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Saturday, June 06, 2020
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Centenary College has 35 recognized by IHSA Awards


HACKETTSTOWN, N.J.--Centenary University has 35 students that have won academic awards from the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) and Intercollegiate Equestrian Foundation this year, the largest number in the University’s history.

Nina LeedsNina LeedsAcademic awards were presented to those who earned a 3.5 grade point average (GPA) or above throughout the academic year, and scholarships were awarded to those who met eligibility requirements, excelled in horsemanship and in the classroom and demonstrated financial need.

Nina Leeds of Dallas, Pa.,  won a First Team All-Academic Award which was presented to all IHSA members who excelled academically throughout the year with a cumulative 3.8 GPA or higher.

Leeds' award was all the more remarkable because she finished the four year course in three years and will be graduating this year.

Leeds majored in Equine Science with a minor in Biology.


"I'M HOPING to get a job in the equine pharmaceutical industry," said Leeds. "I'm not sure whether I want to work in sales or development."

"I entered college thinking that I wanted to be a vet," Leeds said. "But I decided the time that took was too much, so with the guidance of my counselor I decided on equine science as that incorporated my love of horses with my love of science."

Leeds has a jumper and a few young Welsh ponies that she is hoping to resell.

"I'm super looking for a job," said Leeds. "But everything is crazy now. Nobody is interviewing."

Kayla Thau of Bound Brook, N.J., was presented with a Second Team All-Academic Award which was presented to all IHSA members who excelled academically throughout the year with a cumulative 3.5 GPA or higher.

Kayla ThauKayla ThauThau is studying Equine Sciences with a view to getting a PAPH certification that would allow her to get a therapeutic job.

"I want to work with people with mental, physical or emotional disabilities by putting those members of that community on horseback," said Thau.

"I first became interested in therapy with horses when, in high school, I had to do community service and volunteered at a therapeutic barn, and it clicked," she said. "After coming to Centenary, I began working in their therapeutic center, and I love it so much. The center runs a therapeutic program with lessons Friday and Saturday. It's really cool."

Leeds and Thau will receive a certificate.

Centenary will have an equine awards ceremony (virtual) at on Monday May 4.

Their names typically go in their IHSA National Horse Show Program as well as having their names up on the Jumbotron at the horse show.

The University will also recognize them in their IHSA Newsletter and on the Website, as well as their regional newsletter.

Other Centenary students receiving awards included:

Senior Athletic Academic Achievement Awards were presented to IHSA members with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher who have been members of the intercollegiate equestrian team for three years, including their senior year. Centenary University winners include: Meghan Frederick, ‘20 (Dalton, MA); Megan Marino,’20 (Delhi, NY); Caroline Houston, ‘20 (Glastonbury, CT); Emily Valerio,’20 (Lexington, NY).

First Team All-Academic Awards were presented Kylie Dailey of Torrington, Conn, Olivia Erikson of Bernardsville, N.J., Meghan Frederick of Dalton, Mass., Tazmyn Geere of Henderson, Nev., Caroline Houston of Glastonbury, Conn., Ashley Joyce of Concord Township, Ohio, Payton Lawrence of Guildford, Vt., Jamie Mirra of Springfield, Vt., Madison Myro of Las Vegas, Nev., Isabella Nye of Douglassville, Pa., Sophia Strain of Agawam, Mass., Taylor Therrien of Haddam, Conn., Sydney Waltenberg-O’Brien of Middletown, N.Y., and Lena Wanio of Clifton, N.J.

The Second Team All-Academic Awards were presented Hana Aksterowicz of East Lyme, Conn., Phoebe Boughrum of Rumson, N.J.. Alexander Collins of Long Valley, N.J., Kimberly Cooper of South Brunswick, N.J., Christen Crowley of Baiting Hollow, N.Y., Emily Foreshee of Cazenovia, N.Y., Sierra Haines of Berkeley Heights, N.J., Ashlee Hurley of Tampa, Fla., Baily Jacquier of Canaan, Conn., Hannah Kent of Marlton, N.J., Kate Pizzini of Alexandria, Va., Mara Purnel of Palm Springs, Calif., Angelo Rocchio of Queens, N.Y., Emily Valerio of Lexington, N.Y., and Maria van Heusen of San Jose, Calif.

The Intercollegiate Equestrian Foundation, Inc promotes activities and competition through the awarding of scholarships and grants.

Scholarships were awarded to undergraduate students who have competed in intercollegiate equestrian activities and are based on academic achievement, equestrian sport achievement, community service, and financial need.

Centenary University winner wasTanner Pfeffer of Pataskala, Ohio.

The Teresa Mcdonald Scholarship Challenge is comprised of a written test and a practicum held at the IHSA National Championships.

Due to this year’s unique situation, the awards were presented to the members with the highest written test scores.

Centenary University winnerwas Payton Lawrence of Guildford, Vt.

These achievements come despite the cancellation of regionals, zones, and nationals because of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The winners will be recognized virtually at Centenary’s Equine Award Ceremony on May 4th at 7 p.m.

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