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The Elizabeth Fund helps St. Andrews students attend National Conference

NARHA National Conference 2011

St. Andrews Therapeutic Horsemanship students at the National NARHA Conference from left, Elizabeth Dulski, Kathryn Sorgenfrei, Laura Dyer and Phil Ratchford.


Six members of the St. Andrews Presbyterian College Therapeutic Horsemanship program attended the 2010 North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA) National Conference held in Denver, Colo. in early November.

Students Laura Dyer, Liz Dulski, Kathryn Sorgenfrei and Phil Ratchford traveled with Director of the St. Andrews Therapeutic Horsemanship Program Pebbles Turbeville and Ride-Like-A-Knight Program Director Megan Ellis for the conference with funding assistance from The Elizabeth Fund.

“When we heard that Joe Junod and Marilyn Greene were setting up this fund to benefit the Therapeutic Horsemanship Program at St. Andrews, providing scholarship monies to allow our students to attend the NARHA national conference was at the top of my list,” said Turbeville. “There are so many educational sessions with national leaders in the field at this event that the students who attended gained great information to bring back to our program and utilize in their own professional futures.”

Session topics included fundraising, event planning, budgeting, lesson plans and implementation.

"All of the sessions were informative and up to date on current issues in the world of NARHA," said Sorgenfrei. "Also being able to see the ceremony for the joining of NARHA and EFMHA (Equine Facilitated Mental Health Association) was really special. I really feel like this trip enhanced my experience at St. Andrews and I hope other students will get a chance to go in the future."

The informational sessions were good reinforcement, according to Ratchford.

"We were very well educated on most of the subject matter from our classes at St. Andrews," he said. "It was good to get refreshers and new ideas. We had been talking about things to do with riders and Liz had been talking about putting different colored wraps on the legs of horses to demonstrate. Then, in one of the sessions about teaching lessons from the ground up, they mentioned doing exactly that. It was great to get encouragement that we were on the right path."

The national conference gave the students a chance to meet some of the experts they've been consulting through technological opportunities.

"We Skype with a lot of the conference participants in class and it was fun to meet them at the event and make face-to-face connections," Dulski said.

Ratchford added, "It is a great way to meet more people in the industry nationally. We are able to network and get to know potential employers and co-workers."

It also enabled the students and staff to renew connections with alumni.

"We got to see alumni who were (at school) with us and those who were older," Dulski said. "We got to see (former Ride-Like-A-Knight Program Director) Liz Harris Adams again and catch up with her on what we're doing at St. Andrews and find out what she's doing at her new center."

As an added benefit of the trip was that the St. Andrews contingent has been granted the opportunity to share insights with their regional peers.

"We've spoken to the regional director and are planning a presentation for the regional conference in March," said Ratchford.


About St. Andrews Presbyterian College

An innovative and bold academic venture, the distinctive character of St. Andrews has been marked by an interdisciplinary curriculum, a highly acclaimed college press, an award-winning pipe band, national champion equestrian teams, and first-rate scholarship. In addition to classes on the main campus, adult learners also choose the Center for Adult and Professional Studies opportunities through St. Andrews @ Sandhills and St. Andrews ONLINE.

On Aug. 29, 1958, the merger between Presbyterian Junior College and Flora Macdonald College became official with the formation of St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, N.C. Further information may be obtained by visiting the College's website www.sapc.edu, calling 800-763-0198 or sending an e-mail to info@sapc.edu.


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