Distinguished Alumni | Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
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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.

Nominate Deserving Alumni


2018 Presidential Distinguished Alumni Award

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) introduced the Presidential Distinguished Alumni Award In 2015. 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.


Image of Cassie Lackey, PT

Cassie Lackey, PT, ATC-r, CPT, ’85

Founder/CEO, SporTherapy
Fort Worth, Texas

After graduating in 1985 as a member of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Health Professions' inaugural physical therapy class, Cassie Lackey, PT, ATC-r, CPT, went on to work with orthopedic and sport-related injuries at the Medical and Surgical Clinic of Fort Worth, Texas. In 1989, Lackey launched SporTherapy, also in Fort Worth. SporTherapy provides high-quality outpatient physical therapy with a focus on biomechanical sound evaluation and hands-on treatment of a wide variety of orthopedic, sport and work-related conditions. More


2018 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Image of Yi-Ping Li, PhD

Yi-Ping Li, Ph.D., '90

In 1985, Yi-Ping Li, Ph.D., traveled from Shanghai, China, to Lubbock, Texas, in order to pursue doctoral studies. He now resides in Houston, Texas, where he is a professor, with tenure, at the University of Texas Health Science Center. There Li studies the manifestation of cancer-associated cachexia, a lethal metabolic disordered observed in over 50% of cancer patients. More

School of Health Professions

Image of Susan Lingle, MRC

Susan Lingle, MRC, '15

After graduating from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Health Professions with a master's in rehabilitation counseling, Susan Lingle, MRC, earned her license as a professional counselor in Texas. However, it was not an easy road. Lingle had to go as far as asking her state representative to advocate for her with the Texas license board. More

Image of Kyle Spearman, MD

Kyle Spearman, M.D., ’15, '11

Kyle Spearman, M.D., earned degrees from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine and the School of Health Professions Clinical Laboratory Science Program. More

Image of Troy Ward

Troy Ward, MSHA, RRT, '17

Troy Ward, MSHA, RRT, has a career in health care that spans 25 years; the last 17 of those have been with Midland Memorial Hospital as Division Director of Cardiopulmonary and Neurology. He earned a Master of Science in Healthcare Administration at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Health Professions. More

Cherry Wright

Cherry Wright '70

Before her retirement, Cherry Wright practiced as a speech-language pathologist for skilled nursing facilities, Veterans Affairs hospitals and over 40 schools. Now she serves as a mentor for the Texas Speech-Language Hearing Association Leadership Academy and stays involved in a few speech, language and hearing committees. MORE  


School of Medicine

Image of Leigh Ann Jenkins, MD

Leigh Ann Jenkins, M.D., '83

Leigh Ann Jenkins, M.D., has built a successful academic career in medical education as well as extensive experience in patient care, mentoring and advising. She also is accomplished as a researcher, with 49 publications and national presentations. After graduating from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine, Jenkins stayed for a year to complete her residency before going to Louisiana State University in Shreveport, Louisiana, to complete a cardiology fellowship. More

Image of Felix Morales, MD

Felix G. Morales, M.D., Resident, '03

Upon completing his residency training in family medicine and pediatrics at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) School of Medicine, Felix G. Morales, M.D., served as a staff physician at the Pecos County Memorial Hospital in Fort Stockton, Texas, and the Friona Rural Health Clinic in Friona, Texas, both of which are rural, underserved communities. MORE

Image of Michelle Tarbox

Michelle Tarbox, M.D., '05

Michelle Tarbox, M.D., graduated first in her class from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine and has played a pinnacle role in Lubbock’s medical community ever since. Tarbox has volunteered over 200 hours at the Free Clinic since 2014, published over 20 peer-reviewed articles along with four book chapters and has served as the president of the Lubbock County Medical Society. More

Image of Larry Warmoth, MD

Larry Warmoth, M.D., '92 

Larry Warmoth, M.D., has served in various roles throughout his career both as a physician and in the military. After receiving his Doctor of Medicine from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) School of Medicine, Warmoth completed his residency in internal medicine at the University of Arizona, where he was selected as chief resident. While in Arizona, Warmoth also completed his flight surgery training and graduated from F-16 flight training. More

School of Nursing

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Cynthia “Cyndi” Kidd, DNP, APRN, ACNP-BC, PMHNP-BS, ’15

Cynthia “Cyndi” Kidd, DNP, APRN, ACNP-BC, PMHNP-BS, was board certified both as an acute care nurse practitioner and psychiatric mental-health nurse practitioner. Prior to becoming a nurse, she worked as an emergency medical technician (EMT) and firefighter. With over a decade of experience in the emergency, trauma and psychiatry fields, Kidd discovered a particular interest in helping first responders manage post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). More

Gordon Mattimoe, DNP

Gordon Mattimoe, DNP, FNP-C, '16, '12

After graduating with his Doctorate in Nursing Practice, Gordon Mattimoe, DNP, FNP-C, decided to provide care in the rural and underserved community of Andrews, Texas. When he is not busy in Andrews, he can be found teaching as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Texas Permian Basin. More

Image of Yvette Woody, MSN

Yvette Woody, MSN, BSN, ’11, ’07

Yvette Woody, MSN, BSN, began her career 30 years ago as a vocational nurse. After 17 years of working a variety of specialties, Woody decided to further her education by obtaining associate’s degrees in biology and nursing. More   

School of Pharmacy

Image of Ilka Ratsaphangthong, PharmD

Ilka Ratsaphangthong, Pharm.D., MHA, BCPS, '02

Ilka Ratsaphangthong, Pharm.D., MHA, BCPS, graduated with honors from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) Jerry H. Hodge School of Pharmacy in Amarillo. She is now the director of pharmacy at Methodist Dallas Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. Ratsaphangthong also serves as a clinical assistant professor for the TTUHSC Jerry H. Hodge School of Pharmacy in Dallas and is a practitioner-faculty member and clinical instructor at the University of Texas College of Pharmacy in Austin, Texas. More