Behind the major with Carmen Gwynn: City girl turned country

Hannah Valencia, Senior Reporter

Carmen Gwynn and her horse, Flame. Photo provided by Carmen Gwynn

Carmen Gwynn is a junior pre-veterinary medicine (agriculture/animal science B.S.) major at West Texas A&M University. Gwynn decided she wanted to study animal science in college after an experience she had working at a horse barn. 

One of the horses at the barn she was working at had a colic scare and she was the only one at the barn because it was her night to feed the horses. She called her boss, but it was going to be 30 minutes to an hour before either her boss or a veterinarian could get there. Taking care of the horse in this difficult situation brought Gwynn to the realization that she enjoys helping animals. 

Although Gwynn comes from a “non-agriculture” family, a family friend recommended she try going on a trail ride when she was nine years old and she ended up loving it.

“That was the beginning of a new chapter for me,” Gwynn said. “I started taking lessons there and getting pony rides anywhere I could.” 

Gwynn got her first and only horse eight years ago while she was working at the horse barn. Flame, a purebred Arabian, was named by his previous owner. However, Gwynn says the name fits him nicely. 

“He literally looks like a flame and he’s fast as heck,” Gwynn said. 

For Gwynn, riding horses is a good way to de-stress. 

“I get onto the back of the horse and I feel like all of the stress from the past week is just gone,” Gwynn said. “It’s just like the world melts away and I can be free in a sense for a little while. 

Although horses are what drew her into animal science to begin with, Gwynn is open to caring for all types of animals. She got to experience working at a veterinary clinic last summer and found that she really enjoys working with dogs and cats. 

Gwynn with friends at the Agricultural Sciences Complex. Photo provided by Carmen Gwynn

Gwynn’s favorite parts about WT and the Department of Agricultural Sciences are the community-oriented culture and the people. 

“I’m honestly wholeheartedly into my major because I love the people,” Gwynn said. 

When asked about her favorite academic memory at WT, Gwynn said it would have to be going to Dr. Lust’s animal science class. She said Dr. Lust always comes up with the funniest stories, and the best part is that they’re true stories. 

“I remember, one time, he told us one of his stories and everyone in the room just started cracking up and even he started cracking up,” Gwynn said. 

Her greatest challenge thus far in pursuing her degree has been chemistry classes, particularly Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry. Gwynn says taking these courses requires dedication, but she was able to meet the challenge despite the struggle. 

“I love the subject and I just love agriculture in general,” Gwynn said. “I’m a city girl, but I think I was meant to be in the country.”