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From the Desk of Marty Schaffel: Finding the Right Talent

Last month I went to Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky to try to find an intern who is majoring in communications and writing. I wanted that person to write profiles and articles about what people are doing for our association and projects we are working on as well. Gratefully I found Katelyn Norris. She has written numerous profiles already that we are putting out to our membership.  So who is Katelyn? I asked her to write a profile about herself that I could share with all of you. Her profile is below. Thank you Katelyn for all of your work. I suggest someone in our industry hire you when you graduate!!

Please see Katelyn’s personal profile below:
My name is Katelyn Norris, and I am the writing intern for ASHA. I am currently a senior at Bellarmine University in Louisville, KY, where I major in communications with a minor in writing. This semester at BU, I am involved in various organizations and serve in several leadership roles on campus.

I am a student journalist for our news outlet, Knights Media Network, and I also have had my poetry featured in our literary magazine. I serve as a part of the Student Government Association as the Vice President of Public Relations and on the Leadership Team for Pioneer Scholars, which organizes events for first-generation college students. I also aid in other student services roles such as an Academic Peer Coach and Student Success Assistant. 

Outside of Bellarmine, I am a poetry editor for an online magazine called Bitter Fruit Review. I am also an avid concert attendee (when there is not a pandemic), and I own more books than I can count. I consider myself a lover of all varieties of house plants, so my college dorm is overflowing with greenery.

Since I started writing for ASHA, I have had the pleasure of writing profiles on some outstanding members of the American Saddlebred community. I am quite an outsider when it comes to the world of horses of any kind. However, I feel like I have learned a fair amount, or at least enough to carry on a semi-coherent conversation about the breed. 

I have surprisingly learned a fair amount about the breeding business of horses through various interviews. I learned how much science and skill goes into that process and how attached you can get to yearlings. I learned that artificial insemination is something that you do in some breeding, and I also learned that this is a fact I wish I didn’t know. 

I learned a lot about the association as well because I never considered the work that truly went into a business such as ASHA. I hadn’t ever considered there being large associations with events and initiatives for horse breeds and that they were actively working on promoting that breed. I might be from Kentucky, but it became very clear that I truly had little idea of what the horse industry in my state was up to.

I briefly learned more about horse competitions and that there are far too many that occur for me to remember the names of. I learned that being given the title of World Champion is a high honor. I heard about the Select Series, and I am still unsure of what it is, but it sounded like a cool event from what I understood.

However, the two things that I learned so far in my internship are that I have so much more to learn about the Saddlebred community and that the people within the community are the most driven humans I have ever met. The work ethic and passion I have seen come from the people I’ve interviewed is astounding. They all have been deeply attached to the American Saddlebred and have a pure love for the breed. I can’t articulate how much I am envious of the drive people within this community have. They all have the urge to help it grow and put their hearts into seeing that the breed is furthered.

I hope to continue to learn more about this association and horse breed. And I hope that I get to continue to interview and write about amazing people who will continue to inspire me to love something as much as they do.

I highly recommend reading her excellent profiles on two of our current volunteer ASHA Leaders Nicole Foster and Amy Dix Rock. I look forward to reading her upcoming profiles and seeing her talent continue for the ASHA! 

Marty Schaffel, ASHA President

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