor.
She plans to use her new personal
trainer certification by working
as a personal trainer, either for a
fitness center or independently.
“The exercise science major
is a challenging course of study
that has many job opportunities,
and certifications, available in
the health and fitness industry
following graduation,” Anthony
Lungstrum, chair of the division of
human performance and director
of the athletic training education
program at William Woods, said.
“We know that Jennifer will be
successful in any work setting.”
Jennifer LaGesse in WWU’s Center for Human Performance.
R.J., a therapy horse from WWU, nuzzles one of his young riders in the
Equestrian Zone’s hippotherapy and therapuetric riding program in Rus-
sellville, Ark. The increase in therapeutic riding programs makes WWU’s
new program especially marketable.
WWU awards
Distinguished Professor
Melissa Alpers-Springer
Faculty Award
Melissa Smith
Cockrell Award
Ann DeHart
McNutt Award
Bryan Temme
Helen Stephens Award
Kelsey Schulte
Who’s Who
Nickol Beckemeier
Marisa Benthusen
Lisa Burke
Ann DeHart
Lucy Fuelle
Harrison Jones
Chelsea Loethen
Melissa Smith
Lacey Sweeten
Bryan Temme
Carmen Watchinski
Rachel Weber
Melanie White
Kaycee Wyatt
Distinguished Scholars
Jodi Vickers
ASL Interpreting
Harrison Jones
Art Education
Kaycee Wyatt
Athletic Training
Chelsea Loethen
Jessica Hill
Rachel Weber
Business Administration
Melissa Smith
Bradley Whitcomb
Aaron Griffin
Elementary Education
Kim Schepers
Tara Schulte
Amanda Vosbrink
Nickol Beckemeier
Equestrian Science
Laura Sochacki
Equine Administration
Lucy Fuelle
Exercise Science
Jennifer LaGesse
Erin White
Management Info Systems
Valerie Herman
Krista Preiss
Paralegal Studies
Lacy Gevers
Megan Stieferman
Physical Education
Mathew Thompson
Political/Legal Studies
Cassie Bolding
Laken Enochs
Secondary Education
Stephanie Finke
Social Work
Emily Kime
Special Education
Anna Christiansen
Sports Management
Audrey Crabtree