Four Illinois veterinary students and four alumni were recognized at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV) in Indianapolis, Indiana at the end of February.
Swine Practitioner of the Year
Dr. Dyneah M. Classen, of Hamilton, Ill., was named the Swine Practitioner of the Year during the 2022 annual meeting. This award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated proficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of veterinary service to clients.
Dr. Classen earned her bachelor’s degree in animal science (2003) as well as her DVM (2007) at the University of Illinois. After graduation, Dr. Classen joined the team at Carthage Veterinary Service, Ltd, as a partner and veterinarian. Currently, she is the director of health for the Carthage System where she is responsible for the overall health of the herd.
With dedication to the future of the veterinary profession, Dr. Classen has served as a member of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians Pig Welfare Committee as well as a member and chair of the Student Recruitment Committee.
“I’m very grateful and a little emotional. To have your peers honor you with such an award is very humbling,” she noted after receiving this prestigious award.
Student Scholarship Winners
Courtney Wangler, a second-year DVM student, had the opportunity to participate in the veterinary student poster competition and came out on top with her poster titled “Differentiation of H3N2 and H1N2 IAV-S antigenic sites by RT-qPCR ”. Wangler was awarded a $500 scholarship.
Along with Wangler, Evan Schwarz, Isaac Goldner, and Adam Tatnall also competed in the veterinary student poster competition and received scholarships for their hard work.
Dr. Neal Benjamin, the director of health and Production at Valley Pork, was one of two recipients of the Hogg Scholarship. The American Association of Swine Veterinarians awards these scholarships to an AASV member who has been accepted into a qualified graduate program to further their education after years as a swine practitioner. Dr. Benjamin graduated from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 2016 with his doctor of veterinary medicine. He is now continuing his studies and pursuing a PhD in genetics from the University of Illinois’ Program of Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology.
Dr. Conrad and Judy Schmidt Family Student Debt Relief Endowment Scholarship
Dr. Brandi Burton and Dr. Allison Knox were two of three recipients of the Dr. Conrad and Judy Schmidt Family Student Debt Relief Endowment Scholarship. The purpose of this $5000 scholarship is to help relieve the student debt of recent veterinary graduates engaged in swine practice. Recipients must have been engaged in private practice with at least 50% of their time devoted to swine, providing on-farm service directly to independent pork producers.
Dr. Brandi Burton, a co-chair of the AASV’s Early Career Committee, credits the American Association of Swine Veterinarians for their student engagement and support for her participation in the association. Dr. Burton graduated from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 2019, then began working for Suidae Health and Production as a veterinarian shortly after graduation.
Dr. Allison Knox, also a 2019 graduate from the University of Illinois, is currently a partner and veterinarian at Walcott Veterinary Clinic in Iowa. Along with providing on-farm services to family-owned farms, she also enjoys connecting with her producers, implementing new herd health protocols, and preparing for continued success in the industry. Dr. Knox is thankful for the connections she has made while attending the AASV Annual Meeting as a student. They have helped her secure internships, scholarships, and even her position in her current practice.