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.

Related Stories

How Does Your Garden Grow?

As spring approaches, some people’s thoughts turn to gardening. Whether it’s a flower garden they desire or a vegetable garden want to have, they begin planning what they’ll plant and what they need to do to ensure a successful garden.

Adopt a Growth Mindset for a Better Life

A “growth mindset” accepts that our intelligence and talents can develop over time, and a person with that mindset understands that intelligence and talents can improve through effort and learning.

Drug Use, Family History Can Lead to Heart Disease in Younger Adults

Abstaining from drug abuse and an early diagnosis of familial hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol) can help prevent heart disease.

Recent Stories


PAs and Telehealth: Increasing Access to Patient Care

The PA profession and telehealth were both created to improve and expand access to patient care. PA Abby Buterbaugh discussed the value that her profession and telehealth has brought to health care.


Food Allergy Awareness, Prevention Ahead of Summer Fun

James Tarbox, M.D., Texas Tech Physicians allergist, discussed food allergies and treatments.


National Academy of Inventors Ranks Texas Tech University System Among Top 100 in Patents for Second Consecutive Year

The TTU System, including the TTUHSC and TTUHSC El Paso, ranked 74th on the NAI list of Top 100 U.S. Universities Granted Utility Patents for 2023.