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Ohio State ATI Welcomes New Equine Professor

Assistant Professor Jessica Suagee, one of Ohio State ATI's newest faculty member, never envisioned a career with horses, much less one that included teaching.

"I've ridden horses my entire life," Suagee said, "but I honestly didn't think it would lead to a career."

As she was completing her bachelor's degree in human nutrition from the University of Maryland, she was planning on medical school.

"I didn't know there were other options out there," Suagee said. But the advisor of the university's equestrian club, in which Suagee had taken a leadership role, talked her into pursuing a master's degree in animal sciences. "I fell in love with it," she said.

After completing her master's degree, Suagee pursued a Ph.D. in equine nutrition and metabolism at Virginia Tech. While working on her degree, she contributed to teaching several undergraduate nutrition and equine classes, and a teaching career was born.

Following the completion of her Ph.D. in December 2010, Suagee completed postdoctoral research on lipid metabolism of dairy cows and the effects of heat stress on adipose tissue metabolism.

Suagee, who joined ATI January 2013, is teaching Equine Nutrition and Horse Judging and Evaluation during spring semester and hopes to generate student interest in an ATI horse club.

"I'd like to help students learn what I learned -- that vet school isn't the only path for someone with an interest in animals and science."