Texas Tech University

Staff

Michael Acuna

Large Animal Veterinary Technician

Michael serves as the Large Animal Veterinary Technician at the Mariposa Station for Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine. He assists in teaching the veterinary students. His vast knowledge and many years of experience will help students remain in a safe environment while learning.

He began working in veterinary medicine in 1972 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he was born and raised. He and his wife are excited about their new adventure in Amarillo. In his free time, he enjoys ranch work, team roping, and spending time with his grandchildren.

Danelle Barber

Senior Administrative Assistant

Danelle Barber is a Senior Administrative Assistant to the Associate Deans in the School of Veterinary Medicine. She supports the planning, budgeting, supervision, program implementation, and evaluation of the School of Veterinary Medicine.

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.

Emily Bowmer

Clinical and Professional Skills Technician

Emily Bowmer serves as a Clinical and Professional Skills Technician at the School of Verterinary Medicine. She assists students in learning professional skills in interactive labs and simulated client/patient interactions. Emily was born and raised in Amarillo and graduated from Randall High School. She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology in 2001 and a Master of Education in Higher Education in 2019, both from Penn State University.

Emily has spent most of her professional career in higher education serving as an instructor and academic advisor. She is married to Jonathan and has two children, Douglas and Sabine. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, gardening, and fostering cats for the local humane society.

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.

David Favela

Outcome Assessment Specialist

David is the Outcome Assessment Specialist for the School of Veterinary Medicine. He is from Tulia, Texas and has lived in the Texas Panhandle all his life. He has two children and graduated from West Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Arts: History and a Master of Education: Curriculum and Instruction, respectively.

He has spent almost ten years in Higher Education working as an Academic Adviser, tutor, grading assistant, research assistant, and part-time instructor. He hopes that his skills and knowledge will assist the future generations of Veterinarians at Texas Tech. He enjoys the collegiate setting, reading Spider-Man comics, playing tennis, spending time with his children, and aspires to become a film historian.

Cassandra Featherston, LVT

Veterinary Technician

Cassandra Featherston serves as a Veterinary Technician 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.

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.

Anthony Goldsmith

Clinical Skills Model Technician

Anthony Goldsmith serves as the Clinical Skills Model Technician at the School of Veterinary Medicine. He will help support the development of student skills by maintaining and manufacturing models for instructional use. The models are manufactured in our very own maker space using a variety of techniques and equipment.

He is a graduate of Walden University where he earned a BS in Interdisciplinary Studies and became a U.S. Army Combat Veteran. As of July 2021, he now begins his career at the Texas Tech SVM. Anthony is married to his wife Ashley, and together they run a small farm with sheep, llamas, and horses.

Sarah Innis

Director of Admissions and Student Services

Sarah Innis serves as the Director for Student Services and Admissions. She will be working with the Dean of Student Services and Academic Affairs to build the admissions cycle and administer student support.

Sarah is an Amarillo native and graduated from Randall High School. Later, she earned her undergraduate degree from Oral Roberts University and started her career by working for the TTUHSC School of Pharmacy. She has spent seven years between the Amarillo and the Dallas campuses working in student affairs specifically in admissions, recruitment, and student success.

Sarah is also a fellow Red Raider and earned her master's degree in Higher Education Administration from Texas Tech University in 2018. She will be returning to her hometown and looks forward to being a part of this amazing program while reconnecting with family, friends, and the family dogs, Jasmine Precious, and Mr. Wiggles.

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.

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.

Scott Mitchell

Director of School Facilities

Scott Mitchell serves as the Director of Facilities for the School of Veterinary Medicine. Scott will provide operational supervision of the School's state-of-the-art facilities. In addition, he will provide day to day management of the large animal facility, Mariposa Station.

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.

Abby Morris

Administrative Business Assistant

Abby Morris serves as the Administrative Business Assistant at the School of Veterinary Medicine. She provides the principal secretarial support as well as administrative and Human Resource needs of the School. She started her career with Texas Tech and the School of Veterinary Medicine in November of 2019. Abby is an Amarillo native and a Texas Tech Alumni, having graduated in 2017 with a BFA in Art with a concentration in Photography.

She is a third generation Red Raider and was a member of the Goin' Band from Raiderland and the Beta Chapter of Tau Beta Sigma, the band service sorority. Abby was recently married in December to the love of her life, Blaine. Together they have two adorable dogs, Leo and Ellie, and a lovable cat, Jorah. They love spending their free time together by going on camping trips or just spending time at home playing video games.

Kristina Pennell

Director of Administration and Finance

Kristina Pennell serves as the 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.

Megan Pirtle

Student Services Coordinator

Megan Pirtle serves as the Student Services Coordinator. She will be coordinating support for new and continuing students and assist with student wellness programs, organizations and events. She started her career with Texas Tech and the School of Veterinary Medicine in June 2021.

Megan was born and raised in the Texas Panhandle and graduated from West Texas A&M University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Media and Communications. While at WT she competed on both the equestrian and horse judging teams. In her spare time, Megan enjoys running with her German Sheperd Mae, traveling and spending time 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

Lead Specialist

Nicole Pruitt serves as the Lead Specialist 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!

Elizabeth Rowe

Director of Outcomes Assessment

Elizabeth Rowe serves as the Director of Outcomes Assessment in the School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM). She will be involved in programmatic evaluation, implementation of examination software, development of measurable outcomes, and assessment data analysis. Elizabeth started her career with Texas Tech University SVM 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 TTUSVM. Together, they have one daughter, Jocelyn. They love to spend time exploring the local terrain and playing with their two dogs.