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2017 speakers to be announced soon!

Speakers 2016

Peter Montminy, Ph.D. is a clinical child psychologist, wellness coach, and father of four.  He studied child psychology at Dartmouth College, Penn State University, and Yale Medical School's Child Study Center.  In 1995, after nearly a decade as the Director of Child and Adolescent services at Penn State's Psychological Clinic, be became the founding Director of Midstep Centers for Child Development in State College, PA.  For the past 25 years Dr. Montminy has provided therapeutic services to at-risk children and adolescents - especially those with executive functioning deficits (poor emotional regulation and impulse control), and has provided consultation to schools and childcare agencies throughout the state.  Peter is widely known for his energetic speaking and training programs that are filled with love, laughter, and learning.  Currently, he is developing mindfulness-based coaching programs for stressed-out kids, parents and teachers, while completing his first book 'TIMECHOICING for Busy Parents - How to Mindfully Manage Your Time, Stress, and Kids."

Jennifer Karl, D.V.M. grew up with horses in Northern Ohio.  She was very active in 4-H and competed at the national level in horse judging, horse bowl, and hippology contests.  Dr. Karl also devoted a lot of time to showing and competition with her horses.  She attended the university of Findlay for her undergraduate education and pursued a dual major in Biology and Western Equestrian Studies.  Dr. Karl then attended The Ohio State University for veterinary school.  During her professional career, she has worked in equine veterinary practices in Pennsylvania and Ohio.  Dr. Karl is certified in animal chiropractic by the International Veterinary Chiropractic Association (IVCA).  She enjoys using chiropractic care as a valuable tool in veterinary medicine.  The chiropractic training has also helped to further her skills in sports medicine and lameness care.  Dr. Karl places a strong emphasis on preventative medicine and a whole-horse approach to care to help horses and their humans.  In her free time, Dr. Karl enjoys trail riding with her husband, Greg, and spending time with her own horses and dog.

Bethany Bickel is a 4-H Equine Extension Associate for the Penn State University with an emphasis on the 4-H Horse Program.  She is a graduate of Penn State University in Agricultural Extension Education.  In her role as a 4-H Equine Extension Associate, Bethany assists with: development, coordination of educational programs, curriculum, horse shows, educational contests, clinics, camps and seminars.  In her spare time she enjoys showing horses, spending time with her family, as well as helping 4-H and FFA youth with their horse and market livestock projects, and believes in "learning by doing."

Andrea Kocher is an extension associate with the Pennsylvania State University with an appointment in youth and industry equine programming.  She currently has a role supporting the PA 4-H Horse Program through curriculum development and programmatic implementation.  She assists with the development and coordination of many educational programs, horse shows, judging contests, clinics and seminars which includes the PA State 4-H Horse show with over 1500 entries and the PA State 4-H Junior Horse Show with over 600 entries.  Andrea is also an undergraduate advisor for the Animal Science Department and assists with the teaching of introductory equine science classes.

Susanne von Dietze 

Susanne von Dietze is an internationally recognized rider, trainer, coach, clinician, physiotherapist, lecturer/presenter, and author.  For Susanne, a life with horses was determined early on, having been “raised more in the stable than in the house.”  Her dad was a Cavalry officer and Instructor and her mum was a sport Instructor and physiotherapist – and together they started the world-renowned German Riding for the Disabled Federation (Deutsches Kuratorium fur Therapeutisches Reiten).  Today, she lives with her family in Israel.

 Over the years, Susanne has achieved a very diverse level of qualifications:  Trainer A, Judge for Dressage & Show Jumping, Trainer for Disabled Riders, Hippotherapy Exam, and is a “Bereiter” in Dressage and Show Jumping to the Grand Prix Level.  Competitively, Susanne has been:  several-time Israeli Champion in Dressage, successful in the FEI Dressage Challenge Tour to Advanced Level, and competes for Team Israel.  Since 1987, Susanne has been working as a Phyiotherapist in private clinics; trained horses and coached riders for a child and young rider project; and, started the trainer course for the Gyrotonic Expansion System in Tel Aviv.  

 In her “spare time,” Susanne has been an International Dressage Clinician, been the Key Speaker at the Australian Annual Coaches Meeting (Riding for the Disabled), lecturer for the USDF Convention, and was a Presenter for the Global Dressage Forum North America (2014).  Her publications include:  Balance in Movement, Horse and Rider, Back to Back, and numerous articles in Dressage Today including a monthly submission for “The Clinic,” a photo-critique.

Judy Chambers 

Judy Chambers is an Economic and Community Development Educator for Penn State Extension.  She has worked in the areas of organizational and leadership development, strategic planning and local government training. In 2009-2010 she served as Penn State Extension Fellow with the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania. She holds degrees from Northwestern University and The Pennsylvania State University.

Terry Peiper 

Terry Peiper has been "Helping Horses with Their People" in south central PA for over 30 years by training horses and riders.  In addition to being an accredited Richard Shrake Resistance Free ® Trainer/Instructor, she is certified by the American Riding Instructors Association (ARIA), the International Society of Rider Biomechanics and a Saddlefit 4 Life Saddle Ergonomist. She has more than 45 years horse showing experience in several different disciplines, as well as several years of fox hunting and open show judging experience. You could say she has been there and done that.

Studying saddle ergonomics started out as just another way for Terry to help her students however, it quickly took over her life when she discovered that her own horse, Easy had a condition called kissing spine which was likely caused by many years of riding in poor fitting saddles. “I can’t go back and undo what I have done but I can spread the word about proper saddle fit to prevent other horses from needless suffering” says Terry.

Recognizing the huge need for proper saddle fit, Terry joined the Saddlefit 4 Life professionals and started the FIT RIGHT SADDLE SOLUTIONS. She passionately pursues her mission to educate as many riders as possible of the importance of proper saddle fit, how it affects the horse’s performance, behavior and ultimately the health of horse and rider.

Susan Russell 

Keynote Speaker Susan Russell an associate professor of theatre, has been named the Penn State laureate for the 2014-15 academic year. The Penn State laureate, an honorary position established in 2008, is a full-time faculty member in the humanities or the arts who is assigned half-time for one academic year to bring an enhanced level of social, cultural, artistic and human perspective and awareness to a broad array of audiences. The individual appears at University events at Penn State campuses and throughout the state at various community programs in hopes of adding a more human dimension to the conduct of the usual affairs and business of these locations. Russell graduated summa cum laude with a doctorate in theatre studies from Florida State University in 2008. She received her undergraduate degree in theatre from St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, N.C., in 1979. Between educational pursuits, she experienced a 25-year career as a professional actor on and off Broadway — including five years in the Broadway production of “Phantom of the Opera” — in regional theatre and at opera companies across the country.

 As a professional playwright, her works “Olympia” (1998) and “Present Perfect” (1999) have been produced by Lincoln Center and the Emerging Artist Theatre in New York City. Her play “Severe Clear” was a semifinalist in the 2006 O’Neill Theatre Center Playwriting Competition, and her 2009 play “Écoute: Pieces of Reynaldo Hahn” toured 40 venues in the United States, starring Penn State School of Music faculty member Norman Spivey. Russell recently initiated a collaboration between the School of Theatre’s bachelor of arts program and Penn State’s Office of Student Affairs to produce student-generated films on drinking and sexual assault, and the first of these films will be shown to the first-year student class of 2017.
Russell, who teaches playwriting, history of American musical theatre, women in theatre, and graduate literature and criticism seminars in ancient theatre, won the Penn State Commission for Women's Achieving Woman Award in 2012 and the Centre County Youth Service Bureau's Dr. Edward Vogelsong Professional Excellence Award in 2013. Also in 2013, she was selected as one of the “Faces of Penn State.” A popular speaker and academic presenter, Russell has spoken to local, national and international audiences about “how to make choices that make change, and how to make change make sense.”

Monica Montag 

Monica Montag, MA, HHP, CN, founded BeWell Associates, a holistic nutrition practice in State College, PA, over 25 years ago. She is Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition, a Certified Nutritionist (CN), certified Holistic Lifestyle Teacher (HHP), and health detective. She has degrees from Wesleyan University, the University of Virginia and the American Health Sciences University.  

She specializes in creating evidence-based nutritional therapies, based on functional testing, to optimize her clients' health.  She loves her spoiled Arab-Quarter cross, Jasper, and has done hair analysis for him to correct some annoying behaviours, with some success.

Monica feels her mission is to inform and inspire her clients to wholeness of body, mind and spirit.

Dr. Annie Zeigler

Dr. Annie Zeigler was born and raised in State College. She attended The Pennsylvania State University and graduated with a B.S. in Kinesiology, and then went on to New York Chiropractic College in 2011 to pursue her dream of becoming a Chiropractor.

During her studies at Penn State, Annie was an avid rugby player. She played for Penn State Women’s rugby, which won 3 National championships during her time there. She was also a First Team Collegiate All-American in 2009 and 2010. From her athletic career, Annie learned the importance of persistence, determination, and focus- all of which she applies to her passion for chiropractic. By utilizing skills learned in Chiropractic school, along with her Applied Kinesiology and Kinesio-taping training, Dr. Annie is able to treat patients of all ages. She has a special place in her heart for working with athletes.

During her free time, Dr. Annie enjoys being outdoors, training at the gym, and hanging out with her fiancé', Matt and their rescue pitbull, Anthony.

Stephanie Fleck 

Stephanie Fleck is a PACTH Director and Chair of the PACTH Education Committee. Stephanie holds B.S. degrees in Equestrian Management, Equine Management and Equine Facilitated Therapeutics (August, 2015). In addition, Stephanie is a Master-level Instructor, Faculty, and Evaluator for the PACTH Qualified Instructor Training Program.  Stephanie has been a Senior Therapeutic Riding Instructor at Leg Up Farm, a PATH and PACTH Member Center in York, PA for the last three years.

Stephanie enjoys working with her husband Josh in their business Whitetail Woodcrafters and training her German Shepherd pup Ryker.

Ann O'Shallie 

Ann O’Shallie is a Professor and Department Director for Equestrian Studies, Equine Facilitated Therapeutics and Animal Studies at Wilson College, where she introduced the curriculum for a four-year B.S. degree in Equine Facilitated Therapeutics in 1998.  She holds a B.S. in Equine Science and a M.Ed. (Higher Education) and is a Master-level Instructor, Faculty member and Evaluator for the Pennsylvania Council on Therapeutic Horsemanship (PACTH), Horses in Education and Therapy International (HETI), and the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH).

 In her “spare” time, Ann, continues her work with the PACTH Qualified Instructor Training Program and, as the HETI President (2012-2015),has travelled extensively overseas as a speaker and has assisted organizations in planning curricula, developing protocol, and training instructors for the HETI Level 1 Certification Program.  Regardless of where she is, Ann’s passion for the physical and emotional well-being of the horse remains her primary concern.