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Oklahoma State University
Center for Veterinary Health Sciences

Healthy Animals - Healthy People

Small Animal Surgery | Meet the Staff


Danielle R. Dugat, DVM, MS, DACVS-SA

Dr. Danielle Dugat is originally from Huntington Beach, CA. She moved to Oklahoma in 2003 to attend veterinary school at Oklahoma State University. She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree in 2007 from OSU. She went on to complete a small animal surgical residency and Master's degree in Biomedical Sciences. She became a board certified surgeon and Diplomate in the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2013. Dr. Dugat has been on faculty at OSU since 2011. In her free time, she and her husband show their Boer goat herd, traveling throughout Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. She also loves scrapbooking and outdoor activities. Dr. Dugat also has a daughter, Braylee and stepson, Easton, who she spends any free time with.

Cara Blake, DVM, DACVS, CCRT

cara blake

Dr. Blake is an assistant professor of small animal surgery. Originally from South Weymouth, Mass., she earned her DVM degree from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. She is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons-Small Animal and a certified canine rehabilitation therapist. Her research interests include osteoarthritis and gait analysis.

Erik Clary, DVM, Ph.D., DACVS

erik clary

Dr. Clary joined the VCS department in February 2018. A graduate of Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and former resident at North Carolina State University, he was recruited post-residency to Duke University Medical Center where he served as an experimental surgeon and faculty researcher in the Department of Surgery. Appointed Assistant Director of Duke’s Endosurgery Center in 1999, Dr. Clary oversaw for several years the nonclinical research efforts of one of the nation’s premier programs in minimally invasive surgery. From the work at Duke, his publication credits include entries in upper tier human surgery journals including Surgical Endoscopy, Journal of Surgical Research, and the American Journal of Surgery. While at Duke, Dr. Clary was a strong advocate for the welfare of animals in research, helping to identify inanimate alternatives, raising the standards in analgesic and general care, and developing minimally invasive techniques for a variety of investigative procedures. By Dr. Clary’s account, Duke was more than gracious as he was also allowed time to engage in private clinical practice. After a decade of service, he left Duke in order to pursue graduate studies in ethics that recently culminated in the PhD degree. Nowadays, he splits his time between clinical surgery and work in the field of bioethics that includes lecturing, writing, and offering public policy consultation on a wide range of issues pertinent to human and veterinary medicine.     


Donald Holter, DVM

donald holter

Originally from Bucyrus, Ohio, Donald earned his DVM degree from Ross University. His research interests include fracture biomechanics and implant design. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, cycling and participating in Pitbull and Breed Specific Legislation awareness.

Jane Park, DVM

jane park

Originally from New York, Jane earned her DVM degree from Cornell University. Her research interests include the biomechanics of external skeletal fixation, evaluating IVDH following conservative management with MRI, and microbeam radiation therapy for spinal cord injury. She began her undergraduate degree in creative writing, but her strong interest in biology drove her to pursue a DVM degree. In her spare time, she enjoys horseback riding, playing guitar and mountain biking.


Tracie Merrill, RVT

Tracie is the Small Animal Surgery department floor technician and Surgery Supervisor.  She has been a Registered Veterinary Technician since 2002, and has worked in a variety of settings including small animal general practice, equine referral surgery, and academic food animal surgery and internal medicine.  Her career interests include advanced wound management, orthopedics and physical rehabilitation.  She is also working on obtaining Veterinary Technician Specialist credentials in small animal surgery. 

Tracie lives on a small farm with her husband Kurt and a fun assortment of farm animals including llamas, chickens, meat rabbits, and of course, cats and dogs.  In her spare time, Tracie enjoys all things fiber, including spinning, weaving, crochet and knitting.  She is also an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys hunting and backpacking adventures with her husband and their close-knit backpacking buddies.  

Anna Soto, RVT

Anna Soto is originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma where she graduated from a catholic high school. She attended Tulsa Community Veterinary Technology Program and graduated with an associate’s degree in applied science. Anna is now a Registered Veterinary Technician and plans to continue her education Oklahoma State University by earning obtain her bachelor’s degree. Anna has an interest in working with both equine and small animals. She is bilingual with Spanish being her second language. She enjoys traveling to Mexico to visit her family, as well as partaking in outdoor activities. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, dancing and spending quality time with her son. 

Alexis Green, RVT

woman in maroon scrubs

Alexis has lived her entire life in the small town of Chickasha, Oklahoma. From early on, she knew she wanted to pursue a career in veterinary medicine.  After graduating high school, Alexis attended Oklahoma State University – Oklahoma City.  Soon after, she was accepted into OSU-OKC’s Veterinary Technician Program.  She graduated from the program in May of 2015 and received her license as a Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT) in September of 2015. Upon obtaining her RVT, Alexis began working for the Oklahoma State University Veterinary Medicine Hospital, in the Surgery Department.

As a Veterinary Technician, Alexis’ focus is primarily on surgery. She is in love with the anatomy of the body and what we can do to “fix the broken.”  Alexis feels that surgeons perform miracles every day with each life they save, something she feels blessed to be a part of. Alexis’ primary interests are small animal and equine surgery, with a focus on wound management and orthopedics.  In the future, Alexis hopes to obtain her Veterinary Technician Specialty (VTS) in surgery and to further expand her abilities as a technician in the operating room. 

In her free time, Alexis enjoys her animal companions, or more accurately, her children.  She loves any opportunity to spend with family, human or furry.  Alexis is a Quarter Horse fanatic and indulges in trail riding any chance she gets. Alexis is new to Stillwater, but already considers this town her home. Go Pokes!!!

Kristin Nahs, RVT

Kristin Nahs is a Registered Veterinary Technician in the surgery department at Oklahoma State University. Kristin is originally from Wallingford, Connecticut and relocated to Stillwater, Oklahoma in 2013, when her husband retired from the Navy. Kristin began her career working in a small animal and exotics practice during her junior year in college. She graduated from Quinnipiac University in 1995 with a BS in Veterinary Technology and became a CVT in Connecticut. After relocating to Oklahoma, Kristin began her career at OSU in 2014 and became an RVT in Oklahoma. Kristin is pursuing her VTS in surgery.  Her primary career interests are orthopedics and exotics.  In her spare time, Kristin enjoys spending time with her two children Kiley and Aidan, and her husband Alan. She is an avid reader and loves to work on cross-stitch projects.  Kristin is allowed to share her home with her mischievous Sphynx cats and two demanding Doberman Pinschers.

Elissa Vogel, RVT

blonde woman in blue scrubs

Elissa Vogel is originally from the small town of Dalhart, Texas where she was an avid participant in 4-H livestock shows. She moved to Stillwater in 2009 to pursue her degree in Animal Science at Oklahoma State University. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science in 2013, and then went on to receive an Associate’s Degree in Veterinary Technology from OSU-OKC in 2016. Elissa became a Registered Veterinary Technician in August 2016.  She began working at Oklahoma State University, in the Small Animal Surgery Department, in December 2016. Elissa’s primary interest is small animal surgery, and she hopes to eventually pursue a Veterinary Technician Specialty in surgery. In her free time, Elissa enjoys spending time with her spoiled rotten chiweenies Bullet and Elli, and taming the wild beast that is her bottle kitten Pip.

Holley Ladymon, RVT

woman with long blonde hair holding a dachshund dog

Holly has always known that her life would involve helping animals in one way or another. Holly received her B.S. in Biology from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford, Oklahoma. After that, she went to Oklahoma State University – Oklahoma City to obtain her Associate’s degree in Veterinary Technology. To receive her degree from OSU-OKC, Holly had to complete a preceptorship, which she did at the OSU Veterinary Medical Hospital. During her preceptor, Holly really enjoyed working in the Small Animal Critical Care Unit (SACCU). She accepted a position there full-time and worked there for about a year. Holly then worked as an Animal Welfare Officer for the city of Stillwater, Oklahoma for a year. The time Holly spent at Animal Welfare reaffirmed to her that she was meant to help animals. Holly returned to OSU in 2015 and is happy to be back working alongside the technicians, doctors, and students. At home, Holly has five dogs and two cats.