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Jessica Berman
A three-year-old girl attended a church picnic and went on her very first pony ride. She took one magical lap around the yard, established a special connection with "Diamond" and galloped right into a love of all-things equestrian. Meet freshman Jessica Berman—that wide-eyed young horse fan who is now fulfilling her equine dreams at Cazenovia College as an equine business management major.

After experiencing many different disciplines and experiences over the years, competing in hunters and jumpers, and showing horses from local fairs to rated shows, it was only natural that Berman was eager to pursue a degree that would allow her to specialize in all of the equine world’s intricacies and possibilities.

"I remember taking information from the Cazenovia booth at an Equine Fair when I was younger and hearing about the equestrian team from a fellow barn boarder and Caz grad, and always remained curious about the school," said Berman. "Throughout the college search process, the programs at Caz stood out among the rest because they’d allow me to blend my hunt seat background with a focus on business, therefore diversifying my knowledge of the industry."

Visiting the Equine Education Center also increased her interest in becoming a Wildcat. "As we drove up the hill and peered down onto ‘The Farm,’ I took one look at the idyllic setting and just admired its magnificent beauty for a moment," notes Berman. "The facilities were stunning, the horses had varied, impressive backgrounds, and the laboratories and classrooms were quite appealing."

Berman credits the smaller class sizes and close campus community with her easy transition to college life. The thought of being six hours away from her hometown of Rumney, New Hampshire, concerned Berman at first, but the warm welcome and acceptance she received from professors and fellow classmates to upperclassmen and village residents instantly made those worries dissipate. She dove right into the college experience and took a passionate interest in her classes.

"My freshman year seminar course – Horses, Humans, Politics and Pressure with Dr. Karin Bump – was my favorite," said Berman. "In addition to covering a variety of fascinating topics, I was taught how to learn. I was encouraged to ask questions and to further explore all sides of an issue. This particular class has been instrumental in laying the foundation of my college career."

Berman’s positive attitude and superb classroom performance afforded her the opportunity to become a master student in Bump’s course during her sophomore year when she will aid in class discussions, provide guidance for group projects, develop and implement field experiences and serve as a mentor to new students. Bump, an equine studies professor, says, "Jessie epitomizes the kinds of characteristics that are crucial to college achievement, while at the same time she possesses a combination of kindness and determination that is critical to social success, as well. The students who will work with Jessie next year will no doubt catch her enthusiastic ‘can-do’ Cazenovia spirit!"

While Berman excels in academics, she has also immersed herself in extracurricular activities. She made the equestrian team during her first semester. As a result, the majority of her days are filled with early morning practices, comprehensive training, team building and general stable maintenance – all things that contribute to her development into a smarter and more knowledgeable rider. She’s also a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta honor society and the Equine Ambassadors Club.

"I encourage others to push themselves to new limits, explore unique opportunities and continuously embrace new challenges," says Berman. "I look at all of the things I’ve done in such a short time on campus, and I can only imagine what wonderful and varied possibilities my future holds – the future I’m building each day at Caz."

"The programs at Caz stood out … allowing me to blend my hunt seat background with a focus on business."

Equine Business Management
Rumney, NH
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