Sul Ross McNair scholar surveys high school athletes’ concussion awareness

Sul Ross State University senior Fabian Baeza stands on Jackson Field. (Photo by Paul Slocumb)

By Paul Slocumb

From chasing flag football belts at the age of 4, through Pop Warner tackles, and especially as a two-way star on Van Horn’s middle school and high school teams, Fabian Baeza played football hard, even when it hurt.

“I was always told that I should fight through the pain,” he said.

He also played with little knowledge on the dangers of head injuries.

“Growing up, I never knew about concussions, how they felt, what the symptoms were, until my junior year in high school.  And even then, what I learned was from television.  As a youth football player, nobody ever really sat down with me and my teammates to explain the dangers of a concussion.”

Now a kinesiology senior at Sul Ross State University, quarterback on the Lobo football team, and a 2018 McNair scholar, Baeza is using his McNair research to study the issue of concussion awareness in young athletes.

He was startled by his initial findings.

“One study estimated that every year 60,000 high school athletes experience a concussion, but only 50 percent of those concussions are reported to coaches or trainers,” noted Baeza.  “This may be because the players don’t know what the symptoms are, or maybe they don’t want to tell a coach or trainer so they can keep playing.”

To get a more detailed understanding of high school football players’ knowledge and attitudes toward concussions, Baeza created a survey and sent out participation requests to 30 athletic directors at Permian Basin and West Texas high schools.  Only four—Big Lake, Fort Stockton, Wink, and Garden City—chose to take part.

The survey results did show some concussion knowledge and awareness among the participants.

For example, nearly 97 percent of student respondents knew that concussions could affect a person’s long-term health, and nearly 90 percent said a player should be kept out of a game after a concussion.

However, the percentage of correct responses was quite low on a number of important questions.  Only 22 percent of respondents understood that brain scans show physical damage after a concussion, only 40 percent knew that it isn’t okay to play while experiencing a headache, and only 43 percent knew that feeling “in a fog” is a symptom of a concussion.

“The results were similar to other studies of athletes’ understanding of concussions,” noted Baeza.  “The lack of knowledge shows us what areas we need to target with education courses so athletes, coaches, and even parents will have a better understanding of what a concussion is.”

For Baeza, the need for concussion education will always be spurred by a stubborn memory from his days as a high school quarterback.

“In a game, I saw one of my top receivers get hit so hard that he stayed on the ground. The coaches went out on the field to check on him, and eventually he got up and went back to the sideline.  I asked him how he was feeling.  He told me he had a sharp pain in his head, and that he didn’t remember what had happened.  I told him he shouldn’t continue playing, but he refused to stay out.  He lied to our coach so he could play.  I told the coach the receiver wasn’t fit to play, but the coach let him play anyway.  That memory of being uncertain what to do—of the sideline confusion—that’s the reason I chose my research topic.”

Baeza pointed out that athletic organizations throughout the country, including the University Interscholastic League (UIL), which helps guide public school policy, are already attempting to make sports safer with rule changes and better equipment; however, he believes the national conversation on concussions still remains focused on the NFL.

And in his view, that’s a mistake.

“The dialogue needs to be at all levels, from Pop Warner on up,” he said, adding that such dialogue will counter those who want to solve the problem of concussions by eliminating an entire sport.  “There has been talk of just getting rid of football, but I hope it doesn’t happen because football can help kids learn valuable life lessons that they’ll use for the rest of their lives.”

Seventeen years of chasing and being chased on a football field have taught Baeza that tackling this difficult change will require a relentless pursuit.

Brandy Snyder named Associate Dean of Students at Sul Ross

Associate Dean of Students Brandy Snyder helps an incoming freshman build her class schedule at a Sully Orientation, Advising, and Registration event on June 27, 2018. (Photo by Paul Slocumb)

By Paul Slocumb

Sul Ross State University has named Brandy Snyder to be its first Associate Dean of Students.  Officially in the role as of August 1, Snyder will begin spearheading changes designed to improve the Alpine student life experience.

“We have the potential to make this an environment where students can thrive even more,” said Snyder, who has worked at the University since 2010.  “To make that happen, I want to increase the voice that students have in functions around campus.”

One change she already has planned is the creation of a student life advisory council.  The new group will be comprised of Lobos at various stages of their college careers, including those living in University housing and those staying in nearby cities.

“We will be seeking out potential student leaders as change-agents,” she emphasized.  “These leaders know their fellow students don’t come from a one-size-fits-all background, and they know we need to provide a varied experience to meet those unique needs.”

A native of Rye in East Texas, Snyder began her higher education career in 1999 as a residential assistant while enrolled at Baylor.  By 2004, she had risen to Hall Director in Campus Living and Learning and earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education.

She relocated to Alpine in 2010 to take the Director of Residential Living position at Sul Ross—a move westward which had perhaps been preordained.

“My husband brought me to Alpine for a few days during our honeymoon.  He had dreams of living here.  A year later when I found the Director of Residential Living position posted on a Saturday around midnight, he wouldn’t let me go to sleep without applying for it.”

In 2011, Snyder moved her office to the Lobo Den, the University’s center for first and second-year students, in part to serve within a new Seminar course designed to help college freshmen succeed.

“The First Year Seminar’s impacts on students may appear small at first, but it truly has had a significant effect,” she said.  “Quiet, shy students want to come out of their shells and connect.  They just need the opportunity to do so.”

Despite her new title and increased responsibilities, Snyder plans on continuing to teach for the Seminar, including with this fall’s freshman class.

“The opportunity to get to know the new Lobos and to ensure they’ve been introduced to the skill sets that can make them successful is very important to me,” she said.  “Another positive is the ability to see them walk across the stage four years later at the end of the journey.  I’m getting smile lines around my eyes from the pride I experience on those nights at graduation!”

Snyder encourages Sul Ross students to contact her with ideas for improvement to student life.  She can be reached by email at bsnyder@sulross.edu.

Alpine McNair scholar seeks Hispanic cultural change

Michelle Ramos whispers into the ear of the submissive woman in Stylle Read’s “Poco o Poquito” mural located in downtown Alpine. (Photo by Paul Slocumb)

By Paul Slocumb

Growing up in Alpine, Sul Ross senior and 2018 McNair scholar Michelle Ramos enjoyed the kind of idyllic childhood that postcard-hunting tourists might expect in a small West Texas town.  The close-knit community fostered her personal growth while providing a strong foundation for academic aspirations like finishing a bachelor’s degree in English next May and eventually earning a doctorate in English literature.

“Admittedly, growing up, I never really considered the benefits of a small town,” she said.  “But now I’m grateful to have been in such an intimate and nurturing environment.”

A large part of this nurturing came from Ramos’ extended family, especially the matriarchs.

“My mother’s side of the family was and still is guided by my great-grandmother and great-grandfather.  All of my aunts and cousins talk about my great-grandparents with pride; however, I’ve noticed that it’s the matriarchs of the Gallego family, my mother’s side, who really pushed the family along, kept it together, and kept it going.”

While she benefitted from a surplus of motherly attention, Ramos noticed other women from her family paid a consistent and unspoken price in unfulfilled or unrealized aspirations of their own.  She eventually attributed this price to the cultural tradition of female submissiveness and modesty called marianismo after the mother of Jesus.  In Hispanic culture, marianismo continues to celebrate the positive results brought by modesty, but Ramos can’t forget witnessing the negative impacts as well.

“At a very young age, it became apparent to me that the women in my life were held to extreme standards of modesty, femininity, and homeliness.  They linked their sense of identity to my great-grandmother’s motherliness and her family’s success, but without recognizing how capable and wonderful they were themselves.

“The standards never seemed fair to me.  And although I grew up in a richly supportive and stimulating home, I noticed that many women, including those close to me, did not have that same ‘privilege.’  Their oppression was internalized.  It wasn’t spoken about or challenged.”

For her McNair project, Ramos studied marianismo, and its male counterpart machismo, through the works of novelists, Sandra Cisneros (The House on Mango Street) and Laura Esquivel (Like Water for Chocolate), and through essays by feminist authors of color collected in the book This Bridge Called My Back.

Inside the Wildenthal Library, Sul Ross State University senior and 2018 McNair scholar Michelle Ramos holds The House on Mango Street, one of the novels she studied for her McNair project. (Photo by Paul Slocumb)

“I used this literature as a lens to focus on how gender rules in Hispanic culture create hindrances in the lives of Hispanic females,” she said in her July 9 McNair presentation at Sul Ross.

Ramos found the novels and essays tell “a tragic narrative of emotional abuse . . . justified by tradition.”

She does believe, however, that these cultural limits placed on women are written only on paper, not in stone.

“Yes, these women are discouraged from life beyond our culture and are simply told, ‘no es para nosotros,’ that life is not for us.  But, we all know that tradition does not just fall into our laps.  We created it.  And change will begin with cultural discourse—by speaking about it openly.”

Ramos believes that when more Hispanic women are encouraged to aspire for lives beyond the home, Hispanic communities and extended families like hers will be surprised by the progress made.

“If we abandon the culture of limitations on women, then education, personal growth, and self-value will take its place.”

Museum of the Big Bend receives $50,000 for educational outreach

The Museum of the Big Bend in Alpine offers a diverse program of art, history, and cultural education for children and adults. (Photo by Paul Slocumb)

Courtesy of the Museum of the Big Bend

Alpine’s Museum of the Big Bend recently received two grants totaling $50,000 which have been designated for improvements to the Museum’s educational outreach programs and facilities.

A Still Water Foundation grant of $35,000 will be used to improve the functionality of the Womack Education Room, and a $15,000 grant from the William H. Pitt Foundation will be used to broaden the types of educational programming available for all ages.

“We are working on a number of Womack Room improvements, including a sound abatement project, to make our educational experience even more innovative,” said Museum Director Mary Bones, adding, “The Museum is so very fortunate to have friends as passionate about this wonderful part of Texas as we are.”

The Museum is open to the public Tuesday-Saturday 9am-5pm and Sunday 1-5pm, and closed Mondays and major holidays.  Parking and Admission are free, and donations are always welcome.

To learn more about upcoming events or to contribute to the Museum, please visit www.museumofthebigbend.com or call 432.837.8143.

Presidio McNair scholar strives to save dark skies

Alfonso Anaya sets up his Canon 6D for an overnight photo shoot under the Bar-SR-Bar in Alpine. (Photo by Paul Slocumb)

By Paul Slocumb

200 years ago, the only lights at night in the Big Bend region were campfires and stars (and possibly the not-yet-Marfa lights, depending on which local expert you ask).  Since then, cities like Presidio, Marfa, and Alpine have been established and have grown in size, but the Big Bend continues to maintain one of the darkest night time skies in the United States.

Alfonso Anaya, a Sul Ross State University digital arts major from Presidio, would like to help keep it that way.

“I’ve grown up in a rural area, and I’ve been able to see bright stars throughout my life,” he said.  “As a kid, I knew there was something in the dark sky that was so interesting, that I didn’t completely understand, but wanted to.

“And one night recently, I was in Los Angeles and I could not see a star.  It was humid.  The sky was yellow from smog and light pollution.  My mind was confused.  Was it day or night?  I wasn’t sure.”

Anaya decided to study the issue of increasing light pollution as one of fifteen undergraduate researchers in the McNair Summer Research Institute at Sul Ross.  With help from mentors Gregory Tegarden and Avram Dumitrescu, he chose to combine his research with a creative project designed to make a difference.

“My creative project is to take pictures of dark skies, as well as light pollution in the cities, in order to convince people that, not only are dark skies pretty, but that light pollution can negatively affect the human body.”

Adverse health effects from light pollution include the “circadian fog” Anaya experienced in Los Angeles, as well as insomnia, anxiety, and even depression.  These illnesses result from looking at too much light after sunset, which disturbs a person’s natural sleep clock or circadian rhythm.

Ironically, capturing his late night photos requires Anaya to miss some sleep himself.  In the darkness of night, Anaya keeps his camera shutter open from six seconds to 20 minutes, using a tripod and shutter release cable to avoid camera movement.

“I also use a mobile phone app called Sky Guide.  It allows me to choose a location where I want to take pictures, and the app tells me, for example, where the Milky Way Galaxy will be positioned at a certain time from that location.”

A long-exposure photograph reveals the dark starlit sky outside the Target art installation west of Marathon. (Photo by Alfonso Anaya)

During his McNair presentation, Anaya used contrasting photos and the Bortle Dark-Sky Scale to highlight his dark sky argument.  One photo showed the beauty of a starlit sky just west of Marathon, an area which scored a one on the Bortle Scale for excellent darkness.  A second photo captured an intensely light polluted industrial area in Long Beach, California that scored a nine on the Bortle Scale, signifying the highest level of light-polluted sky.

“It was so bright (in night time Long Beach) that you could only see two stars in the sky,” noted Anaya.  “You could see there was no attempt to emit the light towards the ground.  It’s emitted everywhere in all directions.  Other factors like smog and humidity increase light pollution as well.

“In Alpine, within the city limits, it’s a four on the Bortle Scale,” he added.

A long-exposure photograph of an industrial area in Long Beach, California demonstrates the intense light pollution surrounding urban dwellers. (Photo by Alfonso Anaya)

With the U.S. population predicted to reach 450 million by 2050, Anaya wonders if there will be any dark spots left to experience in the U.S. by mid-century.

“One of my friends has lived in Los Angeles throughout her life, and one day she was feeling tired of being around so many people.  She just wanted to get away from the city.  So I told her she should come visit me, and we could go down to Big Bend National Park.  We went out there, and once the sun set, the expression on her face was amazement.  We were able to see tons of meteors from the Geminid Meteor Shower that night, and my friend’s face made me wonder how many people have not been able to experience the stars the way I have through my entire life.”

To help preserve the amazing dark sky experience, Anaya plans on continuing the effort that began with his McNair research.  In addition to photography, he wants to make an informative booklet explaining the advantages of using dark-sky light fixtures outdoors, which not only limit light pollution but also use less electricity on moonlit nights.

“The booklet will be designed to convince people in metropolitan areas especially, and convince them visually.  I’m a firm believer in the power of visual information to change people’s minds about this issue.”

Ultimately, Anaya hopes the increasing number of U.S. city dwellers will “see the light” and make an effort to maintain or even increase the darkness of their night time skies.

Presidio native and Sul Ross digital arts major, Alfonso Anaya, checks the mobile phone app Sky Guide in preparation for an overnight shoot under the Bar-SR-Bar in Alpine. (Photo by Paul Slocumb)

McNair Student Scholars Present Research July 9-10 at Sul Ross

Jesus R. Guerrero explains his McNair research detailing innovations in cardiac technology at the 9th annual McNair-Tafoya Research Symposium Oct. 31, 2016. (Photo by Cheryl Zinsmeyer)

By Dominique Vargas, McNair Program Director

Fifteen Sul Ross State University students will present their undergraduate research findings July 9-10 at Sul Ross as a part of the 2018 McNair Summer Research Institute.  Student research fields include: criminal justice, animal science, chemistry, geology, psychology, music, business, digital art, literature, and kinesiology.

The presentations will take place at 1:00pm in Lawrence Hall room 309, and community members are welcome to join Sul Ross faculty, staff, and students in attendance.

July 9 presentations include: Kaylee Plowman of Wichita Falls presenting Art-Based Intervention Effects to Reduce Anxiety Levels; Kadean Solis of El Paso presenting Factors Influencing Decision to Become a Parent: Resiliency and Adverse Childhood Events; Alexis Amancio of Presidio presenting Exploration of the Relationships Between Perceptions of Behaviors and Boundary Violations; Alfonso Anaya of Presidio presenting The Importance of Keeping the Dark Skies Dark and the Effort to Make Bright Skies Darker: Research & Creative Project; Amy Nava of Alpine presenting Potential and Current Cannabis Tax Revenue Issues; Linda Padilla-Cruz of El Paso presenting The Other Face of the War on Drug: Are Physicians White Collar Drug Dealers; Michelle Ramos of Alpine presenting No es Para Nosotros: The Cultural Expression of Social-Familial Oppression in Hispanic Culture; and Valentine Shindel of Sanderson presenting A Formal and Harmonic Analysis of Arthur Frackenpohl’s Sonata for Euphonium and Piano, Movement I.

July 10 presentations include: Anissa Garcia of El Paso presenting Comparison of Digestibility of Forages in Jersey Steers Supplemented with Saccharomyces cerevisiae on a High and Low Quality Forage Diet; Noheli Gutierrez of El Paso presenting Effects of DigestaWell Fiber-Power on In Vitro Digestibility of Alfalfa and Coastal Bermudagrass Hay Fed to Horses; Itzel Soto of El Paso presenting Digestibility of Forages in Jersey Steers Supplemented with Liquid Glycerol on a Wheat Hay Forage Diet; Fabian Baeza of Van Horn presenting An Assessment of Region 18 Texas High School Football Athletes’ Knowledge and Attitude Towards Concussions; Olivia Enriquez of Lamesa presenting Chemical Analysis of Alamito Creek Sediment; Miranda Gilbert of San Antonio presenting Relationship between Continuum and Emission line properties of Quasars: A multi-wavelength Analysis; and Juan Mora of Alpine presenting Development of Synthetic Carbohydrate Biomimetics as Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Prophylactics.

Honoring an astronaut who died in the 1986 space shuttle explosion, the U.S. Department of Education’s Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program is designed to encourage first generation, low-income students and minority undergraduates to consider careers in college teaching and to prepare them for doctoral study.

Students who participate in the program are provided with faculty mentors, tuition, a room and board scholarship, and a $2,000 stipend upon completion of their projects.  In addition to the annual McNair-Tafoya Symposium held at Sul Ross in October, students are encouraged to present their findings at state and national conferences.

For more information on the McNair Program, contact Dominque Vargas at (432) 837-8019 or dvargas@sulross.edu.

Sul Ross and Clint ISD Receive $130,000 Grant for Principal Preparation

Courtesy of the Sul Ross Department of Education

The Sul Ross State University Educational Leadership Program in Alpine and Clint ISD were recently awarded a $130,000 Principal Preparation Grant from the Texas Education Agency.

The bulk of the grant monies will fund scholarships for Clint ISD teachers seeking a Master’s in Education with Principal Certification at Sul Ross.  An increase of approximately 20 students into the Program is anticipated during the grant’s first year.

According to Program Coordinator Dr. Rebecca Schlosser, “The goal of Principal Preparation Grant partnerships is to have universities and school districts work more closely to ensure principals are exceptionally well-prepared to face the challenges of campus leadership in the 21st Century.”

Schlosser worked with Clint Superintendent Dr. Juan Martinez, Assistant Superintendent James Littleton, Director of Federal Programs for Clint ISD Roberto Flores, and other Clint ISD leaders to prepare the $130,000 grant request.

“Sul Ross wishes to thank the tireless work of Mr. Littleton and Mr. Flores in making this partnership possible,” said Schlosser.  “We hope it will lead to many years of collaborative learning with Clint ISD.”

Theatre of the Big Bend Summer Musical Celebrates Rock and Roll

Guest artist Ruben Gutierrez (left) stands with the cast of Smokey Joe’s Café. (Photo by Diff Torres)

Courtesy of the Sul Ross Theatre Program

The Theatre of the Big Bend celebrates rock and roll with its 53rd season summer musical, Smokey Joe’s Café.  Performances will be held weekends, July 6-29, in the Kokernot Outdoor Theatre with the curtain going up at 8:15 p.m.

Directed by Dona W. Roman, Sul Ross State University professor of theatre, Smokey Joe’s Café features 40 songs by the prolific songwriting team, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.  Songs include Hound Dog, Kansas City, Ruby Baby, Poison Ivy, and Yakety Yak.

“This is the music I grew up with,” said Roman.  “These were the hits playing on the radio when I came home from school, and I even watched the original groups perform on TV shows like Hullabaloo, Shindig, and American Bandstand.

“Listening to albums was a communal experience, and this show captures that.  There is no plot.  It’s a musical revue, and the show will really test the talents of our musicians.  Leiber and Stollers’ songs will definitely nudge the audience to get up and dance to the oldies, and we heartily encourage that,” she laughed.

Musical direction is provided by Donald Callen Freed, Sul Ross professor of music, and guest artist Ruben Gutierrez.  The revue is choreographed by Marjorie Scott, assistant professor of communication and theatre.

Tickets are on sale at www.sulross.edu/tobb or call 432-837-8218.

Back from NASA, Sul Ross Grads Host First Snack and STEM

Rebecca Garcia and Samantha Banegas prepare for Wednesday’s Snack and STEM event in the Museum of the Big Bend.

By Jennifer Miller, Sul Ross State University Education Department

Bites of food mingled with bites of knowledge on Wednesday, June 27, as the Sul Ross State University Education Department hosted a “Snack and STEM” at the Museum of the Big Bend in Alpine.

The Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) event showcased the newly acquired instructional skills of recent Sul Ross graduates, Rebecca Garcia, Alpine, and Samantha Banegas, Alpine.  The duo, along with fellow recent grad Elizabeth Livingston, Arlington, attended the NASA professional development program June 10-15 at Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Before an audience of students, parents, and educators, the NASA-educated Lobos covered topics such as rocketry, the physics of flight, the design process, and the scientific processes of volcanic formation.

NASA designed their educator professional development program to help beginning educators like Garcia, Banegas, and Livingston learn methods to improve classroom STEM instruction while using NASA assets and resources.

Having now both learned and taught such classroom instruction, Banegas, a future third-grade teacher at McKinney ISD, believes the activities allow students to engage in the complete scientific process.

“They experience trial and error and the benefits of learning from failure,” she said.

Sul Ross grad and Alpine native Samantha Banegas offers some design tips she learned at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.  Banegas attended a NASA professional development program for educators June 10-15.

Livingston, a future elementary teacher, added that the program’s benefits are not only for jobs like “NASA scientist” or “NASA engineer” but could help today’s students train for a wide variety of professions.

“NASA hires photographers, social media managers, digital designers, educators, welders, machinists, and electricians just to name a few,” she said.  “And all of these jobs could utilize STEM problem solving.”

Sul Ross grad and Alpine native Rebecca Garcia helps some young rocket scientists with their rocket designs at the Sul Ross State University Snack and STEM event held Wednesday, June 27, at the Museum of the Big Bend in Alpine.

And STEM isn’t just about making people smarter.

Garcia, a graduate research assistant in the Sul Ross Education Department, feels that STEM’s promotion of scientific literacy will also bolster global citizenship.

“STEM is versatile.  It’s more than just math and science,” she noted.  “STEM uses skills like writing and literacy to help students apply scientific thinking in their lives and to positively impact their fellow citizens.”

The educator professional development program attended by Garcia, Banegas, and Livingston is administered by the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative, which is a project led by Texas State University in collaboration with NASA.

Some student-designed rockets flew further than others at the June 27, 2018 Snack and STEM event.

Sul Ross Equine Program Expands to Serve Student Needs

Courtesy of the Sul Ross State University Department of Animal Science

To meet the rising demand for equine professionals and industry leaders, Sul Ross State University has set its sights on offering a top-notch equine program.  Expansion of the graduate and undergraduate curriculum has already begun with new courses in horsemanship, nutrition, management, exercise physiology, and equine evaluation.

Dr. Rebecca Splan, Associate Professor in the Department of Animal Science, and director of the equine program, is excited about the University’s commitment to expanding opportunities for its equine students.

“Sul Ross has a strong tradition of excellence with its equine programs, and we can take it to the next level as a signature program for the University,” she said.  “Our students are very passionate about their career goals in the horse industry, and we are doing all we can to prepare them to excel in those professions.”

Courtney Lorenz, an Animal Science senior from Seguin, agrees.

“I’ve always wanted to work with horses.  My goal is to someday manage a breeding facility, and I came to Sul Ross specifically with that goal in mind,” she said.

Brittany Perron, a graduate student from Los Alamos, California, also shared the sentiment.  Her current research explores the nutrient availability of hays and native grass pastures common to the Big Bend region.

“My interests are in equine nutrition.  I want to contribute to improving the performance of ranch and rodeo horses, and Sul Ross was a natural choice to help me prepare for a career in equine science and the horse industry.”

In addition to research and coursework centered on the working western horse, a staple of the rugged landscape and ranching heritage of the region, Sul Ross students can participate in a range of equine-related extracurricular opportunities.  Examples include field trips to prominent ranches, businesses, and equine events in the region.

By becoming a member of the recently formed Sul Ross Collegiate Horsemen’s Association, students can participate in educational clinics, seminars, and youth events like those held in the spring at Turner Range Animal Science Center.  And this fall, the newly established horse judging team will compete at the National Reining Horse Association Collegiate Judging Contest in Oklahoma City.

While the pending donation of breeding stock from Wagon Wheel Ranch announced last year has since been reduced significantly, facility improvements are already underway to allow an increase in teaching and breeding herd numbers.

Sul Ross’ commitment to high quality, experiential learning is preparing students to become successful professionals in the booming equine industry.  Across the country, employment opportunities for equine science graduates abound, ranging from traditional occupations such as farrier, veterinarian, or horse trainer, to careers in law, biotechnology, education, and more.  Contributing $122 billion annually to the US economy, the nation’s horse industry showed significant growth of almost 20 percent in the last decade and expanded to 1.7 million jobs in 2017.

For more information on the Sul Ross equine program, please contact Dr. Rebecca Splan at rebecca.splan@sulross.edu or (432) 837-8205.