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Fall 2019 KEMI Graduates

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Best of luck to our Fall of 2019 graduates!

Bailey Bales – University of Missouri/ Pin Oak Stud

Cristina Brandon – Colorado State University/ Silver Springs Stud

Brittney Bremer – Virginia Tech University/ WinStar Farm

Tanzynn Christensen – Southern Utah University/ Indian Creek Farm

Kalley Christopherson – University of Wisconsin, River Falls/ Lane’s End Farm/ Oak Tree Division

Angelica Damp – University of Nebraska- Lincoln / Monticule Farm

Casady Fuzzell – Oklahoma State University/Lane’s End Farm

Madison Hrynda – West Virginia University/ Crestwood Farm

Sadie Jenkins – Oklahoma State Unversity/ Juddmonte Farms

Samantha Levkulic– Cornell University / Brookdale Farm

Henrique Marquez – Universidad Positivo, Brazil/ Stone Farm

Sydney McNab – Oregon State University/ Denali Stud

Rachel Parrish – West Virginia University/ Trackside Farm

Brynna Rydosz – Louisiana State University/ Silver Springs Stud

Emily Siffert – University of Findlay/ Denali Stud

Skylar Terrell – Stephen F. Austin State University/ Darby Dan Farm

Shelby Vanslander – Oregon State University/ Margaux Farm

Kayli Waddle – West Texas A&M University/ Denali Stud

Nathan Williams – University of Missouri/ Shawhan Place Farm

Congratulations, Fall 2019 KTFMC award winner, Cristina Brandon!

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Congratulations, Fall 2019  KTFMC award winner,  Cristina Brandon!

The Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers Club (KTFMC) awards one Kentucky Equine Management Internship (KEMI) intern a Management Award each session.  This award recognizes an intern for their hard work, professionalism, and dedication to the industry.  The award includes a cash prize as well as an opportunity to shadow an industry professional of the intern’s choosing for the week following their internship. Cristina Brandon was recently announced as the KTFMC scholarship winner for the Fall of 2019.  Congratulations, Cristina!

Sebastian Angelillo Makes History in Uruguay

By News, Testimonials

by Sarah E. Coleman

Montevideo, Uruguay is a long way from Lexington, KY—over 5,300 miles away, to be more precise. Additionally, the entire population of Uruguay is only 3.4 million people—less than the population of Kentucky, which is 4.5 million.

Traveling that far and into a country so large is daunting for even the most self-assured person; but it was but one small step on Sebastian Angelillo’s journey in the Thoroughbred industry. Sebastian arrived in Kentucky in 2011 to be a part of the KEMI program.

A Winding Road to the Bluegrass

Sebastian is no stranger to horses; his family used to own and race Thoroughbreds from his Haras Sureño farm when Sebastian was growing up. “I’ve liked horses since I was a kid,” Sebastian says. “I used to go to Maronas racetrack with my family and friends.” These experiences at the racetrack and with his father’s horses ignited in Sebastian a passion for the Thoroughbred industry.

Sebastian notes that in Uruguay, if one wanted to be involved in the Thoroughbred industry that their options are quite limited. “You could go to vet school, be a trainer or be a farrier—that’s about it,” he explained.  He completed a training course at San Isidro in Argentina and a few years of vet school until he decided that the business side of the industry was more in line with what he wanted to accomplish with his career.  “I always wanted to be in a place where I could learn from the best in the industry—and that’s what I did [by coming to Kentucky].”

Though Sebastian was emotional when he received the acceptance email from the KEMI program, he knew that heading to the States and being in the KEMI program would give him the best experiences in the industry—even if it meant leaving behind friends, family and his home. “The KEMI program was my first experience in a foreign country and it opened so many doors to me,” Sebastian reminisces.

Once settled in the KEMI program, the hands-on work quickly became Sebastian’s favorite. “That’s where I believe you get a real view and learn how to do things,” he explained. Sebastian was placed at Three Chimneys Farm during his time at KEMI. “I worked for Sandy Hatfield, the best guide ever,” he said.

Sebastian worked hard during his time at KEMI and his work ethic didn’t go unnoticed; he won the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers Club (KTFMC) Management Award, recognizing him for his hard work, professionalism and dedication to the industry. With the award, Sebastian was awarded the opportunity to shadow Thoroughbred industry professionals for one week at the conclusion of his KEMI internship. Sebastian shadowed Donato Lanni, Greg Fox, Bradley Purcell, Dan Rosenburg, Eoin Hardy, Tony Cissell, Tom Evans, Bill Witman, Tom Thornbury and Fabricio Buffolo.

All Over the Map

After graduation from KEMI, Sebastian went to Taylor Made farm and worked in the yearling division, where he had the opportunity to go to all the major yearling sales in Kentucky and Saratoga, as well as to the breeding stock sales in November. In 2012, Sebastian took part in the Irish National Stud breeding program internship. The goal of the Irish National Stud course is to offer students hands-on, practical training in every aspect of Thoroughbred breeding. While in Ireland, Sebastian also completed a yearling sales prep program at Staffordstown Stud and worked the major yearling sales in both Ireland and England.

After that, Sebastian headed to the Southern Hemisphere, where he worked at Widden Stud and Chatsworth Park in New South Wales, Australia. “I worked for a full year with mares, foals, weanlings, yearlings and stallions, and I also worked all the major sales there,” he said.

In June of 2014, Sebastian returned to Taylor Made Farm in Nicholasville, KY, to help in the yearling division; he also again assisted in the Saratoga and Kentucky yearling sales. Then, in September, Sebastian moved to Ocala, FL, and worked at Eddie Woods Training Centre to gain experience in the 2-year-old pinhooking business. He stayed in Florida for nine months: The horses were bought as yearlings and sold as 2-year-olds in the major sales.

Making his Mark

In September 2015, Sebastian began working on a South American venture under the Taylor Made brand, building and developing relationships between Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and the U.S.

A true go-getter in every sense of the word, Sebastian was the perfect partner for Taylor Made when they sought to expand their relationships in South America. Sebastian was the first Uruguayan ever to complete the Irish National Stud’s breeding course, which has hosted students from Argentina, Brazil, the United States, France, England, China, New Zealand, Jamaica, Mexico and elsewhere. Sebastian feels that what he learned from the course was integral to the negotiations for California Chrome’s shuttling to Chile to stand at stud.

Sebastian was instrumental in striking the three-year agreement for Chrome to stand at Haras Sumaya, near Santiago, Chile. There, the stallion covered 278 mares in his first two seasons and saw multiple first weanlings sell for six figures in 2018.

So what’s next on his agenda? “I’m trying to develop a sales company here in Uruguay,” Sebastian explains. “I will make the first-ever yearling selected sale in Uruguay on June 13.” Sebastian brought Tom Thornbury to Uruguay to inspect the young horses for the selection process.

Though the history of Thoroughbred breeding is rich and deep in South America, Sebastian has his sights set on bettering the industry as a whole. With his work ethic and successful track record, there’s no doubt Sebastian will leave a lasting mark on the Thoroughbred industry on multiple continents.

2010 KEMI Grad Wins Big at the 2019 Thoroughbred Makeover

By News, Uncategorized

by Sarah E. Coleman

Amber (Van Wiebe) Jacobson, a 2010 KEMI grad, rode Silence is Awesome (“Awesome”)to the win in the Ranch Work discipline, sponsored by MidAtlantic Horse Rescue at the $100,000 Thoroughbred Makeover, presented by Thoroughbred Charities of America. In addition to winning the Ranch Work discipline, Amber and Awesome also finished ninth out of 54 in the Competitive Trail division, sponsored by Florida Thoroughbred Retirement and Adoptive Care (FL TRAC).

Amber travelled to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington from her home base in Longview in Alberta, Canada, where she owner Running Fawcett Thoroughbreds Ltd. Amber is a Thoroughbred owner, breeder, colt-starter and boarding facility owner.

Originally from Calgary, Amber was not unfamiliar with the Bluegrass, having taken part in the KEMI breeding season session in 2010. While in Kentucky with KEMI, Amber was placed at Margaux Farm, where she learned a massive amount about Thoroughbreds. “I learned more with KEMI in 6 months than I could [have learned] back home in 15 years,” Amber says. “The [access to the] amount of horses, professionals and experience you get is unmatched anywhere else.”

“I Knew I Had The Horse …”

A passionate horsewoman, Amber didn’t ride until she was 24. “The Makeover was really my push to learn more disciplines and push my comfort zone,” she said. And what made her decide to give the Makeover a try? “I knew I had the horse,” she explains. Awesome, (by Silent Name out of Just Awesome by Siphon) was bred, raised and raced by Amber.

Amber bought Just Awesome at the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale when she was in foal to Silence is Awesome.  Awesome, a 4-year-old, 15.1-hh bay mare, had nine starts and one win, and earned $4,100 in her racing career before retiring. “She was claimed, but I bought her back after the racing season was completed. I just knew there was something special about this horse—she truly is a fighter.”

Though Makeover competitors could begin riding their horses on December 1 of 2018, Amber didn’t put Awesome into work until January of 2019. “She was a harder keeper that just needed some additional downtime,” she explains of the delay. “I don’t think we really focused [on a specific discipline] until March, when I sought additional help from Kent Williamson, a working cow horse professional.”

Amber knew she wanted to compete in the Ranch Work as it’s something she’s slowly gotten into while living in ranch country. For a second discipline, she pondered running barrels, but eventually set her sights on Competitive Trail as she felt it complimented Ranch Work the best. “With only nine months of training, I think it was the better choice!” she says.

Once her discipline decisions were made, Amber shifted from discipline-specific preparation to pure foundation preparation, focusing on putting quality basics on Awesome. “Kent [Williamson] taught me what basics I was lacking,” she explains of the shift in focus. “Once I, as well as Awesome, had the foundation down, we started the cow work and really having fun!”

A Versatile Mare

Awesome has shown more versatility than any horse Amber has ever restarted. Before coming to the Makeover, the duo, with just 7 months of training, competed in the Alberta Ranch Horse Versatility Association (ARHVA) competitions as well as at the Cochrane Lions Ranch Rodeo, where they were overall champion in Ranch Rodeo, winning Sorting, Penning and Doctoring as a team. The ARHVA competitions include ranch trail, ranch ride, reining, conformation, cutting and cow work; Amber and Awesome finished second overall and won the Ranch Ride, Ranch Reining and Cow Work.

So, what makes Awesome so broke? She has a very strong horsemanship foundation, Amber explains, which is what makes her so versatile. “She’s extremely cowy and is the most broke horse of all of our family horses,” she says, thanks in part to the training Amber and Awesome received from Kent.

More than anything though, Amber credits the bond created between rider and horse throughout the Makeover process as the reason the mare is so broke—and trusting. “It was unbelievable. It’s something I will cherish forever,” she says.

So what’s up next for the indominable duo? Awesome if for sale, but Amber is quick to point out that she’ll cry if the mare sells, not if she doesn’t! “I plan to continue to train and compete in the Alberta Reach Horse Versatility as well as at ranch rodeos. I also hope to try some barrels and sortings—and one day working cow horse!”

A KEMI Connection

Did KEMI prepare Amber for a competition like the Makeover? “It definitely did!” Amber says. KEMI taught me “the overall care required of a horse–let alone a Thoroughbred! The feeding, grooming, showing and handling I learned [thru KEMI}–it all helped, and still does, with every horse I have. The Makeover was an opportunity of a lifetime. Just like KEMI!”

KEMI Receives TCA Grant

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Kentucky Equine Management Internship (KEMI) has been awarded a grant from Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA).  KEMI would like to thank TCA and all of the farms who designated KEMI as the beneficiary in the TCA Stallion Season Auction.  TCA’s mission is to provide a better life for Thoroughbreds, both during and after their racing careers, by supporting qualified repurposing and retirement organizations and by helping the people who care for them.  To find out more about TCA and their mission please visit  Thank you, TCA, for your continued support of the KEMI program and our mission to help young professionals get a leg up in the Thoroughbred industry!

KEMI Welcomes New Interns for Fall 2019

By News, Uncategorized

The Kentucky Equine Management Internship (KEMI) Program is pleased to welcome nineteen new interns for the Fall of 2019 session.

BALES, Bailey – University of Missouri- Columbia
BRANDON, Cristina – Colorado State University
BREMER, Brittney – Virginia Tech
CHRISTENSEN, Tanzynn – Southern Utah University
CHRISTOPHERSON, Kalley – University of Wisconsin-River Falls
DAMP, Angelica – University of Nebraska
FUZZELL, Casady – Oklahoma State University
HRYNDA, Madison – West Virginia University
JENKINS, Sadie – Oklahoma State University
LEVKULIC, Samantha – Cornell University
MARQUEZ, Henrique – Universidade Positivo-BRAZIL
MCNAB, Sydney – Oregon State University
PARRISH, Rachel – West Virginia University
RYDOSZ, Brynna – Louisiana State University
SIFFERT, Emily – University of Findlay
TERRELL, Skylar – Stephen F. Austin State University
VANSLANDER, Shelby – Oregon State University
WADDLE , Kayli – West Texas A&M University
WILLIAMS, Nathan – University of Missouri-Columbia

Welcome interns!

Spring 2019 KEMI Graduates

By News, Uncategorized

Congratulations to our Spring of 2019 Kentucky Equine Management Internship (KEMI) graduates!

Brandi Bahr – University of Wisconsin, Platteville – Shawhan Place
Bailey Bales – University of Missouri – Heaven Trees Farm
Cristina Brandon – Colorado State University – Mallory Farm
Alicia Butsch – Washington State University – Lane’s End/Oaktree Division
Lauren Carter – University of Maryland – Darby Dan Farm
Mara Castro – Lexington, Kentucky – Runnymeade Farm
Rebecca Cedar – New Mexico State University – Shawnee Farm
Chloe Crowder – Judson College – Shadwell Farm
Gwen Gates – Illinois State University – Monticule Farm
Camryn Green – Virginia Tech University – Shawnee Farm
Jennifer Hambleton – Washington State University – Lane’s End Farm
Kathryn Heath – Texas A&M University – Silver Springs Farm
Sadie Jenkins – Oklahoma State University – Margaux Farm
Veronica Jones – California State University, Fresno – Brookdale Farm
Ambrielle Kaufmann – Louisiana Tech University – Lane’s End Farm
Jessica Kelly – Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo – Mill Ridge Farm
Briana Lambert – Colorado State University – WinStar Farm
Allyson Lammers – Colorado State University – Ashford Stud
Madison Maneri – University of Connecticut – Darby Dan Farm
Caitlin Maus – University of Missouri – Trackside Farm
Mikaela Moore – University of Wyoming – Indian Creek Farm
Kaitlyn Murphy – Pennsylvania State University – Silver Springs Farm
Annie Perez – Texas A&M University – Denali Stud
Brianna Renner – Oregon State University – Trackside Farm
Diondrea Richardson – Tuskegee University – Pin Oak Stud
Abigail Rigsby – Middle Tennessee State University – Crestwood Farm
Kristina Schroeder – University of Minnesota, Crookston – Denali Stud
Danielle Seitner – Ohio State University – Castleton Lyons Farm
Camille Smith – College of Southern Idaho – Timber Town Stables
Jiselle Sorenson – Southern Utah University – Shadwell Farm
Lauren Teets – University of Nebraska – WinStar Farm
Rebekah Trice – Tarleton State University – Lane’s End/Oak Tree Division

Best of luck to our Spring of 2019 graduates!

Graduate Spotlight: Heather Anderson

By News, Testimonials

Graduate Spotlight: Heather Anderson

By: Sarah Coleman

Photo Credit: Steve Sherack/TDN

The Horses are Why We Do What We Do

The desire to be a jockey was rapidly outgrown as Heather Anderson quickly surpassed the ideal height for a jock, but her passion for horses didn’t diminish—it simply became refocused. Hailing from Lander, WY, Heather wasn’t the only one in the family with a passion for all things equine: her maternal grandfather, AJ Webeler, bred Quarter Horses on a small scale with his friend Dr. Hays, for years on his farm in Indiana. He was wrapping up his breeding business 1990 however, and, after a coin toss to determine which twin granddaughter to christen his final foal after, Heather Winder (Docs Sidewinder x Lil Susie Command) was the result.

Like many horse lovers, Heather originally toyed with the idea of becoming an equine veterinarian, though by her junior year in high school, she decided that this path wasn’t for her. An avid reader (the Keeneland library is one of her favorite haunts), Heather eventually combined her passion for horses with her love of the written word: She’s now the associate international editor for the Thoroughbred Daily News.

Of Writing and Riding

Heather was adamant that the school she attend have an Animal Science degree; she decided on and attended the University of Wyoming, which was about four hours from her hometown. The distance was enough that it was easy to return home on breaks, yet afforded Heather the ability to spread her wings.

At UW, Heather majored in Animal Science, Production Option. While there were other specialties available including Ag Business and Pre-Vet, Heather had determined by that time that she was more interested in breeding horses than in treating their major injuries. Also during her tenure at UW, Heather cultivated her love of writing and was part of the UW Honors Program, which placed an emphasis on creative writing.

Between her sophomore and junior years at UW, Heather travelled to Summerfield, FL, to attend the Peterson & Smith Equine Internship Program. This internship allowed Heather to participate in all aspects of equine reproduction offered by the Peterson & Smith Equine Reproduction Center, including recipient herd management, management of mares and stallions, embryo transfer and herd health.

She worked closely with Jose Madera and Drs. Matthews and Thacker during her time in Florida. Her internship experience was so positive that Heather began to investigate ways she could further both her education and her skills once she completed her bachelor’s degree in 2009.

As a testament to her ability to embrace a variety of learning experiences, Heather spent her final semester as a UW student abroad, as an exchange student at the University of Birmingham in England. While overseas, Heather made sure she still got her Thoroughbred fix, watching Sea The Stars (Ire) win the G1 2000 Guineas over Newmarket’s Rowley Mile.

Equine Experiences in the Bluegrass

By the time Heather was set to graduate, she knew her breed of choice was the Thoroughbred; to continue her practical education, she worked at the South Jersey Thoroughbred Rescue and Adoption organization for seven months upon leaving UW. She then applied for the Spring 2010 session of KEMI and was accepted; she soon made her way to the Thoroughbred Mecca of Kentucky.

One of Heather’s favorite parts of the KEMI program was touring the stallion farms. “Seeing the stallions in the flesh instead of looking at advertisements was wonderful,” Heather says. “The late Giant’s Causeway had this aura of command about him when they brought him out at Ashford, and getting my picture taken with Tiznow at WinStar was also amazing,” she reminisces. “The farms were so accommodating [to KEMI students].” When contemplating why each farm was so welcoming to the students, Heather offered: “When we get right down to it, the horses are why we all do what we do.”

Heather’s KEMI placement was Dixiana Farm, just north of Lexington. The farm, which is over a century old, encompasses over 1,000 acres of rolling Bluegrass and has produced multiple champions, including Mata Hari. As part of the Spring semester of KEMI, Heather focused on breeding and foaling during her time at Dixiana. Spring KEMI interns work in the barns and sheds so they can learn the ins-and-outs of working on a professional Thoroughbred farm in the spring.

Some of Heather’s most-treasured KEMI memories involve foaling. “Every single successful foaling I attended that resulted in a healthy foal was memorable,” she explained. “Those first few moments on earth, when they hear something for the first time and their over-sized ears perk up, was quite special. It gave me a sense of fulfillment to know I helped a future racehorse arrive.”

A Change of Profession

As her KEMI internship concluded, Heather returned to New Jersey to be with her boyfriend, who would become her future husband. She searched for three months for an equine-oriented job, sending out resumes to farms and other equine entities, but to no avail; as the horse industry as a whole was still recovering from the 2008 recession, equine jobs seemed to be few and far between.

Never one to wait for an opportunity to come to her, Heather became a pharmacy technician with a national chain—but she always knew she would get back to the Thoroughbreds one day. Though she wasn’t hands-on with horses, Heather’s innate desire to help people was still being met. “While it was quite different from anything I’d tried my hand at previously, I was still helping people and it felt much better to work at something than watch the bills pile up.”

Heather became a nationally certified pharmacy technician in the fall of 2010 and began looking for employment in a hospital pharmacy setting. She also investigated openings at veterinary pharmacies as well, hoping to marry her profession with her passion for horses.

Though she was not as immersed in the industry as she had hoped to be, Heather kept up with the Thoroughbred industry as much as she could, visiting Monmouth Park annually for the G1 Haskell Invitational S. and perusing the Thoroughbred Daily News for information and job opportunities. It was in an issue of the TDN that she came across an ad for an Assistant Editor for the newsletter; she was hired in December of 2013 and works out of the TDN home office in Red Bank, NJ.

It’s Not Work If You Love Your Job

Since starting at the TDN just under 5 ½ years ago, Heather has been promoted to Associate International Editor at the TDN. She assists with the European and international aspects of the paper, in addition to maintaining the TDN stallion database. 

Now completely immersed in the Thoroughbred racing industry, Heather feels that her time at KEMI prepared her well for her career with the TDN. Though not hands-on, the contacts she made during her time in the program were integral to her employment with the TDN. Additionally, she notes, KEMI emphasized the plethora of jobs in the industry that were available to people who had the equine and work experiences the KEMI interns obtained—not all of them hands-on. “Hard work is very important, but having the right contacts ranks right up there, too,” Heather explains. “Networking is vital to success in this industry.”

Though it took Heather a few years to make her way back to her chosen industry, she never lost her can-do attitude, giving each position she held the best effort she could. “A good attitude can never be overrated,” Heather says. “Regardless if you’re in your dream job or a short-term position, having a positive outlook makes everything easier. It greases the wheels, so to speak.”

“I’d also add that, even if you have your entire career planned out from the moment you graduate, life has a way of throwing a few surprises. Be open to new opportunities, even if they–at the time–appear out of left field.”

Another key asset KEMI taught Heather was the ability to balance a multiple priorities, including horse work and course work during the program. She quickly realized that the key to efficiency wasn’t to worry about assignments when she was actively working with the horses. “The better and more focused head space I was in, the better the mares and foals responded,” she explained. “Compartmentalization was key” and still important in her life today.

It Takes a Village

Heather is quick to point out that she didn’t achieve her success in the equine industry alone. “My family always supported me growing up and then that trend [of support] continued with my internships,” Heather said. “From my first internship with Peterson & Smith to working with my wonderful Dixiana mentor Dermot Fagan and other staff at Dixiana, every one of these people gave generously of their time and shared their knowledge. That has only continued at the TDN.”

“From Dermot especially, I learned proper horse management with an eye to herd stress reduction. No matter what the activity was, the emphasis was: ‘What is the best way to reduce stress on the animal and accomplish what we need to do?’  be it vaccinating, turn out, a farrier visit, etc. That was not always how I would have originally approached the problem,” she explains.

And for the future? I owned a small piece of a winning racehorse briefly and I would love to become more involved in the racing/breeding side of the game,” Heather says. “I also hope to keep expanding my bloodstock knowledge and apply that to my work at the TDN.” 

KEMI announces Spring 2019 interns

By News

The Kentucky Equine Management Internship (KEMI) is pleased to welcome 32 interns for the Spring of 2019 session:

Brandi Bahr – University of Wisconsin, Platteville
Bailey Bales – University of Missouri
Cristina Brandon – Colorado State University
Alicia Butsch – Washington State University
Lauren Carter – University of Maryland
Mara Castro – Lexington, Kentucky
Rebecca Cedar – New Mexico State University
Chloe Crowder – Judson College
Gwen Gates – Illinois State University
Camryn Green – Virginia Tech University
Jennifer Hambleton – Washington State University
Kathryn Heath – Texas A&M University
Sadie Jenkins – Oklahoma State University
Veronica Jones – California State University, Fresno
Ambrielle Kaufmann – Louisiana Tech University
Jessica Kelly – Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo
Briana Lambert – Colorado State University
Allyson Lammers – Colorado State University
Madison Maneri – University of Connecticut
Caitlin Maus – University of Missouri
Mikaela Moore – University of Wyoming
Kaitlyn Murphy – Pennsylvania State University
Annie Perez – Texas A&M University
Brianna Renner – Oregon State University
Diondrea Richardson – Tuskegee University
Abigail Rigsby – Middle Tennessee State University
Kristina Schroeder – University of Minnesota, Crookston
Danielle Seitner – Ohio State University
Camille Smith – College of Southern Idaho
Jiselle Sorenson – Southern Utah University
Lauren Teets – University of Nebraska
Rebekah Trice – Tarleton State University

Welcome interns!