Dr. Alejandro “Alex” Ramirez and Dr. Jeremy Pittman were named the 2011 recipients of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians Foundation Hogg Scholarship. The scholarship was presented during the association’s annual meeting in Phoenix, Arizona.

Established in 2008, the scholarship is named for Dr. Alex Hogg who was a leader in swine medicine and pursued a master’s degree in veterinary pathology after 20 years in a mixed-animal practice. The scholarship, in the amount of $10,000, is awarded annually to an AASV member who has been accepted into a qualified graduate program to further his or her education after years as a swine practitioner.  This year’s awardees will each receive a $5000 scholarship.

About Dr. Ramirez
Dr. Ramirez is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine (VDPAM) at ISU with a focus of swine production medicine.  He is pursuing a PhD in Veterinary Microbiology with an emphasis in Preventive Medicine.  He has developed a passion for working with veterinary students. 

When notified of the award, Dr. Ramirez said, “It is a great honor to receive this recognition.  I have great respect and admiration for individuals like Dr. Hogg who dedicated their life to helping others.  Knowledge is power and I hope to continue my path of working in academia in helping better prepare future veterinarians by incorporating my years of private practice experience with my knowledge gained through my advanced degree studies.”

Dr. Ramirez was born in Guadalajara, Mexico.  He completed his undergraduate and DVM (1993) degrees at Iowa State University.  Following graduation, he joined a mixed animal practice in Cherokee, Iowa.  In 2004, he left practice to return to ISU where he worked for the Center for Food Security and Public Health while obtaining a Master’s of Public Health from the University of Iowa. In 2005, he began pursuing his PhD at ISU and became board certified in the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine in 2006.  He plans to complete his PhD in 2011.

Dr. Ramirez is very active in the AASV, participating in the Advanced Techniques Conference, pre-conference workshops, serving on the Foreign Animal Disease and Collegiate Activities Committees and as chair of the Student Seminar at the annual meeting.  In addition, Dr. Ramirez serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Swine Health and Production.  Dr. Ramirez also represented AASV on the North American Veterinary Medical Education Consortium (NAVMEC).  He also serves on the National Pork Board’s Producer Safety and Public Health subcommittee, the Iowa Veterinary Medical Association’s Swine Winter Program Committee and the Iowa Pork Producers Association’s Swine Health/Animal Well Being Committee.

He is the author of numerous scientific papers, books and chapters on swine disease control and epidemiology. Dr. Ramirez is also a frequent guest speaker at veterinary and producer meetings in addition to course lectures and scientific reviews.

About Dr. Pittman
Dr. Jeremy Pittman obtained his DVM (2004) from the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine.  Since that time, he has worked as a staff veterinarian for Murphy-Brown’s Waverly Division in Waverly, VA.  Although he grew up in southeastern North Carolina, Dr. Pittman did not have an agricultural background.  He became interested in the swine industry during his undergraduate sophomore year at NC State University after taking a Swine Management class.  Swine medicine has since become his profession and passion.

“Being selected for the 2011 Hogg Scholarship is a tremendous honor,” commented Dr. Pittman. “I did not know Dr. Alex Hogg personally, but his desire to continually improve his level of knowledge is a goal that I hope to emulate in my career. This award will allow me to pursue one of my professional goals, while continuing to maintain my personal and professional life as it stands today. Thank you to Dr. Alex Hogg, his wife Mary Lou and the AASV Foundation for selecting me as one of the recipients of this year’s Hogg Scholarship.”

Dr. Pittman has been active in the AASV since joining as a veterinary student in 2000.  He has served on multiple AASV committees including the Student Recruitment, Professional Development and Advanced Techniques Conference committees.  In addition, he has given multiple presentations during the AASV Annual Meeting and has chaired a pre-conference session.  He is currently pursuing board certification through the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners and will be sitting for examination in March 2012.

Dr. Pittman has authored five manuscripts published in the Journal of Swine Health and Production as well as a number of non-peer reviewed publications.  He is currently an adjunct clinical faculty member at the NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine and enrolled in the Certificate Program of Veterinary Preventative Medicine at Iowa State University.  He is working with ISU to complete a Master’s degree through this program while continuing his fulltime role as staff veterinarian at Murphy-Brown’s Waverly Division.

Dr. Pittman currently resides in Wakefield, VA.