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Alumni Awards

In 1999, the Office of Alumni Relations began recognizing our alumni to honor their accomplishments and contributions and to serve as an inspiration to their colleagues and future alumni. Awards are presented to those alumni who have achieved a high level of success in their chosen fields or whose efforts have made a positive impact on community or humanity, bringing distinction to themselves and to Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. We encourage alumni, faculty, staff and friends to nominate deserving alumni for these awards.


2016 Presidential Distinguished Alumni Award

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) introduced the Presidential Distinguished Alumni Award In 2016. This is the highest honor bestowed by the university, recognizing and honoring alumni who have made significant contributions to the health care profession. Eligiblity for this award is based on individuals that have earned a degree or completed a residency at TTUHSC, as well as demonstrated service to the community, profession and this institution. The awardee will be a person that faculty, staff, students and alumni take pride in and are inspired by his/her accomplishments and endeavors.

Richard Johnson

Richard C. Johnston, MD, FACP, '75

CEO, President and Chief Physician Officer
USMD Health System, Irving, Texas
Richard C. Johnston, MD, FACP, began his practice in Dallas in 1978 and has been in private practice in the Dallas-Fort Worth area since. He has an internal medicine practice in Las Colinas, where he was the first chief of staff at Las Colinas Medical Center.

In 2004, Johnston’s physician group joined Medical Clinic of North Texas (MCNT), which was a predominantly primary care health care group comprised of 135 providers. In 2006, he became president of MCNT and served in that capacity until the 2012 merger that created USMD Health System. More


2016 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Kendra Rumbaugh

Kendra Rumbaugh, PhD, '01

Kendra Rumbaugh, Ph.D., began her research career as a Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) graduate student where her doctoral work focused on the role of quorum sensing in the pathogenesis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. More

School of Health Professions

Steve Alaniz

Steve Alaniz, MPT, '07

Following graduation, Steve Alaniz, MPT, began working as a staff physical therapist at Momentum Physical Therapy & Sports Rehab. Within three months, he had promoted to clinic director and helped expand services by adding three new therapists. More

Jeffery Barnhart

Jeffery Barnhart, MSCPM, FACHE, ’13

For more than 30 years, Jeffery Barnhart, MSCPM, FACHE, has been making an impact in rural health care. His experiences in leading hospital districts in rural areas of South and West Texas and the Panhandle Plains also has led Barnhart to advocate for rural health care at the state and federal level. More 

Matt Berend

Matt Berend, MRC, LBSW, CRC, '15

Matt Berend, MRC, LBSW, CRC, was working two jobs and studying to become a veterinarian before a bull-riding accident in 2007 left him a quadriplegic and gave him a new career goal: to help fellow Texans with disabilities find and obtain careers through vocational rehabilitation. More  

Karen Copple

Karen Copple, PhD, '11

Throughout her professional life, Karen Copple, Ph.D., has been “paying-it-forward” whenever possible. Born in Michigan, her early college education included degrees in theater and music education from Hasting College, Hastings, Nebraska. More

Sissy Hinojos

Sissy Ann Hinojos, MPAS, PA-C, '12

Born and raised in Odessa, Sissy Ann Hinojos, MPAS, PA-C, earned a Bachelor of Secondary Education from Texas Tech in 1986. She taught science and coached in Midland before moving to the Austin area. She earned a master’s in science education from the University of Texas at Austin while teaching and coaching in Round Rock and Pflugerville. More 

School of Medicine

Sharmila Dissanaike

Sharmila Dissanaike, MD, Resident '06

Sharmila Dissanaike, M.D., has received numerous awards from national and international institutes honoring her work at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) in research, education, patient care, community service and academic performance. More   

Craig Rhyne

Craig D. Rhyne, MD, FACS, '86

Lubbock native Craig D. Rhyne, M.D., FACS, has served for the past six years as the regional chief medical officer for Covenant Health. He trained as a general and trauma surgeon and has served the Lubbock community as a resident physician and a faculty surgeon at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) and has been on the medical staff at Covenant since 1991. More    

Roger Wolcott

Roger Wolcott, MD, '92

Roger Wolcott, M.D., is a Lubbock native. He graduated from Coronado High School and joined the Navy as a hospital corpsman assigned to a Marine Corps hospital unit. Wolcott received his Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from Texas Tech University and his Doctor of Medicine from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. More

School of Nursing

Melanie Richburg

Melanie Ann Richburg, DNP '13

Love what you do, and do what you love. That’s what drives Melanie Ann Richburg, DNP. She loves rural America and feels blessed every day she is able to give and share with her rural community. Since 2005, Richburg has served residents of Lynn County through the hospital district’s Family Wellness Clinic as well as its emergency and inpatient departments. More  

Sylvain Trepanier

Sylvain Trepanier, DNP, RN, CENP, '11

Sylvain Trepanier, DNP, RN, CENP, is a seasoned nurse executive with health care system experience in executive leadership, nursing management, quality improvement study, and organizational transformation and system standardization. More

School of Pharmacy

Steve Rodriguez

Steve Rodriguez, PharmD, '01

Shortly after graduation, Steve Rodriguez, Pharm.D., opened MedPro Pharmacy. He recently marked his 11th year as owner of the full-service pharmacy. Rodriguez’s work focuses on compounding to provide individualized medications for patients such as bio-identical hormone therapy, as well as for veterinary medicine. More   

Lyndsi White

Lyndsi White, PharmD, CGP, '06

After working for about three years in hospital and retail pharmacy settings, Lyndsi White, Pharm.D., transitioned into long-term care in 2009. She then worked two years in operations before teaming up with Gina Cole, Pharm.D., (Pharmacy ’07) to establish Intellicare Pharmacy Consultants Inc. More