TTUHSC Recognizes Distinguished Alumni

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) recently recognized Distinguished Alumni from each school and named Richard C. Johnston, M.D., the 2016 Presidential Distinguished Alumni Award recipient.

TTUHSC President Tedd L. Mitchell, M.D., established the Presidential Distinguished Alumni Award in 2016, making it the highest honor bestowed to an alumnus by the university.

“Our alumni set the highest standards for health care professionals everywhere,” Mitchell said. “The Presidential Distinguished Alumni Award honors alumni, like Dr. Johnston, who exemplify TTUHSC’s tradition of excellence in service to others. Dr. Johnston has brought honor to our university by his personal accomplishments and professional achievements. He has dedicated his life to the care of patients throughout Texas.” 

Recognizing outstanding alumni from each school is a tradition at TTUHSC that dates back to 1999. Distinguished Alumni are selected from nominations at-large based on accomplishments from the previous year. The awards reflect the alumni’s commitment to excellence and community service while making significant contributions to the health care profession. 

“Our alumni are compelled to help their community,” said Julie Doss, J.D., senior director of Alumni Relations. “It is in their nature and the nature of their profession. We are proud to recognize the contributions they’ve made throughout their careers and the positive reputation they’ve given TTUHSC.”

2016 Distinguished Alumni

Presidential Distinguished Alumni Award

Richard C. Johnston, M.D., FACP, School of Medicine,’75










Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Kendra Rumbaugh, Ph.D.,’01

School of Health Professions

Steve Alaniz, MPT, ’07

Jeffery Barnhart, MSCPM, ’13

Matt Berend, MRC, LBSW, ’15

Karen Copple, Ph.D., ’11

Sissy Ann Hinojos, MPAS, ’12 

School of Medicine

Sharmila Dissanaike, M.D., ’06

Craig D. Rhyne, M.D., ’86

Roger Wolcott, M.D., ’92 

School of Nursing

Melanie Ann Richburg, DNP, ’13

Sylvain Trepanier, DNP, ’11

School of Pharmacy

Steve Rodriguez, Pharm.D., ’01

Lyndsi White, Pharm.D., ’06 

Visit TTUHSC Alumni Relations at learn more about each recipient.

Story produced by the Office of Communications and Marketing, (806) 743-2143.

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center


Beginning in 1969 as the Texas Tech University School of Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) is now a five-school university with campuses in Abilene, Amarillo, Dallas/Fort Worth, Lubbock, Midland and Odessa.

TTUHSC offers students the opportunity to expand knowledge in programs that are on the forefront of health care education. Our programs and facilities give students the opportunity for hands-on research and clinical experience, and various collaborations with community entities provide students the practical knowledge that is vital to their success.

Almost 50 years since opening, TTUHSC has now trained more than 20,000 health care professionals, and meets the health care needs of more than 2.5 million people in the 108 counties including those in the Texas Panhandle and eastern New Mexico.

Through research, education and patient care, TTUHSC aims to promote a greater health environment for West Texas and beyond. We strive to decrease health disparities for rural populations and improve the health of the community through collaborations with area hospitals and health centers.

Connect with TTUHSC on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.