Distinguished Alumni | Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
TTUHSC students walking through Lubbock campus courtyard.

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


2020-2021 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.

Cyndy B. Dunlap

Cyndy B. Dunlap, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE

School of Nursing, Presidential Distinguished Alumni 

Dr. Dunlap is vice president and chief nursing officer for Providence Healthcare Network, part of Ascension Texas. During a 20-year career in health care leadership, her service has included efforts to improve quality and patient safety endeavors and legislative advocacy for hospitals through the Texas Hospital Association. She also has served as president of the Texas Organization of Nurse Leaders and on committees of the American Organization of Nurse Leaders. Additionally, Dr. Dunlap established the first HIV/AIDS program for a region of Texas.

Dr. Dunlap earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice from the School of Nursing. She also holds a master’s degree in public administration from Texas State University, and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Baylor University.

2020-2021 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Jane A. Colmer-Hamood

Jane A. Colmer-Hamood, Ph.D.

Distinguished Alumni Award

Jane Colmer-Hamood received a Doctor of Philosophy in Medical Microbiology in 1997 from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. She became a Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine faculty member in 2001. Colmer-Hamood is an exceptional research scientist, student mentor and ultimate team player dedicated to public service and teaching. Her selection in 2017 as a University Distinguished Faculty reflects her extraordinary contributions to the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, School of Medicine and the entire institution

School of Health Professions

Logan Price

Logan M. Price, Au.D., F-AAA, CCC-A

School of Health Professions, Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Science Award

Logan Price is a 2013 graduate of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Health Professions. He also earned his undergraduate degree at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences. He is an audiologist at Audio Acoustics Hearing Centers in Odessa, Texas which received the “Best in the Basin” award from the Odessa American for the best hearing clinic. Additionally, Price was recognized as an Odessa Under 40 honoree. His career choice is a childhood calling. He took speech language therapy and required surgeries to improve his own hearing, which instilled his desire to help others, especially children. Price is a lifetime member of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Alumni Association, a founding and current member of the association’s National Advisory Board and friend of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center for his scholarship to the university’s audiology program. 

John Lowe
John Lowe, MBA, MPT, MAT, LAT, ATC, FACHE
School of Health Professions, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences Award 

John Lowe earned a Master of Physical Therapy and Master of Athletic Training in 2003 from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Health Professions. Lowe oversees University Medical Center’s leadership development program and serves as chair of the curriculum-based class for new hospital leaders. He has led University Medical Center’s efforts to develop a post-acute care network across the Lubbock area. Lowe is involved in the Lubbock community and serves on several board of directors.

Larry Howard

Larry Howard, PA-C, MPAS, LP

School of Health Professions, Department of Laboratory Sciences and Primary Care Award

Larry Howard is a 2001 Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Health Professions graduate and was a member of the first class to graduate from the Physician Assistant Studies program. He currently serves as the clinical director for the Rural Health Clinic at the Seymour Hospital in Seymour, Texas and assistant medical director for Seymour Baylor County Emergency Medical Services. Howard was a preceptor for Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center’s Physician Assistant Studies program for almost two decades and provided housing for two to four students each year. 

 

Bjorn Sorensen

Bjorn Anthony Sorensen, MSHA

School of Health Professions, Department of Healthcare Management & Leadership Award

Bjorn Sorensen graduated in 2020 from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Health Professions with a degree in healthcare administration. He serves his community through volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity and the American Red Cross. Sorensen is an entrepreneur and co-founder of HRO-ML Health, an organization focused on research and development to improve patient safety within health care settings using a machine learning model. He partnered with Timothy Matis, Ph.D, Associate Professor in the Texas Tech University Whitacre College of Engineering and adjunct faculty at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, on a grant proposal for NSF I-CORPS. The proposal was awarded and was the catalyst for the work of using machine learning to improve patient safety. Sorensen is pursuing a medical degree at the University of Texas Medical Branch.

School of Medicine

Juan Fitz

Dedicated to, Juan F. Fitz, M.D., FACEP

School of Medicine Distinguished Alumni

Awarded posthumously

Juan Fitz graduated in 1986 from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine. He was a dedicated emergency physician at Covenant Health for over 20 years. His love for his profession helped grow Lubbock’s region trauma system and advance graduate medical education. Additionally, he was instrumental to the growth and expansion of the Covenant Ambulance Service. Fitz was an active member in the Lubbock community and medical field and served on various committees. He received awards from Latino Lubbock Magazine for his service including the Adelante Awards – Medical and the 2021 Emergency Medical Services Physician of the Year. Fitz died Nov. 3, 2020. 

fahmi farah

Fahmi Farah, M.D.

School of Medicine Distinguished Alumni

Fahmi Farah is a 2011 Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine graduate. She specializes in a multitude of heart conditions and is a global health speaker, published author and founding director of the Global Health Alliance Foundation. Farah also connects with audiences through radio and TV interviews. During the pandemic, she has used her background and knowledge to help educate Dallas communities and beyond about the life-altering cardiac effects of COVID. Farah was recognized by the Fort Worth Magazine as the 2020 Top Cardiologist. She founded a scholarship program and established an endowment at in School of Medicine for underserved medical students.

Peter Grant

Peter A. Grant, M.D.

School of Medicine Distinguished Alumni

Peter Grant is a 1982 Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine graduate and completed his residency at Ohio State University. He resides in Medford, Oregon, and serves as president of the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine. He was the first Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine graduate to pursue physical medicine and rehabilitation, inspired by his father, Arthur E. Grant, M.D. Grant’s two sons have also pursed physical medicine and rehabilitation, making their family the first third-generation physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians worldwide. 

School of Nursing

CYNDY DUNLAP

Cyndy B. Dunlap, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE

School of Nursing, Leadership in Healthcare Award 

Dr. Dunlap is vice president and chief nursing officer for Providence Healthcare Network, part of Ascension Texas. During a 20-year career in health care leadership, her service has included efforts to improve quality and patient safety endeavors and legislative advocacy for hospitals through the Texas Hospital Association. She also has served as president of the Texas Organization of Nurse Leaders and on committees of the American Organization of Nurse Leaders. Additionally, Dr. Dunlap established the first HIV/AIDS program for a region of Texas.

Dr. Dunlap earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice from the School of Nursing. She also holds a master’s degree in public administration from Texas State University, and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Baylor University. 

Silvia Garbalena-Esparza

Silvia Garbalena-Esparza, MSN, CNM, RNC-NIC

School of Nursing, Excellence in Clinical Advocacy Award

Silvia Garbalena-Esparza earned her Master of Science in Nurse-Midwifery in 2015 from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Nursing. In 2017, she opened the first birth center in Amarillo, Texas, Birth Haven Birth Center. Garbalena-Esparza serves as the treasurer of the Consortium of Texas Certified Midwifes (CTCNM) and vice president for the Collation of the Texas Birth Centers. 

Mostafa N. Abu-Hijlih

Mostafa N. Abu-Hijlih, BSN, RN

School of Nursing, Community Advocate Award

Mostafa Abu-Hijlih graduated in 2018 from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Nursing. He started his nursing career in the surgical intensive care Unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital and then moved to the hospital’s COVID ICU. He also worked at the University of Maryland to help with their critically ill COVID patients. He was one of Baltimore’s first “on-the ground” nurses to work at one of the country’s first “field hospitals” for COVID-19, triaging and treating patients from various backgrounds with limited resources, supplies and knowledge surrounding the virus. He later helped spearhead the University of Maryland’s vaccination outreach program. Abu-Hijleh is currently pursuing a Doctor of Nursing Practice at the University of Maryland as an adult primary care nurse practitioner.

School of Pharmacy

Amber Elliott

Amber L. Elliott, Pharm.D.

School of Pharmacy, Excellence in Practice Award

Amber Elliott earned her Doctor of Pharmacy in 2009 from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Pharmacy (now the Jerry H. Hodge School of Pharmacy). She is co-owner of Panhandle Pharmaceutical Consultants, PLLC, where she provides pharmacy consulting services to ambulatory surgical hospitals in the Texas Panhandle. Elliott is also an adjunct assistant professor at the Jerry H. Hodge School of Pharmacy and was a previously appointed to the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Institutional Review Board (IRB).

Jessica Crow

Jessica R. Crow, Pharm.D., BCCCP, BCPS-AQ, Cardiology, CNSC, FCCM

School of Pharmacy, Pharmacy Research Award 

Jessica Crow is a 2006 graduate of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Pharmacy (now the Jerry H. Hodge School of Pharmacy). She is the manager of the decentralized and clinical pharmacy at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, where she oversees inpatient and outpatient clinical pharmacy services. Crow was inducted as a fellow in the American College of Critical Care Medicine for her accomplishment in improving patient outcomes for critically ill patients.