I’ve always loved horses, but I didn’t start riding them until freshman year in high school. When I came to Clarkson, I decided to start the Clarkson Equestrian Club as a way to continue pursing my passion while also completing my undergraduate degree. 

Horses can be fairly complex animals and learning how to ride them not only teaches you responsibility since they depend on you for food, water and exercise, but also determination because it takes time to become a good rider. While starting a club isn’t that hard, recruiting members can be difficult. Since I founded the club in 2016, its grown to about 20 members and the 2017-2018 season was the first time we showed as an intercollegiate team with most of us earning top ribbons in all divisions. It’s definitely been a great way to meet like-minded people on campus and a lot of fun.

Megan DeRidder'20
If I could give one piece of advice to an incoming Clarkson student, I would tell them to get involved with a club or organization on campus...Clarkson has truly allowed me to merge my degree field with my true passion: horses!

I’m currently earning a degree in mechanical engineering with a minor in biomedical engineering. One of my favorite classes is biomechanics because it allowed me to use my mechanical engineering knowledge and incorporate it into the human body. I’ve also enjoyed taking classes taught by Dr. Laurel Kuxhaus because she teaches in a clear and comprehensive manner while also giving us plenty of time and resources to be successful in her courses. She’s actually my research mentor, too, which is helpful because she really pushes me to be creative and independent in my work towards designing and innovating a new cervical collar.

I plan to pursue a career in innovative equine products once I graduate and merge my degree field with my passion for horses. To prepare outside of my coursework, I’ve recently completed an internship at Regeneron Pharmaceutical in Large Scale Manufacturing and have another internship lined up in the medical devices department this summer. I think it’s really great how Clarkson helps students obtain internship positions in their field and I think it’s important to take as many internships as you can while you’re an undergraduate because it gives you real world experience you can put on your resume.

If I could give one piece of advice to an incoming Clarkson student, I would tell them to get involved with a club or organization on campus that interests them as soon as possible. You’ll make friendships that will last a lifetime. And, if there isn’t an organization that sounds interesting to you, start one. For me, I knew that starting the Clarkson Equestrian Club would be beneficial to me as well as others who enjoyed the equine world.

Clarkson has truly allowed me to merge my degree field with my true passion: horses!

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