2018 NCEA Distinguished Alumni Awards
- Business: Kirstie Marie Jones (TCU)
- Community Engagement: Milana Brown (TCU)
- Education: Catherine Crisp Bohot (Texas A&M)
- Equine (Rider/Trainer/Coach): Casie Maxwell (Texas A&M)
- Equine (Medical/Industry): Dr. Jessica Jones (Auburn)
- Health Sciences/Services: Dr. Kimberly Davis (Auburn)
- Media & Communication: Abigail Boatwright (Texas A&M)
- Young Alumni: Alexa Anthony (South Carolina)
Business: Kirstie Marie Jones (TCU)
After four years working in the financial world at Ranger capital Group, Kirstie decided to turn her passion for photography in to her full time job and started her own business, Kirstie Marie Photography. She is a highly sought after equine photographer, conducting over 50 private portrait sessions a year, as well as commissioned photo shoots with editorial and commercial clients. She is widely regarded as a leading photographer in the equine industry, and is featured regularly in dozens of the industry’s leading publications, as well as on coveted photography blogs around the world. She was awarded “Best Photographer” in multiple local and national reader-voted publications. She has also cultivated a strong social media presence with over 10,000 Facebook fans and 35,000 Instagram followers.
Kirstie continues to support the TCU Equestrian Team by mentoring young equestrians through the collegiate recruiting process and volunteers to photograph the team at competitions and allows the TCU Media Department to use her photographs. Kirstie remains a strong advocate for the NCEA and donated her services (photography package) to the 2018 NCEA Championship Silent Auction.
Community Engagement: Milana Brown (TCU)
Milana’s engagement with the community has centered on her work with Student Mobilization. After working for five years at Texas Christian University on the Student Mobilization staff, Milana accepted a position at the University of Texas in its Student Mobilization program. In her role with Student Mobilization, she mentors women through one-to-ne training, small groups, conferences, retreats and summer programs. She is committed to invest in college student leaders to help them grow spiritually and develop leadership skills. Milana is also the owner of Milana Mia Photography Business and uses most of the profits from her business to fund scholarships for college students who lack the financial resources to attend Student Mobilization conferences or programs. She was even chosen to lead a six week cultural exchange trip to India and Japan with 11 college students!
Milana has lead a life of service and has continuously put others ahead of herself. In her current position, she sacrifices a ‘normal’ 9-5 schedule to make herself available to college students on their schedule, which keeps her on campus until midnight several nights a week – a task she joyfully accepts.
Education: Catherine Crisp Bohot (Texas A&M)
Following graduation from Texas A&M, Catherine joined DHI Mortgage as a corporate trainer and was later promoted to manager. After spending time teaching adults in the corporate world, Catherine made the decision to apply her natural inclination as a teacher to becoming a classroom teacher.
During her first year teaching, Catherine was named Teacher Candidate of the Year by her teaching certification program. While serving as a classroom teacher in Del Valle Independent School District, Catherine was nominated as a Teacher of the Year on her campus every year. Catherine excelled at meeting the needs of every student she encountered; particularly those with behavioral struggles. Early in her teaching career, Catherine served as a grade level team lead and as the math department chair and was later selected to represent her campus on the district advisory team. After spending six years as a classroom teacher in Del Valle Independent School District, she joined Bastrop Independent School District as an Assistant Principal in 2017.
Equine (Rider/Trainer/Coach): Casie Maxwell (Texas A&M)
Casie has been an integral part of the sport of NCAA Equestrian. Her success as a student-athlete has matched her success as a NCAA Equestrian coach. She has been actively involved chairing multiple NCEA committees as well as serving as President (2011-2013). Casie is currently the Head Coach at Baylor University after working seven years as Head Coach at K-State (2009-2016).
Casie has been recognized at the conference level as Big XII Coach of the Year in 2015 and 2016. Her K-State teams reached success as Big XII Reserve Champions in 2013 and 2015; 2013 NCEA Reserve Champions; and VENC Reserve National Champions in 2010 and 2013. Casie’s riders have proved successful in earning year-end awards: 17 NCEA All American Athletes, 44 NCEA Academic Team Athletes, 15 All Big XII Team Athletes, 54 Academic All Big XII Team Athletes, 2012 NCEA National Championship MOP Equitation on the Flat and 2013 NCEA National Championship MOP Horsemanship Rider.
Equine (Medical/Industry): Dr. Jessica Jones (Auburn)
Dr. Jessica Jones has been working as a large animal veterinarian at DeKalb Animal Hospital since 2016 after completing her veterinary studies at Ross University. While at Ross University, Jessica was able to travel to South Africa with a group of fellow students to do conservation work for rhino poaching and African Wildlife. She was elected to become AL certified while at Ross University in the summer of 2014, and completed her clinical year at Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. While in her clinical year at Texas A&M, she was elected for externships at Hagyard Equine Hospital in Lexington Kentucky, Weatherford Equine Hospital in Weatherford, Texas, and Hartman Equine Reproduction in Whitesboro Texas.
Upon graduation, Jones returned back to Fort Payne, Alabama and began to practice in large animal medicine for approximately six months before joining DeKalb Animal Hospital in 2016.
Health Sciences/Services: Dr. Kimberly Davis (Auburn)
Dr. Kimberly Davis works with HomeCare of EAMC as a physical therapist. She earned her doctorate in physical therapy at Auburn in 2011. She worked at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital from June 2011 to July of 2016. During her time there, she was promoted to Senior Physical Therapist in April of 2015. In July of 2016, she decided to take her skills to a different setting and moved to her current position with HomeCare of EAMC. Davis is a member of the Montgomery Regional Board of the Alabama Head Injury Foundation (AHiF). The AHiF assists survivors of brain injuries and their families in many ways, including financial, emotional, and resource assistance. The Regional Boards assist in fundraising for the AHiF by organizing and putting on at least one major fundraising event a year, as well as smaller fundraisers and volunteering at different events.
Horses remain as a major life focus. Dr. Davis is actively engaged in the Palomino Horse Breeders of America Association. From August 2015 to July 2016, she was the National Assistant Youth Director, and in July 2016, she took over as the National Youth Director of PHBA and serves as the Chairman of the Youth Committee. Locally, she has recently been nominated to the Board of Director for the Alabama Quarter Horse Association.
Media & Communication: Abigail Boatwright (Texas A&M)
Abigail Boatwright competed for Texas A&M's Equestrian team from 2003-2006, and was a team co-captain her senior year. She graduated with a degree in agricultural science and minor in agricultural journalism. Abigail spent the last 12 years writing and photographing for equine publications, and has earned multiple industry awards for her work. As a freelancer, Abigail writes for more than a dozen magazines including AQHA Media, Paint Horse Journal, CHROME, Barrel Horse News, Horse & Rider, Horse Illustrated, Quarter Horse News and Western Horseman. Her equine photography has graced 16 magazine covers. Abigail also co-owns The Freelance Remuda, a podcast and resource for professionals in equine media. She returns to Texas A&M to speak to agricultural communications classes regularly, and enjoys writing about collegiate equestrian whenever possible. Abigail considers her time competing in collegiate equestrian to have been one of the greatest privileges of her life, and the experiences and relationships built through being on the Texas A&M team continue to influence her work today. She lives in Fort Worth, Texas, with her husband Zach and children Wilder and Felicity.
Young Alumni: Alexa Anthony (South Carolina)
Alexa Anthony is the CEO of Magic Ai Corp., a computer vision-based machine learning company focused on recognizing behavioral characteristics in animals. Alexa is a passionate and driven entrepreneur with over 20 years of horse industry experience. Prior to founding Magic Ai, she worked for the Intellectual Ventures Incubator where she sourced Entrepreneurs in Residence, and participated in the start-up and spin-out process of early-stage technology companies. Before that, she worked for the Investor Relations group at Intellectual Ventures.
Alexa is also the CEO of StableGuard, the first ever 24/7 monitoring and alert system for horses that uses artificial intelligence to recognize everyday movements and behaviors of horses. With one camera installed in each stall, StableGuard is able to give horse owner’s peace of mind as users can login to the StableGuard app to view critical information about the horse’s health and behavior. It can detect signals of distress, and monitor wellness trends such as how often your horse is drinking, eating, urinating, passing manure and sleeping. If there were to be a sudden and drastic change to any of these daily activities, StableGuard would let you know.