NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ (February 13, 2012) – The United States Harness Writer’s Association (USHWA) honored Rutgers University faculty member and director of the Rutgers Equine Science Center, Karyn Malinowski, with the LeeAnne Pooler Unsung Hero Award. The award was presented during the USHWA’s annual Dan Patch Awards Dinner held on February 12, in Orlando, Florida.
“We have long known what a gem Karyn is and how lucky we are to have her in such a prominent position in the academic world in our state,” said Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey President Tom Luchento. “She has been a treasured member of the equine community in New Jersey for many years and now the rest of the country will learn about her contributions through this much deserved honor,” he added.
The Unsung Hero award is given annually to a member of the harness racing community who may otherwise go unrecognized for his or her selfless achievements. Malinowski continually demonstrates her dedication to harness racing by promoting rational and relevant discussion about the current state of the industry and its future in New Jersey and beyond. Through her scientific research and numerous outreach initiatives, she has become a prominent leader in bringing awareness to the significance of the racing industry which was threatened with extinction until the recent decisions to privatize the Meadowlands and Monmouth racetracks were made.
“Her expert testimony before legislators and the solid research in the documentation she was able to provide were invaluable in our efforts to save the Meadowlands – we couldn’t have done it without her” said Luchento. “We join USHWA in ‘singing’ her praises.”
Malinowski’s research and extension programs focus on improving the well-being and the quality of life of the equine athlete while ensuring the vitality and sustainability of the equine industry, both statewide and nationally.
Recognizing potential threats to the industry, Malinowski hosted a Horse Industry Summit in 2003 to identify key issues affecting the future of racing in New Jersey. As debate about the industry continued, the Hall Institute of Public Policy-NJ published a 2006 white paper by Malinowski titled “A Delicate Balance: The Future of Horse Racing and the Preservation of the Equine Industry, Agriculture and Open Space in the Garden State.”
By 2007, the Equine Science Center released the oft-cited “The New Jersey Equine Industry Economic Impact Study.” The study proved timely and instrumental as policy-decision makers continued discussions about the future of racing and gaming in New Jersey. Two short years later, the Hall Institute published another Malinowski white paper titled “Impact of Slot Machine/Video Lottery Terminals on the Economy, Horse Racing and Breeding Industry, Agriculture and Open Space in States/Provinces where they Exist: Why is this Important to New Jersey”.
Malinowski has also been a featured guest speaker at countless symposiums, conferences, meetings, and debates throughout recent years as she lectured about the critical importance of the racing segment of the equine industry.
In addition to winning this coveted Unsung Hero award, Malinowski has received several prestigious awards including the Visionary Award in 2011 from the Rutgers University Board for Equine Advancement; Horseperson of the Year in 2009; Outstanding Woman of Somerset County in 2009; the Rutgers Graduate School Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007; and the Outstanding Equine Educator Award from the Equine Nutrition and Physiology Society in 2001.
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