March 15, 2017

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MARTIN, Tenn. – University of Tennessee at Martin alums Kelsy Abell and Brittany Kasprack were identified as two of the eight recipients of the National Collegiate Equestrian Association 2017 Distinguished Alumni awards, the organization announced this afternoon.

Abell was awarded the Community Engagement accolade while Kasprack accounted for the Health Sciences/Services award. UT Martin joined Baylor, Texas A&M and South Carolina as the only universities to produce a winner of the prestigious award.

“Both Kelsy and Brittany were critical members of our program in its early years,” Skyhawk head coach Meghan Corvin said. “Not only did they excel athletically but they also had a strong focus on academics, which has led to their success today. They served as the foundation of our program and they are both very deserving of this award.”

A Nindle, Va. native, Abell is currently a Captain in the US Army and is trained as a first line of defense with food and biosecurity safety. After needing just three years to graduate with an animal science degree from UT Martin, she earned her Doctoral degree from the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2016.

Abell competed for the Skyhawks from 2008-11, posting a 20-14 career record with six MOP’s in equitation on the flat. She took part in three consecutive NCEA Championships and earned a head-to-head win in the 2010 and 2011 national tournament. She maintained a 3.97 Grade Point Average and was a three-time Ohio Valley Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll recipient.

Kasprack is currently a successful business owner of Mid-South Chiropractic, as she is a licensed doctor in Mississippi and Tennessee. She graduated from UT Martin with a degree in exercise science before earning a Master’s degree and a Doctoral degree from Logan University in 2015.

A native of Collierville, Tenn., Kasprack was a key member of the Skyhawks’ success from 2008-11. She dialed up 22 career wins with 11 MOP’s in equitation over fences, participating in the NCEA Championships on three separate occasions. She earned a spot on the OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll three times and also was an NCEA first team All-Academic honoree.

In its second year of existence, the Distinguished Alumni Award is presented to women who, after the completion of their undergraduate degree at an NCEA institution, have made significant contributions in a professional field. Distinguished Alumni are recognized in eight categories including Business, Community Engagement, Education, Equine Industry (Rider/Trainer/Coach), Equine Industry (Medical/Business), Health Sciences/Services, Media & Communication and Young Alumni.

Distinguished Alumni are separated from their institution for at least six years prior to nomination and are recognized as distinguished in the following areas: academic success, athletic success, outstanding service contributions and post-graduate success.

Abell, Kasprack and the other six honorees will be recognized at the Opening Ceremony of the NCEA National Championship event scheduled for Wednesday, April 12 at the Extraco Center in Waco, Texas.

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