3 CEHD Faculty Named Distinguished Achievement Honorees

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Written by: Ashley Green (cehdcomm@tamu.edu)
Post date: March 20, 2018

Three faculty in the College of Education and Human Development will be honored with a 2018 Distinguished Achievement Award from the Association of Former Students.

Dr. Timothy Lightfoot, professor in the Department of Health and Kinesiology, was chosen for an award in graduate mentoring. Dr. Lightfoot has been with the college for eight years, teaching courses and serving as director of the Huffines Institute for Sports Medicine and Human Performance.

Dr. Lightfoot says he was stunned to find out about the award because, in his eyes, he was just doing his job.

“We have a lot of great mentors on campus so I feel somewhat underserving,” said Dr. Lightfoot. “I just come in every day and try to do my job, which is to help move our students to their next professional position, whatever it may be.”

Dr. Cynthia Riccio, professor, and Dr. Glenda Byrns, clinical associate professor, both from the Department of Educational Psychology (EPSY), were chosen for awards in teaching.  

Dr. Riccio joined the school psychology faculty in 1997. Along with a faculty appointment at the Texas A&M Institute for Neuroscience, Dr. Riccio also serves as Director of Training in school psychology. She feels her real-world experience in the field before she joined the faculty sets her apart. For her, being a professor is not just a job.

“As much as I find research rewarding, it is the opportunity to work with students and watch them grow as they complete the program and enter their chosen profession that truly makes my job not ‘just a job’,” said Dr. Riccio. “It is gratifying to know that students have appreciated my time and effort on their behalf.”

Byrns joined the EPSY faculty as an assistant lecturer in 2005 as she worked to complete her doctorate in educational psychology from Texas A&M. She is now associate clinical professor in the special education program and also serves as Associate Department Head for Academic Affairs.

Dr. Byrns credits her success and this award to her passion for teaching, and shared a piece of advice for other faculty looking to make a difference.

“Find someone that can help you. Search out a colleague that will support you in your journey. But, more importantly, find a topic that ignites your passion,” said Dr. Byrns. “Your students can tell if you have a passion for what you’re sharing with them. Make it meaningful so that students can take and apply it in their life and in their future careers.”

Since 1955, the AFS has recognized outstanding members of Texas A&M’s faculty and staff for their commitment, performance and positive impact on Aggie students, Texas citizens and the world around them. Drs. Lightfoot, Riccio and Byrns will be recognized at a ceremony on April 27, in Rudder Theater. In recognition of their achievements, honorees will receive a cash gift, an engraved watch and a commemorative plaque.

You can find a full list of Distinguished Achievement Award Honorees on the Association of Former Students website.