For the University of Michigan School of Dentistry Community | Spring 2021
Dental Hygiene Program Celebrates Centennial
School a national leader in creating, expanding hygiene education
Dear Alumni and Friends, It is with a sense of optimism that I write to you nearly halfway through 2021. Even now, as the COVID-19 pandemic has improved considerably, it is impossible to predict the twists and turns yet to come. But we are hopeful that the massive vaccination effort around this country and the world will succeed in moving us closer to health and safety in all of our communities.
Once again, I must publicly applaud the students, faculty, staff and administrators at the School of Dentistry for their response to what has been a non-stop exercise in problem-solving and resilience over the last 18 months. I am so impressed by their “can-do” approach during a “must-do” time. Educating students, treating patients and advancing research during the pandemic has been a complex task and daily challenge, yet over and over I see positivity, creativity and teamwork in every corner of the school. I also send my gratitude to alumni and friends who have supported the school in so many ways during this challenging time – contributing to our emergency fund and the Blue Renew renovation project; offering experience and wisdom as mentors; and taking on teaching roles as we expanded into evening and weekend clinic hours to offset reduced capacity caused by pandemic requirements. We are quite fortunate to have such a dedicated cadre of alumni! As we move forward into the rest of 2021, we have a major cause for celebration – our Dental Hygiene program observes its Centennial this year. In this magazine you will find stories and photos documenting this remarkable achievement in our school’s history. As has been the case since our founding in 1875, our programs have been at the forefront of dentistry. Marcus Ward, who was dean from 1916-34, had closely followed the development of a national discussion about the need for a separate course of study in Dental Hygiene. He took the initiative and hired Dr. Herta Hartwig (U-M DDS 1915), a Detroit dentist who at the time was one of the most vocal national voices in favor of elevating Dental Hygiene. Now, 100 years later, we are the oldest DH program at any dental school in the country. It’s interesting to note that our DH program started just one year after the historic influenza pandemic of 1918-20 had run its course, and now we will celebrate a century of educating hygienists as another pandemic subsides. It’s a centennial coincidence that speaks to the strength of the human spirit, then and now, in finding ways to move forward in the most difficult of times. Kind regards and Go Blue!
Laurie K. McCauley, Dean William K. & Mary Anne Najjar Professor
In this Issue Spring 2021
2 FEATURES Dental Hygiene Centennial
Volume 37, Number 1
M Dentistry is published twice a year for
7 SCHOOL BlueRenew Renovation Update
alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends of the School of Dentistry. See the school website at www.dent.umich.edu for more news and features. Dean..................................................................…Laurie McCauley Director of Marketing & Communications ........... Raymond Aldrich Writer/Editor...............................................................Lynn Monson Designer/Graphics ........................................................Ken Rieger Photographers ........... Lynn Monson, Celia Alcumbrack-McDaniel University of Michigan School of Dentistry Alumni Society Board of Governors: Terms Expire Fall 2021: Michael Behnan, MS ‘79, Rochester Hills, Mich. Jeffrey P. Halvorson, DDS ‘83, MS ‘92, Belmont, Mich. Theresa Hull, BSDH ‘11, Ann Arbor, Mich. Sara Kellogg, DDS ‘07, Saline, Mich. Elizabeth Pitts, BSDH ‘12, MS ‘14, Southfield, Mich. Wes Schulz, DDS ‘72, Traverse City, Mich.
12 FACULTY Profile: Dr. Stephanie Munz 16 RESEARCH Research Day 2021 18 DENTAL HYGIENE Not a Direct Route
20 STUDENTS Students Win U-M Business Contest
Terms Expire Fall 2022: Janet Cook, BSDH ‘81, Whitmore Lake, Mich. Gerald Dietz Jr., DDS ’84, Bloomfield Hills, Mich. Julia Johnson, BSDH ’12, Commerce Twp., Mich. Bruce Lee, DDS ’87, Traverse City, Mich. Chair: Andy Lewis, DDS ‘98, Seattle, Wash. Janice Pilon, DDS ’93, Hanover, N.H. Terms Expire Fall 2023: Karen Beckerman, BSDH ‘95, Plymouth, Mich. Jake DeSnyder, DDS '67, Plattsburgh, N.Y. William Mason, DDS '81, MS '84, Saginaw, Mich. Michael Palaszek, DDS '82, Grand Rapids, Mich. Michelle Velez, BSDH ‘98, Royal Oak, Mich. Lisa Wendling, DDS ‘93, MS ‘96, New Lothrop, Mich. Ex Officio Members: Laurie K. McCauley, Dean Richard R. Fetchiet, Executive Director, Alumni Relations and Development The Regents of the University: Jordan A. Acker, Michael J. Behm, Mark J. Bernstein, Paul W. Brown, Sarah Hubbard, Denise Ilitch, Ron Weiser, Katherine E. White, Mark S. Schlissel, ex officio.
22 ALUMNI Profile: The Gietzen Family
Send comments and updates to: firstname.lastname@example.org or Communications, School of Dentistry, 1011 N. University Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1078 The University of Michigan, as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action. The University of Michigan is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, height, weight, or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions. Inquiries or complaints may be addressed to the Senior Director for Institutional Equity, and Title IX/Section 504/ADA Coordinator, Office of Institutional Equity, 2072 Administrative Services Building, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1432, (734) 763-0235, TTY (734) 647-1388. For other University of Michigan information call (734) 764-1817. Copyright © 2021 The Regents of the University of Michigan
20 DENTAL HYGIENE
Dental Hygiene Centennial School celebrates 100 years of teaching dental hygienists The story of a century of educating dental hygienists at the School of Dentistry is like many aspects of the University of Michigan School of Dentistry tradition. It features high-achieving educational leaders who used their intellect, foresight, commitment, research and dedication to lead and develop a fledgling profession.
Hartwig was a proponent of the growing dental hygienist movement. She compiled an exhaustive report documenting how hygiene was being successfully administered, most often for children in clinics administered by school systems, all around Michigan and the country. The report advocated for a state Dental Health Program that would publicize and educate the public about good oral health, and include a law requiring dental inspection of every school child.
That was true of the first leaders of the dental school when it was founded in 1875. A group of visionaries were at the forefront of transforming dentistry from an unregulated craft to a licensed profession with high standards based on science, education and rigorous training. Thirty-five years later, in the early 1910s, the school’s leaders researched and embraced the early adoption of an ancillary profession that was gaining momentum around the country – dental hygienists.
Dr. Dorothy Hard, ca. 1967.
Dr. Alfred C. Fones of Bridgeport, Connecticut, is credited with training the first dental hygienists, in 1913, and their services were soon viewed as valuable to dentists and patients. Over the next three years, private and public hygiene schools opened in the eastern U.S. and three eastern states licensed hygienists to practice. By 1919,
a debate over the trend had reached the Michigan State Dental Society. It commissioned its Oral Hygiene Committee to conduct a report, which was presented at the society’s annual meeting in April 1920 by Dr. Hertha Hartwig, a Detroit periodontist who had graduated from the U-M dental school in 1915.
FEATURES M Dentistry | Spring 2021
The DH Class of 1952 on the west steps of the Kellogg Building. Director Dorothy Hard is in the back row, third from right. Instructor Victoria Tondrowski is fifth from right in the front row.
Dr. Marcus Ward, the dean of the School of Dentistry, also made presentations to the state dental society, the Michigan legislature and the University of Michigan Board of Regents in support of creating a dental hygiene program at the dental school. The Michigan Legislature passed the hygiene certification act in 1919. In May 1921, the U-M Regents approved the creation of the dental hygiene program at the School of Dentistry.
The early days The first class in the fall of 1921 had eight students for the one-year course of study. Laura May Helmar, a nurse who had worked as an assistant in a dental office and in school clinics in Jackson, was the instructor even as she was also listed as a student in the class. In the spring of 1922, the eight graduates received certificates as trained dental hygienists.
could afford to pay a dentist and in turn dentists couldn’t afford to pay their hygienists.
That economic reality may have been the foundation for a backlash that grew against hygienists among Michigan During the summer of 1922, Dean Ward dentists, some needed to upgrade the course instruction. of whom wanted the He corresponded with a familiar figure – state to withdraw Dr. Hertha Hartwig – and convinced her its certification of to join the program as its instructor. She hygienists. Dentists stayed only two years. complained that Faced with finding a new instructor for the hygienists had poor A copy of a scrapbook page showing the eight members of the first DH graduating class fourth year of the program, Ward made a skills and training, in 1922. It doesn’t indicate why four of the students are pictured twice, but they may momentous decision in 1924 that can be that they were have been class officers. (Photo courtesy the Michigan Dental Hygienists' Association.) credited with making the school what it is performing As the dental association continued to work today – a national leader in the education of treatments that only dentists were licensed through the issues, it invited Dr. Hard to dental hygienists. Ward hired a 1922 DDS to do and that they committed ethical breaches join the committee examining the issue. She graduate of the school, Dr. Dorothy Hard, such as taking patient lists with them when was later praised for her straight-forward who had worked for two years as an industhey moved to new dental practices. acknowledgement of the dentists’ complaints trial dentist in the Parke Davis laboratories By 1935, the Michigan Dental Association and her steadfast conviction that changes in Detroit. Returning to the university as was compelled to address the issue and could be made to the dental school’s hygiene the dental hygiene instructor in 1924, formed a committee to solicit pros and cons. curriculum that would solve many of the Hard began a 44-year career as the program’s Among those who presented arguments was concerns. Among many changes, the most leader, encountering and solving countless Dr. Russell Bunting, a widely respected significant was doubling the length of the problems, large and small, as she shaped faculty member at the dental school who had program from one year to two, which was the program into a national model. just become dean that year. Bunting (who implemented in 1938 for the 14 students who Hard’s first decade progressed with few would later marry Dorothy Hard, in 1948) joined the program. apparent obstacles as she built interest in the presented a lengthy defense of hygienists Over the next decade, World War II created program and as demand for hygienists grew. and their new profession. He acknowledged an increased demand for hygienists because However, as the impact of the Great Depresthe problems cited by Michigan dentists, many dentists and hygienists left their sion hit the country in the early 1930s, the but argued, among other points, that dentists communities to help in the war effort. By the program – and dental hygienists in general bore responsibility for monitoring and end of the war, demand surged even more – faced a serious problem. Demand for ensuring the quality of their hygienists’ work. as the post-war boom years ensued. In 1948, dental care dropped because fewer people Hard implemented an optional BSDH degree that required two years of undergrad courses at the university and two years in the hygiene program. As time went on, more and more students chose this option, but the two-year certificate program continued. The Dental Hygiene Centennial Celebration, originally scheduled for this August, has
Centennial Celebration Postponed to August 2022
been moved back to August 19-20, 2022, because of state and university restrictions related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “Our priority for events is to ensure a safe campus environment for our alumni and friends at a time when everyone feels comfortable with travel, accommodations and large gatherings,” said Program Director Janet Kinney. DH alumni are invited to the event, which will include a centennial program, optional continuing education, and tours of the newly renovated School of Dentistry. The second biennial Dental Hygiene Symposium, originally timed to the centennial event this August, was canceled and will resume the summer of 2023. For more information about the centennial celebration in August 2022, contact Gretchen Hannah in the Alumni and Development Office at 734-615-2870 or email her at email@example.com.
The last major advancement in the program during the Hard era came in 1964 when the school became the second in the country to create a graduate master’s degree program. It was in response to a growing demand for hygienists, which caused a shortage of DH faculty. It also reflected growing interest in hygiene research. The program was established through the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies and was
FEATURES Spring 2021 | M Dentistry
Dental Hygiene Centennial (Continued)
originally funded by a grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek. Today the U-M program is the longest standing graduate DH program in the country.
Pauline Steele, 1968-88 With Dr. Hard’s retirement in 1968, the school reached out to another dental hygiene leader who had developed a national reputation. Pauline Steele had started her career in business for eight years, then changed direction and entered The Ohio State University, earning a Dental Hygiene certificate, a bachelor’s in DH and a master’s in health education. After two years as an instructor at OSU, she was hired as an assistant professor at the University of West Virginia, where she organized and directed a new DH program, the first four-year program in the country. She moved to the University of Cincinnati and again upgraded its DH program, before agreeing to replace the legendary Hard at U-M. During Professor Steele’s two decades as leader of the program, it grew into a fouryear bachelor’s program, expanding student career opportunities into areas such as geriatrics, public health, education, hospital dentistry and oral biology. She initiated changes to provide more clinical experience for students. The opening of the new dental school building in 1971 allowed DH class sizes to double from about 40 to 80, and more faculty were hired as well. The on-campus degree completion option started in 1975. Steele was an active author and editor, contributing to and compiling three DH
textbooks. She was associate editor of the Journal of the American Dental Hygienist’s Association and served on the American Dental Association’s Committee on Dental Hygiene. She was an ADHA regional consultant and contributed to proficiency standards for the profession.
Victoria Tondrowski (center wearing glasses), the program’s clinic director, supervises students in this photo from the mid-1950s. Tondrowski was a 1926 alumna of the program who returned to instruct from 1939 until retiring in 1969.
Wendy Kerschbaum, 1988-2012 Wendy Kerschbaum started as a dental hygiene student at U-M the same year Pauline Steele started as director of the program. After Kerschbaum graduated with a BSDH in 1970, she joined the school as a part-time clinical instructor and worked her way up through the faculty ranks to associate professor in 1983. Along the way she earned an MSDH degree in 1972 and a master’s in Public Health in 1982. Steele became a mentor to Kerschbaum during the nearly 20 years they worked together. Kerschbaum’s tenure was a transition period from several longstanding traditions to a more modern age. Probably the most important change was the dental school’s move to Vertically Integrated Clinics, or VICS, which allowed DH students to be in clinics with DDS students for the first time. DH faculty made major changes in the way both clinic and didactic courses were taught and scheduled. “DDS and DH students were side by side,” Kerschbaum said. “From a
professional standpoint, that’s how we’re supposed to practice healthcare – as a team. I’ve always felt that having them work side by side makes them both much more aware of what each person is capable of.” Other changes included dropping the certificate option and moving entirely to a baccalaureate degree, which had been put in motion by Steele. The creation of online degree completion in 2008 and then developing the online Master’s Degree Program in 2012 were major developments that helped draw students to the school who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to come to campus to earn their degrees. And in what may have been the most appreciated change for students, if not faculty and administrators, Kerschbaum oversaw the gradual loosening of the uniform requirement for DH students in the late 1980s. The all-white skirted uniform, hose, shoes and cap gave way to scrubs, pants and tennis shoes. Also during that period, though, latex gloves and face masks were added in response to hepatitis and HIV. Kerschbaum says she’s proud to have helped maintain the program’s history of excellence as one of the leading hygiene programs in the country. “I hear this a lot from dentists who graduated from our school: they want a U of M hygienist. The dentists say, ‘I know what they know. I know the kind of education they’ve had. I’ve been in classes with them. I understand the depth and breadth of their education.’ ” Far left: A DH student holds the patient’s paper chart for a classmate during a clinic appointment in 1970, long before the move to electronic records. Left: The modern day equivalent is illustrated by the computer screen behind Olivia Zabel (BSDH 2017) as she treats a patient in 2016.
FEATURES M Dentistry | Spring 2021
NOTE: The black-and-white historical photos on this page and on Page 2 are courtesy of the Sindecuse Museum of Dentistry.
“When I became director, I always lived under that sense that we were the University of Michigan and anything we did we were going to do to the very best of our ability,” Kerschbaum said. “The really outstanding thing about the Dental Hygiene program, being under the umbrella of the dental school, is that it’s always been ingrained that we are part of ‘the leaders and best’ phenomenon. It is who we are. So that mantra has served the University of Michigan very well. Somehow we have all assimilated that into our essence.”
Janet Kinney, 2012-present In Janet Kinney’s nine years as director, she has already led several major developments in this latest chapter of the program. Just this spring, the program graduated two cohorts of BSDH students. The first was the last group of students to complete the degree in three years while taking summer breaks. The second group of graduates were the first to complete the degree in two years, with no summer breaks, which will be the standard moving forward. The curriculum timetable was revised over a three-year transition period as the old schedule was phased out and the new one phased in. “We felt our hygiene students needed to have more involvement, activities, interaction and patient care with dental students,” Kinney said. “And for their clinical skill-building, they now will have instruments in their hands for two straight years with no breaks between spring and summer where they potentially lose some of their hand skills.” The COVID-19 pandemic last year brought a set of challenges that required the DH program to implement creative and groundbreaking solutions when a portion of the traditional in-person classes and hygiene training were forced to move online. Kinney credits her faculty with developing, in an extremely short period of time, an innovative, video-based curriculum using laptops, iPad cameras and Zoom sessions. The new process allows faculty to watch distant students as they use instruments on typodonts in real time or in recorded videos made by the students. Faculty share the same critiques that previously would have been delivered in-person in the Sim Lab
at the school. While in-person training has resumed, faculty and students found advantages to the virtual method and faculty expect it will remain a valuable tool moving forward. Kinney earned her BSDH at U-M in 1983 and embarked on a 20-year trek through clinical practice in the United States and Europe. When she returned to the program in 2004 to pursue her MSDH, she also added a master’s degree in Clinical Research Design and Statistical Analysis from the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the School of Public Health. Much of her research has involved salivary diagnostics as predictors of periodontal disease progression. After finishing her graduate degrees in 2007, Kinney joined the DH program as an adjunct clinical lecturer for a year, then was hired as a clinical assistant professor. In 2012, she was named Director of Dental Hygiene and became a full professor in 2020, all within the Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine, which is home to the DH program. Kinney likes to invoke the “It takes a village …” truism as she describes her leadership of the program. She cites the history of excellence and the “incredible leaders among the faculty and the great students” who contribute to the success of the program. “It’s kind of awesome to sometimes stop and think about working with so many people dedicated to excellence at the dental school,” she said. “I work with some phenomenal people who just give their all every single day.”
The alumnae family About 30 DH alumnae joined two Zoom online sessions this spring to offer memories of their time at the dental school and to share how obtaining their certificates or BSDH and MSDH degrees affected their careers and lives. Participants ranged in vintage from the Class of 1959 to more recent graduates in each of the decades since. They live in all corners of Michigan, as well as California, Illinois, Minnesota, Florida, West Virginia, Washington, Oregon and Colorado. After seeing former classmates online, listening to the stories and being reminded of the shared elements of their hygiene education, one remarked at the end of the evening, “I feel like I’m part of a family.” Dean Laurie McCauley reminded the group that she earned a dental hygiene degree before completing her DDS, MS and PhD. Continued
Key Events Timeline state’s dentists petition the Michigan 1919 The legislature and it enacts a law authorizing dental hygienists. The University of Michigan Board of 1921 Regents approves the Dental Hygiene Course of Study at its dental school and it opens that fall with eight students. DH class of eight graduates with 1922 First certificates. Dr. Hertha Hartwig hired as instructor for the second year and stays for the third year of the program as well. Dorothy Hard hired as the 1924 Dr.program’s instructor. debate about the fate of hygienist 1935 Acertification grows in Michigan after – dentists register a variety of complaints. 1937 The Michigan Dental Association holds a lengthy series of committee hearings. The resulting report recommends that hygienists continue to be certified, with several educational changes.
DH curriculum is expanded to two 1938 The years at the recommendation of the MDA report. four-year curriculum leading 1948 Anto aoptional B.S. in Dental Hygiene begins – two years in LS&A and two years in dental hygiene. The certificate program remains. increased to 44, with 30-40 the 1955 Enrollment norm for many years. new Dental Hygiene Graduate Program 1964 The started in the fall to address the need for more hygiene instructors at programs around the country. program director Dorothy 1968 Longtime Hard retires and Pauline Steele is named director. completion program starts 1975 Degree on campus. two-year certificate is dropped and 1985 The all DH students earn only a baccalaureate degree – one year of liberal arts courses followed by three years in dental hygiene leading to BSDH degree. Kerschbaum begins 1988 Wendy as DH director. Degree Completion 2008 E-learning program begins. MSDH program begins. 2012 Online Janet Kinney named DH director. curriculum shifts from 2018 The a three-year schedule with – summers off to a two-year, 2021 year-round schedule. FEATURES Spring 2021 | M Dentistry
Dental Hygiene Centennial (Continued)
She is the first dean of the dental school with a DH degree, which adds to her distinction as the first woman to serve as dean. She said she was recently reminded of her hygiene education as she walked through a dental school clinic and could hear the sound of a hygienist’s instruments on a patient’s tooth. “I had a flashback to when I was working in dental hygiene and I remember a faculty member telling me that they could tell just by the sound if I was doing appropriate instrumentation. It really made me reflect back and think about how the core of my education began in dental hygiene.” McCauley thanked the alumnae for their continued interest in the school and remarked on the vast changes in educating hygienists and in the profession over the last 100 years. She noted that only about one-third of U.S. dental schools have DH programs. “I think our dental school is better because of our Dental Hygiene program, and our Dental Hygiene program is better because of the dental school,” she said. “It is mutually beneficial and creates a special learning environment.” She praised the current faculty, students and director Janet Kinney for showing dedication and resilience over the last year and a half of the COVID-19 pandemic. They implemented and carried out innovative new ways of educating students, she said, much like the DH program has evolved continually during its century of educating students. “It is truly remarkable to think about the significance of the program thriving for 100 years.”
Those were the days Alumnae who shared their stories found common themes in their recollections about the school, no matter the decade or director of the program at the time. They recalled that Dr. Hard and Professor Steele were very similar in their “by the book” approach to the curriculum, clinic training, behavior expectations and dress code. The alumnae from the Hard and Steele eras recounted the crisply starched white uniforms with skirts, hose and caps; jewelry restrictions; short hair requirements; and the admonition that DH students “don’t even look at the boys who are dental students.” They also recall admissions questions and requirements, particularly by Hard, that would never be asked today: Do you have a boyfriend? Do you plan to 6
SCHOOL M Dentistry | Spring 2021
Professorship to Honor Dorothy Hard The School of Dentistry announced earlier this year that it will create the Dr. Dorothy G. Hard Legacy Professorship to honor the program’s first director and foundational figure. It will be the first professorship for dental hygiene faculty and the first to honor a female faculty member at the School of Dentistry. The professorship is made possible through the generous financial support of alumnus Dr. Robert W. Browne (DDS 1952, MS orthodontics 1959). More details will be announced later this year. The professorship will join a student scholarship named for Hard in 2018 with a gift from Susan Welke (BSDH 1961, MSPH 1964) and her husband, Robert, of Champaign, Illinois.
get married? Both were frowned on. Two alumnae recalled being surprised when Hard asked to see their hands during the admissions interview. “I guess she was looking for dirt under my fingernails,” said one. More recent graduates, from the eras of program directors Wendy Kerschbaum and Janet Kinney, may have had more flexible dress codes, but they recall the same challenging curriculum, faculty who were demanding but always supportive, and a sense of accomplishment at mastering a rigorous course of study from a prestigious university. Most of the DH alumnae practiced part-time or full-time in private practices or other public health settings for at least a few years. Some retired after lengthy hygienist careers, while others practiced for a few years, then stayed home to raise their children, either permanently or temporarily before rejoining the dental hygiene workforce. That flexibility of part-time or full-time, and moving easily into and out of jobs depending on where their families lived or moved to, were cited as one of the advantages of a dental hygienist career.
Many career options Many alumni praised the school for the way it prepares students to see career possibilities beyond the traditional technical skills of a hygienist, through its emphasis on research, science and oral health. Several of the alumnae in the conversation went on to teach dental hygiene or other subjects at colleges and universities around the country. Others went into business or healthcare management, one as president of a major healthcare insurance plan. One graduate practiced hygiene for several years in a clinic for patients with special needs, then went to law school and today is an immigration attorney, drawing on the same empathy skills she practiced as a hygienist. Numerous U-M DH graduates have held leadership positions in local, state and national professional hygiene organizations. Amy Coplen earned her BSDH in 2002 and MSDH in 2009, both from U-M. She is a professor and program director at the Pacific University School of Dental Hygiene Studies in Hillsboro, Oregon. Actively involved in access-to-care issues in Oregon, she received a prestigious Gies Award from the American Dental Education Association in 2018 for her creative approach to teaching and leadership in oral health issues affecting the public. “Michigan prepared me well for the current position I’m in,” Coplen said. “The contacts and faculty still continue to mentor me along the way and have always been available in giving me advice as an educator and helped me to advance my career in multiple avenues. I am very grateful for everything those at Michigan have done for me, and the weight of the degree and what it means across the country and the world.” Coplen’s reference to the value of a degree from U-M was echoed by numerous other alumnae, including Janis Eisman of Flint, Michigan, who was a hygienist in Livonia and Flint for many years after earning her BSDH in 1971. “Hats off to everything Michigan continues to do to make it absolutely an exceptional program,” she said. “(Having a degree from U-M) got me jobs wherever I went. You didn’t even have to say anything else, other than that you graduated from Michigan.”
The new Victors West (Maize) clinic on the first floor is a busy place in this photo taken earlier this spring. At lower right, D3 student Taylor Chick is treating a patient with assistance from D2 Ashley Reece. This is one of several new clinics that have come online since late last year as Blue Renew has progressed.
FEATURES Spring 2021 | M Dentistry
Blue Renew Renovation Moves Steadily Toward Completion in 2022
From left, Ligia Schmitd, Min Liu and Cindy Perez, researchers in the lab of Dr. Nisha D’Silva, work in their new lab space in the Research Commons addition in the former courtyard of the school. The D’Silva lab is one of several that moved into the new space this spring from their previous location in the school’s Research Tower. The labs have an open, adaptable floor-plan to allow researchers to better collaborate. Graduate students, research assistants and faculty have more common areas – from their lab benches to write-up spaces to break areas – where they can meet to discuss existing projects and inspire new ideas.
Significant advances in the dental school’s major Blue Renew renovation have continued since our last update in the Fall 2020 magazine. In April, the school opened the courtyard addition, which is the first addition of new space at the school in more than 50 years. Occupying more than half the former courtyard area of the school, the 48,000-square-foot addition includes research labs, student meeting spaces, conference rooms, offices and a new entrance from North University Avenue. New clinic areas have also opened, including another new predoctoral education clinic, the Victors East (Maize) clinic, in the northeast corner of the first floor of the clinic building. In April, the new Restorative Dentistry Clinic opened on the second floor, and in May the new Endodontics Clinic opened on the third floor. With these openings, the Blue Renew project is now past its midway point with most of the project scheduled to be completed by summer of 2022. More information on the project is available on the school’s website by going to www.dent.umich.edu/blue-renew. 8
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Dean Laurie McCauley (right) shows University of Michigan Provost Susan Collins a new surgical suite in the Graduate Periodontics Clinic during a tour of the school and Blue Renew progress in February.
Ida Gray Awards Highlight School’s Annual DEI Day The Ida Gray Award presentations were the centerpiece of a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Day program in February that called attention to the school’s longstanding vision and values aimed at celebrating diversity, equity and inclusion. Students, faculty and staff nominate individuals who have contributed to the advancement of diversity and improvement in the climate for work, learning, research and patient care. Award recipients are selected by the school’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Multicultural Affairs Committee (DEI-MAC). The award is named for Dr. Ida Gray, the first Black woman in the country to earn a DDS when she graduated from the School of Dentistry in 1890. She was also the first Black woman to practice dentistry in Chicago. This year’s Ida Gray Award winners are: Staff: Gail Oljace, Business Administrator for the Department of Orthodontic and Pediatric Dentistry. Oljace is a long-standing member of the DEI-MAC, serving most recently as a moderator for last year’s schoolwide Listening Sessions and Safe Space Dialogues organized by the committee in response to the national conversation about racial justice and equality. Oljace serves on the school’s Climate Study Advisory Committee. She organized a department-wide “Unconscious Bias Training” seminar in 2018 and a workshop on “Multi-Generational Differences in the Workplace” in 2019. Faculty: Dr. Carlos González-Cabezas, associate dean for academic affairs and the Richard Christiansen Collegiate Professor of Oral and Craniofacial Global Initiatives and Professor in the Department of Cariology, Restorative Sciences and Endodontics. A student who nominated Dr. Gonzalez-Cabezas said he was impressed when they worked together in a clinic in Meru, Kenya, as part of the school’s Global Initiatives program that sends dental students, dental hygiene students and faculty to provide dental care in areas with few dentistry options. “He is an example of someone who is welcoming, friendly and has great passion to be in service to help the people around him,” the student wrote.
Student: Randon Campbell, a fourth-year DDS student graduated this spring. A faculty member who nominated Campbell praised his academic involvement and willingness to help with numerous diversity initiatives, including diversity orientation for incoming D1 students, a university-wide program that brought high school students from underrepresented minority backgrounds to the dental school, and as one of the student co-chairs of the DEI-MAC. Alumna: Dr. Jessica Rickert was the first American Indian female dentist in the country when she graduated from the U-M dental school in 1975. A member of the Prairie Band Pottawatomi Nation, she is a tireless advocate for diversity in dentistry, in particular the need for more American Indian dentists. She frequently travels from her home in Traverse City, Mich., to speak on the issue at conferences and educational institutions around the country. During her 40-year career as a dentist, she was actively involved in providing dental care and other services for organizations assisting underserved communities.
School Ranked No.1 in U.S. Again; Up to 2nd in World The School of Dentistry is rated as the top dental school in the United States for the seventh consecutive year by an international publication that rates universities and their specialty programs. The 2021 QS World University Rankings, released in March, also lists U-M as the second-best dental school in the world, up from third place last year. QS analyzes information about 5,500 institutions around the world and publishes overall university rankings, as well as rankings for 51 disciplines, including dentistry, to help prospective students identify the world’s leading schools. QS conducts international surveys of thousands of academics worldwide to rate programs based upon academic reputation, employer reputation and research impact. Factors include the academic reputation of universities; the opinion of employers in terms of which institution’s graduates they are most likely to employ; research citations by paper from Scopus over a five-year period; and a method called the “h-index” that measures the productivity and impact of the published work of a scientist or scholar, or a group, such as a department or a university. “To have our school rated so highly is a testament to decades of efforts from faculty, staff and students focused on moving our
profession forward,” said Dean Laurie McCauley. “Since our school’s founding in 1875, we have strived to be leaders in the field of dentistry and dental education by embracing scientific research and scholarship to further the profession of dentistry and advance health. It is what set the school apart in those early days, and still today, as leaders in dental education. We’re honored to be recognized again this year for the strength of our commitment to high-level scholarly work.” Worldwide, the top dental school above U-M was the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. The Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam, Netherlands, was third behind U-M; the University of Hong Kong was fourth and King’s College London was fifth. The next highest U.S. dental schools after U-M at No. 2 were the University of California-San Francisco at No. 7, Harvard University at No. 8, and the University of Washington at No. 15. The QS ranking is one of the two leading international university rankings published each year. The other, the Shanghai Rankings, most recently released in June 2020, rated the U-M dental school No. 1 in the world in Dentistry and Oral Sciences. SCHOOL Spring 2021 | M Dentistry
Sign of the Times
Relief from the COVID-19 pandemic began early this year when the roll-out of vaccinations began across the country. These photos of faculty and alumni showing their vaccination cards, or the actual needle shots in some cases, were originally posted on each person’s Instagram account. Celia Alcumbrack-McDaniel, the dental school’s social media manager, noticed all the photos popping up and created this collage for the school Instagram account to illustrate how the dental school community was doing its part in the battle against the virus. Pictured are, top row from left: Derek Schmidt (DDS 2018), Austin Getz (DDS 2020), faculty member John Hamerink, JJ Saeung (DDS 2013) (and baby!). Second row, from left: Melissa Keil (DDS 2018), Duane Bennett (DDS 2010), Brittany Amor (DDS 2018), Rita Maizy (DDS 2020). Third row, from left: Lindsay Holman (DDS 2012), faculty member Dan Edwards, Jasmine Samani (DDS 2019), Shivani Kamodia (DDS 2018).
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Dean Laurie McCauley Receives Ross Award From ADA Dr. Laurie McCauley, dean of the School of Dentistry, has received the American Dental Association’s Norton M. Ross Award for Excellence in Clinical Research.
research endeavors in other areas. The award honors the memory of Dr. Norton Ross, a dentist and pharmacologist who spent most of his career in academic and research positions and elevated clinical research to higher scientific standards.
Presented annually since 1991, the Ross Award recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions in clinical investigations that have advanced the diagnosis, treatment or prevention of craniofacial, oral or dental diseases, as well as outstanding
Dean McCauley is the William K. and Mary Anne Najjar Professor in Periodontics and also holds an appointment as a professor in the Department of Pathology at the U-M Medical School. She joined the dental school as a faculty member in 1992 and was named dean in 2013. For more than 20 years, Dean McCauley has led a research program in hormonal controls of bone remodeling,
parathyroid hormone anabolic actions in bone and prostate cancer skeletal metastasis. She continues to conduct scientific research, clinical education and clinical practice. “It is an incredible honor to be selected for the Norton M. Ross Award, and I am truly grateful to the ADA for this recognition,” McCauley said. “I am fortunate for the outstanding students, colleagues and mentors who have been instrumental in the work for which I am being recognized. When I look at the individuals who have been selected before me, I am humbled to be among such a distinguished group.”
What's Next for DDS Class of 2020 Class members were surveyed about their plans for immediately after graduation. This shows how many went into which areas/specialties as their first career move.
Remaining in Michigan
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Profile: Dr. Stephanie Munz
Dr. Stephanie Munz, second from right, oversees dental surgery in an operating room at the U-M hospital. Leah Baldinger, left, a resident in the General Practice Residency Program, performed the majority of the surgery while dental students Eric Madsen (right) and Long Zhang assisted.
Collaborative dentistry with a focus on patients with special needs The word “champion” comes up a lot when faculty member Dr. Stephanie Munz discusses her role in leading the Integrated Special Care Dentistry initiative at the dental school. The expanded and innovative educational and clinical program is designed to improve oral health and dental treatment opportunities for patients with special needs. They are a historically underserved group who have long suffered from poor oral health because of the many difficulties they face from a wide range of disabilities that can include physical, developmental, mental, sensory, behavioral, cognitive and emotional. Part of the revamped approach involves designing clinics with a custom floor plan and specialized dental materials and equipment for treating a multitude of special needs. That’s linked with an emphasis on educating dental and dental hygiene students and residents on the best practices and collaborative approaches with other healthcare professionals in order to provide excellent care for the diverse needs of these patients.
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Munz says the most important aspects of the school’s new initiative are the human elements of empathy, communication and advocacy. She views her role – and ideally the role of all healthcare providers – as advocating for improved oral health for patients with special needs and their families and caregivers. Often they have tried to navigate the complexities of the healthcare system on their own, with little understanding of the best options and resources for their very specialized treatment needs. “They need someone to champion their oral care for them,” Munz said. “Over the years, they’ve probably encountered as much adversity as help, so they are often not accustomed to having someone say, ‘I’m going to help you figure this out. We’re going to figure this out together.’ For our dental students and residents, I want to help them develop that ‘champion attitude.’ ” That approach starts before dental treatment even begins, with understanding the limitations of the patients. They may not be able to transfer from their wheelchair to the dental chair. They may need a stimulation-free environment such as a private treatment
room. They may fear the sound of a dental drill, have a sensitivity to bright lights or be unable to communicate clearly. They may refuse dental care at all, requiring general anesthesia and an operating room setting for even simple procedures. Their dental treatment plan is often complicated, Munz said, because they may have had untreated oral health issues for many years, or other medical issues, that require multiple healthcare providers. The team may need to include various dental specialists, physicians, nurses, pharmacists, speech-language pathologists, social workers and others to round out integrated patient-centered care. Championing can also extend to areas such as helping sort out insurance coverage, home healthcare and advance care planning decisions, guardianship and many other issues that come up along the way. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Munz noted that many hospitals required patients undergoing surgery to have a pre-procedural COVID test. That’s not a problem for most patients, but submitting to an invasive nasal swab or finger-prick blood test is often traumatic if not impossible for
some patients with special needs. It’s another detail the patient’s healthcare champion must anticipate and solve ahead of time, and it may not be easy among the many routines and regulations in healthcare. “We need to be creative and work around the unique barriers and appreciate these populations have differences,” Munz says emphatically. “Some of these people have nowhere else to go, and if we can’t help them, that’s a problem.” These are the sorts of issues of treatment and education that Munz is dealing with as she settles into her second year after being appointed the Dr. Walter H. Swartz Professor of Integrated Special Care Dentistry. Her work putting the expanded special needs program into place was disrupted by the pandemic over the last year, but it is progressing steadily with patients now being treated at the new Delta Dental Integrated Special Care Clinic at the School of Dentistry. The clinic, funded with a $2 million grant from Delta Dental Foundation, was completed as part of the school’s current Blue Renew renovation and addition. The clinic can treat several patients at a time and is expanding its team of providers in anticipation of ramping up to capacity as the pandemic subsides and more patients are willing and able to receive care. The national Special Care Dentistry Association presented Munz with an award last year for her leadership in what is becoming a broader movement across the country. She is leading the planning for the organization’s virtual annual session in August, and
this coming year she is president of the organization. Munz’s emphasis on special needs is only part of her faculty appointment. She is a clinical associate professor in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery/ Hospital Dentistry. She is associate chair of Hospital Dentistry and director of its General Practice Residency Program. After graduating from the School of Dentistry in 2011, Munz completed a General Practice Residency, also at U-M. She joined the dental school as a clinical lecturer in 2012, earning faculty promotions and leadership roles in the time since. Most days Munz is at the U-M hospital where she is either performing dental surgery, overseeing surgery, making patient rounds or mentoring dental students who are on rotation at the hospital. As director of the same residency program she completed almost a decade ago, she guides residents through the intricacies of dental care, treatment planning and collaboration in a hospital setting. She also lectures at the dental school, most recently teaching courses on “Treatment Planning for Patients with Complex Needs” and “Adult Special Needs and Hospital Dentistry.” It’s a challenging mix of duties. Dr. Brent Ward, chair of the OMFS/Hospital Dentistry Department, addressed Munz’s varied interests and expertise when he nominated her for the Swartz professorship in 2019. “As a clinician, Stephanie demonstrates consistent patient-centered care,” he wrote. “She expertly cares for a wide variety of patients ranging from those requiring oral optimization before cardiac surgery, organ transplantation, systemic or head and neck cancer therapies, dental emergencies, clefts and other craniofacial anomalies, cognitive and physical impairments, and mental illnesses, to name a few.” During one week this spring, Munz had three surgery cases that illustrate the daily diversity and challenges. The patients’ needs and backgrounds indicated care in an operating room setting, rather than treatment in a routine dental clinic, was the best option. The first patient, diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and schizophrenia, had such serious dental decay that it required 14 extractions and four restorations. A second patient with cognitive impairment had
suffered a traumatic burn and tracheostomy, which complicated access to his airway and made the necessary extractions and restorations better-suited for the OR. A few days earlier, Munz was part of a surgical team that repaired significant facial and tooth damage after a patient with Down syndrome had fallen down a flight of stairs. Munz likes the mix of widely varying clinical practice while educating and mentoring trainees. “The variety is particularly interesting,” she says. “That’s why a clinical career within an academic hospital and school-based environment appeals to me. Students and residents present interesting questions and colleagues present rare patient cases that require innovation and collaboration. Patients who need urgent dental care keep me invigorated to adapt and make changes to daily practice in sometimes challenging circumstances.” Munz has resisted advice for years that she should pursue a dental specialty. “General dentistry has the potential for great variety and one essential element is to coordinate everyone to work together very well. I like being a role model for our trainees who predominantly become general dentists. And part of that is being able to collaborate with and respect all of the specialties. It’s important to show we can all work together for the benefit of the patient.” Mentoring is by far the most rewarding part of her work. “A large part of being in academia is to help other people discover their niche and navigate their next steps. I think one’s impact is profound if you are able to mentor others. That’s exponential.” “Dentistry is a wonderful profession to make a living and a life. It’s also a very giving profession. What I really hope our dental students and residents take away from their education is that they can make a great impact on their patients, community and society. At some point, training is no longer about the trainee but more about what the trainee can do for others. I remember that switch happened for me after pre-clinic as I transitioned to seeing patients and even more intensely as a resident. That mindset was such a rewarding switch – to be able to practice and help people while continuing to learn and grow. It was not just ‘about me’ anymore. That’s the biggest thing I try to impart on our students.” FACULTY 13 Spring 2021 | M Dentistry
Faculty News Adjunct retires after 40 years of teaching Adjunct Associate Professor Dr. Josef Kolling retired on April 30 after teaching at the school continuously for 40 years. He graduated with a DDS in 1981 and immediately joined the school as a clinical instructor while working on his MS in Restorative Dentistry, which he received in 1984. Over the years he continued to both teach party-time in prosthodontics and work in private practice in Ann Arbor, gaining promotions to assistant and then associate adjunct professor. He gradually reduced his appointment to 30 percent and for the last 20 years worked at the school a day and a half per week.
Dr. Joe Kolling gives advice to student Patrick Dionise (DDS 2019) as he works on a denture impression in this 2018 file photo.
In a 2018 interview posted on the dental school website, Kolling said his teaching tenure started thanks to faculty members Gerry Charbeneau, from operative dentistry, and George Myers, from crown and bridge. They each offered him a half-time teaching position – thus, a full-time job – once he graduated. He hadn’t thought much about teaching, but couldn’t say no to such a great offer. It was the start of what has turned out to be a lifelong combination of teaching and practicing. “It’s not a joke,” he said, “I graduated on a Sunday and started teaching on Monday.” Kolling’s lengthy resume shows an extensive list of leadership positions he has held with local, state and national dental organizations, including a year as president of the Michigan Dental Association from 2005-06. He has
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won numerous teaching awards from dental students and received the Distinguished Service Award from the School of Dentistry Board of Governors in 2011. Kolling said he will continue to work at his private practice, though for fewer days a week, as he and his wife Barb (BSDH 1983) consider their retirement options over the next few years. “I have enjoyed teaching as part of my career and I know I will miss it, but this just felt like it was the right time to start the transition to retirement,” he said.
Franceschi elected AAAS Fellow Renny Franceschi, the Marcus L. Ward Collegiate Professor of Dentistry, has been elected a Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Franceschi was cited for distinguished contributions to the fields of transcriptional control mechanisms of bone formation, signaling and extracellular matrix biology of osteoblast differentiation, as well as for his teaching and service. He is also a professor of biological chemistry at the U-M Medical School and professor of biomedical engineering at the Medical School and College of Engineering. Franceschi is one of 489 newly elected fellows for 2020 from across the AAAS’s 24 sections, including the Section on Dentistry and Oral Health Sciences. Fellows are elected each year by their peers serving on the Council of AAAS, the organization’s governing body. The title recognizes important contributions to the STEM disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math, including pioneering research, leadership within a given field, teaching and mentoring, fostering collaborations, and advancing public understanding of science.
Faculty join ADEA Leadership Institute Faculty member Dr. Cristiane Squarize is the 2021 recipient of the Dr. Jeanne C. Sinkford Scholar award from the American Dental Education Association in partnership with Colgate-Palmolive Co. and the National Dental Association. The Sinkford scholarship provides the
opportunity for a dental educator who is closely aligned with the promotion of equity, diversity and inclusion to participate in the ADEA Leadership Institute. Squarize will be a member of the institute’s Class of 2022. The Sinkford scholar receives a $15,000 stipend for tuition and fees for their participation in the Leadership Institute. Sinkford was the first woman to become a dean of a U.S. dental school, at Howard University, and a renowned scholar and champion of the advancement of women in dental education, the dental profession and the medical sciences. Squarize is an Associate Professor in the Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine. Joining Squarize in the ADEA leadership institute Class of 2022 is Dr. Fei Liu, an Associate Professor in the Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences & Prosthodontics.
Nan Hatch reappointed chair of OPD Dr. Nan Hatch, the Lysle E. Johnston Jr. Collegiate Professor of Orthodontics, has been reappointed as chair of the Department of Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry, effective July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2026. She has led the department since 2016. In announcing the reappointment, Dean Laurie McCauley said Dr. Hatch’s belief in mutually respectful behavior and positivity has brought stability and enabled further development of the two graduate programs and the department, including advanced technologies in the clinics. Dr. Hatch received her DMD from Harvard School of Dental Medicine in 1999. At the University of Washington, she completed her orthodontics certificate in 2002 and her PhD in molecular and cellular biology in 2005. She came to Michigan in 2005 as a post-doctoral research fellow in tissue engineering and regeneration, joining the faculty as an assistant professor in 2008. She was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2015 when she was named the inaugural Lysle E. Johnston, Jr. Collegiate Professor of Orthodontics.
Faculty members receive Browne and Harris professorships Two faculty members received named professorships in February. Dr. Hera Kim-Berman, Graduate Orthodontic Program Director and Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry, was named the Robert W. Browne Professor of Dentistry in Orthodontics. She is leading educational activities across the school in virtual reality and digital dental technology. Dr. Noriaki Ono, Associate Professor in the Department of Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry, was named the James E. Harris Collegiate Professor of Dentistry. His research focuses on the fundamental characteristics of skeletal stem cells that play important roles in bone growth, maintenance, and repair, with the ultimate goal of having an impact on bone regeneration. Both appointments are renewable five-year terms through Dec. 31, 2025. Dean Laurie McCauley, with the support of the School of Dentistry Executive Committee, recommended the professorships to the U-M Board of Regents. The Robert W. Browne Professorship of Dentistry in Orthodontics was established in 2002 when funds from an earlier gift from Dr. Browne that established the first Browne Professorship had grown to exceed $4.4 million. The initial gift of $1 million was received in 1985. An alumnus and long-time supporter of the dental school, Dr. Browne received three degrees from U-M – an A.B. in 1948 and his DDS and M.S. from the School of Dentistry in 1952 and 1959, respectively. The James E. Harris Collegiate Professorship in Orthodontics was established in 2008 with support of alumni, staff, organizations and faculty. Dr. Harris had a strong association with U-M over six decades as a student, faculty member, chair and alumnus. He earned his AB in anthropology in 1950, his DDS in 1954, an MS in human genetics in 1960 and an MS in orthodontics in 1963, after which he became an assistant professor at the School of Dentistry. He rose quickly through the ranks to professor and chair of the Department of Orthodontics in 1968, a
position he held for 14 years. His research on craniofacial variations in growth and development included pioneering studies of Egyptian mummies.
National award recognizes virtual curriculum program Dr. Justine Moe, a faculty member in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, received a national award last fall for creating an innovative virtual curriculum early last year when the COVID-19 pandemic limited resident training programs around the country. The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons presented Moe with its Advocacy Challenge Coin, a new recognition program for the organization’s members who further the specialty through advocacy. Moe and 10 co-organizers received the award for the Collaborative OMFS Virtual InterInstitutional Didactic Program, or COVID Program, after the pandemic forced healthcare systems across the country to implement significant reductions in clinical activity and surgeries. Moe and her collaborators created a series of 58 webinars throughout the spring and summer so that residents across the country could virtually join lectures on a wide range of topics, including ablative surgery and neck dissection; principles and applications of maxillofacial endoscopy; pharmacogenomics in anesthesia; trigeminal nerve injury diagnosis and treatment planning; and management of ballistic injuries, to name a few.
Three new faculty join school Three new full-time faculty members joined the School of Dentistry in the second half of 2020. Dr. Marcia Campos joined the Department of Cariology, Restorative Sciences and Endodontics as a Clinical Associate Professor on Aug. 21, 2020. She has didactic, pre-clinical and clinical teaching experience in the fields of General Dentistry and Oral Pathology/Oral Medicine. Her research and scholarship has centered on oral pathology, cancer and tumor angiogenesis, cariology and Interprofessional
Education. (She is a fellow in the University of Michigan Interprofessional Leadership Program for 2021-22.) She re-joins the dental school after two previous tenures here, as a postdoctoral fellow from 2008-09 and as an adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor from 2015-16. Most recently, she was a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry. Dr. Bruno Cavalcanti joined the Department of Cariology, Restorative Sciences and Endodontics as a Clinical Associate Professor on Aug. 21, 2020. His research focuses on pulp biology related to the biocompatibility of dental materials, and regenerative endodontics. He serves on or chairs committees within several dentistry organizations, including as vice president of the Pulp Biology and Regeneration Group of the International Association of Dental Research. He was a faculty member at three Brazilian dental schools from 2001-14, with a postdoctoral fellowship at the U-M School of Dentistry from 2008-09. In 2015, he returned to the U-M dental school as a Clinical Assistant Professor for two years. He rejoins the U-M faculty after serving as Associate Professor at the University of Iowa School of Dentistry from 2017-20. Dr. Mohamed Hakim was appointed as a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Hospital Dentistry, effective Aug. 15, 2020. Dr. Hakim joins the dental school from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard School of Dental Medicine, where he was a Fellow and junior faculty member in the division of Temporomandibular Joint and Endoscopic Maxillofacial Surgery for two years. While at the MedStar Washington Hospital Center in the four-year OMFS Residency Program, he was chief resident from 2017-18. His research includes minimally invasive endoscopic surgery; disorders of the temporomandibular joint; and endoscopic-assisted approaches for open treatment of subcondylar fractures.
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Research Day 2021 Posters, awards go virtual Although the annual Research Day at the School of Dentistry was presented virtually for the firsttime in its history, on Feb. 18, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the emphasis remained on cutting-edge science related to oral health. Dental and dental hygiene students, graduate students in various specialties, PhD students and postdoctoral trainees presented 88 research posters on a wide range of topics. Keynote speaker Dr. Arlyne Simon, a platform architect at Intel Corporation’s Health and Life Science Business Unit, used her own academic and professional journey to encourage others as she spoke about “Powering Through Uncertainty.” Simon is a nationally recognized biomedical engineer, author and entrepreneur who works on a cross-disciplinary team of mechanical, electrical and chemical engineers helping to design the next-generation supercomputer. Among the top awardwinners this year was Shawn Hallett, a joint DDS-PhD student, who received the SCADA award, or Student Competition for Advancing Dental Research and its Application. His research project, “Contribution of PTHrP-expressing chondrocytes in the cranial base synchondrosis” is mentored by faculty member Noriaki Ono. Hallet will represent the school and present his research at the annual session of the American Association of Dental Research in Atlanta, Ga., in March 2022. The SCADA award is sponsored by AADR and Dentsply Sirona, a dental supply company.
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Mizuki Nagata, a Research Fellow in the Wanida Ono Lab, received the annual Janice E. Berry Prize for Excellence in Research. Recipients must have demonstrated excellence in research, teaching, mentoring, service and leadership. Nominators cited Hatton Awards that Nagata received from AADR and IADR in 2019, research published in the Journal of Dental Research and other leading journals, and his mentoring of students and fellow researchers. The family of Berry, a longtime U-M and dental school staff member who died in 2016, created the $1,000 award, also known as Jan’s Prize, to recognize a full-time researcher who may be currently experiencing a financial hardship. The Distinguished Faculty Research Mentoring Award was presented to faculty member Jacques Nör, the Donald A. Kerr Collegiate Professor of Dentistry and Chair of the Department of Cariology, Restorative Science and Endodontics. Nominated by students and colleagues, the annual award recognizes faculty who impart their research knowledge and experience with students and scholars in areas of clinical, basic science and-or translational research. Nominators cited Nör’s ability to motivate, lead by example and communicate effectively with a diverse group of people that includes students, staff, patients, physicians, clinicians and scientists from around the world. Deb Keedy, Administrative Specialist in the Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences & Prosthodontics, and Tao Jin, Research Area Specialist in the Office of Research,
received the annual Research Staff Recognition Award. Keedy was cited for her longtime administrative service, dedication and helpful approach within in her department and throughout the school. Jin was cited for his resourcefulness, collegial approach with co-workers and commitment to the various labs and researchers, ensuring their work is compliant and accessible.
2021 Presentation Awards Category 1: Clinical, Public Health, Behavioral and Education Research • 1st Place DDS, Hygiene, Masters and Undergrad students – Matthew Galli: "Maintenance regularity differentially impacts periodontitis-related tooth loss according to staging and grading." Mentor: Hom-Lay Wang. • 1st Place PhD Students (DDS/PhD) and Postdoctoral Trainees – Cindy PérezPacheco: "Nerve Parameters Associated with Clinical Outcome in Oral Cancer." Mentor: Nisha D'Silva.
Category 2: Basic Science Research and Translational Science • 1st Place DDS, Hygiene, Masters and Undergrad students – Afriti Chinoy: "Evc2 Function In Mesenchymal (Neural Crest Cells Derived) Tissue Is Critical For Molar Morphology." Mentor: Yuji Mishina. • 1st Place PhD Students (DDS/PhD) and Postdoctoral Trainees – Noam Gannot: "A Neural Control Circuit for Coughing." Mentor: Peng Li.
Dental Hygiene DH4A Students • 1st Place Original Research Award – Jamie Britton, Christine Clark, Alexis Lubin: “Confidence in Current and Future Dental Providers Treating Special Needs Patients.” Advisor: Darlene Jones. • Second Place Original Research Award – Jordyn Chouinard, Erika Elliott, Meggie Kluck: “Effects of Coconut Oil, Sesame Oil, and CPP-ACP Chewing Gum on the pH Levels of Saliva: A Pilot Study.” Advisors: Valerie Nieto and Stefanie VanDuine.
Ligia Schmitd, left, and Cindy Perez, researchers in the lab of Dr. Nisha D’Silva, work in the Tissue Culture Room, part of the new Research Commons addition in the former courtyard of the school.
• Table Clinic Award – Aihab Agour, Marla Govan: “The Science and Toxicity of Mercury in Dental Amalgam Restorations.” Advisor: Kenichi Kuroda.
Sponsored Research Awards
>$50,000 from Sept. 1, 2020, to Feb. 28, 2021
• First Place Original Research Award – Ana Maldonado: “Inter-examiner Ultrasound Calibration of Periodontal Phenotype Parameters: A Retrospective Study.” Advisors: Albert Chan and Oliver Kripfgans. • Second Place Original Research Award – Taylor Hamilton, Maddison Phelps, Chelsea Spangler: “The Athlete's Oral Health and Contributing Factors: A Closer Look.” Advisor: Stefanie VanDuine. • Table Clinic Award – Angelica Chapa, Allyson Erickson: “Hormonal Changes During Puberty and Effect on the Oral Health of Young Females.” Advisors: Iwonka Eagle and Stefanie VanDuine. More information about Research Day is available on the Office of Research website – https://media.dent.umich.edu/ sites/research-day/
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH AND OTHER FEDERAL AGENCIES Yuji Mishina and Megan Weivoda: (R61) $500,000. A New Model for Spatio-Temporal Coupling of Bone Formation and Bone Resorption Governed by Osteoclasts. Wanida Ono: (RO1) $1,250,000. Dental Follicle: A Central Regulator of Tooth Root Formation and Regeneration. Leidy Mendoza Reinoso, Laurie McCauley and Hernan Roca: (DoD Prostate Cancer Research Program Early Investigator Award) $195,794. Regulation of Prostate Skeletal Bone Metastases by TIM-3-dependent Efferocytosis. Wanida and Noriaki Ono: (RO1) $1,750,000. Craniofacial Skeletal Cell lineage Plasticity for Reconstituting Stem Cells and their Niches.
Charlotte Mistretta: (R01 Subcontract) $77,883. Growth Factors in the Development and Physiology of Geniculate Taste Neurons. Nisha D’Silva (Co-PI with Laura Rozek and Maureen Sartor): (R01) $543,045. Downstream Effects of HPV Integration on Survival/Metastasis in Oropharyngeal Cancer.
FOUNDATIONS, INDUSTRY and OTHER AWARDS Erin Shan-Huey Yu and Hom-Lay Wang: Snoasis Inc., $77,520. Open Wound Bone Augmentation Concept with Amnion-Chlorion Membrane: A Pilot Controlled Trial. Megan Weivoda: American Federation for Aging Research, $90,972. Targeting Senescent Pre-Tumor Cells to Prevent Cancer. Dennis Fasbinder: Ivoclar Vivadent, $128,150. Clinical Evaluation of a Lithium Disilicate Quarts Material for Chairside CAD/CAM Crowns. RESEARCH 17 Spring 2021 | M Dentistry
Not a Direct Route A married couple’s choice of Dental Hygiene and U-M As career journeys through dentistry go, Jigarkumar and Shreya Shah have followed an unusual path to Ann Arbor, the School of Dentistry and the Dental Hygiene program. The married couple, natives of India, are progressing through the Dental Hygiene program along with the rest of their classmates on their way toward their bachelor’s degrees in 2022. They studied dentistry in India, graduating in 2014. As both dental students and providers after graduation, they were experienced in periodontal, restorative and prosthetic treatments, along with minor surgical procedures. As they considered their future in dentistry, they were struck by a common thread among their patients – what they call a “deeply rooted myth” that people only need to go to the dentist when in pain or when a problem arises. They were convinced they wanted to help change that mindset and educate people about the value of regular check-ups and oral hygiene awareness. In 2016, they immigrated to the United States in order to establish careers in a dental field here. It was a struggle financially and otherwise, but they endured with help from their parents, family and friends. What follows are highlights, in their own words, of their path into Dental Hygiene and the U-M School of Dentistry:
On their interests in oral hygiene: “Having a dental background, we knew that dentistry is not just limited to treating oral diseases but also deals with the preventive aspect. After landing in United States and exploring career opportunities in dentistry, we found that dental hygiene is an integral part of the dental field. Also, dental hygienists are at the forefront in detecting oral diseases. This was very convincing to us – that if oral hygiene awareness is spread among communities and if correct efforts 18 DENTAL HYGIENE M Dentistry | Spring 2021
are placed by people and dental professionals, then many oral diseases can be prevented at an early stage.”
On preventative dentistry: “For us to be sure in selecting the dental hygiene career, we explored dental offices to know more about the subject and the flow of how things work. It was very much appealing to us to learn how patients are being taught about oral hygiene care along with professionals treating gum disease. Also, how incredible it was to see how dentists and Jigarkumar and Shreya Shah dental hygienists work as a team to take care of patient’s oral health. From the beginning, our interest was leaning towards the preventive aspect of dentistry. Getting a bachelor’s degree in “During the program, we would like to do dental hygiene gives an extended knowledge research projects and peer teaching. After base and learning opportunities in preventive being a dental hygiene student at Michigan, dentistry. We decided to select dental hygiene we came across more career opportunias our career branch.” ties through its endless resources. We are thinking of doing some years of clinical practice after graduation. And then probably explore our future career in research and/or “While exploring the universities through getting a degree in dental therapy. which we can get a higher level of educa-
What the future may bring:
Why the University of Michigan?
tion in dental hygiene, the University of Michigan was at the top of our list. We found that it excels in multiple fields and has endless opportunities for the students. Michigan provides research opportunities to students and helps them gain professional achievements. After this, we never explored any other options for our degree program but Michigan. The most fortunate part of this journey was that we got accepted together in the same program that started in May 2020.”
Through this unique experience and a happy transit to another most important dental field, we learned that it is very crucial to change your path to aim your interest in the field. Directional hard work and constant efforts can make life more valuable. And the education we are receiving from the University of Michigan is priceless. Thank you so much to all our professors and the entire staff of Michigan. We owe you a great round of applause!”
DH Student Finds Rewards in Volunteering for “Polar Plunge” Events To participate in a fun event like the Special Olympics Polar Plunge, Marla Govan decided she needed a special costume. If you are a Dental Hygiene student, what could be better than dressing up as a tube of toothpaste? So there she was, in Michigan Stadium, in the dead of winter, creating the funny image of a tube of toothpaste jumping into a pool of freezing water. For more than 10 years, including her last three as she was earning her bachelor’s degree in Dental Hygiene at the dental school, Govan has participated in the Polar Plunge for a very special reason – her brother Vinny. “Special Olympics hits very close to home,” Govan said. “I grew up with a special needs brother and witnessed his obstacles and struggles. As a child, you don’t have a clear understanding of how a sibling can be so different from any other person. A person with special needs is automatically categorized by society. After Vinny became involved in Special Olympics, the look of joy on his face, and his sense of belonging and support from across the state, was unparalleled.” The Special Olympics mission is to “provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.”
The Polar Plunge is the organization’s largest fund-raiser. In Michigan, it is held at numerous locations around the state in the early winter months, often in natural settings like lakes. In Washtenaw County in recent years, portable swimming pools have been set up on the field at Michigan Stadium, usually near the end of February. Participants seek monetary pledges from family, friends and colleagues who wish to support Special Olympics. This year, because of the pandemic, the usual large plunge events were
not held, but “plungers” – as those who jump into the icy waters are called – were encouraged to innovate on their own and record videos of their cold-weather tricks. Funds raised by the event supply new equipment, facilities, transportation, and other support systems. More than 22,000 Special Olympics Michigan athletes train and compete year-round. Govan’s brother participates in bowling and has won many awards. Govan, who received her Dental Hygiene bachelor’s degree this spring, said her life has been enriched by her work first as a volunteer and later as a plunger at the annual event. “The energy in the room is indescribable. Between the support of parents, friends, volunteers and the athletes, it’s without a doubt the most unforgettable night every year. Looking back at the years of plunging, raising money, donating money and providing desired items for the athletes, it has put life into perspective. The effect a human can have on another human is the most valuable currency there is. Special Olympics pushes me to work towards something bigger than myself and provides the opportunity to be among extraordinary people who remind me we’re all in this together.”
Marla Govan and her brother Vinny.
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Students Win U-M Business Contest Third-year dental students Nilay Patel, Raurie Petrich and Torrey Talifer won the University of Michigan “1000 Pitches” competition this spring and shared the $1,000 firstplace prize as they advance their idea into a start-up business. The annual competition, open to all U-M students, is sponsored by the U-M Office of the President, the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovate Blue. This year’s competition received exactly 1,000 new business ideas.
gaps in key information being correctly and accurately shared between dentists when a referral case is initiated.
Petrich said research and his experience in specialty clinics indicate people don’t follow through on referrals unless they are in pain. The students also learned that referral notes are often incomplete, missing a diagnosis, and sometimes even wrong teeth are marked for extraction. “It was surprising how much time and effort dentists have to spend to get pieces of information when the referred patient walks in the door,” Petrich said.
The dental students’ idea involves a digital referral service to improve the process of referrals in dentistry between general practice and specialty providers. Based on personal experience and time spent in private practices, the budding entrepreneurs see
The students have incorporated their company, Riziom, and are working to hire software developers to build the first product this summer. They hope to test the product on potential customers later this year and next.
The team developed their pitch into a short video that was submitted during last fall’s two-month open window for entries. The video was produced with the help of fellow third-year dental student Holly Rizzo.
Mineralization and Healing.” Her research focuses on inherent differences between craniofacial and long bones. It provides a better understanding of the effects of conditions altering collagen cross-linking in systemic conditions between craniofacial and long bones and may lead to more effective personalized medicine treatments for bonerelated wound healing in the future.
to review initiatives and to plan a district leadership retreat this summer and an annual meeting in the winter.
‘Dr. Jay Award’ to DDS/PhD grad Genevieve Romanowicz, who graduated this spring in the dual DDS and PhD in Oral Health Sciences program, received the 2020 Dr. Dominic Dziewiatkowski Award last fall. It is given annually by the Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences & Prosthodontics to honor an outstanding student researcher. The annual award was established in 1989 in memory of Dr. Dominic Dziewiatkowski (“Dr. Jay”), who chaired the Department of Oral Biology and directed the Dental Research Institute from 1967-1972. Romanowicz’s dissertation, under the mentorship of faculty member Dr. David Kohn, is “The Role of Collagen Crosslinking in Craniofacial and Long Bone 20 STUDENTS M Dentistry | Spring 2021
D2 joins ASDA national board First-year dental student Tommy Lau was selected in February for a 2021-22 national leadership position with the American Student Dental Association. This year as a D2, Lau will serve on the Board of Trustees representing District 6, which includes the U-M, Detroit Mercy, Case Western, Ohio State and West Virginia dental schools. The position is a liaison between the district ASDA chapters and the national level as it works on its strategic plan goals. Lau will work with councils and committees
Esther Suh wins ADEA poster award Fourth-year DDS student Esther Suh received third-place in the student poster competition at the American Dental Education Association’s virtual Annual Session and Exhibition in March. Suh’s winning poster, part of her Pathways Program research, was “Effectiveness, Efficiency, User Experience in 3D Virtual Tooth Identification Test.” Working with her faculty mentor Dr. Hera Kim-Berman, Suh reviewed the effectiveness of a virtual library created by Kim-Berman that allowed students in a preclinical dental anatomy course to view 3-dimensional tooth models on their computers or phone. “Compared to the traditional method of using real teeth for a practical examination, the 3-D virtual tooth identification test demonstrated similar
effectiveness and greater efficiency to assess student knowledge in dental anatomy,” the study found. Faculty member Elisabeta Karl and Vidya Ramaswamy, Associate Director of Curriculum and Program Evaluation, were also part of the project.
Prosthodontics Graduate Awards The school’s Prosthodontics Graduate Program has announced two sets of scholarship recipients for 2020-21. The Joseph A. Clayton Graduate Scholarship Award recipients are: Dr. Tyler Anderson: A graduate student in prosthodontics, he holds a DDS from New York University and a master’s in Biomedical Science from Rutgers University. He is focused on complex restorative cases and will graduate in 2022. Dr. Robert Ault: A 2020 graduate of the U-M dental school, he received awards in prosthodontics, periodontics, and oral surgery. Upon completion of the prosthodontics graduate program in 2023, he plans to open a dual practice office with his wife, Dr. Janet Zalucha (DDS 2016). Dr. Uvoh Onoriobe: He earned a bachelor’s degree in dental surgery in his native Nigeria and also holds a Master’s in Public Health degree from the University of North Carolina and a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago. With interests in dental research, education and cosmetic dentistry, he will graduate in 2022. The Clayton Graduate Scholarship Fund/ Foundation was created in 1998 to honor Dr. Clayton, who helped develop, direct and
teach in the department’s graduate program for 25 years, until his retirement in 1996. The 2020-21 Edward J. Billy Scholarship Award recipients are: Dr. Asil Ellauzi: She graduated this spring with a Master’s of Science in Prosthodontics. Her thesis was “The Reproducibility of Virtual Interocclusal Registration During Intraoral Scanning.” She earned a Dental Surgery Degree in her native Jordan, then started the Dental Postgraduate Program in Prosthodontics at U-M. She returned to Jordan as a general practitioner for two years, then joined the U-M Graduate Prosthodontics Program to focus on complex rehabilitation cases. Dr. Bhavinkumar Patel: After earning his bachelor’s degree in his native India, he worked in general practice for two years before joining U-M’s Dental Postgraduate Program in Prosthodontics. Last summer he started the Graduate Prosthodontics Master’s Program and plans to obtain the combined Advanced Education in Graduate Prosthodontics Certificate/Master’s Degree with completion in 2023. The Billy scholarship is named for a clinical professor of dentistry and director of Graduate Prosthodontics Program who came to the U-M dental school in 1992 as a lecturer and worked through the ranks to being named a clinical professor in 2001. He won numerous Instructor of the Year awards before retiring in 2006.
Students receive CEW+ scholarships Three School of Dentistry students were named CEW+ Scholars for 2020-21 as the University of Michigan organization celebrated its 50th year of providing scholarships supporting the education of women and underserved students at the University of Michigan.
Angela Boruszewski, a student in the Dental Hygiene Degree Completion E-Learning program who will graduate in August 2021. She received one of the two Robert Bruce Dunlap Memorial Scholarships. CEW+ credited Boruszewski’s devotion to pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Dental Hygiene 15 years after completing her associate’s degree in the field. In the interim, she held multiple jobs, was a single parent and found time to advance her professional skills, learning along the way that she enjoyed teaching students. Raysham Hayat, a DDS student in the Internationally Trained Dentist Program. She received one of 19 Margaret Dow Towsley Scholarships. CEW+ noted that after graduation this spring Hayat, a native of Pakistan, plans to secure a faculty position because she is enthusiastic about educating the next generation. She is committed to providing dental care for underserved communities. Marsha-Kay Hutchinson, a student in the joint DDS/PhD in Oral Health Sciences program. She received the Christine Kahan Black Scholarship. CEW+ cited Hutchinson’s background growing up in Jamaica where she witnessed significant healthcare inequities and decided to pursue a career in healthcare so she could advocate for underserved communities. Her current research in the PhD program focuses on improving treatments for patients with oral cancer.
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Profile: The Gietzen Family How three dentists’ journeys merged How the Gietzen family in western Michigan became a well-established, two-generation dentistry family is full of interesting twists and turns that could have led them in an entirely different direction at the start and over the years. The patriarch, Dr. Timothy Gietzen, graduated from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry in 1976. He was an Air Force dentist for two years before joining a practice in Grand Rapids that was the largest in the region. He became a partner and remained with the practice for 39 years, retiring in 2018 after a career during which he was widely recognized for his involvement in professional dental organizations and community service. His son, Dr. Matthew Gietzen, also graduated from U-M with a DDS, in 2005, then joined the same Grand Rapids practice as his father. Matt’s wife, Dr. Heather Gietzen, earned her MS in orthodontics at U-M in 2005 and established a practice in Lowell, Michigan, in 2010. There is also an honorary dentist in the family. Tim, Matt and Heather say the family matriarch, Kathleen, is well-versed in the profession after being part of so many dentistry conversations over the years. A licensed practical nurse, Kathleen supported the family by working at the U-M student health service next to the School of Dentistry while Tim was earning his DDS. “She has been around dentistry so much, you don’t even know she is not a dentist,” Heather says of her mother-in-law. “She is very patient with all our dentistry discussions and can easily fit into all of our conversations because she has that medical background.” The three dentists and the honorary dentist are known throughout the Michigan dentistry community for their involvement and leadership in professional organizations and 22 ALUMNI M Dentistry | Spring 2021
Above: Matt Gietzen was 14 years old and several years away from deciding that he wanted to be a dentist when he posed (above) with his parents and sister Melissa at the ceremony for his father Tim’s induction into the American College of Dentists in 1992. Next page: Twenty-seven years later, in 2019, Matt and his wife Heather received the same honor with Tim and Kathleen joining for a second family photo of an ACD induction.
giving back to their communities. As Tim and Kathleen reflect on their journey from the comfort of their retirement home along Lake Michigan in Holland, watching bald eagles fly by at eye level above the shoreline, they share a sense of accomplishment and gratitude for what dentistry has meant for their family, including their second child, Melissa, who chose a different career in performing arts and education.
The start of something good For Tim, it is a story of perseverance and deciding to be the first in his blue-collar family to go to college, then to professional school. Growing up in the Grand Rapids suburb of Ada in the 1950s and ‘60s, Tim worked at his family’s auto service station in downtown Grand Rapids. The station was popular with people who worked in downtown offices, including lots of professionals – dentists, doctors, lawyers. Tim noticed that they drove nice cars and had nice lifestyles. Some played golf and soon he was caddying for them at a local country
club. They encouraged the high school kid to think big about his future, even as Tim’s father expected his son would take over the family service station. “As far as dentistry, I had no idea what that meant. I just knew what these men looked like and acted like. They were professionals and they took an interest in me, and they had a lifestyle that looked pretty decent. I had my eye on the end. That’s what gave me the thought to go into dentistry.” In high school, Tim was president of his senior class, but known more for his football and basketball prowess than his academic record. After graduation, he enrolled at a local community college for two years before being admitted to Western Michigan University. He worked hard at WMU during his first three years there, but when he applied to the U-M School of Dentistry, he was rejected after his interview with admissions dean Dr. Don Strachen. “My grades were B’s and of course all the kids at Michigan were in the A’s. My aptitude was good, not great. Dr. Strachan was all
business. He looked at my grades and said, ‘Tim, I don’t think you’ve got what it takes to be here.’ That was very difficult to hear because nobody had ever told me I couldn’t do something that I put my mind to.”
Tim returned to WMU for his final year, hoping that earning straight A’s would influence his second application to U-M. In the meantime, unbeknownst to him, he was the beneficiary of an intervention by a group of his west Michigan friends who were already students at the dental school. They went to Strachan and vouched for Tim’s work ethic, determination and character. It worked. Strachan found a place for Tim on the roster of the next class. “Dr. Strachan took a chance on me,” Tim says. “And I’ll never forget the phone call that he made to us on a late Friday afternoon, telling me that I was admitted. It was the best news that I had ever had.” Of course, the reward for admission was an intense next four years as Tim and his classmates answered to an esteemed and demanding group of faculty icons who literally wrote the dentistry textbooks. It was four years of non-stop studying for Tim, but rewarding and life-changing. Fast forward 45 years to the present day and Tim’s dentistry origins story is even more meaningful, given the thousands of patients he has treated, first in the military and then over his 39 years with Partners in Dental Care. He has an extensive resume of leadership positions with local, regional, state and
national dental organizations – including the presidency of the West Michigan District Dental Society and recipient of its Silent Bell Award for Distinguished Service. He served on the Board of Directors for Delta Dental Plan of Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, the dental school’s Alumni Board of Governors, and has been instrumental in initiatives providing oral healthcare to the underserved in the Grand Rapids area, among many other contributions.
than a bureaucracy of a hospital would allow,” Matt said. “I also saw some of the lifestyle qualities of being home at night for your family, which I enjoyed. So it was an amalgamation of a lot of variables that drove me to dentistry.”
He retired in 2018 six months earlier than he had planned because of neck and back pain common for veteran dentists. Three weeks later, he was pain-free. “The leaning over, the stress, the anxiety. It adds up over a period of time,” he says. “Retirement has been a blessing. I live for the time I spend with Kathleen and our family. I do miss my patients and my team, but I don’t miss going in every day.”
The faculty may have been the next generation after the icons of his father’s era, but they were no less important as dedicated, devoted mentors. “I felt like I graduated being able to treat an individual tooth, obviously, but we also had the foundation of how to manage a complex, interdisciplinary case that might have systemic health issues – from occlusion problems to caries issues to periodontal health concerns. It was laying the groundwork to figure out the Rubik’s Cube later so that you can customize a plan for a patient. They gave us the background and skills to figure out ‘why’ – which I think separates the Michigan dental school from others.”
Next generation decision For Matt, it was a question that many children have to answer: My parent has a great career so should I do the same thing? “It certainly wasn’t pre-ordained that I go into dentistry,” Matt said, “but I did realize there were a lot of positives in being able to help people in a way that I could make a difference.” Before and during his undergraduate years at Denison University in Ohio, Matt considered various health careers, including medicine, as did some of his friends who chose emergency medicine, radiology and orthopedic surgery. “We all studied together and all branched out and are helping people differently. Early in college, I decided dentistry was the path I was going to settle on. I loved science. That’s where my brain was drawn in undergrad and all the way through dental school.” Another factor was his interest in leadership. “I just felt my leadership skills would allow me to implement initiatives and create change much quicker in a dental practice
The dental school curriculum had changed considerably from Tim to Matt, but some things remained the same. “What you appreciate about the dental school, I think, is the broad ability to draw so many talented people there,” Matt said. “And to have everyone collaborating and working together is certainly something that is very unique.”
The timing of Matt’s graduation from U-M in 2005 worked well in terms of joining the same practice as his father. One of the partners was planning to retire in 18 months, so Matt could join in what became a transition period. He had considered applying for Advanced Education in General Dentistry or specialty training programs, but decided the breadth and depth of the experience of his dad and partners would be an excellent training ground. “Not only Dad, but all of his partners have been tremendous mentors for me. I was very fortunate to have a great practice that welcomed me as an associate. I had my own built-in AEGD right there for me – that’s why I joined right out of dental school. It was about treating people correctly, appropriately and better. That’s what their mantra has always been about and what we carry on today.” “I also saw Tim was able to have relationships with patients. I could have specialized, but I like being able to see patients over and (Continued)
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Alumni Profile: The Gietzen Family (Continued)
over again, and being there for them. That fit my personality.”
A third dentist joins the family Growing up in Sterling Heights, Michigan, Heather had always assumed she would attend U-M for her undergraduate degree on the way to perhaps a medical degree there as well. When applying to U-M, her father insisted she have a second option, so she applied to Wayne State University. When Wayne State offered her a full-ride scholarship, it was too good to pass up. She majored in biology there and volunteered at a children’s hospital in Detroit to get some experience in a medical setting.
in orthodontics and her first choice was the master’s program at U-M. She was accepted and at last made U-M her educational home for three years, receiving her master’s in 2005. Although Matt and Heather were in dental school together for three years while completing their DDS and MS degrees, respectively, they had only heard of each other and didn’t meet until several months after both graduated in 2005. They began a long-distance relationship, with Heather starting her orthodontist career by working at two practices in southeast Michigan while Matt was getting started at the Grand Rapids
Heather discovered, though, that she internalized too much of her interaction with the young critically ill patients and she worried that a medical career wouldn’t be a good fit. As she prepared for the next step – taking the Medical College Admission Test – she noticed there were other professional school tests she could opt for, including the Dental Admission Test. She delayed filling out the MCAT form and sought out a female dentist in Detroit willing to be shadowed and to answer questions about the profession. Armed with that new information, Heather applied to dental school. And then something again got Tim poses on retirement day in 2018 with son Matt. in the way of attending U-M. Heather was among several dental school applicants around the country whose practice. They were married in 2009 and application materials were inadvertently not Heather began looking around the Grand sent to the dental schools they had specified Rapids area for a practice to join, eventually during the national admissions process. By deciding to start her own. the time the mistake was discovered, most While researching area communities, she dental schools were done or nearly done with discovered Lowell, an attractive small selecting their incoming classes. Heather town 20 miles east of Grand Rapids with a was able to arrange last-minute interviews growing population and no orthodontist. at U-M and the University of Pennsylvania. On the day she first drove there to check Shortly after she told Penn that its outit out, she found a good omen on a road of-state tuition would prohibit her from sign along the way. “I called Matt and said, attending there, the school called back to tell “There’s a sign! It says ‘Lowell – The Next her that a student they had admitted on scholPlace to Be!’ And it’s really a real sign.” arship had decided to enroll elsewhere and That slogan for Lowell’s community they would offer Heather that scholarship. marketing plan may have been the tipping Again, it was an offer too good to refuse. point that turned her business plan into By the time she graduated from Penn in Grand River Orthodontics in 2010. 2002, Heather had decided to specialize 24 ALUMNI M Dentistry | Spring 2021
She has since served as president of the Michigan Association of Orthodontists and president of the Council of Michigan Dental Specialties. She organized the dental specialty licensing exam for the state of Michigan in 2014-15, and has been on the Michigan Dental Association Peer Review Dental Care Committee since 2014.
Coming full circle In 2019, Matt and Heather repeated family history when they received a professional honor that Tim had received 27 years earlier, in 1992. The couple were inducted as Fellows into the American College of Dentists, both on the same day. It was a gratifying occasion for Tim to see not only his son but also his daughter-in-law carrying on the family tradition for excellence in dentistry. These family dental connections seem a long way from those days when Tim could have stayed with the family service station business. Or Matt could have chosen some other health field career. Or Heather could have never made it to U-M to eventually connect with Matt or discover Lowell, “the next place to be.” In retirement, Tim and Kathleen try to keep up with their four grandchildren and travel frequently, often with a group of friends from the DDS Class of 1976. They plan more trips to Switzerland where their daughter Melissa Tranchet lives with her husband, son and daughter. Matt and Heather and their son and daughter live relatively close, in Ada where Tim grew up. Looking back, Tim finds a lot of satisfaction in the family journey thus far, grateful for what the profession has meant for his entire family and for the dental school that introduced him to it. “The University of Michigan gave Kathleen and me the opportunity to have this wonderful life,” he says. “Once I was in dental school, I then began to understand what the profession means for patients. And over the years, I’ve discovered how meaningful it was to me.”
Namesakes of ASK Leadership Scholarship Discuss the Importance, Benefits of Leaders in Dentistry It’s been a busy couple of years for alumnus Dr. Mark Adams since he and his wife D’Ann created a leadership scholarship for students at the School of Dentistry. The couple recently made a second sixfigure gift to the school with the intent of regularly contributing to the ASK Leadership Scholarship fund until it reaches $1 million. Adams (DDS 1983, MS in prosthodontics 1985) says it represents his views on the importance of leadership in dentistry and his commitment to developing the future leaders of the profession. Two third-year students have already received scholarship money and another may in the fall, depending on the fund’s investment growth at this early stage.
succession plan and new leaders who will advance the company. Adams’ current emphasis on mentoring and leadership within ClearChoice brings him
Adams, who lives near Denver, Colo., continues to lead one of the fastest-growing initiatives in dentistry as an executive with ClearChoice Dental Implant Centers. The company is revolutionizing dental implant treatment by assembling all the resources for patients in one location. The company has grown to 67 centers around the country, up from 50 two years ago. Late last year, ClearChoice was acquired by Aspen Dental, the largest branded network of dental offices in the country, with more than 850 locations. Adams says the two companies became the largest Dental Service Organization in the country, and possibly the world. Although Aspen Dental Management will be the umbrella owner, each entity will remain independent and be managed separately, he said. Adams had been ClearChoice’s Vice President of Clinical Affairs, but was promoted early this year to its Chief Clinical Officer. That move, along with selling his ownership in a ClearChoice center in Denver, allows Adams to focus on mentoring other dentists in the company to take over its leadership roles. “At 62, I’m really focused on making sure that what I’ve worked so hard on for the past 15 years to build, is going to endure for years and years into the future,” he says. That means developing a strong
“Watching another human being develop into their potential is the most satisfying thing I’ve ever had in my career.” Dr. Mark Adams
full circle to why he decided to honor two of his early mentors – Drs. Richard Shick and William Kotowicz – in the name of the new scholarship. ASK is an acronym for Adams, Shick and Kotowicz. The scholarship was created to “identify, cultivate and encourage the next generation of leaders from the University of Michigan School of
Dentistry who will continue to challenge the status quo, innovate, set new standards of excellence for the profession and positively influence the direction of oral healthcare.” Shick was a dentist in Flint who mentored Adams, also from the Flint area, when Adams was considering dentistry in high school and college. Shick held many leadership positions in local, state, national and international dentistry organizations during his career. Kotowicz, also a Flint resident before attending the U-M dental school, became a professor and later dean of the school. He was a steady and effective leader whom Adams admired while a dental student and later when Adams was a prosthodontist in Flint. “At an extraordinary level, each in their own sphere, they were so effective,” Adams said. “Dick Shick was Mr. Dentistry in the state of Michigan. He had influence all the way to the national ADA level, where he rose to be a vice president. He impacted dental policies at an extremely high level. Then you have Bill Kotowicz, who was not only an extraordinary teacher and mentor, but rose in the administration to become the leader of the entire school. He helped the school get through a difficult transition period and then became dean and led the school at an extremely high level for a long time. Both in their own way, they are just extraordinary role models to be able to follow. Always do the right thing. Always put the needs of the patient first. And be engaged. They’re very powerful examples of that.”
Michigan’s ‘Mr. Dentistry’ In an interview earlier this year from his winter home in Florida, Shick, 91, said leadership came naturally to him, even in the first years after he earned his DDS in 1954 and his MS in periodontics in 1960. It was simply a matter of seeing a need and filling it, he said. Soon he gained a reputation in the state dentistry establishment as a reliable and effective leader for the profession. (Continued)
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Namesakes of Leadership Scholarship Discuss the Importance of Leadership (Continued)
“They liked the idea of: here’s a young squirt who seems to be rather knowledgeable and articulate and aggressive,” he recalls. Soon after he had his Flint periodontal practice up and running, his service to dentistry started with an officer position with the Genesee District Dental society, then he co-founded a state organization for periodontists. When a Detroit radio station was looking for a dentist to be on a program called “Ask The Dentist,” it seemed like a great public relations opportunity for the state’s dentists, so Shick volunteered and did several programs from 1962-64. It was a prelude to an even more prominent series of radio interviews later in his career, from 1977-92, when he became a regular on the WJR radio show of Detroit broadcasting legend J.P. McCarthy. The early interviews about all things dental went so well that Shick did the show 120 times. Shick’s wife Rose Marie says that for many years after those shows ended, when the couple were talking in a grocery store or other public place, strangers who heard her husband’s distinctive voice would frequently ask if he was “that dentist who used to be on the radio.” Shick’s long journey of leadership led him to the top of nearly every professional organization he joined. In the Michigan Dental Association, he held many committee assignments and served as President from 1976-77. His tenure with the American Dental Association included serving on or leading numerous committees, councils and commissions, eventually becoming First Vice President of the ADA from 1978-79. He was President of the U.S.A. section of the International College of Dentists in 2001, moving up to International President of the ICD in 2009. When Shick thinks back on his life full of countless leadership roles and commitments in dentistry, one success very early in his career had the greatest impact. In the mid-1960s, the Flint City Council began considering whether to fluoridate the city’s water. Fluoridation was a new concept then, opposed by many people who feared adding anything into the water supply, even as most health experts, dentists and dental organizations said it would greatly improve oral health, particularly for children. The council decided to put the issue to a vote of 26 ALUMNI M Dentistry | Spring 2021
city residents and Shick became co-chair of the committee in favor of fluoridation with another Flint dentist, Dr. Alfred Micinski. They spent 18 months leading the education and public relations campaign. The issue passed in 1965 by a slim 300-vote margin. Opponents immediately announced they would try to override the vote with a second ballot issue the next year. Shick initially opted out of leading the second pro-fluori-
recognized water fluoridation as one of the most important developments in public health in the last century.” The fluoridation campaign set the tone for the rest of Shick’s life as a dentist and leader. “What got me going,” he says of his approach throughout his career, was learning about issues and problems, then evaluating how others were dealing with them. “I would look at it and see that I could do better. They should be more aggressive. They should go after it. They should get things done.” And the reason for being a leader? “You want to help humanity,” Shick said. “You want to have a better life for everybody. The dental profession was one place where I could be a big influence.”
A steady hand of leadership
“The dental profession was one place where I could be a big influence.” Dr. Richard Shick
dation campaign, but it was quickly clear that his superior leadership and organization skills were still needed. He and Flint orthodontist, Dr. George Eastman (DDS 1959, MS 1963), led a successful rebuttal of the second referendum, winning the second vote in 1966 by 3,000 votes. “I’m most proud of the fluoridation effort and how it spread around the country and the world. It’s massive. It’s amazing. The World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
While Dick Shick was influencing dentistry as a practicing dentist leading professional organizations at nearly every level possible, Bill Kotowicz was making a significant impact educating dentists while spending his entire career at the School of Dentistry. Kotowicz earned his DDS and MS in prosthodontics from U-M in 1966 and 1968, respectively, then joined the faculty as an assistant professor in 1969. He was promoted to associate professor in 1971 and professor in 1974. He was then interim dean (198789), senior associate dean (1989-95), acting dean (1995-96), and dean (1997-2003). He was named the Roy H. Roberts Professor of Dentistry in 2004 and retired in 2005. Whether he was a faculty member educating and mentoring students early in his career, or later leading the entire school as dean, Kotowicz says he approached leadership with the intent of being respectful, approachable, fair, collaborative, inclusive, transparent and a good listener. He credits his predecessor as dean, Dr. Bernie Machen, and numerous other administrative leaders with contributing to his success. “When you lead you don’t have to lead from the front of the room,” he said. “You need to respect everybody and give credit where credit is due. So giving individuals assignments and some delegation, and the resources to accomplish the assignment, is important. Then let them take credit for it.” Kotowicz said good communication was important not just with faculty, but also
with every staff member, including new hires. It helped them understand the roles of each department and why every person was important to the mission of the school. “It gave people a sense of their worth to the institution,” he said. An example of the positive effects of transparency involved budgeting during the period in the late 1980s when school was tasked with a major reorganization, reducing
always a consensus,” Kotowicz said. “You have to be real in that not all people are going to be pleased with every decision you make. You have to understand that. They have to understand that. I always tried to think about how a decision was going to impact everyone throughout the school. You don’t just think of the main players but everybody. That helps you when you have to explain why a decision was made.” Kotowicz notes that many former U-M School of Dentistry department chairs and administrators have become deans and top leaders at other dental schools around the country. Part of that equation was hiring good people and placing them in an improved organizational structure that strengthened their leadership skills. “By the time they interviewed elsewhere, they were already doing the things that deans do. That’s one of the things I’m most proud of – how many dental schools now have Michigan people as leaders.”
Endowing the ASK Scholarship
“When you lead you don’t have to lead from the front of the room.” Dr. William Kotowicz
its departments from about 15 to six. Each department chair was given copies of every department’s budget. That way, the chairs knew the dean was being consistent and fair across the school in terms of expectations for staffing, research, raises and growth. “They had some freedom to deal with the monies as they saw fit, but they also knew there were consequences to those decisions.” Delegation is important and effective but often the final decision comes down to the person at the top. “Decision-making is not
In creating the ASK Scholarship, Mark Adams is encouraging dental students and young dentists to embrace the value of leadership. “Early in my career, I was limited by what I could do with my two hands, first as a dentist in Flint and then as a dentist in Denver. I never imagined that I’d be able to impact tens of thousands of patients through the ClearChoice centers and also be able to impact hundreds of dentists in their development, not only as clinical doctors but also as leaders. I have to pinch myself at the opportunity I’ve been given to be able to have that kind of influence.” “Watching another human being develop into their potential is the most satisfying thing I’ve ever had in my career,” Adams said. “At this stage of my career, I don’t need to personally achieve it anymore, but helping others to achieve it – that’s been the most powerful medication I’ve ever taken. It’s just an honor to be able to work with these young doctors and see them master the path into leadership.” Including Shick and Kotowicz in the scholarship’s name is fitting, Adams said. “It’s upon their shoulders that I stand. If I’ve been able to reach a little higher and farther, it’s only because of the foundation they established, whether they knew they were establishing
that in me or not. Now I hope to pass that along and have the same impact on other doctors in the next generation.” Earlier this year the Adamses made a second financial gift to the scholarship fund, $150,000, which takes them one-fourth of the way to their $1 million goal. Mark hopes their example encourages other alumni to help the school financially, in general, or perhaps in support of the leadership scholarship. “If others wanted to get involved and create a legacy through a scholarship focused on leadership, how awesome would that be?” he asks.
S ave t h 2020 & 2021
REUNION BE NOVEM
, 20 6 & , 5 4,
The DDS and Dental Hygiene Classes of 1970 and 1971 will be the Emeritus honorees on Nov. 4. (Two classes are featured this year because last year's reunion was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.) The All-Class Reception on Nov. 5 will honor the classes of (1960, 1961, 1965, 1966, 1970 (Emeritus), 1971 (Emeritus), 1975, 1976 1980, 1981, 1985, 1986, 1990, 1991, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2015, 2016.) Enjoy the Indiana vs. Michigan football game at the Big House on Nov. 6. For more information, please go to the reunion website at
www.dent.umich.edu/reunion ALUMNI 27 Spring 2021 | M Dentistry
Why I Give... Dr. Rosemary Jones (DDS 1978) Six years into retirement, Rosemary Jones looks back at her career and can’t help but be grateful for the positive impact of earning both her undergrad and DDS degrees at the University of Michigan. Jones practiced general dentistry for 31 years in Madison, Wisc., with Dental Health Associates, one of the largest partner-owned practices in the country. She was the second female dentist in Madison and the first in that practice, becoming a partner in 1994. She also taught Dental Hygiene at Madison College for 12 years. In the first two years after earning her DDS from U-M in 1978, she practiced with Dr. Fred Schulkin in Ann Arbor and taught preclinical dentistry at the dental school. Dental school was a time of bonding with her fellow students, including Drs. Sondra Gunn, Marilyn Woolfolk, Lisa Sostecke and Jackie Cresswell. She considers them her mentors more than any of the faculty at the time, though she cites Dr. Charles Jaslow as a clinician she enjoyed working with. In the ensuing years, she has mentored students who earned their DDS degrees at U-M and she has been impressed at how the school has evolved. “I would highly recommend the dental school not for what it was when I was there, but what it has become over the years. It is now much more diverse, women are not a minority, and the
education has become more intentional over the years. I think students now are mentored well and given an education that gives them confidence in themselves when they leave the school.” Jones has a 33-year track record of financial gifts to the dental school, but in recent years she has increased her giving. She did so after her practice in Wisconsin made a substantial financial gift for a building project at the Marquette University dental school in Milwaukee. She said the discussion within her practice made her even more committed to supporting dental students and dental schools. Her gifts to U-M have usually been to the School of Dentistry Fund, which is used by the Dean to meet the School’s most pressing needs, such as supplementing student scholarships, graduate fellowships, special student programs, equipment purchases, and faculty support. She also has specified the Drs. Donald Heys and Ronald Heys Dental Scholarship Fund. “I am very grateful for the great education I received at U-M and realize it gave me the background to have a successful practice and to be a dentist who was good at analyzing and treating various situations,” Jones says. “I truly owe my financial success to the education I received at Michigan. I am also very appreciative of the changes which have taken place in the school; the diversity it has now is truly astounding compared to what it was when I arrived there in 1974, both in the staff and the students.” “Thanks to my success as a dentist, I have been retired for six years now, and in spite of COVID, have a good life. Thank you to the University of Michigan!”
Alumni & Development Moves!
The Office of Alumni Relations and Development has moved from its former off-site office in downtown Ann Arbor to the School of Dentistry as part of the Blue Renew renovation. The new address is:
Office of Alumni Relations and Development University of Michigan School of Dentistry 1011 North University Ave. | Suite 1420 Ann Arbor, MI 48109
28 ALUMNI M Dentistry | Spring 2021
Stop by and say hello to Executive Director Rich Fetchiet and the staff – Jeff Freshcorn, ALUMNI Carrie Towns, Gretchen Hannah, Thalia Adams and Molly Donahue.
Office phone and email remain the same:
Office: 734.763.3315 Fax: 734.615.6285 Email: SODalumnirelations@umich.edu
Detroit Artist’s Family Donates Paintings to School Two paintings from the renowned Detroit artist Gilda Snowden will soon hang in the University of Michigan School of Dentistry thanks to a gift from the late artist’s estate. Snowden’s father, John Snowden, was a 1953 alumnus of the dental school, and the artist’s family decided to donate the paintings in recognition of the important role their father’s dentistry degree John Snowden, from the played in his life DDS Class of 1953 graduand the lives of his ation photo composite. family. “We chose the dental school because all things for our family flowed after my dad got his degree,” said Donna Snowden, Gilda’s sister and the manager of the Gilda Snowden Estate LLC. One of the large, abstract paintings is from Snowden’s famous tornado series, which the artist said sprang from nightmares she had about tornadoes. The other painting is from a series she named “The Sea of Made and Broken Promises,” inspired by the work of Spanish poet Federico García Lorca. The paintings will be installed once the school’s major renovation and addition now underway is complete next year. John Snowden grew up in Detroit and went to Cass Technical High School. He earned an undergraduate degree from the Detroit Institute of Technology in 1938. He was a track star in high school and college and was slated to compete in the 1940 Summer Olympics, but they were canceled because of World War II. He was drafted into the Army in 1941 and sent to Fort Benning, Ga., where he contracted tuberculosis. He spent a difficult two years recovering from the disease at the Herman Kiefer Hospital in Detroit. After his recovery, Snowden chose a career in dentistry, Donna said, because he knew it would allow him to earn a good living to support his wife, Clara, and family, which eventually grew to include four children. The only Black student in his class, Snowden commuted from Detroit to the School of
Donna Snowden stands next to one of her sister’s paintings that is a gift to the dental school. It is from the “Sea of Made and Broken Promises” series.
Dentistry in Ann Arbor. After graduating in 1953, he worked as a dentist at the health department for the City of Detroit and had a private practice. Donna Snowden said her father was proud of his University of Michigan education. “We grew up watching and rooting for Michigan football.” He often sang the fight song as a lullaby for her younger siblings, she said. Gilda Snowden, who is survived by her husband, William G. Boswell, and daughter, Katherine Snowden Boswell, died of heart failure in 2014 at the age of 60. She was an art professor, first at Wayne State University, from which she earned BFA, MA and MFA degrees, and later for many years at the College of Creative Studies in Detroit. During her career, Snowden created thousands of large and small works of art,
mostly abstracts that often featured bright colors and bold brushstrokes. About 1,300 collectors own Gilda’s works. Her art has been exhibited throughout the Gilda Snowden United States, including in New York City, and in Mexico, Canada and West Africa. It has been displayed in the Michigan governor’s Mansion and the Manoogian Mansion, home to the mayor of Detroit, and the Detroit Institute of Arts owns several of her works.
ALUMNI 29 Spring 2021 | M Dentistry
Alumni News Dr. Sreenivas “Sree” Koka (DDS 1989, MS prosthodontics 1991) is the new Dean of the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry in Jackson. Koka joined the dental school from San Diego, California, where he combined private practice with faculty positions in various academic settings. His clinical practice in prosthodontics covers almost 30 years, including at the University of Nebraska College of Dentistry, the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and more recently in California, where he was a lecturer at the University of California Los Angeles School of Dentistry, serving as interim chairman of the Section of Restorative Dentistry from 2017-18. He also was a clinical professor at the Loma Linda University School of Dentistry. His Koka Dental Clinic in San Diego, focused on removable and implant prosthodontics. He was founder and owner of Premium Dental Editing, Koka Dental Corporation and the nonprofit Career Design in Dentistry of San Diego. He is a fellow and past-president of the Academy of Prosthodontics and a diplomate of the American Board of Prosthodontics. He is past co-president of the International College of Prosthodontists, and has received numerous Outstanding Teacher of the Year awards.
Dr. David Johnsen (DDS 1970), dean of the University of Iowa College of Dentistry since 1995, received the 2021 Distinguished Service Award from the American Dental Education Association. ADEA cited Johnsen’s 45-year career as a pediatric dentist, faculty member and researcher at the dental schools of West Virginia University, Case Western Reserve University and Iowa. Johnsen’s research has focused on innervation of teeth 30 ALUMNI M Dentistry | Spring 2021
as an indicator of capacity to transmit pain sensory impulses, and early childhood caries/ caries patterns in preschoolers. The latter included demonstration projects or consulting nationally for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children and the Head Start program. He has published on a variety of clinical and educational topics, including methodology for critical thinking, learning and assessment. He has served numerous national organizations and boards, including as president of ADEA from 2002-03 and on the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Board of Directors from 1988-91. Johnsen announced earlier this year his plans to step down as dean at Iowa while remaining at the college as a professor of pediatric dentistry.
Dr. Carlos Smith (DDS 2007), a faculty member at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry has been named a Dr. Jerome Bright Miller Scholar in the American Dental Education Association Leadership Institute for 2021. Smith is an assistant professor at the VC dental school as well as Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Director of Ethics Curriculum. The Miller Scholar program is supported by the American College of Dentists. These scholarships provide two current active Fellows of the ACD the opportunity to participate in the ADEA Leadership Institute. Smith also received another 2021 ADEA award, the Olav Alvares Award for Early Career Scholars Who Published Outstanding Articles in the Journal of Dental Education in 2020.
Dr. Susan E. Hinman (DDS 2004) was promoted to the rank of Captain in the U.S. Navy last September during a ceremony at the Lincoln
Memorial in Washington, D.C. She is an Associate Professor and Director of the Advanced Specialty Program in Endodontics at the Postgraduate Dental College of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) at Walter Reed Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. After earning her DDS from U-M, she was commissioned a Lieutenant in the Navy and completed a one-year Advanced Education in General Dentistry residency program at the Naval Dental Center at Parris Island, South Carolina. After various assignments, including aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, she completed residency training and received her Certificate in Endodontics from the Naval Postgraduate Dental College in Bethesda, and received a master’s degree in Oral Biology, also from the USU. A Diplomate of the American Board of Endodontics, Hinman has received numerous awards from the Navy.
Dr. Kevin Byrd (DDS 2013) has been named the founding Anthony R. Volpe Research Scholar at the American Dental Association’s Science and Research Institute. This new position will help the institute translate its findings into clinical applications while exploring technologies to model and improve oral wound healing and soft tissue grafting; the connection of the oral cavity to systemic disease; and undiscovered cell types among oral and craniofacial tissues across the lifespan. Byrd will be manager of oral and craniofacial research in the institute’s Department of Innovation and Technology. The scholar is supported by a five-year grant from Colgate-Palmolive. The late Dr. Anthony R. Volpe was Colgate’s former vice president of scientific affairs who evaluated the clinical efficacy of the company’s toothpastes during his 52-year career. Byrd, who holds a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina Adams School of Dentistry, joins the ADA institute from the research faculty at that school’s Division of Oral and Craniofacial Health Sciences.
Woolfolk, Edwards Honored By Michigan Dental Association Two dental school alumni and faculty have received two of the top annual awards from the Michigan Dental Association. Dr. Marilyn Woolfolk (DDS 1978), who retired in 2013 as the school’s Assistant Dean for Student Services, received the Dr. Emmett C. Bolden Dentist Citizen of the Year Award. MDA cited Woolfolk’s trailblazing career at the School of Dentistry and in the realm of public health “in an era much less hospitable to women and minorities.” The citation notes that Woolfolk, who also earned a Master’s degree in microbiology and a Master’s in Public Health, directed the School’s Migrant Worker Program from 1982-90, and is widely regarded as providing meaningful guidance to countless dental students and promoting multicultural ideals within the dental school. Woolfolk joined the dental school as a clinical instructor after graduating in 1978 and was promoted through the ranks to full professor in 2002. She was an administrator for 23 years, including Director of Student Affairs before retiring as Assistant Dean. The Bolton Award is presented to an MDA member who has demonstrated outstanding or unusual contributions or service to the community, state or country.
Dr. William Freccia (DDS 1976), a retired endodontist living in Wilmington, N.C., volunteered his services in a couple of ways when the national COVID-19 vaccination roll-out began. Last fall, he volunteered to be part of a Pfizer vaccine trial where he would receive either the vaccine or a placebo. It turned out he was given the placebo. Then early this year, when the vaccines started being distributed in Wilmington, he heard that volunteers were needed to give the shots. He figured his dental experience with needles and injections would be useful so he filled out the volunteer paperwork and was contacted by a coordinator who assumed he was a nurse and asked for a copy of his nursing license. He explained he was a retired dentist. Organizers created a new, broader “Volunteer Vaccination Clinician” form to take advantage of the skills of dentists, physicians, pharmacists, veterinarians, nursing students and pharmacy techs in addition to nurses. Freccia was a regular volunteer over a two-month period, vaccinating a total of about 450 people ranging in age from 16 to 90. The location was in the lobby of large movie theater in Wilmington named, fittingly, The Pointe.
Dr. Dan Edwards (DDS 1997) received MDA’s Dental School Faculty Award, which is presented to outstanding faculty members at the U-M and University of Detroit Mercy dental schools. Edwards is a long-time Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Cariology, Restorative Sciences & Endodontics. MDA cited Edwards’ commitment to teaching and mentoring, which includes serving as faculty liaison for three of the largest student organizations – the American Student Dental Association, Delta Sigma Delta International Dental Fraternity, and the Dental Student Business Association. Since 2009, Dr. Edwards has received three national ASDA Advocate awards. MDA notes that Edwards’ busy faculty roles are in addition to working in a private practice in Ann Arbor and being an active member and leader for both the Washtenaw District Dental Society and the MDA in numerous capacities, including this year as chair of the MDA’s virtual Annual Session.
Nominees for the Alumni Society Board of Governors We’re looking for leaders to join the Alumni Society Board of Governors at the School of Dentistry. This fall, six people will be elected – four dentists and two dental hygienists. They will serve three-year terms. The board meets twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall.
Alumni can nominate themselves or they can nominate a fellow alumnus. If you are interested in serving, or if you would like to nominate someone, please email Gretchen Hannah at Yankleg@umich.edu. If you nominate yourself, we will need a brief biography (45 words or less) with your nomination. If you are nominating a colleague, we will contact the nominee to confirm the nomination and request a biography. If you have questions, Gretchen can also be reached at 734-615-2870. For more informatio n on the Board of Governors, please visit www.dent.umich.edu/alumni-giving on the dental school website. ALUMNI 31 Spring 2021 | M Dentistry
In Memoriam Dr. Michael B. Lindemann, a former adjunct professor at the U-M dental school who earned a master’s degree in endodontics from the school in 1977, died Jan. 14, 2021, in Clarkston, Michigan. He earned his DDS from the University of Detroit dental school, then served two years in the U.S. Air Force. He established an endodontics practice in Flint, Michigan, in 1978, working there for 41 years, the last 13 with his son Matthew (DDS 2005). He taught endodontics at the U-M dental school as an adjunct clinical professor in the graduate department for several years beginning in 1991 and was the alumni chairman for the department for 10 years. He was active in numerous professional organizations and boards, including the Michigan Dental Association House of Delegates, as chairman and an examiner for the Endodontic Licensing Committee of the Michigan State Board of Dentistry for several years, and as past president of the Michigan Association of Endodontists. Nationally, he served as a board member of the American Association of Endodontists and was a Board Certified Diplomate of the organization.
Morris D. Brown (DDS 1957), Ann Arbor, Oct. 18, 2018. Robert L. Card (DDS 1960) Cape Porpoise, Maine, March 1, 2021. Ronald W. Evasic (DDS 1961), South Lyon, Mich., Jan. 1, 2021. Rosemarie ‘Sis’ (Pokorny) Erdmann (DH 1950), Hinsdale, Ill., July 20, 2020. Nancy (Houghton) Gabrys (DH 1977), Plainwell, Mich., Aug. 5, 2020. Theodore W. (Ted) Hall (DDS 1954), Marshall, Mich., Dec. 29, 2020. Bruce L. Hern (DDS 1979), Nokomis, Fla., formerly of Ann Arbor, Mich., Oct. 18, 2020. Donald A. Longfield (DDS 1968), Kalkaska, Mich., Jan. 2, 2021. Robert E. Matthews (DDS 1961, MS Orthodontics 1975), Farmington Hills, Mich., Feb. 2, 2021. Richard J. Mathewson (DDS 1959), Norman, Okla., Dec. 3, 2020. Maxine E. (Troy) Meach (DH 1947), Traverse City, Mich., Nov. 25, 2020. Michael P. Molvar (MS 1983, Restorative Dentistry), Lincoln, Neb., Dec. 27, 2020. Denis M. Robison (DDS 1968), Ann Arbor, Mich., April 14, 2021. Agnes Jackie (Kucera) Troth (DH 1948), Denver, Colo., Oct. 13, 2020.
Sindecuse Spotlight Brewster’s High-Fusing Porcelain Stain Kit
An artifact from the extensive collection at the dental school’s Sindecuse Museum of Dentistry
Purpose: Permanent tinting of porcelain teeth to match the shade of a patient’s teeth. Circa: Late 1800s, early 1900s. Donor: Museum purchase. Year Sindecuse acquired: 1992. Details: This kit of high-fusing stains was manufactured by Brewster Dental Co. of Chicago, Ill., which made artificial teeth and enamels. It contains a bottle of oil, seven glass bottles of tints, a small paintbrush, an instructional brochure, and two portable slabs for mixing tints that would be fired onto the surface of enamel teeth in a small dental furnace. Directions were far from explicit and might more accurately be called “Suggestions for lots of trial-and-error test runs until you get it right.” Evidence this “direction”: “As no two furnaces agree in their rate of heating up, it is recommended to make a few small pats of the Enamel body and bake in your own furnace to ascertain the exact time it takes to obtain a full glaze. (A glaze equal to that on the shade guide is considered full glaze.) Then make a few pats of the Foundation Body and test in the same way, but this need not be brought to so high a glaze, but it should be fused thoroughly.” Kits like this will be included in a new Sindecuse’s exhibit, "Teeth," scheduled for installation later this year.
To see more of the Sindecuse Museum collections, go to www.sindecusemuseum.org/collectionsoverview 32 ALUMNI M Dentistry | Spring 2021
Clinic Teamwork With a large display of the patient's radiograph as a backdrop, D4 student Sarah Radden (right) receives assistance from faculty member Dr. Sabrina Garcia Hammaker in the new Victors West (Maize) clinic this spring. Students and faculty are transitioning into new clinics that have come online in recent months as the Blue Renew renovation moves forward.
23rd Annual Alumni & Friends Golf Classic Friday, June 25, 2021 Washtenaw Golf Club For details and to register, go to the event website at www.dent.umich.edu/golf
Send Us Your News!
We want to hear from you. Send us news about your achievements, awards or honors. Contact: SODalumnirelations@umich.edu University of Michigan | School of Dentistry 1011 N. University | Ann Arbor, MI 48109
ALUMNI 33 Spring 2021 | M Dentistry
1011 N. University Ave. | Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1078
Address Service Requested
Thank You, Donors! Brenden Walter DDS Class of 2023 Hometown: Ann Arbor, Michigan Undergraduate Degree: Michigan State University As both a first-generation college student and healthcare professional, I am extremely grateful for the donors who support me and my colleagues through student scholarships. It has allowed me to focus on becoming the best professional possible because I don’t have to worry as much about accumulating debt while in dental school. After this experience, I hope to be a role model for Black men who want to enter the profession, and to provide support to them as you have for me!