Dressage Maintains Regional Lead

Averett University Nov. 7 & 8, 2015

St. Andrews maintains regional lead after three Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA) shows. Individual riders are also in good standing. The next IDA shows will be hosted by St. Andrews November 21 & 22.

Team Standings After Three Shows
St. Andrews 45pts.
Averett 43 pts.
NCSU 40 pts.

Individual Standings After Three Shows
First Level – Gaby Stephens in second place with 15 pts. behind Samantha Majors from NCSU with 18pts.
Upper Training – Megan Pustarfi and Elizabeth McNeel of NCSU tied for second place with 11 pts. behind Kasey Toth from AU with 15 pts.
Lower Training – Elizabeth Tate leads with 12 pts. Two riders tied for second place with 11 pts.
Introductory – Nina Jurac leads with 14 pts. Sarah Hartley in second with 11 pts. Third place has 8 pts.

Saturday – Team Results
1.    NCSU A
2.    Averett B
3.    Averett A
4.    St. Andrews A
5.    Mixed Team A
6.    St. Andrews B

First Level Test 2
2nd Gaby Stephens

Training Level Test 3
4th Geneva Masak
6th Megan Pustarf

Training Level Test 1
4th Elizabeth Tate
6th Courtney Anderson

Introductory Level Test 1
1st Nina Jurac
2nd Alyssa Lubarsky
3rd Sarah Hartley

Sunday – Team Results
1.    Averett A
2.    St. Andrews B
3.    Mixed Team B
4.    St. Andrews A
5.    Averett B
6.    NCSU B

First Level Test 2
3rd Gaby Stephens
5th Farrington Wallace

Training Level Test 3
2nd Megan Pustarfi
3rd Geneva Masak

Training Level Test 1
3rd Elizabeth Tate
5th Courtney Anderson

Introductory Level Test 1
1st Nina Jurac
5th Sarah Hartley

Dressage Team – High Point Team at NCSU Show

The Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA) team had a spectacular start to the intercollegiate season at the first show of the season hosted by North Carolina State University (NCSU) at Saddle Tree Stables in Willow Springs, NC. This is a new location for IDA competition and was a wonderful venue for the well-organized show.

First level riders set the stage for St. Andrews with freshmen Gaby Stephens, sophomores Farrin Wallace and Alex Varisco placing 1st, 2nd and 6th respectively with strong rides in First Level Test 1.

Senior Megan Pustarfi added to Team A’s points with a strong 2nd place in Training Level Test 2 and Daryl Macleod earned a point for the B Team with her 6th placing.

Sophomore Geneva Masak had a beautiful ride at Training Level Test 1 to earn high point rider of the day (76.304%) and the blue ribbon in Training Level Test 1. Gaby Stephens earned the reserve high point rider title with her score of 76.111%. Team B rider, freshman Beth Ann Tate laid down a good ride coming 2nd behind Masak.

At the Introductory Level, Senior Sarah Hartley rode to a second place finish in her first ever dressage test in competition with a score of 65.625%. Freshmen Alyssa Lubarsky placed 6th in the same division.

In the dressage seat equitation competition Rebecca Samsoe rode beautifully to earn second place in the Introductory division.

“An incredible start to the season,” said Coach Jackie Dwelle. “Everyone rode smart and sympathetically on the horse they drew. IDA is about riding the horse that shows up that day, not always an easy thing to do. The team applied the concepts we have been working on at home and showed off what they have learned. Great start to the 2015-2016 season!”

Team Results
St. Andrews A – 19
NCSU A – 15
St. Andrews B – 15 (tie broken by average percentage)
NCSU B – 11
Averett B – 10
Mixed Team – 7

First Level Test 1
1st Gaby Stephens 76.111%
2nd Farrin  Wallace 70.000%
6th Alex Varisco 64.074%

Training Level Test 2
2nd Megan Pustarfi 65.192%
6th Daryl Macleod 58.653%

Training Level Test 1
1st Geneva Masak 76.304%
2nd Beth Ann Tate 67.826%

Introductory Level Test B
2nd Sarah Hartley 65.625%
6th Alyssa Lubarsky 62.812%

High Point Team, High Point and Reserve High Point Riders. Great start to the year!
High Point Team, High Point and Reserve High Point Riders. Great start to the year!

Elusive Excellence – Excellence in Academics

Fourth in our series “Elusive Excellence” investigating the meaning behind our motto “Excellence is our Tradition”

Corinne Nicholson - Chair of Dept. Business and economics
Corinne Nicholson – Chair of Dept. Business and economics

When I think of excellence in the classroom one of the first people that comes to mind is Corinne Nicholson, Department Chair Business and Economics. Corinne’s classes are known for their demanding standards in personal presentation and academic rigor. Students are evaluated on how they present themselves as well as on the quality of their work. I asked Corinne about her philosophy towards classroom instruction.

“I require that our students think analytically, synthesize information, recognize and solve problems, work within dynamic environments, communicate effectively, and work in teams.  This learning environment allows them to believe in themselves and their abilities and to develop the confidence in their knowledge and skills to accept the challenges that lie ahead.”

Students in Corinne’s classes are pushed to stretch themselves out of their comfort zones and develop their skills as problem solvers and leaders. Senior Policy and Strategy Seminar is one such class where students are required to push past their comfort zones in many areas to achieve success.

“I maintain a passionate, uncompromising commitment to student learning through instructional excellence in the major.  Although professional service to the college and the larger community consumes a large percentage of my time, my role as an effective teacher, scholar, and advisor is my top priority.  I design and deliver courses that encourage students to expand their knowledge base, develop relevant skills, refine their entrepreneurial and strategic thinking, and develop the professional behavior needed for success in life.”

Corinne has been a leader in the development of the MBA program at St. Andrews which offers a unique higher education experience. The MBA program is designed to be taught as an in seat class while simultaneously being offered live on the web making it accessible to a wide range of students.

The recently added MBA for Equine Professionals is just one example of the innovative programs that Corinne has been instrumental in designing. Requiring students to work on strategic plans for an existing business this MBA track offers equine professionals access to a team of professionals to assist in the development of an equine business. Corinne’s contribution to the MBA program is significant from design of the curriculum to teaching some of the classes.

“I have taught the MBA capstone course on Strategic Thinking both in the summer and winter terms.  This is a challenging course for us all.  The class structure, requirements, and expectations are very different from the undergraduate level.  I enjoy seeing the students pull from all their previous graduate course work and synthesize their knowledge and skills into an integrated approach to thinking and analyzing.  Although the work load is demanding, the demonstration of learning is outstanding!”

Corinne Nicholson aspires for excellence with her never ending and rigorous pursuit of continual academic improvement translating into success for students in strategic leadership opportunities.

Five Horse Show Weekend!

“The best part of going to shows with St. Andrews students is seeing the light bulbs click as they understand new concepts and break through new barriers in their riding careers, making these day and weekend shows chock full of knowledge and experience”. ~ Kelsi Peterson

Mother Nature decided we needed a slow start to our show season this year. So unusually our first really busy weekend did not occur until now. Five horse shows in one weekend!

At home the Western IHSA team hosted a show each day which was the first home shows of the year for the program and for Event Manager Robin Brooks who has jumped head first into this part of her job. For students new to St. Andrews this year it was their first experience of the machine that makes at home events possible. Conner Smith summed up the cooperation and teamwork that make at home events possible, “Keep doing what you’re doing! We’re doing great!”

Saturday the St. Andrews team tied with Virginia Tech for Reserve High Point Team and Sunday they took a clear lead as High Point Team.
Team Standings after Two shows;
St. Andrews                67
NCSU                          61
Virginia Tech              50
Liberty                        45
Martin                        41
Appalachian State     38
Campbell                   25
Western Carolina      22

Saturday
Kelsi Peterson traveled to Greensboro for the Haunted Classic and sent in these results.
Liz Shaffer brought her own Paulchen to show in the open jumper classes, and won the 3’6 and the 4′ classes with beautiful rounds. This was Pauly’s first horse show jumping a 4′ course.

Greensboro Haunted Classic
Greensboro Haunted Classic

Jovan Daniel showed St. Andrews’ Platina in the 2’6 and Low Child/Adult jumpers. They earned a

2nd in the 2’6 and a 4th in the Low Child/Adult Stake class. Jovan looks forward to showing Platina in the future!

Hannah Newman, Katie Hines, and Hannah Sutton showed Camp Blue Star’s Benjamin Moore and St. Andrews’ horses Obi-Wan and Kemosabe, in the Long Stirrup hunter and equitation divisions. They came home with armfuls of ribbons and horse show experience. Hannah N. won a 2nd, two 3rds, and two 4th places. Katie earned a 4th, two 5ths, and two 6th place ribbons. Hannah S. earned a 2nd, 4th, and two 5th places.

Sunday
The IHSA Hunter Seat Team headed out early to the Duke/Chapel Hill show. Weeks of practice and preparation paid off with several blue ribbons and High Point Team title.

IHSA Hunter Seat High Point Team at Duke/Chapel Hill Show
IHSA Hunter Seat High Point Team at Duke/Chapel Hill Show
Megan Pustarfi riding Astaire. Megan won Training Level Test 2 with a score of 70.385%
Megan Pustarfi riding Astaire. Megan won Training Level Test 2 with a score of 70.385%

The Eventing Team traveled to Antares Dressage to hone their competitive skills in the dressage arena. This was also a great practice for upcoming Intercollegiate Dressage Association shows (IDA).

Riders rode Training and First level tests earning good scores and improving on past performances.
Kelsi Peterson summed up the weekend well while reflecting the Greensboro show. “These students worked so well as a team, supporting each other, helping each other get ready, and took excellent care of our 4 legged friends. The best part of going to shows with SAU students is seeing the light bulbs click as they understand new concepts and break through new barriers in their riding careers, making these day and weekend shows chock full of knowledge and experience.”

IHSA Hunter Seat Wins at UNC-Wilmington

Congratulations to the IHSA Hunter Seat Team winning at UNC – Wilmington on Sunday with 38 points to UNC – Wilmington’s 29 points.

Jordan Belanger, Ashley Derrer, Zoe Cluck, Hannah Newman, Kaihly Gonzalez, Katie Thomas, Mackenzie Parks and Sabrina Vlacich all won their divisions with Belanger and Cluck qualifying for Regionals in Walk/Trot/Canter and Walk/Trot respectively.

Jarret Vaughn showing in hunter seat for the first time for St. Andrews placed second in Beginning Walk/Trot/Canter. (Previously, Jarret has ridden on the Western team only.) Callie Militz, Kathryn Owens, Mary Thomson and Sabrina Vlachich joined Jarret earning second place and five points in their divisions.

Winners IHSA Hunter Seat at Wilmington
Champion Team at UNC-Wilmington Oct 18, 2015

Team Results
St. Andrews – 39
UNC-Wilmington – 29
UNC-Charlotte – 27
UNC-Chapel Hill – 26
NC State University – 24
Campbell University – 20
Duke University – 18
East Carolina University – 17

Walk/Trot
Jordan Belanger 1st

Beginner Walk/Trot/Canter
Ashley Derrer 1st
Jarret Vaughn 2nd

Advanced Walk/Trot/Canter
Zoe Cluck 1st
Hannah Newman 1st
Callie Militz 2nd
Danaye Mokma 4th

Novice Flat
Kaihly Gonzalez 1st
Katie Thomas 1st
Kathryn Owens 2nd
Mary Thomson 2nd
Sabrina Vlachich 2nd

Novice Over Fences
Mackenzie Parks 1st
Katie Thomas 6th

Intermediate Flat
Liz Shaffer 4th

Intermediate Over Fences
Sabrina Vlacich 1st

Open Flat
Kelsey Kocher 4th
Amy Wrozek 4th

Open Over Fences
Kelsey Kocher 3rd

Elusive Excellence – Five Things You Can Do Today in the Pursuit of Excellence

Fourth in our series Elusive Excellence investigating the meaning behind our motto “Excellence is our Tradition”

Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well. – John W. Gardner

“Ordinary things” for a St. Andrews Equestrian student include:

  • Reading
  • Researching
  • Writing papers
  • Preparing and delivering presentations
  • Studying for tests and exams
  • Participating in riding lessons and team practice
  • Volunteering in the Ride-Like-A-Knight Therapeutic Horsemanship program
  • Attending Riding Council meetings
  • Working horse shows
  • Participating in clinics
  • Caring for the Horses
  • Doing workstudy at the barn

The list is probably missing several items. What is a time-strapped student to do as they try to live up to “Excellence is Our Tradition”?

Five Things You Can Do Today in the Pursuit of Excellence

  1. Manage and allocate time for all activities including exercising, eating well and getting enough sleep.
  2. Plan to do homework when you receive it rather than the night before it is due. Checking items off of your to-do list makes you feel good and if you run into difficulties with the assignment you have time to do more research or ask the Professor for help.
  3. Be early for class, lessons, work study and group meetings. Your peers, riding instructors and professors will appreciate that you care enough about them not to waste their time. Their time is as valuable as yours!
  4. Do extra research on papers and projects. Don’t do “just enough” do more! You will be amazed at what you might discover. See our recent post “Over Promise and Over Deliver” for more on this. (I promised 5 ideas for this post but delivered 6 – half the equation covered.)
  5. Be diligent in horse care. The Equine Professors are the reason our program exists; they are our common bond and why most of us chose St. Andrews. Take good care of them and the equipment. Show pride in your horsemanship. Treat them as the honorable professors that they are.
  6. Notice what needs to change. Did someone do something unsafe in the barn? This is a teachable moment, engage in a discussion with them as to possible safer methods for what they are doing – be nice, not confrontational. Did you see something amiss at the barn? Inform a barn manager, instructor or staff member, or if you can, fix the problem and then let a member of the equestrian staff know.

None of this is difficult but it is important. Doing the ordinary things in an extraordinary way sets you apart from the person who does just enough to “get by”. If you want to become someone people respect and can count on don’t be that “just getting by” person, be extraordinary and do it with a simile and happy attitude! Overtime you will see the results of your pursuit for excellence in your everyday life. People will notice, they will ask you to participate in opportunities that will enhance and improve your life. Win-win!

Open House with an Equestrian Theme

Friday and Saturday we will be welcoming high school seniors who are interested in St. Andrews. This unique open house includes a Friday evening reception and dinner where prospective students and their families can meet with coaches and faculty to discuss majors, classes and riding at St. Andrews. Saturday includes traditional open house activities such as tours of the campus and informational sessions with administration and staff. The highlight for most is an opportunity to take a lesson with one of the St. Andrews coaches. This event is an incredible opportunity to experience what it is like to be a student equestrian at St. Andrews.

Elusive Excellence – Our Fearless Leader

Third in our series Elusive Excellence investigating the meaning behind our motto “Excellence is our Tradition”

Excellence can be obtained if you:

…care more than others think is wise;

…risk more than others think is safe;

…dream more than others think is practical;

…expect more than others think is possible.

I ran into this quote several times when researching excellence. The author appears to be unknown, if you know differently please let me know! Each time I came back to this quote I thought of Equestrian Program Director Peggy McElveen. She is the definition of this quote!

Equestrian Program Director Peggy McElveen
Our Fearless Leader Peggy McElveen

…care more than others think is wise;

Peggy cares about everyone, she is a person of action. If a student, employee or colleague has a problem Peggy is the first person to step up and help out. She somehow knows what the person needs whether it be someone to drive them somewhere, make them food, counseling, loving advice or simply space to work through things. She supports everyone, it may not be exactly what you expected but it is always what you need! Peggy cares and it shows!

…risk more than others think is safe;

Peggy is a visionary. Visionaries boldly risk making waves with superiors or employees, suggest changes and happily endure the immediate negative human reaction to change, propose plans and ideas that require a significant commitment of resources and cheerfully problem solve objections to their plans. Peggy has proposed many ideas at St. Andrews. Many have not been adopted but the ones that have continue to improve the equestrian program and St. Andrews University.

…dream more than others think is practical;

Peggy’s motto is “big dreams don’t cost any more than little dreams”. When the idea of St. Andrews hosting the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association National Championships in 2012 was first floated around 2010, Peggy quietly accepted the challenge and then started planning. Even with a world-class equestrian facility Laurinburg is not a town that can accommodate the number of competitors, vendors, spectators and horses needed for this week long horse show. Undaunted Peggy convinced the St. Andrews Administration to adjust the academic calendar so that the show did not conflict with graduation which it almost always does. She made the drive to Raleigh numerous times, contracted with the Hunt Complex at the NC State Fairgrounds, worked with area hotels and caters, and rallied her staff and the student body to support this iconic horse show. Outcome: a fabulous experience for students, staff, all of IHSA and certainly for St. Andrews.

…expect more than others think is possible.

The stories above illustrate this point. For her dedication to IHSA Peggy was awarded the Pioneer award in 2012 which is not awarded every year but only when it is truly deserved. I wrote a piece for the IHSA program as a tribute to the person we call our “Fearless Leader” and posted it on our old blog. A quote from this piece from a member of the St. Andrews faculty stands out,. “She holds herself, her staff, and students to the highest levels of excellence.”

Excellence is Our Tradition – starting with our Fearless Leader!

Click here to review the post on the Pioneer Award.

St. Andrews University New Website

St. Andrews University (a branch of Webber International University) launched its redesigned website today. The new cleaner look is easier to navigate with all pages being within two clicks of any other page – test that out if you like! The new look is the result of much effort from Daniel in Computer Services and Misty in the Communications Office. Thanks for working hard to make the new site a reality!

St. Andrews University Website


Elusive Excellence – Over Promise and Over Deliver

Second in our series Elusive Excellence investigating the meaning behind our motto “Excellence is our Tradition”

Entrepreneur James Altucher in his article “10 Things Successful People Never Do” states that to succeed one must over promise and over deliver. Altucher says, “There are 3,000,000,000 employees on the planet and they are all under promising and most of them are under delivering.” Just think how we could change the way things are done if most of us changed our habits!

Over promising takes courage, it often means more work, time and responsibility. Over promising requires one to commit, without reservation, to complete a project or assignment on time, with quality, sufficient detail and the resolve to follow up if needed. Over promising is difficult because you know that to do the task or job well that you will have to devote your time and resources to keep your promise.

Over delivering takes creativity to go the extra mile to produce a product that fulfills the agreed upon requirements and something extra as well. The project requirements must be fulfilled but it is often the extra effort that was applied to the project that leads to success by showing that one cared enough to thoroughly complete the project and offer more than was required.

For Professors over promising and over delivering might be not just teaching ones specialty but also committing to developing the skills related to life-long learning, enquiry, critical thinking, analysis and the ability to prepare a well-researched and logically organized argument or discussion. For students over promising and over delivering could include questioning ideas and concepts that they are presented with, doing their own research into the topic, analyzing all the data and preparing assignments supported by credible sources that include their opinion based on the facts. Often opinions are based on previous experiences which certainly may have some merit but shows a lack of curiosity for deeper truths and ideas.

Over promise and over deliver requires additional effort, a commitment to something greater than oneself perhaps a commitment to excellence?