When passions become careers
by Madison Moore '15
When choosing a college, Alli Bienas ’16 weighed her options, but chose DelVal because it was the best place for her to continue her passion for horses.
At DelVal, she found that she could turn what she loves into a career and that the college atmosphere and hands-on learning approach at DelVal allowed to her exceed more than she expected.
Majoring in equine instruction and training, Bienas hopes to put her degree to use by becoming an equine rehabilitation therapist. With this role, she would “help horses to achieve the best fitness possible after injuries or surgeries.”
Last summer, she interned at Maui Meadow Farm, Pa., which specializes in Thoroughbred training and rehabilitation. She was involved in the Turning for Home organization, where she trained and re-homed off-track Thoroughbreds to a permanent second home. She even brought her own horse, Hudson, to stay with her.
“It was an amazing experience,” said Bienas. “If I could relive that summer, I would in a heartbeat.”
At the University, Bienas continued to be involved with horses as a part of the DelVal Equestrian Team for the past three years. For the past two years before graduation, she had been on the DelVal Equestrian Tournament Team, where the team placed fourth in the country at the IHSA Nationals last May.
Bienas placed second in Novice Fences at IHSA in 2015. She was one of eight riders to represent the DelVal Equestrian Team.
She accomplished much in the classroom thanks to the close relationships with her professors.
Bienas said the professors are “so accessible and easy to talk to.” Her instructor Breann DePietro gave her the opportunity to be a teaching assistant in one of her classes this semester. Bienas is also doing a student research project with Assistant Professor Angelo Telantin on reining tension and horse/human communication.
Because she was deaf, Bienas said the hands-on learning approach at DelVal benefits her the most, and she is “extremely lucky” that the University emphasizes this learning.
She said the school accommodated her in and out of the classroom by having sign language interpreters.
“I love everything about DelVal,” said Bienas.