Current Award Winners

Awards are given at the biennial Equine Science Society Symposium.

Distinguished Service Member Award

This award recognizes outstanding contributions to the field of equine science. The award is the most prestigious honor that the Equine Science Society can bestow upon one of its members.

2023 Recipient: Karyn Malinowski

Dr. Karyn Malinowski earned her BS, MS and PhD at Rutgers, where she has had an illustrious career since 1978. Her many roles have included: Extension Specialist in Equine Sciences, Animal Sciences Professor, Founding Director of the Equine Science Center, and Director of Rutgers Cooperative Extension. Malinowski played the lead role in building the equine science program at Rutgers University and establishment of the Rutgers Equine Science Center. Her research and extension programs have concentrated on improving the well-being and quality of life of the equine athlete while ensuring the vitality and viability of the equine industry, both statewide and nationally. She is the author of over 60 refereed journal articles and many abstracts and book chapters. Since 2003, much of her effort has focused on horse racing related issues and her efforts resulted in the award winning The New Jersey Equine Industry 2007: Economic Impact study which for the first time, outlined the importance of the New Jersey horse industry, including racing to the Garden State. Data from the study allowed the racing industry to make the case for its survival to the state legislature and beyond and it is the gold standard for other such studies in the United States. Malinowski’s many awards include the ESS Fellow Award, the ASAS– ESS Equine Award, the United States Harness Writers Association – Unsung Hero Award, Governor’s Trophy for Horse Person of the Year, ENPS Outstanding Equine Educator Award, Marjorie Van Ness Award and in 1995, she became only the second woman in fifty years to receive the NY Farmers Club Award, given by the prestigious and venerable Northeastern Agricultural Society for her contributions to agriculture. Perhaps more amazing is her the personal involvement in the horse industry. After having the opportunity to drive the famous Niatross, she was bitten by the bug and spent several summers learning how to drive harness horses. In 2001, Malinowski acquired her first Standardbred racehorse, Could Be Magic who carried her to victory in her amateur debut in 2003 at Freehold Raceway. She later began racing her Hugme Christi and moved up to her “P” license and won the AHDC final at the Meadowlands on June 2, 2005 in club record time of 1:55:4 and was selected to represent the AHDC in the Tim Fouts Memorial Pace during Little Brown Jug week in Delaware, Ohio.

Fellows of the Equine Science Society

This award recognizes distinguished service to the horse industry and to the Equine Science Society over an extended period of time.

2023 Recipient: Colleen Brady

Dr. Colleen Brady has dedicated her almost 25-year career to equine science. Dr. Brady has been a faculty member at Purdue University since 1999 where she has held a 100% Extension appointment. She has filled unique niches in the equine industry through her Extension, teaching, and research programs focused on youth development, animal welfare, instructional design, and communications. She is a sought-after expert on creating course content, especially online content, and has been an industry leader on the science of Extension education. She has secured almost $300,000 to support her research program, has advised 27 MS and five PhD students, and published 26 scientific manuscripts,19 abstracts, 14 conference proceedings, one textbook, and seven book chapters, and has given over 70 presentations at scientific and local, national, and international programs. Dr. Brady has also provided service outside of her 100% Extension. She has taught 15 courses to both undergraduate and graduate students without a formal teaching appointment. While Dr. Brady’s Extension, teaching, and research efforts are meritorious, her most significant contributions to equine science might be her collaborative work with colleagues and organizations. Dr. Brady is a founding member of Extension Horses Inc., has served on the board of directors of the American Youth Horse Council, been chairperson for the Horse Industry Handbook Committee, and has been an ESS member since 1998. Within her home state, she has provided service to numerous 4-H committees and her State’s Board of Animal Health. She is currently serving as the chairperson for her university senate and has served on numerous search committees, advisory boards, and on college and departmental planning committees. She has clearly established herself as an exceptional teacher, Extension specialist, and researcher and has earned her reputation as a strong leader, effective communicator, reliable team member, and early technology adaptor.

2023 Recipient: Ken McKeever

Dr. Ken McKeever received his B.S. degree and M.S. degrees in Animal Science from California State Polytechnic University Pomona and Fresno State University. Following completion of his MS degree he worked as the Assistant Manager of Post-Time Thoroughbred Ranch in Tulare, California. McKeever earned his Ph.D. in Animal Physiology at the University of Arizona where he also managed the University Horse Center and Quarter Horse breeding program. Upon completing his Ph.D. McKeever served for two years as a National Academies of Sciences- National Research Council Resident Research Associate in the Cardiovascular Research Lab at the NASA Ames Research Center in California. From 1987 to 1994 Dr. McKeever developed and coordinated research at the Equine Exercise Physiology Laboratory at the Ohio State University. In 1995 he joined the Faculty in the Department of Animal Sciences at Rutgers University as an Associate Professor and proceeded to build, develop, and coordinate one of the most active Equine Exercise Physiology laboratories in the USA. Dr. McKeever earned the rank of Full Professor in 2009 and currently serves as Associate Director of the Rutgers University Equine Science Center. He recently served as President of the Equine Science Society and currently serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Comparative Exercise Physiology. Dr. McKeever is the first scientist to be named a Fellow of the American College Sports Medicine for work with horses and he is the first and only Equine Physiologist named a Fellow by the American Physiological Society. In his spare time, McKeever plays masters water polo goalie at the local, national, and international level.

2023 Recipient: Karen Waite

Dr. Karen Waite is the MSU Department of Animal Science Undergraduate Teaching Coordinator, as well as the Coordinator of the MSU Institute of Agricultural Technology Horse Management Program. She earned two B.S. degrees (Animal Science and Biological Science/Education) as well as an M.S. and Ph.D. from Michigan State. Her Dissertation is entitled “Measurement of Prosocial and Antisocial Behavior Among Youth Equestrian Competitors”, and is a seminal work in the field of equestrian sportsmanship research. Prior to her current primary teaching appointment, Dr. Waite had a primary Extension appointment from 2000- 2016, providing leadership to youth and adult equine extension programs. She has demonstrated leadership at the University, State and National level, including membership on the Equine Science Society Teaching and Extension Committee, Co-Chair for the Eastern National 4-H Horse Round Up Public Speaking competition, chair of the eXtension HorseQuest (Extension Horses, Inc.) Community of Practice, and multiple leadership roles (including President two times) of the American Youth Horse Council. Dr. Waite has received numerous awards for her contributions in teaching and extension, including the 2015 American Youth Horse Council Distinguished Service Award, the 2014 Michigan 4-H Emerald Clover Society Award, and the 2013 Equine Science Society Outstanding Equine Educator Award. Extension programs/products developed by Dr. Waite have received the Joint Council of Extension Professionals Excellent in Teamwork Award (along with K. Anderson, K. Martinson, E. Bailey, C. Skelly, and E. Greene), the NAE4-HA Educational Technology Award and the Maryland Association of Extension 4-H Agents Specialty Award. Dr. Waite has professional certifications from the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association, the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (Horse Specialty), and is a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach. Dr. Waite is an exceptional teacher, and her students praise her compassionate, student-centered approach and engaged mentoring style.

2023 Recipient: Roy Johnson

Dr. Roy Johnson is a first-class equestrian who has been an active and important member of ESS and the equine industry for almost 60 years. Roy started competing in open shows as a young boy and continued training horses and competing into adulthood. In 1972, Roy graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Minnesota, and later earned a Master of Science degree from the same institution. From 1975 until 1992, Roy was an instructor and Assistant Professor of Animal Production at the University of Minnesota - Waseca where he was responsible for developing the Horse Management Program into one of the most successful two- year programs in the Midwest. Over 1,000 students graduated from the program during this tenure. Since 1993, Roy has worked for Cargill Animal Nutrition, most recently as the Equine Technology Deployment Manager with a U.S focus. While at Cargill, he has helped develop horse feeds under the Nutrena and private label brands, developed several proprietary equine nutrition models, has supported equine research at numerous universities, been involved with two U.S. patents, and educated horse owners and professionals throughout the U.S. and world.  Because of Roy’s contributions to the development team, the SafeChoice line of products are a household name in the equine industry. Roy has also contributed to the industry as a judge and is well-known as a humble, generous, and staunch supporter. Roy has personally donated to multiple scholarship funds, university initiatives, and ESS. Additionally, Roy has encouraged his employer to be a long-time, major sponsor of the ESS Symposium which benefits all members by keeping registration affordable, especially for students. Roy is a widely recognized, long-time member of the horse industry who has made significant contributions as a competitor, academic, industry member, judge, educator, society member, youth supporter, volunteer, and industry advocate.

2023 Recipient: Paul Siciliano

Dr. Paul Siciliano is Professor and Associate Head in the Department of Animal Science at North Carolina State University where he teaches undergraduate courses in equine management, and conducts research in equine nutrition. He also serves as the Departmental Extension leader. Siciliano received a B.S. in Agriculture from The Ohio State University (1987), and an M.S. (1992) and Ph.D. (1996) in Animal Science, both from the University of Kentucky. He was previously an Assistant and Associate Professor in the Department of Animal Science at Colorado State University from 1996 to 2006. Siciliano is a past President (2009-2011) for the Equine Science Society. He also served as a member of the National Research Council Committee on Nutrient Requirements of Horses (2004-2007).

Outstanding Educator Award

This award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated excellence in the area of equine education, either to students or persons in the horse industry.

2023 Recipient: Kris Hiney

Dr. Kris Hiney is an Associate Professor and Extension Specialist at Oklahoma State University, where she has provided leadership to equine Extension programming for youth and adult audiences since 2014. Prior to joining the faculty at Oklahoma State, Dr. Hiney was a Professor at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and taught extensively in their equine program. Dr. Hiney’s teaching and extension programs are characterized by their innovation and contemporary relevance to the horse industry. Innovative programs address topics such as horse behavior and well-being, biosecurity, and disaster preparedness, and include the Tack Box Talks podcast series, Large Animal Behavior and Handling for Law Enforcement, Oklahoma 4-H and Open Show Judges Seminar, Horse Owner’s Workshop, Virtual Youth Horse Judging Camp, the Oklahoma Barn Logic series for youth, Horse Science Academy STEM workshop for youth, Ranch Horse Division in the Oklahoma State Horse Show, Ranch Roping and Box Clinic, Success in the Show Pen clinic, and the Oklahoma 4-H Cowhorse Clinic. She has generated 7 new OSU Extension Factsheets, and revised an additional 14. She is a regular guest (25) on the SunUp television show, and had produced 21 popular press articles. Dr. Hiney is very involved with Extension Horses, Inc., and serves as the current chair. Under her leadership, Extension Horses, Inc. had an agile response to the COVID 19 pandemic, and successfully offered virtual alternatives to foundational youth extension programs such as horse judging and hippology to nearly 1000 young people in 11 states in 2020. Students in her classes describe Dr. Hiney as “inspirational”, a “role model”, and a “mentor”. She mentors research for graduate and undergraduate students, and Dr. Hiney and her students have published 17 refereed journal articles, and 35 abstracts published and presented at professional meetings.

Josie Coverdale Award for Outstanding Young Professional

This award recognizes an individual under the age of 40 with less than 10 years of service in academia or industry, who has made meritorious contributions to equine science in teaching, research, public service, or industry. In 2017, this award was renamed in memory of Josie A. Coverdale.

2023 Recipient: Jennie Ivey

Dr. Jennie Ivey holds a B.S. from Rutgers University, a M.S. and Ph.D. from West Virginia University in Animal Physiology with a focus in equine exercise physiology and nutrition and is currently pursuing a M.S. in Strategic and Digital Communications from the University of Tennessee. Dr. Ivey joined the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture faculty in 2015 with a 95% Extension/5% Teaching appointment. Blending traditional programming concepts with a forward-thinking approach, Dr. Ivey created 4 self-sustaining fee-based programs, 3 new undergraduate and 2 graduate courses, a new internationally accessed website (, and prominent social media presence. In her short time at UTIA, she has authored or co-authored 48 Extension publications, 9 peer-reviewed manuscripts, and delivered over 320 Extension talks on equine nutrition and management. Dr. Ivey has mentored 5 M.S. students, 1 USDA Scientific Exchange Fellow, 1 junior faculty member, and has served as the direct supervisor for 28 undergraduate interns, researchers, and program assistants. She has developed a nationally recognized equine Extension program, supported by over $600,000 in grant and gift support. Dr. Ivey serves on the Teaching and Extension, and Exercise Science Committees for the Equine Science Society, the University Tennessee Knoxville SACSCOC Accreditation Leadership Team, and as the Eastern National 4-H Horse Round-Up Hippology Committee Chair.

The American Feed Industry Association Award in Equine Nutrition Research

This award is designed to stimulate research excellence in equine nutrition.

2023 Recipient: Burt Staniar

Dr. Burt Staniar completed his Masters, Ph.D. and a post-doc at Virginia Tech studying nutrition’s influence on cartilage and skeletal development in Thoroughbred horses in the lab of Dr. David Kronfeld. Dr. Staniar joined the Department of Animal Science at Penn State in the fall of 2007. In his first 5 years at Penn State, Burt continued research on nutrition and skeletal development by investigating how different dietary energy sources influence insulin-like growth factor I and growth hormone. During the past 10 years, the focus of his research has shifted to gastrointestinal health of the equine athlete. Equine athletes suffer from a wide range of health concerns that are associated perturbations to gastrointestinal health. These include gastric ulcers, enteritis, colitis, colic, and even laminitis. Dr. Staniar has focused on assessing aspects of the luminal environment, assessing gut permeability, and investigating inflammation associated with particular diets. Dr. Staniar is particularly interested in potential parallels between human and equine athletes and the potential for research to benefit both. Training undergraduate and graduate students is a central component of all of Dr. Staniar’s research endeavors. He and Dr. Danielle Smarsh advise the Equine Research Team at Penn State, a 40-member undergraduate student organization focused on learning about and conducting equine research. Dr. Staniar has also mentored graduate students studying a range of animal science topics. All of his students learn that they can contribute more to the field of equine nutrition, by learning about the nutrition of multiple livestock/animal species.

American Society of Animal Science – Equine Science Society Equine Science Award

This award recognizes outstanding achievement in the areas of extension, research, teaching, or agribusiness in the equine industry. This award is formally presented at the annual American Society of Animal Science (ASAS) meetings.

2023 Recipient: Sarah White-Springer

Dr. Sarah H. White-Springer is an Associate Professor of Equine Physiology at Texas A&M University. After receiving her Ph.D. from the University of Florida, she completed postdoctoral training at the University of Kentucky studying muscle disease in humans and murine models. Her current research program centers on modulation of skeletal muscle metabolism in health, disease, and performance. Dr. White-Springer is a rising star in the field of mitochondrial biology whose programmatic efforts are highly regarded for excellence in research, as evidenced by invited national and international presentations, recruitment of horse industry collaborators, and funding support of over $3 million. She has authored or co-authored 29 journal articles and 60 scientific abstracts, mentored 9 M.S. and 2 Ph.D. students as chair of committee, and has served as the primary instructor for 8 courses. Dr. White-Springer is also an accomplished horsewoman most recently earning multiple titles at the 2022 Arabian Sport Horse National Championships.

2022 Recipient: Lori Warren

Dr. Lori K. Warren is an associate professor in the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Florida. She completed her B.S. at the University of Wyoming and M.S. and Ph.D. at the University of Kentucky. Her research program focuses on equine nutrition with emphasis on 1) evaluating feedstuffs and feed additives for their nutritional value and role in improving the health and performance of horses, and 2) nutritional strategies to reduce the environmental impact of horse operations. She has garnered $3.9 million in funding, trained 32 graduate students, and presented more than 185 invited talks. She has published 46 refereed manuscripts, 5 books/chapters, and over 250 abstracts, articles and technical papers. Dr. Warren is a former Equine Science Society president (2015-17) and was program chair of the 2015 biennial symposium. In 2007-08 she served on a National Research Council committee tasked with evaluating the safety of dietary supplements for horses, dogs and cats.

Undergraduate Student Competition

  1. L. JohnsonA preliminary study: Effect of hay nets on horse hay usage, dental wear, and dental conditions in mature adult horses.  From University of Wisconsin-River Falls
  2. N. D’AntonioParturition prediction in mares using gestation length, and pH and hardness of preparturient mammary secretions. From The Pennsylvania State University
  3. H. RahaelDetecting conformational differences in Fragile Foal Syndrome carriers utilizing artificial intelligence. From University of Florida
  4. C. OberlinFeeding steamed or soaked hay affects water intake and preference compared to dry hay.  From University of Minnesota Crookston
  5. R. HartChew frequency and duration in horses consuming bermudagrass hay in slow feeders as compared to loose hay. From University of Georgia

Exercise Science Graduate Student Competition

  1. A. GarlandExercise versus feed restriction: What is the most efficient weight loss option for your fat horse? From University of Guelph
  2. R. M. HarbowyIncidence rate of lesions in the distal forelimb of growing, exercising sheep as a model for horses. From Michigan State University
  3. L. T. WesolowskiIntrinsic skeletal muscle mitochondrial function decreases while mitochondrial volume density increases from 6 months to 3-years old in Thoroughbreds. From Texas A&M University

Equine Biosciences Graduate Student Competition

  1. E.M. Rankins - Plasma cortisol responses of horses in equine assisted activities.  Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
  2. J.L. SimonsRepeated muscle collections induce few physiological changes in mature sedentary horses.  Texas A&M University
  3. A. B. WardEffect of sampling and storage conditions upon equine fecal microbial community.  Scotland’s Rural College, Bucksburn, and University of Aberdeen

Nutrition Graduate Student Competition

  1. P. L. SemanchikImpacts of dietary Protandim Nrf2 Synergizer on antioxidant status of mature, sedentary horses.  From Texas A&M University
  2. G. E. MooreInfluence of dietary Saccharomyces cerevisiae fermentation product on cartilage metabolism in young exercising horses challenged with intra-articular lipopolysaccharide. From Texas A&M University
  3. A. M. OhmstedeEvaluation of indigestible neutral detergent fiber methodology and its use as a marker to estimate hay digestibility in horses. From University of Florida

Genetics Graduate Student Competition

  1. J. CiosekA QTL for skull morphology in Arabian horses. From University of Florida

Reproductive Physiology Graduate Student Competition

  1. A. Trauner Late-gestation maternal overnutrition alters gene expression and histomorphology in neonatal foal testes. From Montana State University

Production and Management Graduate Student Competition

  1. B. T. PoEffect of psyllium husk supplementation on equine fecal nutrient composition and in vitro fermentation. From University of Florida
  2. A. TuszkaSeasonal variation in plasma vitamin A and E concentrations in horses with or without pasture access. From University of Wisconsin – River Falls
  3. J. KlingamanComparison of physically conditioned and non-conditioned university horses after semester break. From Middle Tennessee State University

Teaching and Extension Graduate Student Competition

  1. B. L. Parrish Development and refinement of online horse judging resources: a mixed-methods study. From University of Nebraska - Lincoln
  2. E. McCarthythe Nebraska 4-H equine advancement level program’s role in positive youth development using the five C-s model: an exploratory study. From University of Nebraska – Lincoln.
  3. M. FriendComparison of cortisol concentrations between traditional group therapy and equine assisted psychotherapy for substance use disorder residential treatment patients.  From Mississippi State University.

Journal of Equine Veterinary Science (JEVS) Graduate Student Publication Award

Awarded to the top two graduate students who presented research at the 2019 ESS Symposium and submitted their research for publication in JEVS within six months of the symposium.

  1. R. M. HarbowyIncidence rate of lesions in the distal forelimb of growing, exercising sheep as a model for horses. From Michigan State University. Major professor - Dr. Brian Nielsen
  1. J.L. SimonsRepeated muscle collections induce few physiological changes in mature sedentary horses.  Texas A&M University. Major professor - Dr. Sarah H White-Springer

1st Alternate. L. T. WesolowskiIntrinsic skeletal muscle mitochondrial function decreases while mitochondrial volume density increases from 6 months to 3-years old in Thoroughbreds. From Texas A&M University. Major professor - Dr. Sarah H White-Springer

2nd Alternate. J. KlingamanComparison of physically conditioned and non-conditioned university horses after semester break. From Middle Tennessee State University. Major professor - Dr. Alyssa Logan

Award Sponsors

The Equine Science Society would like to thank the following sponsors for their generous support of the Awards and the 2023 ESS Symposium.

  • Society Awards sponsored by Kentucky Equine Research, Versailles, KY
  • Graduate Student Competition Awards sponsored by Kemin Animal Health and Nutrition, Des Moines, IA
  • Undergraduate Student Competition Awards sponsored by Cavalor, Nutriquine, NV, and Drongen, Belgium
  • AFIA Equine Nutrition Award sponsored by American Feed Industry Association, Arlington, VA
  • ASAS – ESS Equine Science Award sponsored by ZinPro Corporation, Eden Prairie, MN