CAES alumni named to UGA 40 Under 40

Two alumni from the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences were among the honorees in the University of Georgia Alumni Association’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2019. This program celebrates the personal, professional and philanthropic achievements of successful UGA graduates under the age of 40. • Compiled by Sharon Dowdy Cruse

Ryan Schnetzer (BSA – Biological Science, ’05) is an orthopedic surgeon with OrthoGeorgia in Macon. A native of Newnan, Schnetzer graduated cum laude from CAES while playing center for the Georgia Bulldogs during two SEC Championship seasons. He played in 38 games and started in five. He was awarded the SEC Male Scholar Athlete Award, Coaches Senior Leadership Award and achieved the SEC Academic Honor Roll for three years. 

Accepted to the U.S. Naval Academy, Schnetzer instead decided to attend UGA and follow in the footsteps of his grandfather, who graduated from UGA in 1952 with a chemistry degree. He selected the number 52 for his Bulldog jersey to honor his grandfather’s legacy.

Schnetzer received his medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia, and then matriculated to the University of Florida for his orthopedic surgery residency, where he received the Resident Educator of the Year award.

Following his residency, Schnetzer accepted a spine fellowship appointment from the University of Wisconsin where he received advanced training in minimally invasive and traditional surgery of the spine.

He is a member of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the Florida Orthopedic Society and the North American Spine Society. He has presented on state and national levels and has authored several orthopedic and spinal medicine articles.

Jamie Brown (BSA – Biological Science, ’02) of San Antonio, Texas, currently serves as chief of surgery at the Department of Defense LTC Daniel E. Holland Military Working Dog Hospital where he oversees surgical care of over 800 dogs in training and a worldwide referral network for military and governmental agency working dogs.

Brown earned his bachelor’s degree from the UGA College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences in 2002, followed by his doctorate in veterinary medicine from the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine in 2007. He returned to the College of Veterinary Medicine in 2013 for a small animal surgical residency and became board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in March 2017.

Brown entered the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps as a captain and, in 2012, he was promoted to major — the only member of his cohort to be promoted early. He has deployed to Mali, Africa and Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, where he provided humanitarian support, coordinated evacuation plans for working dogs, and trained human emergency personnel for veterinary emergencies. He served five years supporting special operations forces including the 75th Ranger Regiment. As regimental veterinarian he designed and implemented canine trauma training for handlers and medics and ensured deployment readiness for working dogs. His professional military education includes the Army Command and General Staff College.

Brown has garnered numerous awards and decorations. In 2009, he became the first veterinarian to complete the Army’s most demanding and prestigious leadership course — Ranger School — earning his Ranger Tab. Other awards include the Meritorious Service Medal; two Army Commendation Medals; a National Defense Service Medal; two Afghanistan Campaign Medals; a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; the Army Service Ribbon; the NATO Medal, and the Parachutist Badge (or “jump wings”). Brown was honored by the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in 2017 with a Young Achiever award. 

More than 400 alumni were nominated for the UGA Alumni Association 40 Under 40 honor this year and the 2019 class was recognized during the ninth annual 40 Under 40 Awards Luncheon in September on the UGA Athens campus. Other members of the 2019 class include a gold medal-winning Olympic swimmer; a Super Bowl champion and children’s author; and alumni from a variety of industries including law, nonprofit, government, media, medicine, and food and beverage.

“The achievements of our nominated alumni make it hard to narrow down the list to just 40 honorees, and this year was no exception,” said Meredith Gurley Johnson, executive director of the UGA Alumni Association. “We are proud of all of these outstanding young graduates. Their drive and focus inspires the UGA community.”


Ryan Schnetzer

Jamie Brown