The Unsung Heroes of the AASV
As many of you know, I am a die-hard New York Yankees baseball fan. Ever since I was a little boy, my Dad (who infected me with the Yankees virus) and I would discuss their latest triumph (win) or tragedy (loss). This year is no exception, as I watched in glee as they defeated their arch-rival, the Boston Red Sox, in five straight games in Fenway Park, no less! The Yanks have a lot of great players who command most of the headlines, such as Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and Randy Johnson. However, what makes this Yankees team special is that much success is due to a group I will refer to as the “Unsung Heroes.” Unsung Heroes are team members who quietly go about their jobs in a highly professional manner, making important daily contributions but receiving little recognition. Examples of Yankee Unsung Heroes are catcher Jorge Posada, pitcher Chien-Ming Wang, and outfielder Melky Cabrera. Many of you may have never heard of these guys, yet they play hard everyday. While they may never win the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award or make the Hall of Fame, they are loved and respected by Yankees fans for their work ethic and dedication to the team.
Our AASV team is not unlike the New York Yankees. Year in and year out, we continue to be a successful organization. We have Hall of Famers, such as Roy Schultz, Joe Connor, and Hank Harris, just to name a few. We also have a large number of Unsung Heroes, people who may not get a lot of press, yet without their passion and dedication, our team would not be as great. Who are some of these folks?
First and foremost, Sue is the captain of the AASV Unsung Heroes. Her levels of efficiency and organization in the AASV office and the annual meeting are amazing. She is our MVP.
Larry is our “lead-off man,” on the front lines recruiting veterinary students into swine medicine. You should read the incredible reviews he receives from students and faculty after a visit! He is a real credit to our organization.
Sandy Amass and Tom Fangman
The AASV student competition is a highly respected component of our annual meeting, thanks to Sandy’s and Tom’s tireless efforts. I am impressed at the levels of professionalism and transparency they bring to this highly competitive session. No matter how they place, the students always win, thanks to Sandy and Tom.
As Associate Editor of the Journal of Swine Health and Production, Judi is our gatekeeper, always demanding excellence from authors. I have learned a great deal about scientific writing from Judi, and she never fails to improve a manuscript. I am amazed by her energy and tireless commitment to making JSHAP the best it can be.
For as long as I have known Jeff, he has demanded that science come first. This focused intensity has won him many accolades in the field of veterinary science, and he remains a very committed AASV member, challenging all of us to be better scientists as we manage cases and interpret data.
Over the years, Monte has quietly elevated the level of excellence of our AASV PRRS committee. As AASV president, I have asked many things of this very busy member and Monte has always come through. In my opinion, Monte is our “Old Reliable,” the nickname bestowed upon former Yankee great Tommy Heinrich for his ability to consistently come through in the clutch.
Our families and friends
This list of Unsung Heroes would be incomplete without a “tip of the cap” to our respective spouses, significant others, families, and friends: people who take care of us, understand us, and somehow can deal with our innate ability to be “physically present and mentally absent” while at home.
Our AASV team has many Unsung Heroes. This is definitely not a complete list and I do not mean to overlook anyone. If there is an AASV Unsung Hero that you would like to recognize, please let me know. I will do my best to get this information published.
-- Scott Dee