Texas Tech University

Staff

Kim Akins

Sr. Administrative Assistant Academic and Student Affairs

Kim Akins serves as the Sr. Administrative Assistant for the Academic and Student Affairs at the School of Veterinary Medicine. She comes from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at Amarillo family, working in both School of Medicine and Jerry H. Hodge School of Pharmacy.

Kim was born and raised in Amarillo, Texas graduating from Amarillo High School. Kim is married to her best friend, Jay and they have 5 children, Bentley (and HER husband Keevan), Courtney, Landon, Danniel and LJ. They are awaiting the arrival of their first grandchild. Outside of work, she enjoys camping, attending sporting events, crafting, photography and traveling.

Erin Andrade

Administrative Assistant

Erin Andrade serves as an Administrative Assistant for School of Veterinary Medicine. She provides administrative support to RaiderVet Central as well as greeting all that enter the building. Erin is also a licensed Social Worker where she has worked in both non-profit and state entities both in Dallas as well as in Amarillo. She began working with Texas Tech Veterinary School in October 2023.

Erin grew up in Temple, Texas and went on to receive her Bachelor's in Business from Southwestern University. After spending a year in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Erin completed her Master's in Social Work from University of Texas Arlington. She is married to Robert and they have four cats: Ginger, Leo, Zelda, and Elvis. Outside of work, Erin likes to spend time with her family, craft and spending time watching shows or movies with her husband.

Emily Balke

Director of Admissions and Student Services

Emily Balke serves as Director of Admissions and Student Services for the School of Veterinary Medicine. She oversees the DVM admissions efforts and process for the school, as well as student services for current DVM students.

Emily is an Amarillo native and graduated from Amarillo High School. She then moved to Lubbock, Texas to earn her undergraduate degree in public relations at Texas Tech University. Emily comes to us from the College of Media & Communication at Texas Tech University where she was the recruitment and student engagement coordinator for almost ten years.

During her time working for the College of Media & Communication she earned her master's degree in interdisciplinary studies in August 2020 from the Texas Tech Graduate School. Emily is thrilled to return to her hometown and help grow the School of Veterinary Medicine.

Danelle Barber

Network Program Manager

Danelle Barber is the Network Program Manager for the Office of Clinical Programs in the School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM). She serves as the primary liaison between the School's Clinical Learning Network partners and the Clinical Programs team at the SVM.

Danelle grew up on the family farm in Nazareth, Texas, with three brothers, a sister, and a plethora of cousins in her close-knit community. After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from Texas Tech, she worked in the district Congressional offices of U.S. Representative Larry Combest in Lubbock for 10 1/2 years, and most recently, for U.S. Representative Mac Thornberry in Amarillo for 14 1/2 years.

Danelle's son and daughter are proud graduates of Bushland High School and Texas Tech University. A few of her favorite things are family, friends, sports and tailgating, rural America and its citizens, Texas Panhandle sunsets, and the Texas Tech community.

Gala Beals

Student Program Manager

Gala Beals serves as the Student Program Manager at the School of Veterinary Medicine. She works in the Office of Clinical Programs and provides support for fourth year student externships. She started her career with Texas Tech twelve years ago at Sim Central at the School of Medicine in Amarillo. Gala is a Colorado native hailing from Colorado Springs and she graduated from Eastern New Mexico University with a degree in Career and Technical Education.

She is a proud mom of three wonderful and talented kids and currently four amazing grandkids. Gala and her husband David enjoy traveling and her favorite quote is “Seek to understand before being understood.” – Elina Vives

Mattie Been

Assistant Vice President of External Relations

Mattie Been is the Assistant Vice President of External Relations at the Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine, where she is in charge of fundraising efforts for the school. She serves in a dual role as the assistant vice president of external relations for the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center as well.

Been joined the Texas Tech University System in 2013 as a director of development at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, where she led fundraising for the School of Nursing and School of Health Professions. Her efforts are focused around helping donors achieve their philanthropic goals and connecting them to their passions. Been transitioned to the Amarillo campus in 2017 where she began serving her dule role as assistant vice president for the health sciences center and the veterinary school. Been was an integral team member for the fundraising initiative that raised $90 million for the school.

Been graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University in 2011. She received her master's degree in Public Administration with a certificate in Charitable Financial Planning from Texas Tech University in 2013.

Been grew up in the Texas Panhandle and is very passionate about promoting education and healthcare that directly impacts the rural and regional areas. Been is married to Cody Been and together they have two sons, Everett and Walter.

Tanikka Bell

Administrative Assistant for Clinical and Professional Skills

Tanikka Bell serves as the Administrative Assistant to the Clinical and Professional Skills deptartment. She handles scheduling for Clinical and Professional Skills, as well as administrative assistance to the department. She has been in higher education for the last 2 years and joined Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine in April 2023. She has 7 years of experience in scheduling and logistics. She also won the Purple Promise Quality Award for creating a system to coordinate scheduling for both local and rural deliveries as far as 150-mile radius, that is now used in many service centers across the country.

Tanikka has lived in the Texas Panhandle her entire life. She currently reside in Canyon with her husband Dusty and together they have 4 children, McKenzi, Tenley, Rhett, and Wade. Her family spends most of their time involved with/or watching sports, traveling, going to concerts or hanging out, grilling in the back yard.

Weston Brooks

Director of Communications & Marketing

Weston Brooks serves as the Director of Communications and Marketing for the School of Veterinary Medicine. He develops and implements marketing, communications, media and engagement plans for the school. Weston joined the team in October 2020. He grew up on a small ranch in Eastland, Texas with a dad who is a veterinarian and part owner of a mixed animal practice. Weston along with his parents and two older siblings are all Texas Tech Alumni. Therefore, being a Red Raider has become a family tradition! He graduated in 2019 with a B.A. in Electronic Media and Communications.

He loves watching movies and filmmaking. Weston was a team member on the creation of a short film documentary called “Texas Snow”, which is about the heritage and hardships of cotton farming in West Texas. It was featured in several film festivals. He enjoys traveling and outdoor activities such as camping and snow skiing. However, he mainly loves spending time with family.

Brenden Brown

Clinical Skills Model Technician

Brenden Brown is a Clinical Skills Model Technician for the School of Veterinary Medicine. He helps design and build models for the clinical and professional skills curriculum.

Originally from Smithville, Texas, he graduated from Sam Houston State University in 2022 with a B.S. in Criminal Justice. In his spare time, Brown enjoys doing various outdoor activities, wood and metal work, and restoring his 1978 Corvette.

Emily Chavez

Small Animal Veterinary Technician

Emily Chavez serves as a Small Animal Veterinary Technician at the School of Veterinary Medicine. She brings organizational experience to the team from over 15 years of general practice. Professionally, Emily enjoys Emergency and Critical Care as well as Nutrition within Veterinary Medicine.

Emily is a San Antonio native and relocated to Amarillo to join the Raider family in 2022. Emily graduated from TAMU-SA with a Bachelor's in Psychology and looks forward to continuing her education moving forward.

Emily enjoys crafting and reading in her downtime. She also enjoys photography, rockhounding and spending time with her husband. They also have 2 cats and 2 dogs who are wonderful parts of their lives.

Adrián Delgadillo

Large Animal Husbandry Caretaker

Adrián Delgadillo is a large animal caretaker for the School of Veterinary Medicine. He takes care of the animals at Mariposa Station. He is happily married to his wife of 39 years. Together they have five kids and fourteen grandkids. He is originally from Durango, Mexico where he still visits his mother at least twice a year.

Delgadillo previously worked at Cargill for 35 years until retiring from there. Horses have always been a big part of his life and caring for them is what he does when he's not working so now getting paid to actually do it and learn more about horses is definitely a plus.

David Dingle

Small Animal Caretaker

David Dingle is a small animal caretaker in the west wing of Amarillo Campus. He and the other caretakers are responsible for the care of the long-term small animals in the west wing. David started working at Texas Tech University around August of 2023.

David grew up in Kermit, Texas and went to Howard Payne University in Brownwood, Texas to earn his Bachelor's Degree in Biology. After graduating, he moved to Amarillo in 2019 where he still resides with his wife Destiny and daughter Divinity. David also has a husky named Maverick and a Sheepadoodle named Po (After Kung-Fu Panda, the greatest cinema trilogy to ever be produced). David enjoys many sports, watching old kung-fu movies, Godzilla, Anime, drawing, cooking, and writing short stories.

Kara Dyer

Anatomic Pathology Technician

Kara serves as one of the Anatomic Pathology Technicians. She joined the team January 2024. Her main duties are to assist with the preparation and performance of necropsies and help in the anatomic pathology laboratory. She graduated from West Texas A&M in 2011 with a degree in Wildlife Biology. Then continued on to work for the City of Amarillo at the Zoo and Animal Management and Welfare.

Kara grew up in Amarillo. She is married to her best friend Chris and they have three children. Together Chris and Kara are first generation farmers focusing on poultry and homesteading. Kara enjoys hiking, camping, cooking and spending time with her family.

Ivan R. Escarcega-Marin

IT Support Technician II

Ivan R. Escarcega-Marin serves as the IT Support Technician II at the School of Veterinary Medicine. He provides technical support and assistance to departments, faculty, staff, and students with the use of software applications, customized applications, systems support.

Ivan was born in Chihuahua, Mexico and was raised in Clovis, New Mexico. After high school, he attended Universal Technical Institute in Phoenix, Arizona. He obtained a certificate in Auto, Diesel and Industrial Technology in 2005. Ivan also graduated from Clovis Community College with an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts in 2012. He will also be obtaining his second Associate Degree in Cybersecurity and Networking from Amarillo College in May 2023. Ivan likes to spend time with his family in Clovis as much as possible. He also has a passion for music and dancing, so he sometimes helps his friend DJ on the weekends.

David Favela

Outcomes Assessment Specialist

David is an Outcomes Assessment Specialist for the Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine. He evaluates and analyzes the program's effectiveness, bridging intention with achievement and aligning the efficacy of the program's curriculum and practices with the intended educational outcomes and industry standards.

He is from Tulia, Texas, has three children, and graduated from West Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Arts in History, a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction, and a Master of Arts in History, respectively. He is currently an Ed.D. candidate in Educational Leadership. He is a first-generation student and a member of Kappa Delta Pi, an International Honor Society in Education.

David has spent over fifteen years in higher education as a senior academic adviser, tutor, grading assistant, research assistant, and part-time instructor. He enjoys the collegiate setting, reading Spider-Man comics, playing tennis, and spending time with his children.

Cassandra Featherston, LVT

Unit Manager and Inventory Manager

Cassandra Featherston serves as the Unit Manager and Inventory Manager at Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine. She assists in the Clinical and Professional Skills Labs. Her career in veterinary medicine began in high school. She obtained her Veterinary Technician License after graduating from Penn Foster College, passing the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE), and the Texas Licensed Vet Tech Exam (LVTE).

She was born and raised in the Texas Panhandle. She currently lives in Amarillo with her boyfriend and their dog, Scooby, and three cats: Cinnamon, Toast, and a three-legged boy named Picket. Her hobbies include arts and crafts, traveling, and going to concerts.

Scott Frederiksen

Anatomical Preparator

Scott Frederiksen is an Anatomical Preparator for the Anatomy Department. He is the primary anatomy technician responsible for the day-to-day operations of the laboratory and assisting the anatomists. A recent addition to the Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine he joined the team in March 2021.

Scott is an Amarillo native and West Texas A&M Alumni having graduated in 2018 with a Bachelors in Agriculture with a minor in animal science. Then worked for various horse and rodeo associations at shows then went to a trade school to learn how to build, design and repair guitars. In his spare time, he builds and repairs acoustic guitars, and plays classical guitar and attends concerts as often as possible.

Kristine Gaines

Small Animal Veterinary Technician

Kristine Gaines is a small animal veterinary technician at the School of Veterinary Medicine. She was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico and moved to Lubbock, Texas in 2013. She started school at Vista College in the Veterinary Technician program and began working in the veterinary field in 2014. Later, she graduated with her Associates in Applied Sciences in Veterinary Technology in May 2015 and also became a certified ultrasound technician. Since then, she has moved to Amarillo in 2016 and worked for a small animal practice.

She is married to Caleb and together they have a 2-year-old son, 2 dachshunds, and 1 cat. In her spare time, she enjoys boxing and swimming.

Anna Garcia

Lead Specialist

Anna Garcia serves as a Lead Specialist for the Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine. She manages the budgets and accounts of the School of Veterinary Medicine faculty. Anna graduated from West Texas A&M University with a B.A. in Finance.

Anna was born and raised in Amarillo. She began her career with Texas Tech in December of 2017 and with the Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine in July 2022. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling and spending time with friends and family.

Mohamed Ghonim

Chief Compliance Officer

Mohamed Ghonim (Ayman) will serve as the Chief Compliance Officer. He obtained two bachelor's degrees, one in Military Sciences and another in Business Administration, and a diploma in International Security Studies. Ayman came to Texas Tech from the University of Illinois, where he was an Equal Employment Opportunity Investigator, investigating discrimination cases. He also worked for Virginia Tech. Before that, he spent all his professional career in the military, starting as a lieutenant and ending as a colonel and the head of one Military Intelligence Agency offices. During his military service, he filled different global organizations positions, such as the United Nations as an International Military Observer in Morocco and the African Union as the Chief Personnel and Administration mission in Sudan.

Ayman spent his professional career investigating cases and ensuring compliance in one way or another. As the School's safety officer and liaise with the Department of Environmental Health & Safety, he will support teaching and research laboratory compliance. He will provide training for faculty and staff on compliance-related needs and maintain compliance with all federal, state, and University requirements. He will also help in other compliance-related activities.

Guy Gilbert

Instructional Designer

Guy Gilbert serves as an Instructional Designer for the School of Veterinary Medicine where his primary role consists of systematically developing instructional materials and experiences to promote the acquisition of knowledge. He has worked for Texas Tech in the field of clinical simulation since 2009. Guy's rich professional tapestry allows him to draw from a wealth of experience and allows him to apply a remarkably diverse skill set to innovate and develop valuable educational solutions. Guy completed a bachelor's degree in Multidisciplinary Studies at the University of Texas at El Paso, and two master's degrees from Colorado State University, an MS in Organizational Leadership and an MS in Management with a specialization in Instructional Design. 

Guy is counted among a small number of individuals world-wide to be both, a Certified Healthcare Simulation Operations Specialist - Advanced (CHSOS-A), and a Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator (CHSE) through the Society of Simulation in Healthcare. 

Guy comes from a heritage of ranching in New Mexico and Colorado where his family raised foundation bloodlines of American Quarter Horses. His upbringing fostered many of his personal interests in outdoor activities like ultramarathons, mountaineering, backpacking and fly fishing. Guy enjoys taking outdoor excursions with his wife Rebecca and their 4 children.

Henry Granda

Event Specialist

Henry (“Hank”) Granda serves as the Event Specialist for the Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine. He is responsible for coordinating and assisting all aspects of internal events for the School of Veterinary Medicine.

He formerly worked for Texas Tech University as an Animal Laboratory Technician for Animal Care Services. Hank graduated from Texas Tech University with a bachelor's degree in media and communication studies in 2018. As a successful former athlete, Hank played football for the University of Houston from 2012-2015, prior to transferring and finishing his degree at Texas Tech.

Hank was born in Mandeville, Louisiana, and spent his early childhood being raised in Peoria, Ill. He then moved to Houston, Texas and graduated high school from St. Pius X. He spent 6 years in Lubbock, Texas prior to moving to Amarillo. Hank met his fiancé Ashleigh during undergrad at Texas Tech University in 2016 and he looks forward to what their future holds together. He and Ashleigh have three dogs and a cat together. Hank enjoys all things sports, gaming, weightlifting, and considers himself an enthusiastic “foodie.”

Cody Greenup

Large Animal Husbandry Caretaker

Cody Greenup is a large animal husbandry caretaker at the school's Mariposa Station facility. He also helps maintain the grounds of Mariposa Station as well as operates and services the equipment on the property. When needed, he assists with the various student labs that occur at Mariposa Station. Cody was born and raised around livestock and rodeo where he judged cattle and wrestled steers and rode bulls. He started with Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine in February 2023.

Cody is originally from the mountains of Colorado where he was born and raised. He became a personal trainer where he was certified in rehabilitation therapy through the International Sports Science Association. He tries to keep himself as young as possible by doing as many hobbies from becoming a nationally ranked Highland Games athlete and weightlifter to a local volunteer firefighter with Big Elk Meadows fire department in Colorado. He also enjoy all outdoor activities from hiking and climbing to snowboarding and camping.

Robert Griffin

Director of Facilities

Robert Griffin is the Director of Facilities at the Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine. He oversees the buildings operation and maintenance, and manages staff to maintain daily operations. He started with Texas Tech Health Sciences Center in 2015 as a Tradesman Leader and in 2017 promoted to Assistant Superintendent. Then, in 2019 he was promoted to Superintendent of Facilities.

On April 1st, 2022, Robert started with Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine as Director of Facilities. He grew up in the Panhandle of Texas and moved to Amarillo in 1980. He has a son and daughter in law and three grandkids that he enjoys very much. Robert is a retired musician (drummer) after 20 years and his hobbies are sports, riding a Harley and loving life.

Kennidi Hancock

Outcomes Assessment Specialist

Kennidi Hancock serves as an Outcomes Assessment Specialist at the School of Veterinary Medicine. She provides support for both faculty and students. Kennidi is excited to work with Texas Tech.

Kennidi was born and raised in Amarillo, Texas. She graduated from West Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work. Kennidi is married to Carson Hancock and together they share a black labrador named Judge. Kennidi enjoys reading, writing, traveling, and being a "Kiki" to her nieces and nephews.

Kenzie Harris, LVT

Anesthesia Technician

Kenzie Harris serves as the Anesthesia Technician at Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine. She received her A.A.S. Degree in Veterinary Technology at Cedar Valley Community College in Dallas, TX. After passing the Veterinary Technician National Exam, she became licensed in Texas.

She is a Texas Panhandle native. Kenzie is married to Dan, and together they have two sweet dogs, Bentley and Django, and a mischievous cat, Annie. In her spare time, she enjoys crafting, fishing, hiking, and camping.

Rayanne Hartung

Veterinary Anesthesia Technician

Rayanne Hartung is a Veterinary Anesthesia Technician for the School of Veterinary Medicine. She works alongside instructors to set up labs and also helps maintain the 24/7 room for students to practice their skills and help take care of the small animals when needed.

Rayanne is originally from Wyoming and is a Licensed Veterinary Technician. She went to school and graduated from Eastern Wyoming College of Veterinary Technology in December 2012. She loves spending time with her two dogs and she also enjoys live music and hanging out with her friends and family.

Hannah Hobbs

Administrative Business Assistant

Hannah Hobbs serves as the Administrative Business Assistant at the Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine. She is responsible for assisting in managing the dean's office. She is very excited to be part of Texas Tech University.

Hannah is from Panhandle, Texas. She enjoys spending time with her husband Terry and stepdaughter Camryn. As a family they enjoy spending most of their time outdoors, hunting, fishing, going on spontaneous last-minute vacations, and making new and exciting memories. She believes the memories made with loved ones is the most valuable thing this world has to offer!

Eric Hollingback

Small Animal Caretaker

Eric Ray Hollingback is a part-time Small Animal Caretaker at Texas Tech University's School of Veterinary Medicine. He provides the general care, feeding, and enrichment for our long-term canines and permanent felines on the weekends. He entered the world of Animal Welfare in early 2021 when he became a Veterinary Technician at a local non-profit which is the low cost spay and neuter clinic called P.E.T.S. Clinic of Amarillo. He holds both a job at the school and a position at the clinic he started at. He wants every animal to have it's potential realized so that they are seen for who they are meant to be, whether in the eyes of their owner or in the eyes of a stranger.

Eric is an Amarillo native who enjoys making others laugh and spends his limited time with friends and family. He is a believer in Jesus Christ and is heavily involved in youth ministry. He has an awesome Husky/Border Collie named Elora who gives him purpose and is so intelligent she practically trains herself!

Shelby A. Huffman

Outcomes Assessment Program Manager

Shelby serves as the Outcomes Assessment Program Manager. She conducts programmatic evaluation using qualitative and quantitative data for the success of the School of Veterinary Medicine program and its objectives. She is involved in academic advising, facilitation of exams and coordinating with faculty to ensure student success.

Shelby is originally from Canyon, Texas. She graduated from Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and later earned a Master of Business Administration in Management from West Texas A&M University. She joined the School of Veterinary Medicine in August of 2022. She likes to travel, be outdoors, workout and watch college sports (mainly football).

Gracie Hurt

Development Coordinator

Gracie Hurt serves as the Development Coordinator for the School of Veterinary Medicine. Gracie is responsible for the administrative duties of assisting in planning, organizing, directing, and coordinating special development efforts. These efforts include cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of individual, foundation, and corporate support for the School and its mission. Gracie began serving in this role in the fall of 2023.

Being an Amarillo native, Gracie graduated from Tascosa High School and continued her Panhandle based education at West Texas A&M University where she received her Bachelor's and her M.B.A. in 2022. Gracie also served as an intern in Orlando, Florida during her college years, participating in the Disney College Program. Gracie is a very active member in the community and loves dedicating her time to Amarillo Little Theatre, the Delta Zeta Alumni Board, and her dog Hazel Mae.

Debbie Johnson

Executive Associate to the Dean

Debbie Johnson serves as the executive associate to the Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine. She is responsible for managing the Dean's office and administrative assistants across the School of Veterinary Medicine. Debbie spent much of her career in Human Resources Executive Management. Previously, she served in a dual role of management and executive assistant to the CEO. She began working at Texas Tech Veterinary School in January 2021.

Debbie grew up in the picturesque mountain town of Ruidsoso, NM, but now considers herself a native of Amarillo. She is married to her best friend, Brad, and they have 2 daughters (Ashlee and Taylor). Their grandchildren, Grayson and Rhyan are the most fun! The newest addition to the household is a rescue dog, named Buddy. She and Brad enjoy all activities relating to the outdoors, and plan annual family vacations camping, hiking and riding off-road vehicles.

Soni Khandelwal

Research Associate

Soni Khandelwal serves as a Research Associate for the Office of the Associate Dean for Research at the School of Veterinary Medicine. She performs specialized work in planning, coordinating, conducting, and supervising School of Veterinary Medicine-wide research activities. Prior to joining the School of Veterinary Medicine in July 2022, she was a postdoctoral scholar at UC San Diego and worked as Scientist II at ThermoFisher Scientific. She graduated with a PhD degree in Nutritional Sciences from Texas Tech in May 2018.

Originally, Soni is from India and loves gardening. In her free time, she loves spending time with friends and family, watching movies, embroidery. She is also in the process to learn crochet.

Elizabeth Langwell

Veterinary Technician

Elizabeth Langwell serves as a Veterinary Technician for the School of Veterinary Medicine. She assists in the Clinical and Professional Skills Labs. She received her Certificate of Completion in Veterinary Assisting from Amarillo College and then her B.S. in Biology from the University of Texas at Arlington.

She was born and raised in Amarillo and spent 15 years living in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. Her family owned and operated an independent pharmacy in Amarillo for 40 years. She has always had a heart for animals and enjoyed raising and showing Quarter Horses for many years. She shares her home with two dogs, two hamsters, two birds, and a Uromastyx named Petra.

McKenzie Case-Lopez

Clinical and Professional Skills Technician

McKenzie Case-Lopez is a Clinical and Professional Skills Technician at the School of Veterinary Medicine. Her role includes working alongside instructors to set up instructional labs, maintain the 24/7 study room for students to practice their skills, and care for the small animals when needed.

McKenzie is a native of Amarillo and was a Zookeeper for eight years before coming to work for Texas Tech, she lives with her husband and two daughters who mean the entire world to her. She also has her own mini zoo at home with a macaw, a tortoise, crested geckos, frogs, cats, and dogs. She is very passionate about animals, gardening, and traveling.

Alyssa Loter

Administrative Assistant

Alyssa Loter serves as the Administrative Assistant at the School of Veterinary Medicine. Alyssa graduated from West Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing. She provides administrative support in the Dean's office including of departmental event planning and room reservations. She is excited to work with Texas Tech.

Alyssa was born and raised in Amarillo, Texas. She is a proud dog/cat mom to Penny, Sophie, Nugget, and JD. She enjoys spending time with her boyfriend, Joshua, as well as with family and friends. They love spending their free time outside riding bikes, playing volleyball, or just lounging at home watching her favorite show, Friends or a good rom-com.

Caryn Malone

Small Animal Caretaker

Caryn Malone is one of the Small Animal Caretaker team members. She is responsible for the feeding and care of the numerous dogs and cats here at the School of Veterinary Medicine. The dogs and cats are fed twice daily and kennels are thoroughly cleaned at least once a day. The dogs are turned out in designated play yards during the day to play with fur-friends and get some stress relief. The Small Animal Caretaker team must maintain the health and safety of the animals and report any issues to the veterinary technicians and veterinarians.

Caryn is a native of Colorado and moved to Amarillo in June of 2023. Previously, Caryn had a successful horse training business for ten years. The highlight of Caryn's equine career was an invitation to the selection trials for the Para Dressage team for the 2010 World Equestrian Games. Sadly, her horse had to undergo colic surgery the night before leaving for the trials. Caryn has worked as a veterinary technician for over 20 years in both private practice and shelter medicine. Caryn's life is powered by her passion for the wellbeing of animals.

Rita Mayberry

Senior Business Assistant

Rita Mayberry serves as the Senior Business Assistant for the School of Veterinary Medicine. She manages Travel and the reconciling of the Departmental PCard reports of the School of Veterinary Medicine faculty and staff. Rita completed her Associate Degree in Office Administration at Amarillo College and later attained a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a minor in Human Resource at Wayland Baptist University. She comes to us with over seven years of experience from Texas Tech University Health Science Center, where she worked in the Office of the Regional Dean as a Lead Specialist.

She grew up in the small town of Quanah, Texas. There she discovered her love for the annual parade and rodeo. For many years she would attend the rodeo with one of the greatest cowboys of all times, her grandfather. Still today Rita LOVES parades and her greatest desire is to one day attend the Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and the Tournament of Roses Parade. Growing up in a large family with seven siblings (four boys and four girls) being number five of eight children, Rita was the first of her siblings to graduate high school and the first to attend and graduate college. Through the years, she has been her family's biggest advocate for the importance of education. Her greatest joy is watching other family members walk in and/or surpass her footsteps.

Mike Mercado

IT Specialist III

Mike Mercado serves as the IT Specialist for the Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine. He provides technical support and assistance to departments, faculty, staff, and students with the use of software applications, customized applications, systems support, and websites, etc. He also manages area and unit IT software projects in support of business operations.

Mike was born and raised in Floydada, Texas. He attended and graduated from West Texas A&M University. He began his IT career while attending WTAMU and has spent more than 20 years serving in several different positions from an IT Technician to an IT Director/Coordinator for area public and private schools. Recently coming from TTUHSC's Managed Care department, he now provides all technical support for the Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine. Mike is married to his wife Priscilla, and together they have two children. They are avid fans of their two favorite softball and baseball players. Together they spend their free time chasing their daughter around the tri-state area supporting her and her softball team as well as their son that is just getting started in baseball.

For faculty and staff IT support, please contact svm.itsupport@ttu.edu.

Stephanie Miller

Project Manager for Research Development

Stephanie Miller serves as the Project Manager for Research Development at the Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine. She provides support to all faculty regarding sourcing potential funding opportunities, and proposal preparation, review, and editing. She also liaises with the Office of Research Services and Office of Research Development and Communications regarding research opportunities and submissions.

Although born in Amarillo, Stephanie was raised in California's Central Valley. She graduated from California State University, Fresno with a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies and obtained her teaching certification in California and Texas. She spent ten years as an educator focusing on data analysis, instructional design, and content development. Stephanie enjoys spending time with her husband, Jose, two amazing daughters, Madilyn and Olivia, and sweet dog, Millie Sue. Her daughter, Madilyn, is already planning on being a future RaiderVet!

Woody Mihm

Custodial Supervisor

Woody Mihm is the custodial supervisor here at the school. His role is to be over the custodial staff and take care of all the supply needs. Woody attended West Texas A&M in college and received a B.S. in Agribusiness with a secondary in Economics.

While attending school, he was a volunteer firefighter with the Happy, Texas VFD. There Woody received his EMT-B license which has been current now for over 21 years. Woody has been married to his wife Melanie for 26 years and has four kids. Woody's oldest son and daughter-in-law are in the Airforce.

Woody has seven dogs and four cats. He spends most of his spare time outdoors at the lake with the family or hunting on his farm he purchased in Childress, Texas. His family all reside in Fritch, Texas.

Scott Mitchell

Chief Operations Officer

Scott Mitchell serves as the Chief Operations Officer for the School of Veterinary Medicine. Scott performs executive-level operational and administrative oversight for the school. This includes organizational oversight and management of staff, implementation of projects for accreditation, facilities management, organizational build-up, and fostering the school's core values.

Scott holds a Master's degree in Range Management from the College of Agriculture Sciences and Natural Resources at Texas Tech University. Scott comes to the School of Veterinary Medicine from the private wealth sector, where he managed a large portfolio of farms and ranches in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. Scott grew up on his family's farm/ranch in the small rural community of Lazbuddie, Texas.

Lynnsey Montgomery

Administrative Business Assistant

Lynnsey Montgomeryserves as the Administrative Business Assistant at the School of Veterinary Medicine. She is responsible for assisting in managing the Dean's office.

Lynnsey attended Amarillo College after graduating from Tascosa High School. She worked as a Certified Veterinary Assistant for a few years and later completed training for Medical Transcription. Over the years, she gained quite a bit of administrative, clerical, and customer service skills, and she is very excited for the opportunity to combine her education and experience here at Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine.

Lynnsey has a daughter and three dogs that keep her on her toes at home. In her spare time, she enjoys horror movies, true crime, producing and editing her podcast, reading, painting, photography, and spending time with her loved ones.

Cheri Moore

Large Animal Veterinary Technician

Cheri serves as a veterinary technician for The Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine. Cheri is currently positioned at Mariposa Station and assists in Clinical and Professional Skills labs, as well as aids with the treatment and care of the large animals housed at Mariposa Station. She received her Certificate of Completion in Veterinary Assisting from Cedar Valley Community College, and has worked in several area vet clinics, and brings both skill and compassion to the work force.

Cheri has two small children, four horses and one blue heeler. When she is not at Texas Tech, Cheri works as a horseback riding instructor at a local boarding stable. She loves spending time with friends and family, and enjoys fine arts, cooking and outdoor activities.

Kristina Pennell

Senior Director of Administration and Finance

Kristina Pennell serves as the Senior Director of Administration and Finance for the School of Veterinary Medicine. She helps implement budget goals for the school as well as manage start-up funding and research accounts for SVM faculty.

Originally from Schertz, Texas, Kristina graduated from Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Communications in 2012. In 2013, she began her career at TTU as the lead account processor for the Department of Animal & Food Sciences, where she managed gift, grant and state funding for various professors. She also served as the Compliance Coordinator in Accounting Services, where she specialized in implementing effort regulations on sponsored projects. In her free time, Kristina enjoys spending time with her husband, Corey and their son, Cash.

Christopher Perrin

Small Animal Caretaker

Christopher Perrin serves as a small animal caretaker at the School of Veterinary Medicine. He is responsible for managing the care and sanitation for the animals. Chris has been a small animal veterinary technician for the past three years. Previously, he has had experience with several different species of animals as well as serving for five years in the Army as an animal care specialist. Chris started working at Texas Tech University's School of Veterinary Medicine in September 2023.

Chris grew up here in Amarillo, Texas. He enjoys spending time with his family as well as his friends. He enjoys most all activities relating to the outdoors, fishing, cookouts, and camping.

Angela Peterson

Licensed Professional Counselor

Angela Peterson serves as a Licensed Professional Counselor for the students at the School of Veterinary Medicine. She provides support for students so that they are better able to work towards their educational and professional goals. Angela joined the team in January of 2023.

Angela is an Amarillo native and a West Texas A&M University Alumni. She graduated from WT with her Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology in 2011 and her Master of Art in Psychology in 2016. Angela works full time at a pediatric rehabilitation clinic providing counseling services to young children and their families. She also provides counseling services through her private practice, Peterson Child & Family Counseling, which was established in 2023. Angela has been married to her amazing husband, Joseph, for 12 years. Together, they have two beautiful children (Ava – 4, Joseph – 2), and a cute fur baby named Chevy. In their free time, they love traveling the world and exploring new places.

Asher Pitts

Clinical and Professional Skills Technician

Asher Pitts is a Clinical and Professional Skills Technician at the School of Veterinary Medicine. His role includes working alongside faculty to set up and moderate instructional labs, make sure students have the resources needed to practice skills in the 24/7 practice room, help instruct students on proper care, restraints, physical assessments, and phlebotomy of small animals. He also helps in the care and maintenance of both small and large animals.

Asher joined the School of Veterinary Medicine in March of 2024. Before he joined, he was a veterinary and surgical nurse at Swann Animal Clinic. After leaving Swann, he became a certified dog trainer for Off Leash K9 Training. Through both of these endeavors he has developed a passion for small animal behavior, as well as, client/patient interaction and teaching future veterinarians on how they could approach and talk to clients about patients needs including physiological and mental heath.

At home Asher is a huge nerd that enjoys playing video games with his kids, watching anime with his wife, watching horror movies(albeit by himself here), and loving on his horde of animals. He is proud and honored to be apart of Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine and loves to interact with everyone including staff, faculty, administration and especially the students!

Sherri Powledge

Research Associate

Sherri Powledge serves as a Research Associate for the Office of the Associate Dean for Research at the School of Veterinary Medicine. She performs specialized work in planning, coordinating, conducting, and supervising SVM-wide research activities. She started her career with Texas Tech in December 2021, after graduating from West Texas A&M University in 2021 and Texas Tech in 2019 with her Master's and Bachelor's in Animal Science, respectively.

Originally from Aztec, New Mexico, Sherri enjoys camping, skiing, and all things cattle. She met her husband, Johnathon in college and together they have the most lovable dog, Jetta. They love spending their time outdoors with family and friends.

Payton Priest

Associate Director of Development

Payton Priest serves as the Associate Director of Development for the School of Veterinary Medicine. Payton is responsible for the administrative duties of planning, organizing, directing, and coordinating special development efforts. These efforts include cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of individual, foundation, and corporate support for the School and its mission. Payton began serving in this role in the fall of 2021.

Payton is a Texas Panhandle native and a third generation Red Raider. She graduated from Texas Tech University with highest honors in May 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Communications. Her husband, Laramie, is a fourth-generation cattleman. Laramie manages Priest Cattle Company's operations based in the Panhandle and West Texas while also owning and operating Priest Genetics, Payton and Laramie's show cattle business.

Nicole Pruitt

Business Manager

Nicole Pruitt serves as a business manager for the School of Veterinary Medicine. She manages the budgets for the accounts of the SVM faculty. Nicole received her associate's degree in Medical Management from Amarillo College. She comes to us with 24 years of experience from Texas Tech University Health Science Center-Managed Care, where she worked in the finance department.

Nicole grew up in Wellington a small rural community in the Texas panhandle, in a farming/ranching family. She now resides in Bushland with her husband Mark. Together they have 5 wonderful children and many awesome grandchildren.

Kami Ray

Lead Specialist

Kami Ray serves as a Lead Specialist for the School of Veterinary Medicine. She manages the budgets and accounts of the SVM faculty. She started her career at Texas Tech in June of 2015 and with the Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine in April of 2020.

She is originally from Ohio, but spent her elementary years between Amarillo & Spearman, TX. Her middle and high school years were spent back in Ohio with her family. At the age of 17, she moved back to Amarillo where she met and married her husband of 24 years, they have three beautiful kids together. Their family spent 13 of those years in Lubbock, TX where she first started working at Texas Tech in the Student Disability Services Department. She is excited to be back in Amarillo and be a part of this wonderful program!

Nichole Robinson

Communication Program Coordinator

Nichole Robinson serves as the Communication Program Coordinator at the School of Veterinary Medicine. She aids in scheduling and training for our Simulated Client program.

Originally from Lefors, Texas, Nichole developed her love for animals while caring for her family's diverse array of pets. Her passion for wildlife led her to pursue studies in Animal Science and Wildlife Biology at Tarleton State University.

Following her education, Nichole took on a leadership role at the Amarillo Zoo, where she dedicated herself to promoting animal welfare and educating the public about wildlife. Her commitment to ensuring the best treatment for animals remains a cornerstone of her career.

Beyond her professional endeavors, Nichole finds joy in traveling, attending concerts, weightlifting, and exploring the outdoors. Her cherished companion in these adventures is her dog, Motley.

Thomas Rodriguez

Shipping and Receiving Specialist

Thomas Rodriguez is the Shipping and Receiving Specialist. He is in charge of receiving all of the shipments and mail for the School of Veterinary Medicine as well as any outgoing mail and packages. Many of the packages that he receives pertain to research. He started at the school in September 2022.

Rodriguez was born in Hereford, Texas and lived there most of his early life. He graduated from Caprock in Amarillo. He and his wife, Felicia, have been married since April 2012 and have 3 children, Micah, Lilyana, and Katalina. They also have several animals one dog, Kozmo and three cats, Charlie, Tiny, and Lucy. In his free time, he enjoys camping, hiking, and swimming. He also has a few hobbies which include woodworking and gardening.

Elizabeth Rowe

Instructional Designer

Elizabeth Rowe serves as an Instructional Designer. She is involved in the implementation, use, and best practices associated with Blackboard (our Learning Management System) and best practices in the use of various classroom technologies. Elizabeth started her career with Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine in July of 2020.

A Tennessee native, Elizabeth completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Human Learning at the University of Tennessee-Martin. She then went on to the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, where she completed a Master of Science degree in Instructional Technology and a Specialist in Education (EdS) degree in Instructional Technology and Educational Studies. Elizabeth spent the first 6 years of her career in K-12 education, where she was heavily involved in instructional mentorship, data analysis, and outcomes assessment as a mentor teacher in the Teacher Advancement Program (TAP).

After moving to Kansas in 2013, she joined the College of Education at Kansas State University as an academic advisor. Most recently, she served as the Instructional Designer for Lincoln Memorial University's novel Doctor of Medical Science Program, where she played an integral role in curricular development and program design. Elizabeth is married to Josh Rowe, an Associate Professor of Anatomy here at the School of Veterinary Medicine. Together, they have one daughter, Jocelyn. They love to spend time exploring the local terrain, taking the Jeep offroad, and playing with their two dogs.

Maria Camila Hoyos Sanchez

Research Associate / Lab Manager

Camila serves as a Research Associate and Lab Manager for the Fon Tacer Lab at the School of Veterinary Medicine. She performs experiments in cancer biology and reproductive biology. She also performs bioinformatic analysis of sequencing data, manages specialized laboratory equipment, trains and supervises students, as well as manages a mouse colony.

She was born in Ibagué, Colombia. After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, she completed two master's degrees, one in Biological Science and one in Computational Biology. In her free time, she enjoys mountain biking and hiking.

Heather Scalf

Program Manager

Heather Scalf began her career with the Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine in November 2021, serving as Program Manager for the Office of the Associate Dean of Research. She works closely with the Associate Dean of Research to manage the graduate and professional student Research programs. She also coordinates Research-related events, seminars, and communication.

Heather graduated from West Texas A&M University with a B.A. in English. She has previously managed departments and projects related to Creative, Communications, Human Resources, and Strategic Accounts.

Heather is an Amarillo native. She and her husband, Joel, stay busy with their two daughters, Avery and Liddy. Everyone knows her favorite family member, though, is the family's rescue dog, Elle. She enjoys savory snacks, walks around the neighborhood, and road trips. Heather enjoys those things too.

Stevie Sinclair

Administrative Assistant

Stevie Sinclair serves as an Administrative Assistant at the School of Veterinary Medicine. She oversees the department's purchasing cards as well as provides administrative support in the finance office. She is very excited to be a part of the Texas Tech family.

Stevie was raised in Inola, Oklahoma. When she was eighteen, she moved to Denver, Colorado where she spent the next nine years. She recently relocated to Amarillo to be closer to family. She enjoys cooking, attending concerts, camping, being with family and friends, and spending time with her cat, Sushi.

Kayti Smith

Large Animal Husbandry Caretaker

Kayti Smith serves as the Large Animal Husbandry Caretaker. She provides care, management, treatment, and documentation of care provided to animals used in the veterinary school program. She began her career with Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine in March 2022. Kayti has worked at several area vet clinics as a veterinary assistant. She brings to the table experience in both small and large animals.

She graduated from Olton High School in 2012. She has her certification in Equine Massage Therapy. She has also helped many students with their 4-H and FFA Animal projects. She lives in Claude, Texas with her trustworthy Aussie, BB.

Kayti enjoys all Texas Tech sports, especially basketball and baseball. She and her family raise cattle and dorper sheep, which she plays a vital role in taking care of the animals. She grew up very involved in 4-H, FFA, and basketball. She enjoys spending time with family and friends in her spare time.

Juan Solano

Research Associate

Juan Sebastian Solano serves as a research associate at the School of Veterinary Medicine. He works in the Fon Tacer laboratory, focusing to gain insight in the role of MAGE genes in pancreatic cancer. Also, he provides administrative support to the Fon Tacer lab. Juan is native to Colombia, where he graduated as a biologist and obtained a master's degree in science-biotechnology.

Juan was born in Ibague, a small town in Colombia, in the mountain zone. He lived in Colombia for 30 years and now, he is happy to have moved to Amariilo. He is passionate by sports. Watching soccer or rugby games is one of Juan's favorite activities, as well as working out and going for a run. He also loves going out to eat with his friends.

Eden Taylor

Lead Specialist

Eden serves as a Lead Specialist for the Associate Dean of Clinical Programs, where she manages the program's budgets and accounts. Eden graduated from New Mexico State University with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics and Business.

Eden was born and raised in Amarillo and moved to Taos, New Mexico in 2008. She enjoys spending time outside with her husband, Keegan and two dogs, Jax and Griff.

Tyler Tubbs

Anatomic Pathology Technician

Ty serves as the Anatomic Pathology Technician. He joined the team October 2021. His main duties are to assist with the preparation and performance of necropsies and help in the anatomic pathology laboratory. He graduated from Texas Tech in 2014 with a degree in Animal Science.

Ty grew up on a small ranch in Clarendon, Texas. Since graduating from college, he has worked closely within the livestock industry. Ty enjoys silversmithing, being outdoors, cooking for people, spending time with his family and working on the family ranch. He is proud to be working for his Alma Mater, and is excited to watch the school grow.

Kayla Veach

Clinical and Professional Skills Technician

Kayla Veach is a Clinical and Professional Skills Technician at the School of Veterinary Medicine. Her role includes working alongside instructors to set up instructional labs, maintain the 24/7 study room for students to practice their skills, and care for the small animals when needed.

She is originally from Andrews, Texas and moved with her family to Amarillo in 2018. She lives with her husband and two boys and they have two dogs, two cats and a bearded dragon. In her spare time, she loves to hang out with family doing various activities.

Courtney Ward

Veterinary Anesthesia Technician

Courtney is a Veterinary Anesthesia Technician at the School of Veterinary Medicine. Her job duties include helping veterinary students understand the importance of anesthesia in veterinary medicine and why it is significant and needed. She also helps set up for different simulation labs and helps the School of Veterinary Medicine package dog food for the Meals on Wheels' AniMeals program.

Courtney was a small animal veterinary technician for almost 13 years before coming to Texas Tech. She brings experience in small animal abdominal ultrasound, echocardiograms, euthanasia, and emergency and critical care. She has a deep passion for veterinary medicine and is excited to be a part of helping teach the next generation of veterinarians.

Courtney was born and raised in the small town of Tulia (Go Hornets), where she developed her love for animals at a very young age. She went to college at Wayland Baptist University, then served in the United States Navy before moving to New Mexico to get some hands-on experience in veterinary medicine at one of the best veterinary clinics in Southern New Mexico. She was eager to move back home to be closer to family and is so grateful to be a part of the Texas Tech family. She enjoys running, being outside, spending time with her fiancé at their favorite breweries, her Texas Rangers, and of course, Harry Potter.

Stephanie Wertman

Mariposa Station Manager and Large Animal Technician

Stephanie Wertman serves as the Mariposa Station Manager and Large Animal Technician at the School of Veterinary Medicine. She began her veterinary career 35 years ago in the United States Army as an Animal Care Specialist. Equine medicine and surgery has been her focus over the last 23 years. The Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital was her home for the last 11 years as the Equine Internal Medicine lead technician. Then she moved up as the Equine Medicine Supervisor and Service Coordinator. She obtained her Veterinary Technician Specialist certification in Equine Nursing in 2017. Most recently, she had the privilege to be a chapter co-author (Neonatal Care of Puppies, Kittens, and Foals) in the 10th edition of the Bassert: McCurnin's Clinical Textbook for Veterinary Technicians and Nurses.

Stephanie has been married to her husband, John, for 33 years and have grown children, Michael and Christopher. She also has Jasmine, the best Great Dane ever. She loves to ride horses when the opportunity presents itself, read, and looks forward to the opportunity to hike and camp.

Brighton White

Student Services Program Manager

Brighton serves as the Student Services Program Manager. She works closely to assist prospective and current students with student resources, coordinating Wellness Events, and assisting student organizations. In addition, Brighton will be helping with the student mentoring program and admissions.

Brighton graduated from Texas Tech University with a B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies in August 2019. She began her career with Texas Tech in July of 2019 and with the Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine in July of 2022. She is overjoyed to be serving her Texas Tech community. Brighton loves all things Texas Tech including basketball, football, baseball, and the award-winning meat judging team.

Chris Williams

Large Animal Husbandry Caretaker

Chris Williams is a large animal caretaker at the School of Veterinary Medicine. His job is to look after the animals at Mariposa Station. When needed, he assists with the various student labs that occur at Mariposa Station as well. He is originally from a small town in southwest Kansas but moved to northern Colorado when he was eleven. When he was fifteen years old, he worked on his first ranch for a roping cow rancher. He held several construction jobs and for the last six years he managed a ranch for a local eye doctor.

Williams enjoys spending time either at the gym or smoking barbeque for friends and family. He has one son and enjoys being able to spend time with him and his wife and making them try new spice rubs that he creates.