Passion, drive and involvement—those are the qualities shared by the three recipients of this year’s American Horse Publications (AHP) annual travel awards. For the second time in three years, a William Woods University student was one of the three selected to attend AHP’s annual seminar.
Chosen from William Woods was Rebekah Savage of South Berwick, Maine, who will graduate May 10 with majors in equine general studies and communications. Others selected were Lindsay Paulsen from Otterbein University and Catie Staszak from the University of Miami.
“I am honored to have been selected as one of the three travel award winners,” said Savage. “I am looking forward to meeting professionals within the industry, and learning more about equine media.
A nonprofit association for the equine publishing media industry, AHP gives travel awards to students who exhibit exceptional abilities and potential in the equine publishing industry.
Savage is the marketing chair of the Western Club, an intern at Bit Blanket, Inc., and the founder and owner of Savage Photos, as well as creative producer of the WWU Equestrian Division Newsletter. She also served as editor-in-chief of The Talon online newspaper and The Hoot student magazine her junior year at WWU. She recently was named the 2014 Distinguished Scholar in Equine General Studies at William Woods.
“I am very grateful for all of the guidance and support the faculty and staff at William Woods University have provided me,” Savage said. “I could not have done it without them.”
The AHP Student Award Contest annually awards up to three $750 travel awards to attend the AHP Seminar for three days of educational sessions and related activities. Winners have an opportunity to meet leading equine publishing professionals and discuss career possibilities. In this way, American Horse Publications hopes to improve communication within the equine publishing industry.
“The seminar is truly combining my two passions,” Savage said. “I am so excited to learn more about equine media and network with professionals who are passionate about the same topic.”
From her earliest memories she says she was obsessed with anything and everything equine. She started taking saddle seat lessons at age 5 and as the years progressed, jumping, dressage, western, and hundreds of miles of trail riding followed.
Her love of writing came naturally. With her nose constantly buried in a book, Savage was always good with words.
“Choosing a college with an equine degree was a no-brainer,” she said. “However, discovering what I wanted to do with my equine degree was a more difficult choice.”
Her involvement with two campus publications provided her “aha moment” when she discovered her calling was equine journalism and photography.
This year’s seminar, scheduled for June 19-21 in Charleston, S.C., will focus on the changes in technology and how communication within the horse community has changed. The theme is Gallop n’ Grits!
According to the AHP website, “Technology is changing and so is how we communicate with the horse community. Our role is to provide news and education about the horse world and you need to understand how to reach your audiences, members, clients and visitors using multimedia tools. This AHP seminar will provide opportunities to learn and exchange ideas to help you grow professionally as well as improve your brand.”
The three travel award winners will be interviewed at the AHP seminar, and one student will be announced as the 2014 Student Award winner. That student wins a cash award of $1,000 plus an all-expense-paid trip hosted by Publishers Press to one of their two-day customer education seminars in Louisville, Ky., to have a unique experience to learn the printing process.
Two years ago, another William Woods University student, Dani Moritz, was selected as the Student Award winner, beating out the two other travel award winners.
The Student Award program, started in 1993, was initiated to promote awareness to students of the career opportunities available in equine publishing.
“This program has been a win-win for both the students and the association,” says AHP Executive Director Chris Brune. “Not only does it offer students a chance to learn about a career they may be passionate about, but it also has given equine publishing a long list of talented young people who are an asset to our industry and our association.”
Savage hopes she will be one of those assets. After college, she hopes to land a job with an equestrian magazine where she plans to continue her passion for writing about and photographing the partnership between horse and rider.