PENDLETON --- Ashley Brady, department head for Tri-County Technical College's Veterinary Technology program, was named Licensed Veterinary Technician of the Year October 18 at the South Carolina Association of Veterinarians (SCAV) Southeast Veterinary Conference.

Each year at its annual meeting the SCAV recognizes outstanding veterinarians, veterinary technicians and clinic staff with awards.  This is the third time that a Tri-County Veterinary Technology instructor has received this award.

"I am still speechless," said Brady.  "I am so honored to have my name listed among past recipients who are co-workers and colleagues whom I admire and respect.  There are so many veterinary technicians across the state who are so deserving, especially with their heroic behind -the-scenes efforts during the flood relief.  That makes this award mean even more to me," she said.

"I am proud to be a licensed veterinary technician (L.V.T.) and a veterinary technologist working in this profession.  When I worked in private practice, I gave back to the animals and now as an educator, I am giving back to the animals and the students," said Brady.

A 2000 alumna of the College's Veterinary Technology program, Brady worked in veterinary practices as an L.V.T. before she joined the teaching staff at the College in 2007 as director of the evening program. Brady assumed the department head role following the retirement of Dr. Peggy Champion in 2014.  

"Ashley has done a fantastic job as department head over the past year," said Stephanie Brown, L.V.T., who serves as program coordinator/instructor as well as head of the evening Veterinary Technology program at Tri-County.  Brown, a 1992 Tri-County Veterinary Technology alumna, received the SCAV Technician of the Year Award in 1998.

"Ashley is rock solid.  She is the glue that holds the program together," said Brown.  "I continue to be amazed at her ability to multi-task."  In addition to teaching full time and serving as department head, Brady is assisting the College's Foundation in its fundraising efforts for a $1.5 million veterinary technology expanded housing and learning facility currently under construction.

Brady was involved in the initial plans for the facility and continues to provide input as construction progresses.  "Not only has Ashley taught classes and run a department; she has spent many hours with architects, contractors and College and state officials," said retired Easley veterinarian Dr. James Mullikin, who chairs the department's advisory committee and nominated Brady for the award.

 "Under Ashley's supervision, Tri County's Veterinary Technology program has a highly successful adoption program for the animals used in the program," added Dr. Mullikin.  "She also initiated a service learning program with Big Oaks Farm where the students went out and radiographed rescue horses. They worked with the rescue, the rescue group's veterinarian and the local authorities. It helped the students to get a real-world perspective while learning. She organizes the students to work at the J.D. Massey Horse Show each year which gives students $2,000 in scholarship money annually," said Dr. Mullikin.

"Ashley is respected by everyone she meets and is a phenomenal teacher.  She never misses an opportunity for a teaching moment.  She is very innovative in her teaching style and skills.  We're very blessed to have her," Brown said.

Brady attended Lander University for one year before entering Tri-County's Veterinary Technology program (she graduated in 2000) and transferred to Murray State University, where she earned a bachelor's degree in Veterinary Technology/Animal Health Technician with a minor in Equine Science in 2002.  She worked as the Head Technician in the Large Animal Department and Surgical Suite at the University of Tennessee for a year before moving back to S.C.  She worked at Creek Run Veterinary Clinic in Pendleton for five years and worked with Drs.  Poag Reid, Amy Lawson and Daniel Knox, all of whom have high praise of Brady.

"Ashley's knowledge and expertise as a technician were invaluable to me in my early experiences as a newly graduated veterinarian, said Dr. Amy Lawson, owner of Creek Run Veterinary Clinic, who also nominated Brady for the award.  "Ashley was a remarkable technician. She truly made our practice a more efficient, happier place. I can think of countless examinations and farm calls where Ashley's role was paramount. Her good sense of humor made even the most difficult situations bearable. She loved the clients and their horses, and in return, they loved her," she said.

"In addition to having excellent experience working with horses, Ashley exuded a warm and energetic self confidence.  She was a reliable, conscientious worker who always had both hands on deck. Her dedication and determination in her work continued as she moved out of private practice and into the realm of education. Her focus shifted to serving students and providing them with the leadership skills and knowledge base needed to develop into sharpened veterinary technicians.  Ashley will, no doubt, continue to do great things for the veterinary technician program at Tri County Technical College and the veterinary profession as a whole," said Dr. Lawson.

Brady is a board member for the S.C. Upstate Equine Council and is a member of the American Association of Equine Veterinary Technicians; the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA); the Association of Veterinary Technician Educators (AVTE); the South Carolina Association of Veterinary Technicians (SCAVT); and the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP).

She and her husband, Eric, live in Honea Path and have one son, John Owen.  They are members of Donald's Baptist a Church and are involved with the children's program.