Alumni News

Illinois Alumni, Student Honored at Swine Veterinary Association Meeting

photos of eight swine veterinarians who were recognized at AASV

Seven College of Veterinary Medicine alumni and one current Master of Veterinary Science student were recognized at the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV) 55th annual meeting in Nashville, Tenn., last weekend.

Dr. Melissa Farber Billing, a senior key account veterinarian at Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health’s swine division, received the AASV Technical Services/Allied Industry Veterinarian of the Year award. The honor recognizes veterinarians in the swine industry with exceptional proficiency in delivering veterinary service to their clients, as well as dedication to AASV and the swine industry.

Dr. Billing completed the college’s Executive Veterinary Program (EVP) in Swine Health Management and also earned a Master of Veterinary Science from the college.

Dr. Paul Yeske was awarded the AASV Howard Dunne Memorial Award, which recognizes a member who has provided outstanding service and made notable contributions to AASV and the swine industry.

Dr. Yeske has over 30 years of swine veterinary experience and has previously received multiple awards for his contributions to swine medicine and disease management and elimination. The Illinois alumnus completed the Executive Veterinary Program in Swine Health Management in 2009.

Dr. Jana Morgan was named a recipient of the AASV Hogg Scholarship, which is awarded to association members who have been accepted into a qualified graduate program after previous experience as a swine practitioner. 

Dr. Morgan is a current Master of Veterinary Science student at the University of Illinois and a key account veterinarian in the swine division at Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health.

She anticipates the MVS program will add value to her career in areas such as health, research and development, production management, and field trials.

Dr. Lauren Nagel, a 2021 DVM graduate of the college, was granted the Dr. Conrad and Judy Schmidt Family Student Debt Relief Scholarship, which is awarded annually to swine veterinarians who are two to five years post-graduation and participating in private veterinary practice.

Drs. Kayla Henness, Megan Kelly, Erin Kettelkamp, and Kathleen O’Brien were all awarded the AASVF-Zoetis Foundation Student Debt Relief Grants, awarded for the first time in 2024 to swine veterinarians who are two to ten years post-graduation. Drs. Henness and O’Brien are 2019 graduates of the College of Veterinary Medicine, while Drs. Kelly and Kettelkamp are members of the classes of 2020 and 2021, respectively.

By Haley Maser

Photos courtesy of Dr. Abbey Canon, AASV