Fallon Duffy has been “horsing around” for years. In January, it will have all paid off. The Rowan College at Gloucester County (RCGC) graduate will achieve her childhood dream when she travels to the Caribbean island of St. Kitts to begin her studies at the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine.
Duffy, who grew up surrounded by animals — dogs, cats, horses, goats and rabbits — was a 4-H member, a regular at local horse shows and knows her way around a barn. At her parents’ four-acre home in Sewell, her twice-a-day routine still includes feeding and watering her two horses.
“I was raised around horses,” said Duffy, a 2013 RCGC equine science major and 2015 Rowan University biology graduate. “After high school, I was accepted to other private universities and wanted to go away to school. Lucky for me, my mother told me about the College’s new Equine Science program and encouraged me to try it out. I really loved the program.”
RCGC’s associate degree in equine science provides students with instruction and practical experience in the management, nutrition, physiology and care of horses
with a strong foundation in biological, chemical and business principles. Part of the program’s popular appeal is much of the classroom learning takes place with live animals. Coursework is taught at boarding and show facilities offering students the opportunity for hands-on experiences. Classes meet for laboratory activities at the Gloucester County DREAM Park and other horse farms and facilities, including the South Jersey Thoroughbred Rescue & Adoption, Acadia Farm in Mannington and Ryder’s Lane Farm at Rutgers New Brunswick. Students have direct contact with the horses while learning about anatomy and biomechanics, applying leg wraps, giving vaccines, taking temperatures and listening to their heart. Having experience with horses is not a requirement of the program.
“RCGC is a great place to start the journey to veterinary school in an affordable manner, combined with our small class number, distinguished science faculty and firsthand experience with horses,” said Emily Allen, assistant professor of biology. “The College also provides an accessible pathway to veterinary school through our articulation agreement with Ross University.”
“It’s a great program. I have learned so much,” said Duffy, a past recipient of the RCGC Lisa Smalley Equine Science Scholarship. “I recommend RCGC’s Equine Science program to a lot of people who are interested in equine science or going pre-vet but not quite sure. It’s an ideal way to get a feel for it and not pay crazy tuition prices. Professor Allen is a good teacher who cares about this program and is very supportive of her students.”
In July, Duffy traveled to Ross University to tour the school and explore the tropical campus where she will live for seven semesters. After completing 130-credit hours of coursework, she will then transfer for three semesters of clinical training to an American Veterinary Medical Association-accredited school in the U.S., Europe or Australia affiliated with Ross University.
Although horses continue to hold a special place in her heart, after volunteering and shadowing at a number of veterinary clinics and animal hospitals Duffy has decided to focus her studies on small animals where there is more of a demand. She currently works at the Regional Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center in Turnersville.
“Fallon has always wanted to become a veterinarian,” said Allen. “It’s wonderful to be a part of her path and to help make her dream a reality.”
For information about RCGC’s Equine Science program,