Kasey R. Losik, a junior architecture major from Fennville, Michigan, has turned a passion she’s had since early childhood into a way to de-stress from her studies.
The Mississippi State Western Equestrian Team captain, who got her first pony at the age of three, said the sport helps her detach from the stress and rigor of her schoolwork.
“I will be all kinds of wound up after studio, and I just go out to the barn, and hop on a horse, and it’s a complete reset,” she said. “I honestly don’t think that I’d be able to do this and be so far from home if it weren’t for the horses and the team—my teammates and coaches.”
She’s the Western Equestrian Team’s open rider—the highest division—competing in the horsemanship and reining events.
“The competition itself is kind of a neat process,” she said. “The schools all provide horses, and all the horses’ names go into a hat. You just pull a name, and that’s the horse you ride. You get no warmup time; you get on, and they lead you into the arena, and you must go show. It’s made me a better rider, and it’s given me a better respect for our animals.”
In her third year of undergraduate study in MSU’s School of Architecture, Losik also started the landscape architecture accelerated master’s program this fall.
She said a study abroad experience in Italy with Professor Hans Herrmann after her freshman year not only helped her develop her love for landscape architecture and architecture—and the connection between the two—but also helped shape her outlook on her overall education.
“Hans established a sense of rigor within me and a high-quality standard just in that month with him, and I’ve been able to apply that in my studio projects and in working toward my professional career,” she said. Losik added she’s not sure exactly what she wants to do, but she definitely wants her work to include elements of both architecture and landscape architecture.
“I’m really fascinated by how those two fields work cohesively together, and I think that’s one of the reasons I decided on the accelerated master’s program.”
Her dad—along with late head football coach Mike Leach—are who she credits with putting MSU on her radar.
“My dad absolutely loves football and has been a Mike Leach fan all his life. So, when we started looking for colleges, he was like, ‘Kase, what about this school in Mississippi?’”
“We came down here for a tour and absolutely fell in love with just the atmosphere, the environment, the people, and then, of course, the architecture school. That’s when I met the equestrian team coach, Ashely Glenn. I did a tryout with her, and it was a great fit right from the start. It was just meant to be.”