Former SEHD Students Honored At Awards Gala
Our 2023 Outstanding Alumni Awards Gala recognized six difference-making educators, administrators and researchers. The Outstanding Alumni and Early Career awards are the highest honors SEHD bestows upon its former students for making exceptional contributions to their professions.
Here are this year’s honorees:
Shirley Hammond ’00
Dr. Hammond served as the Director of Education at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum for over 20 years. She developed youth programs and promoted distance education by developing the Reading Discovery Program featuring former First Lady Barbara Bush. Dr. Hammond earned her Ph.D. in educational administration.
David A. Ortiz ’92, ‘94
Dr. Ortiz is Vice President for the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Texas Lutheran University. He has served in various faculty and executive roles in higher education for nearly three decades. Dr. Ortiz earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas A&M.
Carlos H. Rios ’90, ’97, ‘12
Dr. Rios served in the Navy before becoming an educator. He taught high school in Aggieland before pursuing his graduate education. After serving as principal and executive at various Texas schools, Dr. Rios is now in his tenth year as Superintendent of San Felipe Del Rio CISD.
The following three Early Career Award honorees were recognized for outstanding achievements occurring within their first ten years after graduation:
Luke Christian Lyons ’18
Dr. Lyons earned his doctorate in curriculum and instruction and is now a faculty member in the School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. He has led the Biomedical Research Certificate program, which serves undergraduate students and is one of the largest course-based research programs in the country.
Genyne L. Royal ’15
Dr. Royal has over 25 years of experience as a scholar and practitioner. Since earning her doctorate in higher education, she has focused on research to increase student retention and break down barriers to student success, including those that affect underserved and marginalized populations. Dr. Royal is a leader in academic and student affairs at Michigan State University.
Diana Wandix-White ’19
Dr. White has been an educator for 27 years and is an assistant professor of multicultural education at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. She has presented her scholarly work on care and equity in education at conferences in the United States and other parts of the world. Dr. White also earned the Texas A&M University System’s Chancellor’s Academy of Teacher Educators award.