University of Maryland Extension

Student Success

We think our students are pretty special, and have gone on to do amazing things. Read about their experiences in their own words: 

"A meaningful facet of my Master’s degree in the Equine Studies program was the experience I gained working in extension and learning to communicate with equine owners. Communicating research results with the public is equally as important as performing research and I was fortunate to hone these skills under the guidance of Dr. Amy Burk and the equine extension team. My appreciation for extension was furthered during my PhD program and I use the communication skills gained from my UMD experiences daily through teaching and advising college students."

Nicole Fiorellino, Ph.D (ENST '15, MS ANSC '10)

University of Maryland Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist


"Probably one of the most significant things I got out of the program was my first exposure to equine research. This initial exposure, along with the great mentorship I received from several professors led me to pursue graduate school after finishing at UMD. Eventually this led me to a PhD and career in scientific research. I (went on to work at) the Orthopaedic Research department at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, focusing on projects which are providing insight into the skeletal development and repair. This research has implications not only for human health, but for animal and even equine diseases as well."

Rebekah S. Decker, PhD 

Investigator, Musculoskeletal Regenerative Medicine
Genomics Institute Of The Novartis Research Foundation


"I graduated from the University of Maryland in May 2014 after having been involved in almost every equine activity on campus: MEC, UMET, working with the foals, and working on the campus farm. Unsurprisingly, my degree was in Animal Science: Equine Studies. I absolutely loved all of the equine activities, especially working with the foals. Looking back on it, the most important thing about the equine programs was how much I learned. While I obviously learned a great deal about equines and animals, I learned several life lessons. From the birth of the foals, I learned how vital new life and renewed hope is for staying strong. Additionally, from the birth of our colt during a snow storm, I learned the importance of hard work, even when the rest of the world seems to be asleep. I learned trust, patience, and confidence from these four legged creatures. I would not have changed my experiences with the equine studies program at UMD for the world." 

Kelsey Blocker (ANSC '14)
Masters of Occupational Therapy at Sacred Heart University 


"Being VP of the equestrian club for 2 years and taking Dr Burk's equine science class were both very useful once getting to veterinary school. Both for the horse knowledge and learning as well as the organizing aspect in the club!"

Pat Coughlin 


"I was an Equine Science major at UMD! Now I'm working for the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research! Such an AMAZING program!"

Kaitlin Croyle (ANSC '11)

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