UNIVERSITY PUBLIC SERVICE EXCELLENCE AWARD
Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 26 - April 3, 1997
By Jeffrey Douglas
The chances of finding W. Dee Whittier in his office are not very good.
More than likely, though, you can find him in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital's Production Medicine Center, on a farm in the rural Virginia countryside, or someplace in South America.
Whittier, recipient of Virginia Tech's 1997 Excellence in Public Service Award, is not a man who likes to sit still. That's a good thing, too, because he's got a lot of ground to cover.
As director of the Production Management Medicine program in the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine's Veterinary Teaching Hospital and Virginia Tech's Extension Veterinarian for Cattle, Whittier copes with a schedule that evokes images of the "Energizer Bunny."
"This is a big honor for me," said Whittier. "I feel a real sense of dedication to the college. It's come a long way, and it's been a privilege to play a small part."
"You have done a wonderful job as a faculty member," wrote VMRCVM Dean Peter Eyre in a congratulatory letter. "I cannot think of anyone who has done more to establish this college's reputation and goodwill throughout the state and the region."
Whittier, an associate professor in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, helped draft the blueprints for the college's clinical-services program in the early 1980s. He also pioneered the establishment of its Production Management Medicine program, a VTH service that now cares for about 35,000 animals a year.
As Virginia Tech's Extension veterinarian for cattle since 1985, Whittier has earned national distinction and is a frequently sought speaker before groups of veterinarians and producers around the country.
Over the past few years, his travels have taken him beyond the borders of the United States, as professional and producer groups throughout the Americas have called upon his expertise.
Since 1992, he has helped cattle producers in Mexico, Chile, Columbia, Panama, and the Dominican Republic learn more about how production medicine techniques can elevate the productivity of their dairy operations.