Leading Edge Fall/Winter 2020

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LEA ING EDGE Fall/Winter 2020

A publication fo r a lu m n i a n d frie n d s o f U n i v e r s i t y o f D e t r o i t M e r c y S c h o o l of D entistr y

Emerging Better Lessons learned make for a brighter future for tomorrow's oral health professionals

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To register and for updated event information, visit dental.udmercy.edu/alumni Detroit Mercy Dental | Coffee, Conversation & Connections

Detroit Mercy Dental | Virtual Journal Study Club

University of Detroit Mercy Book Club

Virtual alumni networking events connecting you with your peers, the profession and Detroit Mercy Dental. Stay connected and engage with your peers over a cup of coffee on the fourth Friday of the month from 8:30-9 a.m. Friday, February 26 Friday, March 26 Friday, April 23 Friday, May 21 Friday, June, 25 Friday, July 23 Friday, August 27 Friday, September 24 Friday, October 22

Virtual Journal Study Club provides an opportunity to learn from and among fellow dental professionals. A new peerreviewed journal article will be announced monthly and will cover a wide variety of topics. This virtual study club offers nocost CE credit on the second Wednesday of the month from 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Moderated by Jennifer Bowen, Librarian, University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry

Your peers, your discussion. Join us at: https://zoom.us/my/ detroitmercydentalar

Wednesday, February 10 Wednesday, March 10 Wednesday, April 14 Wednesday, May 12 Wednesday, June 9 Wednesday, July 14 Wednesday, August 11 Wednesday, September 8 Wednesday, October 13 Wednesday, November 10 Wednesday, December 8

Sunday, Feb. 21 – 2 p.m. “Isadore’s Secret” by Mardi Link Tuesday, May 23 – 2 p.m. “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel Register at: udmercy.edu/alumni/events/bookclub

Becoming a Better U Series Feb. 24 – Noon Home Ownership: Securing, Sustaining and Selling Your Home March 30 – 6:30 p.m. Holy Week & Easter Traditions Around the Globe Register at: udmercy.edu/alumni

Online registration required: dental.udmercy.edu/cestudyclub

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT Stephen Meraw, D.D.S '95, M.S. was elected by the Michigan Dental Association House of Delegates on May 16 as the association’s president for the 2020-21 administrative year. Meraw has held many leadership positions including president of the Michigan Periodontal Association, Detroit District Dental Society and Bunting Periodontal Society.

SHARE YOUR PICTURES WITH US! Use #detroitmercydental when posting to social media or send photos of alumni events you have attended to Kimberly Raleigh at kimberly.raleigh@udmercy.edu

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Dean's Letter

Staying focused on what is important Dear School of Dentistry Friends and Alumni,

Dr. Mert N. Aksu, Dean

"the future of our profession remains strong and our future colleagues will be better prepared to navigate the inevitable uncertainty that life brings."

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I write this as the year 2020 is coming to a close; we are all looking forward to what lies ahead. 2020 has challenged us all in different ways. So much of what we had hoped for was stolen from us by the pandemic. At the School of Dentistry, we remained committed to the educational programming and experiences rooted in our tradition of preparing practice-ready graduates. We understand deeply that persisting under these conditions gives our students a distinct advantage. Their ability to navigate uncertainty and learn from this experience will strengthen them as members of our profession. And while this experience has taught us all much about both our profession and our human condition, we can find a positive note in that this is part of the education of the person beyond the art and science of dentistry. One thing is certain — as we work to care for others during these times, we must take time to protect and secure ourselves so we may continue our work. The safety and security of our dental community is the essence of our future. And, future norms will certainly

be different. Unfortunately, today there are many aspects of what we do that cannot be measured by what was “normal.” Even with our “new normal” there is much about our routine that does not feel right – but we try each day to exceed expectations of those we serve. We persist, and despite the challenges, we continue to provide service that exemplifies justice and allows those who seek care in our clinics to receive needed treatment in a safe environment. All the while, we are giving our students the experiences that will provide “practice readiness” as they prepare to graduate. These times have brought forth many emotions, and our human condition has sometimes caused us to take leave from our ability to analyze the situation. The essence of our human condition makes us yearn for the togetherness of family and friends. On a personal note, the current circumstances and the changes in my life have impacted me in ways I would never have imagined. Over the past nine months, as I worked to bring a sense of normalcy to an environment where it seemed nothing was normal, I missed the many everyday things we all so often took


2020 ADA House of Delegates American Dental Association (ADA) 9th District Delegation represent Michigan and Wisconsin in the ADA House of Delegates. The following Detroit Mercy Dental Alumni were elected in May 2020 to the Michigan Delegation to the ADA House of Delegates. • Gabriel Holdwick, D.D.S. ‘14 • John Kamar, D.D.S. ’72 • Lisa Christy, D.D.S. ’20* • Jerry Kohen, D.D.S. ’75* • Sabrina Salim, D.D.S. ’20* *alternate

for granted. Not intending to diminish the importance and significance of what has happened, but even the simple things were missed. A morning doughnut, laughing at a lunch table, a simple handshake or pat on the back. More important, I missed the energy of people who made our community vibrant, colorful and congenial. We all hope that we can return to the simple everyday things that we each treasure and now find more valuable.

forever change our view of the world, we find strength and solace that the future of our profession remains strong and our future colleagues will be better prepared to navigate the inevitable uncertainty that life brings. I thank you all for your support and friendship, and I am hoping you all had a Merry Christmas, and I wish you a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2021.

In the same sense, while I know that each of your experiences during these times have been unique, and each of your losses of varying magnitude, I am hoping that we all can find peace and appreciation for the things that bring us together in our profession. While the impact of the pandemic and the uncertainty we have lived through will

Mert N. Aksu, D.D.S., J.D., M.H.S.A. Dean and Professor

Michigan Dental Association (MDA) Board of Trustees has authority over all matters of the Association subject to the restrictions imposed by the bylaws to include financial and policy setting. Detroit Mercy Dental alumni who serve as current MDA Board of Trustee members are: • Todd Christy, D.D.S. ‘96 Speaker of the House • Michael Maihofer, D.D.S. ‘78 President-elect • Stephen Meraw, D.D.S. ‘95, M.S. President • Cheri Newman, D.D.S. ‘98 • William Patchak, D.D.S. ‘76 • Lauryne Vanderhoof, D.D.S. ‘17

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A publication for alumni and friends of University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry



8 PUBLISHED BY THE SCHOOL OF DENTISTRY 2700 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard Detroit, MI 48208 Antoine M. Garibaldi, Ph.D. University President Mert N. Aksu, D.D.S., J.D., M.H.S.A. Dean aksumn@udmercy.edu Rhonda Evans, B.F.A Editor-in-Chief evansrh@udmercy.edu Rhonda Evans, B.F.A. Communications Coordinator & Graphic Designer Art Director and Publication Designer Kimberly Raleigh, R.D.H., M.H.S.A. Director of Continuing Education and Alumni Relations Assistant Editor kimberly.raleigh@udmercy.edu Thomas W. Sklut, M.A. Director of Development Contributing Writer skluttw@udmercy.edu Evan Godell Media Specialist Photographer godellea@udmercy.edu

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! Please email any communications that highlight our alumni to Kimberly Raleigh: kimberly.raleigh@udmercy.edu 313-494-6694

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22 Upcoming Virtual Events............................................................................................3 Dean’s Letter..............................................................................................................4 University News..........................................................................................................7 Alumni Reflection.......................................................................................................8 Commencement 2020..............................................................................................12 Student News...........................................................................................................14 Student Essay...........................................................................................................18 Diversity & Inclusion.................................................................................................19 Wellness...................................................................................................................20 Research...................................................................................................................21 FEATURE ARTICLE: Emerging Better - Lessons learned make for a brighter future for tomorrow's oral health professionals......................................................................................22 2020 Events..............................................................................................................32 Development............................................................................................................32 School News.............................................................................................................38 Alumni Board............................................................................................................45 Continuing Education..............................................................................................36

FIND MORE ONLINE! See this Fall/Winter 2020 issue and more on our website at




Major grant supports TRIO program of student support Detroit Mercy’s TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) will continue to positively impact students’ college experience thanks to the U.S. Department of Education’s renewal of a five-year Student Support Services (SSS) grant of more than $1 million. Detroit Mercy has had a TRIO SSS program since 2016 and has helped students achieve academic success and completion of their baccalaureate degree.

New Detroit Mercy Novi campus building

University announces campus expansion in Novi Detroit Mercy has acquired a new 40,000-square-foot facility in Novi, which will allow the institution to expand graduate and health education programs, and provide space for future offerings. Detroit Mercy will be able to expand its current graduate and health education programs, while providing space for new educational offerings in healthcare and related fields. Detroit Mercy is also in discussion with healthcare partners regarding prospective new graduate programs consistent with Detroit Mercy’s history of providing care and services in

metropolitan Detroit. The University also expects to offer professional development programs, including continuing dental education, at the new campus.

TRIO SSS provides support to college students who are low-income, firstgeneration college students or students with disabilities. The grant will help provide academic tutoring, financial aid advice, career and college mentoring, assistance with course selection, locating public and private scholarships, applying for admission to graduate and professional schools, education opportunities to develop financial and economic literacy skills, and other forms of assistance.

This new campus, at the intersection The program recognizes that students of Twelve Mile and Meadowbrook whose parents do not have a college degree Roads, comes at an important time may have more difficulties navigating the for the University and the community complexity of decisions that college requires as demand for healthcare graduates for success. It bolsters students from lowincome families, who have not had the grows. With the impact of the academic opportunities that their college COVID-19 pandemic on business, peers have had, and helps students with industry and education, Detroit Mercy’s disabilities remove obstacles preventing newest location will provide access them from thriving academically. to the institution’s nationally ranked programs for students who wish to stay For longer versions of these stories, close to home and their employer. please visit sites.udmercy.edu/alumni.

Detroit Mercy ranks among top U.S. universities Detroit Mercy was again ranked among the top 200 national universities by U.S. News & World Report and The Wall Street Journal’s 2021 Times Higher Education (THE) college rankings. U.S. News & World Report put Detroit Mercy at No. 187 rank in the National Universities category of the publication’s “Best Colleges” 2021 edition and the

Wall Street Journal put it at No. 180. In addition, Detroit Mercy received favorable recognition from U.S. News in the following four special categories: Best Value Schools, National Universities (No. 34), Best School for Veterans, National Universities (No. 136), Top Performers on Social Mobility (No. 129) and A+ Schools for B Students.

DID YOU KNOW? Legacy students are eligible for scholarships! Dependent children of alumni are eligible for an undergraduate alumni scholarship of $1,000 per year, for a maximum of $4,000 over four years. Learn more at community.udmercy.edu/benefits

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Alumni Reflection

Pandemic Practice Strategies Taking the Field without a Playbook By Thomas Sklut, M.A.

There was no playbook when the COVID-19 pandemic caused dental practices across the United States to close down. It was sudden, unexpected, and impossible to ignore. We contacted a cross-section of alumni to see how the pandemic affected their planning and re-opening processes, and to see how things are going for them now. Length of Closure and Initial Recovery Our respondents’ practices were closed from 7 to 12 weeks. According to the American Dental Association (ADA) Health Policy Institute (HPI), nearly all dental practices across the country were closed in March and April, 2020. According to ADA and HPI statistics, 90% of practices were open by the week of June 1 but more than 70% of those reported lower patient volumes than usual.

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“Our offices were closed from March 17 to May 11 to elective procedures and re-call visits, in compliance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ADA and Arizona State recommendations. We remained available for emergency care during the closure.” said David Ho, D.D.S. ’06, who runs a practice in Flagstaff, Ariz. with wife Amy Ho, ’05 R.D.H., ’05, B.S.

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At the beginning of November, 2020, (the most recent HPI data available) around 98% of practices were open. Our interviewees reported that they were at 70% to 120% of pre-pandemic levels. However, several mentioned difficulties with staffing. Mario Tomei, D.D.S., ’92, Livonia, Mich., mentioned that “practice productivity had recovered nicely but hygiene is slowing down because six-month recalls from May don’t exist.” Greatest Challenges to Reopening Many responded with the same challenges to reopening. The greatest challenges to reopening were recruiting qualified staff, obtaining adequate and appropriate PPE, staff training and finding the best evidence-based practice and patient communications. Several practices enhanced communication with their patients by using online platforms, including new software designed to confirm appointments via voice and text messaging. “Communication with our patients was considered paramount in our practice. Thankfully, we invested in systems pre-pandemic – website, blog and social media accounts functioned as intended – to keep our patients in the loop. Website/blog metrics were helpful in providing information to verify the effec-

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“Thankfully, we invested in systems pre-pandemic — website, blog and social media accounts functioned as intended - to keep our patients in the loop.”


tiveness of this type of communication. We also implemented an after-hours “live operator” concierge system, giving our current and prospective patients the opportunity to be in contact with a responsive human,” said William Hustzi, D.D.S. ’92, who runs a practice in Milford, Mich, with wife, Anna Chong-Huszti, D.D.S. ’92 .

Malik Hider, D.D.S. ’04, Garden City, Mich., used the time of the shutdown to enhance and reconfigure his facilities in another way altogether: “I used the time to add six operatories to my practice and separate the dental treatment side from the dental hygiene side. Now there are six treatment areas for each.”

Physical Changes

Huszti and Chong-Huszti challenged themselves to improve the effectiveness of teledentistry within their practice. They also produced videos that could be helpful to their patients (check out the Huszti Dental Care channel on YouTube).

Early in the history of the virus, it was difficult to determine which factors were most likely to cause transmission of COVID-19. As time went on, it became clear that the virus is mainly spread personto-person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. This discovery triggered many of the physical changes brought about in dental practices.

One practice required patients to rinse their mouths with hydrogen peroxide and wash hands prior to treatment.

Taking Care of the CareGiver A feeling of anxiety was common among those interviewed. Ruchika Khetarpal, D.D.S., ’07, Cincinnati, Ohio, said “being the dentist, practice cheerleader, and financial supporter of the whole organization is a daily challenge. But during this time, it was especially difficult to keep a positive attitude with so many unknowns. I wanted to make sure that my team felt safe coming back. I run a transparent organization with my team and show vulnerability at times, but, during this period, I had to keep my emotions secondary and think about how we were going to safely move forward and keep our livelihoods intact.”



When asked about physical changes made in their facilities, the most common included requiring face masks, the installation of HEPA-quality air purifiers and clear plastic barriers. Also mentioned were limiting the number of patients allowed in the waiting area, extended patient appointment times, temperature checks and frequent cleaning of operatories and high-touch surfaces.


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Alumni Reflection




How Will the Now Affect the Future? In 1989, there was no playbook when the dental world was affected by the unknowns of HIV and Hepatitis C. Some were shocked and dismayed at the directive to enact “universal precautions,” now called “standard precautions,” including face masks and gloves. Today, it is very difficult to imagine a time when dental procedures were performed without the protection of masks and gloves.


In 2019, the world was assaulted by the unknowns represented by COVID-19. In the short-run, dental professionals have made significant adjustments to our practice of dentistry. Only time will tell which of these adjustments will become the “standard precautions” of the future.

“Dentistry is a highly detail-oriented profession where the provider seeks perfection. A pandemic such as COVID-19 brings additional stress to the practice in multiple ways. Not only is there a constant worry about transmission from patients to healthcare providers but there is also the concern about providers bringing the virus home to their families and loved ones. This combination can become a dangerous recipe for mental health issues. Healthcare professionals should consider taking small breaks, a walk perhaps. They should be sure to involve themselves in non-dental activities, outside of and away from their practice. And take time to associate with like-minded individuals with whom they can share positive experiences."

afterward Clinical Associate Professor Sanjay Chand, M.D., outlined many ways for oral healthcare professionals to deal with various emotional stresses within their practices.

“Healthcare professionals should consider taking small breaks, a walk perhaps...associate with likeminded individuals with whom they an share positive experiences”

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A Detroit Mercy Dental education is a prestigious honor. Your gift allows us to carry out our m ission to develop competent, socially and e thically sensitive oral health professionals through excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. Your gift will make a difference in the lives of our students and the future of our profession.

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Commencement 2020 Sunday, November 15 | 2:30 p.m.

President Antoine M. Garibaldi congratulates the Class of 2020 during the president's message.

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Pamela Zarkowski gives the welcoming address to all virtual commencement attendees.

Anthony Lazslo, D.D.S. '20 gives virtual commencement speech.

In December 2019, the School of Dentistry commencement planning began as usual, with students selecting loved ones and mentors to hood or pin them on stage and faculty to serve as their class marshals. Planning came to a sudden halt in March at the onset of the pandemic. As time went on, it was apparent that gathering in person to celebrate the accomplishments of the Class of 2020 would not be possible. On Nov. 15, the Class of 2020 was recognized and celebrated with a virtual commencement ceremony for the first time in School of Dentistry history. Graduates of the Dental Class of 2020 and their loved ones were able to reflect on recent history with a special video designed by their peer, Anthony Laszlo D.D.S. Vice president of the Dental Class of 2020, Laszlo used his photography and videography talents to capture his class' experience from beginning to end. Not only did Laszlo create a montage of memories that will last a lifetime, he delivered a speech reminding his class of their accomplishments together over the past four years and their bond that will last a lifetime.

Dean Mert N. Aksu gives remarks and presents the Class of 2020 with certificates and degrees.

To watch the full virtual commencement of the class of 2020, please see https://bit.ly/2KRreun Assistant Dean Juliette Daniels offers an additional welcome as a School of Dentistry representative.

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Class of 2020 Awards

OKU Inductees

Each year, graduating students are honored with a variety of awards based on a demonstration of excellence in different aspects of dentistry and dental education. Recipients are selected by deans, directors, and chiefs of service in the areas of Academic Administration, Clinical Dentistry, Dental Hygiene, Leadership & Service, Pediatric Dentistry and Research & Biomedical Sciences. The Class of 2020 had 38 students presented with 43 Division Awards and the following Dean's Achievement Awards:

(left to right, front row first): Hussein Yassine, Lena Akkad, Marian Ibrahim, Devonn Israil, Amanda Croskey, Alexander Chevalier, honorary member Carolynn Zeitz, Taryn Gladwish, Clara Poparad-Stezar, Nikolina Milidrag, Omar Abdelrahman, Timothy Schafer. Not in photo Elizabeth Macchione, and Anela Avdic

Clara Poparad-Stezar, D.D.S.

Hala Ibrahim, R.D.H.

Ragda Hindi, D.D.S.

Omicron Kappa Upsilon (OKU) is the national dental honor society. The organization was founded in 1914 and the Greek letters Omicron Kappa Upsilon translate as “Teeth and Health.” Graduates with high scholarship are first considered, in addition to other factors including character, potential for leadership, professionalism, and ethics.

Sigma Phi Alpha Inductees Amandeep Kaur Pentlia, D.D.S.

Robert McDonald, D.D.S.

Clara Poparad-Stezar, D.D.S. Dental – Outstanding Academic Achievement Award: The graduate who has attained the highest scholastic standing in the dental class. Hala Ibrahim, R.D.H. Dental Hygiene – Outstanding Academic Achievement Award: The graduate who has attained the highest scholastic standing in the dental hygiene class. Ragda Hindi, D.D.S. International College of Dentists Student Leadership Award: The dental graduate who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and great potential for continued future leadership. The award includes $500. Amandeep Kaur Pentlia, D.D.S. Delta Dental Foundation Student Leadership Award: The dental graduate who has demonstrated leadership skills and a commitment to public service and outstanding service in dentistry. The award includes $2,500.

Kristen Bailey, R.D.H and Justin Schoenfeldt, R.D.H

Sigma Phi Alpha (SPA) is the national honor society of the dental hygiene profession. Membership in SPA is comprised of elected dental hygiene educators and of graduates from accredited dental hygiene programs with high scholastic achievement.

Robert McDonald, D.D.S. Delta Dental Foundation Community Commitment Award: The dental graduate who has demonstrated commitment to community service and underserved populations. The award includes $25,000. For a list all awards, visit: https://bit.ly/3qz2JlD D E N TA L . U D M E R C Y. E D U

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Student News

School of Dentistry welcomes new classes

Dental Class of 2024

Dental Class of 2024

Dental students of the Class of 2024 completed a virtual student orientation from Monday, Aug 17- Friday, Aug 21, 2020. The week was full of informative online modules, social media challenges and social distant compliant checkins on campus. Detroit Mercy Dental joined forces with our American Student Dental Association (ASDA) chapter and the Michigan Dental Association (MDA) for a fun Orientation Week Bingo; students played by taking selfies at various attractions throughout downtown Detroit, such as the Detroit Institute of Arts, Comerica Park and Campus Martius, and submitted photos through Instagram.

classmates and administrators, including Dean Mert N. Aksu. Students also had several opportunities throughout the week to join live online events, such as a COVID-19 Information Session with some of our Biomedical Sciences faculty and a Curriculum Q&A Session with Michelle Wheater, Ph.D. interim assistant dean for Academic Administration.

Although the majority of Orientation Week was conducted online, students were welcomed on campus in groups of 36 throughout the week to take ID photos, fill out necessary paperwork, pick up their laptops, and meet some of their new

"Welcoming our newest students to the School of Dentistry has been filled with much anticipation and excitement. I cannot wait to see all the wonderful contributions they will make to the field of dentistry in the years to come." – Juliette Daniels, Ed.D. assistant dean of Student Services and Enrollment Management

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT Michael G. Maihofer, D.D.S. ’78 was elected by the Michigan Dental Association House of Delegates on May 16 as the association’s president-elect for the 2020-21 administrative year. Maihofer has a long record of service to organized dentistry, beginning with the Macomb District Dental Society, where he served in numerous positions including editor, secretary, president-elect and president. Dental hygiene Class of 2022 14 |

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Dental Class of 2024 Profile







Female Students

1 Alabama 8 California 1 Colorado 13 Florida 2 Georgia 2 Illinois

Male Students

1 Indiana 1 Maryland 1 Massachusetts 74 Michigan 1 New Jersey 1 New York


1 North Dakota 6 Ohio 1 Pennsylvania 5 Texas 1 Utah 3 Virginia

2 Washington 2 Wisconsin 2 Alberta 14 Ontario 1 International



35 Asian Black/ 14 African American 18



Average Age

Average Incoming Total G.P.A.



Average Incoming Science G.P.A.

DAT Average Academic Average

Hispanic/ Latino

1 American Indian/Alaska Native

6 Other









Black/ African American

Hispanic/ Latino

American Indian/Alaska Native


19.8 DAT Average Total Science D E N TA L . U D M E R C Y. E D U

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Student News

Alumni & Donor Scholarships 2020-21 Academic Year Thanks to alumni and friends of the School of Dentistry, over $121,000 in scholarships was awarded to current students for the 2020-21 academic year. Of 94 applicants, 48 students received scholarships this fall, averaging $2,474 per award. The types of scholarships students may apply for vary. Many times, donors choose to specify the criteria based on a variety of factors including GPA, leadership activities, financial need, family responsibilities, and mentoring experience.

If you are interested in sponsoring a student scholarship, please contact Director of Development, Thomas Sklut: skluttw@udmercy.edu or 313-494-6624 DELTA DENTAL FUND - continued

ALUMNI SCHOLARSHIP Jacob Flyte........................ DS4 .............................. 2,000 Dylan Salem....................... DS4 .............................. $2,000 $

CHARLES DEFEVER SCHOLARSHIP Jay Wayntraub................... DS3...............................$2,250 COOPER DENTAL SCHOLARSHIP Lizette Ramirez................... DS3............................... $1,250 DEAN’S CIRCLE SCHOLARSHIP Lillian Nichols.................... DH1.............................. $2,000 Mamoon Sheikh................. DH2............................. $2,000 Ann Haitta.......................... DS1............................... $2,000 Taylor Jones....................... DS1............................... $2,000 Kexin Ding......................... DS2............................... $2,000 Kouder Dakhlallah............. DS2............................... $2,000 Rafaella Shammas.............. DS3............................... $2,000 Sandy Wang....................... DS3............................... $2,000 Randall Deyoung............... DS4............................... $2,000 Alexander Kakaris Porter.... DS4............................... $2,000 DELTA DENTAL FUND - $1,000 (per year for 4 years) Randall Deyoung............... DS4............................... $1,000 Lauren Rasmussen.............. DS4............................... $1,000 Maria Athnasios................. DS3............................... $1,000

Maxemilian Nascimento.... DS3............................... $1,000 Kellie Hurst........................ DS2............................... $1,000 Sondos Hajar..................... DS2............................... $1,000 Aleena Dababneh.............. DS1............................... $1,000 Maria Latorre Sanchez........ DS1............................... $1,000 DEMLER H. EICHLER SCHOLARSHIP FUND Ghali Ballani....................... DS1............................... $1,000 Alajiah Bell......................... DS1............................... $1,000 Trey Hester......................... DS2...............................$1,000 Justin Nafso....................... DS2............................... $1,000 Kyle Radomski .................. DS3............................... $1,000 Roxanne Ford..................... DS4............................... $1,000 Temitayo Akinyemi............. DS4............................... $1,000 Enkelejda Tile................... DS4............................... $1,000 ELIAS FLOYD DELTA SIGMA DELTA SCHOLARSHIP Brittany Schweiger............. DS4.............................. $2,000 HOBAN MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP Grace Dahl........................ DH3.............................. $1,250 Heather Dziecieolowski...... DH2.............................. $1,250 Ashleigh O'Brien................ DS3............................... $1,250 Christen Thompson............ DS3............................... $1,250 KINRA FAMILY ENDOWMENT SCHOLARSHIP Nour Mahmoud................. DS3............................... $1,250

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Tri Nguyen......................... DS2..............................$1,000 Hayden Sutton................. DS2..............................$1,000

Michaela Wiseman............. DS4..............................$2,500


Bailey Begley...................... DH2.................................$500


Kellie Hurst......................... DS2..................................$500 MOSELY DENTAL SCHOLARSHIP


Ja'Nay Jones.................... DS1............................... $2,000 Hadil Al-Turki..................... DS3.............................$10,000 Grace Dahl......................... DS3.............................$10,000 Austin Dunn....................... DS4.............................$10,000 NATIONAL ARAB AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION SCHOLARSHIP Devin Hodell..................... DS4.............................$10,000 Nour Mahmoud................. DS3.............................$10,000 Martin Murad..................... DS1.............................. $2,000 Lizette Ramirez................... DS3.............................$10,000

Dental Class of 2024 - Legacy Connections Ahmad Alnajar

Uncle – Homam Alnajjar, D.D.S. ’11

Hunter Atchoo

Cousin – Jonathan Toma, D.D.S. ’22

Harleen Bamrah

Father – Harbans Bamrah, D.D.S. ’95

Michael Cordara

Sibling – Derek Bates, D.D.S. ’19

Adam El-mallah

Sibling – Ahmad El-mallah, D.D.S. ’10

Sibling – Houda El-mallah, D.D.S. ’09

Yahya El-mallah

Sibling – Ahmad El-mallah, D.D.S. ’10

Sibling – Houda El-mallah, D.D.S. ’09

Noah Horvat

Cousin – Rodney Horvat, D.D.S. ’85

Ali Khanafer

Cousin – Adnan Khazaal, D.D.S. ’92

Cousin – Hadi Khazaal, D.D.S. ’19

Tala Mahjoub

Sibling – Dema Mahjoub, D.D.S. ’15

Sibling – Noor Mahjoub, D.D.S. ’16

Hussein Rizk

Cousin – Hilal Ajami, D.D.S. ’22

Hanaa Saleh

Sibling – Malaka Ali Saleh, D.D.S. ’19

Zoe Singer

Sibling – Jonah Singer, D.D.S. ’21

Jordin Valenti Ellie Wallace

Cousin – Mohammed Sobh, D.D.S. ’19

Grandparent – John Valenti, D.D.S. ’64

Uncle – Jerald Sosnowski, D.D.S. ’64

Grandparent – Paul Gordon Rick, D.D.S. ’59

Grandparent – Carol Rick, D.D.S. ’62 D E N TA L . U D M E R C Y. E D U

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Student Essay


"As a student who loved attending classes in person and physically writing notes, I have come to appreciate virtual learning and its resources despite its challenges." Virtual learning is here to stay. The challenge is how do students optimize this learning experience? As a fourth year dental student new to the virtual learning environment, I have learned that issues such as forgetting about a scheduled class or sitting in the comfort of home and becoming distracted have become common troubles for today's virtual student. To overcome this, I have tried to embrace these key concepts: “now instead of later” and “power of paperless.” These two mindsets are useful as we continue adjusting to virtual learning. The first concept challenges students to be in a present and active frame of mind. For example, in the virtual classroom, I log in to class with the goal to learn now instead of later. This concept requires discipline because this is much easier said than done. Even before the pandemic, I would sit in classes doing something else thinking whatever was being taught could be learned and reviewed at a later time. Now with virtual classes, this has created an even bigger hurdle for me to concentrate in the moment. It takes focus and willpower to commit to asking questions and taking notes rather than passively listening. When implemented, I have found this concept to be beneficial because time is efficiently used instead of wasted. Especially if a virtual class is mandatory, why not challenge yourself to make the most out of the time you are 18 |

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sitting and listening. If I really can't focus but need to log in for attendance purposes, I'll try to do Sandy Wang, Dental something productive for another Class of 2021 class so that my time is still used wisely. The second concept highlights the power of paperless education. No more carrying physical items such as books, notebooks or planners. No more time spent on physical organization with bookmarks and sticky tabs. With the power of the keys “Ctrl + F” students can locate what they need in a few seconds wherever they are. In clinic, I am finding how useful it is to have my notes synced on my phone from my computer. In any situation, when I need to reference my notes for a procedure, I can pull it up at that very moment. If I am in a long line for groceries to check out and I have an exam tomorrow, I can easily pull up my notes and review at that moment. This also applies to not missing any scheduled classes or meetings. I do not need my planner physically with me. Rather, I utilize some kind of virtual calendar like Google or Microsoft, to send me notifications or set alarms to go off and remind me to log on. As a student who loved attending classes in person and physically writing notes, I have come to appreciate virtual learning and its resources despite its challenges.

Diversity & Inclusion

Champions for diversity

In an era in which racial justice issues are once again on the national stage, the Office of Diversion and Inclusion (ODI) is more vital than ever. The mission of the ODI is to embrace, respect, and honor all forms of diversity. Our family of students, faculty, staff and patients have a wide array of racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, geographic, religious, gender, sexual orientation, (dis)ability, and other backgrounds that reflect a global society. The ODI is a continual resource for adaptation, tolerance and equity. Despite the current mandate for masks and social distancing, the ODI offers regular events (virtually or socially distant) that encourage inclusivity and celebrate diversity. Such events include Cultural Hour, Black History and Hispanic Heritage Month Door Decorating contests, a

Native American Heritage Poster contest, continuing education webinars on implicit bias and more. As we forge ahead to work toward a more informed and equitable society, the goal of ODI is to develop new scholarships for underserved and underrepresented minorities, increase the national enrollment deficit of black males in the field of dentistry and continue to celebrate the rich, diverse heritage here at Detroit Mercy Dental. The late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly." May we all continue to fight for true equality for one and for all.

The ODI receives Detroit Mercy Mission Micro Grant LGBTQ+, multicultural and ethnocentric magazine subscriptions, signs and art for the dental clinic waiting areas.

The Mission Micro Grant Evaluation Committee awarded the School of Dentistry Office of Diversity and Inclusion a micro grant of $200 for


Bobby J. Grossi, D.D.S.'03, created a mentorship group for Detroit Mercy Dental students to provide an external professional connection and help them to feel confident in all aspects of dentistry. Students were particularly appreciative of how engaged he kept them with virtual discussions during Michigan’s stay-at-home order. Grossi is the author of two books, Destiny Is Not Hereditary: How Becoming A Better You Impacts Others and Changing The Face Of Dentistry: Achieve a Smile that Leads to Total Wellness.

2020-21 Michigan Dental Association Leadership Exploration and Development (LEAD) Program is a 12-month program designed to build future leaders by developing personal leadership skills. Alumni from the newest class include: • Daniel R. Miller, D.D.S. ’14 • Aida Maratovna Rosenthal, D.D.S. ’16 • Michelle Szewczyk, D.D.S. ’19

Cultural Hour Revived ODI has reintroduced Cultural Hour, originated by former the ODI director, Deirdre Young, D.D.S., M.H.S.A, this program aims to expose participants to various cultural backgrounds, traditions and beliefs. Cultural Hour offers various workshops, meetings and presentations via Zoom and is open to the entire Detroit Mercy Dental family. Successful events have included Anti-Ableism Workshop: Practicing Disability Justice and a showing of the documentary “Latino American Prejudice and Pride.”

The Mission Micro Grant Program awards annual grants of up to $200 to any full- or part-time Detroit Mercy faculty or staff member in support of activities that promote Detroit Mercy’s mission of being a Catholic, Mercy, Jesuit, urban For more information on Cultural Hour and student-centered university. and how to participate, please contact Betsy Lozano at lozanobs@udmercy.edu or Melvin Lunkins at lunkinms@udmercy.edu. D E N TA L . U D M E R C Y. E D U

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Maintaining your wellness By Bailey Andersen, L.M.S.W.

The first step to feeling better is acknowledging how you feel now and why you feel that way. Noticing your emotional state in a curious, non-judgmental way, is the heart of mindfulness practice, an evidence-based strategy for calming overstimulated minds and bodies. This sounds easy, and it is! Take a moment at various times in your day to ask yourself “How am I feeling in this moment?” Note the answer, and accept it for what it is.

If you are like me and the students I see for counseling appointments at Detroit Mercy Dental, you might be feeling a heavier dose of stress, anxiety, panic or fear these days. And as you reflect on what has been a year full of the unexpected, the unimaginable and, at times, the unbearable, you might notice another feeling—exhaustion.

“Noticing your emotional state in a curious, non-judmental way, is the heart of mindfulness...” That exhaustion might feel palpable to you and present in an acute, intense way. But it could also be muted. Perhaps it feels more like a numbness, like you are walking around in a hazy detachment. Or maybe you feel it in your mind and in your heart—for example, you are thinking more slowly, and are quicker to anger. If any of this rings true for you, don’t worry. In fact, it is almost a good thing! It means our brains and bodies are responding to our environment the way 20 |

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they were built to respond. All those emotions I mentioned—stress, anxiety, panic, fear play an extremely important role in our lives. The presence of any of those emotions should trigger an alarm for your brain to notify you that something in your vicinity is off, and you may need to be prepared to take flight, put up a fight, or simply freeze. In an everyday sense, the presence of these emotions can indicate that perhaps a change is needed in your personal or professional life. If we can effectively take in the data our emotions are signaling to our brains, then these emotions can actually be helpful to us in indicating that something is wrong. Here is the problem though: For many of us, the source of our current stressors are not in our control. We can’t simply will away COVID-19 or heal the fractured discourse present in our political system. Our bodies have been telling us since at least March that something is very, very wrong, but what can we do? For many of us, the problems we face are simply too large, too broad and too complex to fix. So the emotions stay there, the alarm bells ring over and over until our bodies are simply worn out. Hence, the exhaustion in whatever form you are experiencing it.

The second step is making space for three things, every day—nutrition, sleep and movement. Remember the alarm system? It takes a toll on our bodies every time it goes off. We treat eating, sleeping and moving as if they are negotiable, as if they are the things we can cut back on when time is of the essence. In reality, they are some of the few things in our lives that are non-negotiable. If you are feeling particularly exhausted or irritable, that is the first place you should look. When was the last time you ate something nutritious, moved your body in a way that felt good, or allowed yourself to rest? The third step? Find the people you love, and tell them so. Use the various technological tools at our disposal to stay close to those you care about. The antidote to panic and fear? Love and connection. Offer up empathy to strangers, and words of affirmation and support to loved ones. We can’t control or fix all of the problems facing us right now, but we can focus on getting through them together.

INTERSTED IN MENTORING A STUDENT? We match students with alumni mentors to provide guidance, knowledge and resources to students as they prepare for their professional careers. To become a mentor, please visit dental.udmercy.edu/alumni


Celebrating Research in the COVID Era: Sharing Science During a Pandemic By Joshua J. Thomson, Ph.D.

against 29 other student researchers in the Clinical Science and Public Health Research category. Robertson’s research and presentation earned the third-place award. It was the first time a student from Detroit Mercy Dental had earned an award in this program. Other Detroit Mercy Dental students with accepted abstracts for presentations at IADR/AADR or ADEA are:

IADR/AADR One week prior to scheduled flights to Washington, D.C., the two major dental-related conferences American Dental Education Association (ADEA) and International Association for Dental Research/American Association for Dental Research (IADR/ AADR), usually attended by many faculty and students from Detroit Mercy Dental, were cancelled. Unaware of the state of health in our nation at that moment, we were understandably disappointed with the realization that we would all be missing out on a coveted time of camaraderie and school pride, during which we share our advances in dental education and dental research. Detroit Mercy Dental was, once again, scheduled to have a great showing at the ADEA meeting with presentations and sessions from 19 faculty and students. Additionally, 11 faculty, residents, and dental students were to present research findings at the centennial celebration of the IADR. The initial disappointment we felt upon receiving the news of cancellations quickly turned into feelings of helplessness as we became increasingly aware of the deep-seated roots of SARS-CoV-2 infections in Michigan, with much of the devastation focused in our home of Detroit. As faculty, our attention was collectively turned to delivering content remotely, organizing our homes into family workstations and studios equipped with

headsets and microphones reminiscent of a jet pilot. Meanwhile, our students scrambled to find safe, quiet places to remain vigilant in their studies and consider what their immediate futures held. Our clinic and labs have resumed activity, and we have welcomed a new class of students. I have been thinking of the week we learned of the cancellation of the conferences and how we were unaware of the events about to transpire. I have come to the realization that many of our students involved in research, scheduled to present their findings in March 2020, may not get that opportunity again. Therefore, it gives me great pleasure and pride to use this forum to highlight their accomplishments and share with the Detroit Mercy Dental community the fruits of our students’ labor in educational and dental research over the past year. The first acknowledgement goes to Taylor Robertson of the Class of 2022. He won the internal competition to be the Detroit Mercy Dental student representative for the 2020 AADR/Dentsply Sirona Student Competition for Advancing Dental Research and its Application (SCADA). He, along with his research mentor, Rafael Pacheco D.D.S., M.Sc., Ph.D., prepared a poster presentation for the competition entitled, “Spectral analysis of one-shade nanofilled resin composites under different lights.” Fortunately, despite the cancellation of IADR, Robertson was able to participate in a replacement virtual competition

Nicholas Ancona (Dental Class of 2021) Mentor: Dr. Riyad Al-Qawasmi, Graduate Orthodontics Abstract Title: Genetics of Teeth Angulation and Inclination in Patients with Malocclusion Dr. Vidushi Gupta (Periodontics Class of 2020) Mentor(s): Dr. Bassam Kinaia, Dr. Anthony Neely, Graduate Periodontics Abstract Title: Treatment of Peri-Implantitis Comparing Two Resorbable Membranes: A Pilot Study Haiyun Hou (Dental Class of 2021) Mentor: Dr. Zheng Zhou, Graduate Periodontics Abstract Title: In Vitro Evaluation of Cannabinoids on the Dental Regeneration and Repair of Human Dental Pulp Stem Cells Dr. Omar Masabni (Periodontics Class of 2020) Mentor(s): Dr. Bassam Kinaia, Graduate Periodontics, Dr. Riyad Al-Qawasmi, Graduate Orthodontics Abstract Title: Heritability of the width of keratinized gingiva in siblings seeking orthodontic treatment Lucas Mathes (Dental Class of 2021) Mentor: Dr. Eric Krukonis, Integrated Biomedical Sciences Abstract Title: Oregano Oil is Highly Antimicrobial Against Oral Pathogens Dr. Jonathan Zora (Periodontics Class of 2022) Mentor(s): Dr. Bassam Kinaia, Dr. Anthony Neely, Dr. Zheng Zhou, Dr. Tamika Thompson, Graduate Periodontics Abstract Title: Factors Affecting Peri-Implant Health: Preliminary Data from a Retrospective Study

ADEA Randall DeYoung (Dental Class of 2021) Mentor: Dr. Junu Ojha, Integrated Biomedical Sciences Abstract Title: Assessing Basic Oral Pathology Concepts Among Dental Students and Faculty Alexi Kakaris-Porter (Dental Class of 2021) Mentor: Dr. Rami Nazarian Abstract Title: Discover Your Pathway: Student Experiences in Academic Dentistry—Short Talks Presentation Michaela Wiseman (Dental Class of 2021) Mentor: Dr. Junu Ojha, Integrated Biomedical Sciences Abstract Title: Students’ Preferred Knowledge Assessment Method – A Survey- Based Study

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Emerging Better Lessons learned make for a brighter future for tomorrow's oral health professionals

By Rhonda Evans, B.F.A.

COVID-19 has brought experiences and challenges that no one could have predicted. While the memory of large family gatherings, social parties and dining at your favorite restaurant is slowly fading, the new normal of masks, sanitizing and social distancing has become all too familiar.

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“we have an incredibly driven group of students...they have a goal in mind and don't want to do anything to jeopardize that” While researchers and scientists worked continuously to provide the world with promising vaccines, the impact of COVID-19 has changed the world as we know it. Employees everywhere are now categorized as “essential” or “non-essential” workers, some have had to adjust to working remotely, and students have transformed their homes into virtual learning environments. Although so much has changed, the importance of healthcare has never been more apparent and oral health is a part of that. Among the highest at-risk occupations, oral healthcare professionals continue to be on the front lines caring for patients. The surge of demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) has made clinicians more conscious of infection control and has built a higher dental hygiene and oral health consciousness among the general patient population.

JUMPING INTO ACTION Academic institutions across the globe transitioned from in-person to online learning, seemingly overnight. Universities, in particular, faced unique challenges as the number of young adults (18-35) infected with COVID-19 surged across the United States. Dental students were in an especially difficult position as they require in-person learning activities and hands-on patient care experiences that produce aerosols, increasing their risk of contracting respiratory borne COVID-19. While honoring the educational commitment to our students, Detroit Mercy Dental remained dedicated to keeping the health and safety of its patients, students, faculty, residents and staff as our number one priority. The School quickly developed, created, and enhanced safety protocols and infection-control procedures.

“We have limited the number of people allowed on campus grounds at one time. Students are now taking their didactic courses virtually, reducing the closeness of usual colleges and universities,” said Professor and Interim Director of Biomedical Sciences David Fischer. “Faculty are delivering lectures via Blackboard or Zoom, and exams are taken online with virtual proctoring.” Detroit Mercy Dental adheres to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, state of Michigan regulations and the recommendations of the American Dental Association (ADA). All who enter the building are subject to D E N TA L . U D M E R C Y. E D U

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SAFETY ACTIONS TIMELINE MARCH - JUNE 2020 “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order closes campus. MARCH 2020 - PRESENT Didactic courses transition from in-person lectures to synchronous or asynchronous lectures delivered via Blackboard Collaborate. Reconfigure academic calendars for each class to make up for lost time and ensure graduation dates remain as close to the originally scheduled dates as possible, while maintaining educational quality. MAY 2020 - PRESENT Establish screening, isolation and quarantine procedures to limit the potential for COVID-19 spread on campus. Adapt the Corktown Campus to meet social distancing requirements while restarting patient care. Adapt Corktown Campus to meet social distancing requirements while restarting pre-clinical simulation lab activities. JUNE - JULY 2020 Graduating students and award winners honored on their originally scheduled graduation date. AUGUST 2020 - PRESENT Virtual/Distanced Orientation Virtual Interviews for the Dental Class of 2025. NOVEMBER 2020 Began sending weekly email reports to campus regarding new cases, active cases and quarantines for exposure/testing. Institute travel and activity screening for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday break For full detailed list of timeline please see https://bit.ly/3oR4yZL 24 |

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a CDC screening, required to wear a mask and must maintain a proper social distance. To minimize the spread of potentially harmful aerosols, clinics have undergone several modifications, including the integration of an aerosol mitigating system (AeMS) on all patient chairs, central air purification, protective partitions, a thermal scanner and marked walking patterns. In addition, to lower the number of persons on campus at one time, appointment times have been staggered as have operatory utilization and alternating blocks of instruction. Though clinics are operating at a 50 percent capacity, students have improved their efficiency and time management skills. “We have an incredibly driven group of students,” Fischer said. “They have a goal in mind and don’t want to do anything to jeopardize that. They want to get done on time.” To that end, all didactic instruction has

remained online while both patient-based and simulation activities resumed on campus in June. In the case that faculty, staff members or student contracts COVD-19, Detroit Mercy Dental has a contact tracing team in place so all those who may be at risk are notified. In addition, our faculty are always considering how best to treat our patients, both in an emergency and non-emergency capacity. TEACHING AND LEARNING While teaching and learning looks different than it has in years past, students continue to receive the same amount of didactic and practical experiences that Detroit Mercy Dental has built its reputation on. Class sizes for in-person activities have been reduced to groups of 36 and online courses are delivered in synchronous (real-time) and asynchronous (recorded) formats.

“dental education, is moving toward conservative procedures that do not remove unnecessary sound structure” These smaller cohorts allow for more individualized instruction and have proven to be successful.

dent is understanding through eye contact and even the vibrations of the frequencies that comes from their voice in the air.”

Despite the flexibility that distance-learning provides, the need for creative and innovative teaching methods continues to grow. Peer interaction and non-verbal feedback are irreplaceable and a vital component of educating compassionate and person-centered practitioners.

As the traditional “drill-and-fill” approach is taken over by minimally invasive dentistry, Pacheco says, “the future of the profession, and hence dental education, is moving toward conservative procedures that do not remove unnecessary sound structure, and minimizes the need for generating aerosol. An example of that is the ART technique (Atraumatic Restorative Treatment), which does not require electricity or any equipment, can prevent the progression of disease, and results in reduced pain and discomfort for the patient. Furthermore, regenerative dentistry is the future.”

“Philosophically speaking, physical interaction allows for a kinesthetic learning environment that virtual learning isn't able to provide,” said Professor and Division Director of Clinical Essentials and Simulation Rafael Pacheco. “I can grasp how much a stu-

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SUPPORT STAFF Detroit Mercy Dental support staff are the epicenter of clinic operations and its necessary changes. Not only does staff help the everyday clinic operations run smoothly, but they also help to ensure stakeholder safety with increased cleaning measures, disinfection methods and armamentaria management. We are in an environment that includes dental, medical and scientific research professionals who stay at the forefront of developments in their respective fields. Our internal experts keep the school community abreast of the latest updates and protocol changes. Staff from the Corktown campus, Titans for Teeth Mobile Dental Clinic, Wayne Clinic and University Health Center (UHC) all work together to reduce the number of necessary trips to the dispensary. As well, some have lent themselves to different locations to ensure all precautions are being met for the safety of our students, faculty, residents and patients. They too have had to pivot and 26 |

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now have longer days, staggered schedules and modified job duties. “The wonderful cooperation and flexibility required to accomplish all these changes, continues even now,” said Director of Clinical Patient Operations Mary Yim. “This positivity, of course, includes all staff, students, residents and faculty... we all have made huge changes that resulted in positive teamwork across-the-board. We are constantly improving upon systems and are dependent upon feedback from each other. We all play a part in our collective success by taking our roles seriously, keeping

informed, maintaining social distance — whether on campus or off — and being cognizant of the proper use of PPEs, disinfecting wipes, barriers, and other protective measures.”

“we are constantly improving upon systems and are dependent upon feedback from each other”


appointments and more dedicated provider time resulting in the need for fewer visits.

The lack of access to dental care during the Michigan stay-at-home order has highlighted the need for dentistry as an essential service. Division of Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) Program Director Christina Van Dam and Assistant Program Director Rista Urukalo both testify to the various challenges residents and faculty have undergone due to the pandemic and how, in spite of much difficulty, the competent and motivated current class of residents has met all challenges head-on with much success. They said:

As a profession, we are much more aware of aerosol-generating procedures and the respective PPE needed for the adequate safety of our students, residents and faculty. As well, we remain mindful of the number of patients in the clinic at one time and the fallow time required prior to cleaning and disinfecting the patient operatory. Prior to COVID-19, residents would occasionally have multiple patients at one time and that is no longer manageable with nownecessary precautions.

Our clinics have been integral in providing care to the community by being a dental home to so many patients, including those who have limited resources for care.

Our patients have grown to expect meticulous attention to infection control when presenting for care. The new normal still employs universal precautions, but now we’ve added enhanced PPE such as face shields, N95/KN95 masks and single-use gowns to mitigate the possible transmission of the virus during dental procedures.

At the Detroit Mercy Dental Center, patient care is always our priority and, with the challenges brought about by the pandemic, our patients are now receiving a more concierge-type approach to care. Patients are pre-screened for symptoms and have their temperature taken when entering the building. There is less waiting with longer

Patients are returning to our clinics with an increased need for care and expressed concerns of another shutdown,

requesting to have care completed at a faster pace. In addition, dental students have experienced the impact of COVID-19 on their clinical education and as a result are looking to further their education through the AEGD program. The current class of residents was assigned to Ascension Macomb-Oakland hospital during the Michigan stay-athome order. During this time, resident education continued virtually with simulated cases, literature reviews and interprofessional collaboration with physician colleagues in the hospital. The residents were able to return to clinics in June and continue with patient care.

“our patients have grown to expect meticulous attention to infection control when presenting for care” D E N TA L . U D M E R C Y. E D U

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SERVING STUDENTS The pandemic substantially changed the way Detroit Mercy Dental works with students. Juliette Daniels, assistant dean for Student Services & Enrollment Management and Adrianna Moreno, associate director of Student Services, discussed those changes. Q: How has COVID-19 changed the way you service the dental student body? Moreno: “I think it’s helped us to get back to basics and be intentional with how we are interacting. We’ve revised a lot of our communications to be more effective and we are now able to reallocate the time once spent on in-person meetings and events to a more meaningful and individualized student support structure. Also, we are able to provide additional academic support and personally connect students with needed resources.” Q: What are some of the main concerns from students? Daniels: “The ripple effect of the ramifications of the delay in their education is something we have been continuously dealing with. Over the past few months, the bulk of the student concerns is centered around their ability to perform academically in a remote environment. They want to utilize our services, such as tutoring, but because of the way they learn, are not comfortable in a virtual format. The anxiety around their academic performance has been great. "Dental students are assumed to be a lot more settled, and we have a collective perspective that these students do not have the same issues that perhaps an undergraduate may have, but that couldn’t 28 |

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be further from the truth. Students come to us with food insecurity, internet issues, financial stress, family demands and some even with domestic violence. The number of concerns seemed to have escalated and are more severe than we’ve previously seen." "We continually monitor the utilization of the health and wellness office and have seen an increase of one-on-one personal counseling sessions. Though we anticipated the spike to be immediate after we went into remote learning, the biggest increase was in the weeks preceding our return and it has stayed consistently on the rise.” Q: What were the challenges of bringing in a new class without the ability to have the normal student orientation? Moreno: “In terms of the content delivered, this was our strongest orientation yet. The ability to have select sessions such as academic and campus policies in a pre-recorded format was beneficial. Students could watch them at their own pace and have them for future reference. From student feedback, it was extremely successful.” Q: What changes to admissions have occurred? Daniels: “We have had to retool our approach in terms of scoring applicants,

candidate selection and interviews so they can be done from afar." "Application numbers continue to grow, and we have a very competitive pool of candidates for the incoming Class of ’25. Every weekend, we conduct virtual interviews for about 100 applicants. The response thus far is that it is an overall positive experience."

“we are listening to what is important for today's students and have become learner centered.”

"I think we’re going to be more intentional and be able to use our resources in a more fiscally responsible way. I foresee a long-standing change that would allow future candidates the flexibility to choose if their interview will be virtual or in-person."

"We are listening to what is important for today’s students and have become more learner centered. There will always be a need for virtual support services including tutoring, tele-health counseling, faculty/ staff office hours and one-on-one advising.” Q: What is your outlook on the future?

"The admission committee has provided us great feedback on the necessary changes; together we will evaluate the process and hone it for future classes.” Q:. What long-term changes are now in place? Daniels: “Long-term changes, and the discussions about long-term changes are long overdue. The pandemic created modifications to the program that are beneficial for both students and employees.

Moreno: “We will continue to improve upon the components that create the student experience: strengthened communication, defined messages, intentional connections, institutional awareness, and personalized resources. We have made great strides in all of these areas, but have the opportunity to continue the upward trend.“

how we assist students. We have learned to support their educational experience using technology and services that can be delivered remotely. This allows us to support students more fully through a hybrid approach, offering on-site and remote student support services. Being physically present has new meaning. We have learned how remote learning and virtual educational support services can provide enhanced value and opportunities for our students to reach their educational goals.”

Daniels: “With respect to some student resources and services, we will continue to be flexible and nimble in addressing D E N TA L . U D M E R C Y. E D U

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STUDENTS Fourth-year dental student, Lucas Mathes will not deny that his final year has been met with some unique challenges, but he is resolved to push past the hardship and finish strong. Pre-COVID, a fourth-year student was typically in clinic four and a half days a week and saw up to 18 patients a week. Now with longer days, staggered clinic shifts, and half-clinic capacity, a full schedule is eight patients per week. “Every minute in clinic is golden,” said Mathes. Not only have students' clinical experiences changed, but their daily routine has been disrupted as they continue to adjust to virtual learning. Staying organized and depending on study groups have been some of the challenges Mathes admits to struggling with.

“I find that I’m relying on my classmates and friends more than I ever have. Our most valuable resource is each other,” he said. Although Mathes and his classmates have not been able to enjoy some of the typical experiences that come with being a fourth year, he remains cautiously optimistic. He feels that upon graduation, he will be ready for the next step in his professional dental career. “When it comes to practice-readiness, I think Detroit Mercy Dental students are more practice-ready than any other dental students in the country,” Mathes said. “The things we do and experience is second to none.” As understandable concerns of the future state of the economy are in the back of Mathes’ mind, he is still very much excited as he continues to apply to residencies and prepare for his final semester of dental school.

“When it comes to practice-readiness, I think Detroit Mercy Dental Students are more practice-ready than any other dental students in the country.”

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THE FUTURE OF DETROIT MERCY DENTAL While we do not know what the future will hold, we do know that some of the changes born from COVID-19 have improved the student experience and are here to stay. “It’s been a tough road, but Detroit Mercy Dental has reacted well, and their efforts are paying off,” Professor David Fischer said. “In a situation where there are not many perfect answers, everyone did an excellent job coming together to find reasonable solutions.” The new normal of Detroit Mercy Dental today is one that was not planned, but through the challenges it is emerging a better institution for the future oral health professionals of tomorrow.

COVID Relief Fund If there is one thing the current crisis has made clear to all of us, it is that we are in this together. We are University of Detroit Mercy, a community that works together to deliver a quality education to our students. Whatever our particular role, we each are an integral part of the University family. Our mission calls us to be in solidarity with one another, especially in times of need. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact, not only on our students, but on employees of the University as well. Our community has not been spared the realities of job loss, illness and the loss of loved ones and family members. Where emergency needs have always been a reality for members of our University community, they have become increasingly so in this trying time.

As members of an institution that holds the values of cura personalis (care for the whole person) and cura apostolica (care for the work), we are being invited to care for one another as we continue to sustain the work of delivering a quality education for our students. Our current reality is pushing us to experience these values in tension, but we can only care for the work if we care for one another and ourselves. To enable those who work at the University to support one another in times of crisis, the University has established the Employee Emergency Fund. To make a contribution, please visit: https://bit.ly/2XC38Gs

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2020 Events 1 // Staff, students present oral health tips at senior center // Feb. 11 On Tuesday, Feb. 11, Detroit Mercy Dental students and staff presented Dental Hygiene Clinical Assistant Professor Marge Buehner’s “Getting Smart About Your Mouth” at OPC Senior Center of Rochester, sponsored by Waltonwood Main. Representatives of Detroit Mercy Dental presented practical tips for oral health and dental care at OPC’s Oral Health Month event.


2 // Chicago Midwinter Alumni Reception // Feb. 20 On Thursday, Feb. 20, alumni from the Midwest enjoyed an evening of comradery and connections during the Chicago Dental Society's 155th Midwinter Meeting. The event was held at ENO Wine Bar at Hotel InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile.

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3 // COVID-19 Q&A //April 20 Biomedical Sciences Professors David Fischer and Joshua Thomson hosted two COVID-19 Q&A Sessions for School of Dentistry students. They provided information from a virology lens and answered scientific and practical questions about life during the pandemic. Fischer and Thomson also led a COVID-19 Q&A Session during Dental Student Orientation in August.

4 // Virtual Dental Alumni Happy Hour // May 27 Alumni Board President Michael Vilag D.D.S. '13, discussed mixology and the history of Detroit cocktails while demonstrating how to mix the perfect Corktown Mule, the signature drink of the evening. After the demonstration, alumni took part in an engaging discussion on various return-to-work plans as related to their respective local and state regulations.

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5 // SNDA Juneteenth Rally // June 19

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In honor of Juneteenth, Detroit Mercy Dental’s Student National Dental Association led a “White Coats for Black Lives” rally at the gates of the Corktown Campus. Faculty, staff and students gathered in solidarity to celebrate, educate and reflect on the significance of the day.

6 // Virtual Student / Alumni Panel Discussion // June 17 Alumni with different career paths answered questions and provided guidance for current students. The online discussion between students and alumni was moderated by Alumni Board Vice President John Dinka, D.D.S. ‘86.

7// Ortho Research & Clinical Defense Day // July 30 Residents from the graduating Orthodontic Class of 2020 concluded their residency by presenting their research with a virtual Research & Clinical Defense Day. Faculty, staff and alumni participated in the event by engaging with the residents, challenging their research and providing congratulatory messages for their stellar presentations.

8 // Virtual Summer Enrichment Program // Aug. 3-7

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The Office of Diversity and Inclusion had its first ever virtual Summer Enrichment Program (SEP). Nine students joined the weeklong workshop, learning about Detroit Mercy Dental, the application and admission process, financial aid and also met current student and SEP alumni.

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT In March, the D.D.S. Class of 1975 celebrated their 45 reunion in San Diego. Several people had to cancel due to onset of the pandemic, but those who attended had a wonderful time and were hosted by Jacob Russell. Right to left: Leslie & Jacob Russell, Brenda & Robert Marriott, Teresa Gorski & Michael, Dr. Jim Browning, Dr. Chuck Haas and Dr. Emory Toth and Marianne.

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9 // Orientation Week Bingo // Aug. 17-23 The Dental Class of 2024 participated in an Instagram bingo game that was designed to have students explore the city while interacting with classmates in a safe manner. The event was sponsored by the Michigan Dental Association, Detroit Mercy Dental’s American Student Dental Association chapter, the Office of Alumni Relations, & the Office of Student Services and included prizes!


10 // Virtual Student/Alumni Meet-and-Greet for the Dental Class of 2024 // Aug. 24 The Alumni Board sponsored a Virtual Student/Alumni Meet-and-Greet for the Dental Class of 2024. This inaugural event was one of only a few activities where all incoming had the opportunity to connect during Orientation Week. Classmates learned about each other and received helpful information and inspirational guidance from alumni and faculty. This special event was a noteworthy way to mark the evening prior to their first official day of classes at Detroit Mercy Dental.

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11 // ASDA Outdoor Yoga Session // Sept. 27 Since COVID-19, student leaders have gotten creative to develop safe programs online, via pick-up, and in person outdoors. Other ASDA Wellness Month activities included a step-tracking challenge against the University of Michigan and online meetings for the Dental Poets Society Book Club.

12 12 // Homecoming 2020 // Sept. 20-22 The School of Dentistry and the College of Health Professions collaborated for an interdisciplinary CE course that was held during Homecoming 2020. The course provided over a hundred healthcare professionals with information on how viruses evolve, infect, transmit and spread through society and how the immune system responds. Participants had the opportunity to learn from and interact with local experts. 34 |

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13 // Pink Out // Oct.

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During the entire month of October, Detroit Mercy Dental Clinics went pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Dental students and faculty wore pink scrubs, hair ties, socks and/or shoes to show support of this tremendous cause. Along with selling pink breast cancer ribbons Delta Sigma Delta reached their goal of fund raising $750 to donate to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

14// Hocus Pocus, Popcorn and Panera// Oct. 28 The Student Government Association and the Michigan Dental Association collaborated for virtual dinner and a movie on Wednesday, Oct. 28. After clinic and sim lab, students took a to-go dinner and gourmet popcorn from local business Motor City Popcorn home to watch "Hocus Pocus" remotely together.

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Remembering Professor Larry Anderson “He was engaging and energetic. The more you got to know him and the more he knew you, the more enthusiastic he was about anatomy,” said Pete Keller, D.D.S. ’75, M.S. ’79. “A very nice man, wonderful and effective teacher.”

Professor Larry Anderson Ph.D.

The late professor of anatomy, Larry Anderson, Ph.D., undoubtedly became a staple at Detroit Mercy Dental after serving students for more than 40 years. Even after his retirement, students, faculty, staff and administrators would often see him sitting in a chair across from the anatomy lab, seemingly in his own world.

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT Gabriel Holdwick, D.D.S. ’14 received the 2020 Michigan Denal Association’s Matt Uday New Dentist Leadership Award which recognizes a new dentist who has demonstrated leadership qualities of such a substantial nature that they serve as a model for other new dentists. The recipient must be a member of the Michigan Dental Association and received their DDS or DMD degree less than ten (10) years before the time of selection. Holdwick also received an ADA 10 Under 10 award. This award celebrates 10 dentists who graduated from a dental school within the past 10 years who demonstrate excellence and inspire others in science, research, and education, practice excellence, philanthropy, leadership and advocacy.

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Professor Anderson was married for 50 years to adjunct professor Vivian Anderson, Ph.D. who teaches in the anatomy lab, just as her husband once did. “While Larry was a man constantly working on diverse projects, from car repair to woodworking to landscaping, by far, his three greatest passions were family, distance running and fishing” said Vivian. Anderson ran 309 marathons in his lifetime. Larry and Vivian raised two daughters, Janeece and Leah. Anderson taught in the anatomy lab of the School of Dentistry from 1970 - 2016.

Professor Anderson passed away from complications of dementia in August 2018. His family has created an enduring legacy in his memory by establishing an endowed fund at University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry to help students in need of emergency financial support. Recipients of funding from Anderson’s endowment are not required to pay back the assistance but are encouraged to make a contribution to the fund, when they are fiscally able. “University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry is deeply grateful for the lifelong, dedicated service of Larry Anderson and for the endowment his family has chosen to establish in his memory,” said Mert Aksu, Dean.

How to establish an endowed fund at University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry Creating an endowment is an investment in the future of Detroit Mercy Dental. Many alumni and friends have chosen to set up endowed funds to memorialize friends and loved ones. Current endowments at Detroit Mercy Dental range from $25,000 to well over $1 million. Endowments are designed to use a portion of the interest they generate to support an aspect of the dental school agreed upon by the donor and the school, in perpetuity. $25,000 is the minimum amount required to officially establish an endowed fund at University of Detroit Mercy. Over time, that amount will generate $1,000 or more each year. For more information about setting up an endowed fund at Detroit Mercy Dental, please contact Director of Development Thomas Sklut: 313-4946624 or skluttw@udmercy.edu.

Dean's Circle A Special Thank You

Detroit Mercy Dental would like to say a special thank you to the following contributors to the Dental COVID-19 Emergency Fund. Dr. Nidaa Abdal Dr. Ahmad Aljerdi Drs. Shin Mey and Jim Geist Dr. Richard Heinlen Each year, University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry celebrates a group of people who distinguish themselves by donating $1,000 or more to the school. We call them the Dean’s Circle. This generous group of donors is the center of Detroit Mercy Dental’s annual fund program. In exchange for their generosity, members receive recognition at events, an extra communication or two from the dean and, on occasion, a piece of school memorabilia. The Dean’s Circle members also receive the first phone calls when our students have a special or emergency need. And that is exactly what happened, shortly after the School shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After we closed the dental school in March, it became apparent that some of our students would be in financial trouble. “Our dental students are on very tight budgets,” said Juliette Daniels, Ed.D., assistant dean of Student Services & Enrollment Management. “Having to adjust for remote learning and dealing with a delay in their education created a

precarious and challenging financial situation. The University implemented distribution of resources from the CARES Act and our financial aid coordinator, Angela Orlando, worked hard to modify financial aid packages to fill in gaps created by pandemic closures. However, it was clear the needs of our students exceeded available funds. We called development Director Tom Sklut, to ask for help supporting our students and he went to work raising the money that was needed.” Sklut called on members of the Dean’s Circle. A lead donor offered to match contributions over $1,000. In addition to personal phone calls, Sklut also sent an email solicitation to Dean’s Circle members. Within 10 days, 29 donors had contributed $67,070 to the Dental School COVID-19 Emergency Fund. “The generosity of the Dean’s Circle allowed us to move quickly to fill the emergency need of our students,” said Dean Mert N. Aksu. “We are grateful. These alumni and friends provide an outstanding base of support each year and never fail to enable us to overcome challenges and maintain our position as one of the most respected dental schools in the country.”

Dr. Ana Janic Dr. Judith Jones Dr. Ghabi Kaspo Dr. Bassam Kinaia Dr. Eric Krukonis Dr. Patrick Latcham Dr. Robert Legel Dr. Steve Legel Dr. Bruce MacIntosh Dr. Melanie Mayberry Dr. Mark Mortiere Dr. Saad Murad Dr. Basil Nona Dr. Richard and Mrs. Penny Persiani Dr. Deborah Priestap Mr. Tom Sklut and Ms. Mary Rashid Dr. Don and Mrs. Joyce Sherman Dr. Ali Sobh Dr. Edward J. Spyrka Dr. Bob Steiman Dr. Carl Stone Dr. Mario Tomei Dr. John and Mrs. Maria Warr Mr. Mark Woodin Ms. Mary Yim Dr. Charles Zammit

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Around the School of Dentistry

Orlando appointed to ADEA Student Financial Aid Advisory Committee Congratulations to Angela Orlando, Financial Aid Coordinator on being appointed to a three-year term as a member of the ADEA Student Financial Aid Advisory Committee, beginning at the 2020 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition. Orlando will contribDean Mert N. Aksu receives 2021 William J. Gies ute on behalf of dental school financial aid Award from American Dental Education Association administrators, address common financial Mert N. Aksu, dean and professor at the University of Detroit Mercy School of issues and discuss educational debt within Dentistry, has been named a recipient of the 2021 American Dental Education the field of dentistry. Association’s (ADEA) Gies Award for Vision – Dental Educator. The William J. Gies Awards are the most coveted honors in oral health and dental education and recognize the efforts of individuals, institutions and organizations that exemplify the highest standards of vision, innovation and achievement in oral health and dental education. Aksu was nominated for his ability to institute changes now to address issues in the future. His unique and unconventional approach to dental education and oral health care have positively impacted the faculty, students and patients he serves. In his pledge to ensure the safety and well-being of faculty, staff, students and patients, he co-invented a Class I, FDA approved patent-pending chairside aerosol mitigation system (AeMS, LLC) which is in place on all units in the dental clinic. This device contributes to safe dental patient care with approximately 1,200 devices being used nationwide. “Throughout his career, Dean Aksu has addressed challenges in a creative and forward-looking manner, said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Pamela Zarkowski, who also received a Gies award in 2017. “This award demonstrates that his peers recognize his passion for and dedication to Detroit Mercy Dental’s students, employees, colleagues and the patients they serve. I am grateful for his leadership and contributions to the School and University.” Aksu will receive his award along with seven other Gies awardees on March 12, 2021, in conjunction with the virtual 2021 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition.

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Delta Dental grant The University of Detroit Mercy proudly received a grant of $135,000 from Delta Dental of Michigan, part of a multi-year project to improve the oral health of children in the tri-county area. The intent of the grant is to support the framework for a longitudinal study on childhood caries, while expanding the reach and services of Detroit Mercy Dental Mobile Clinics and partnerships with Federally Qualified Health Centers. The funds will help establish a school-based preventive oral health services program in partnership with MyCare in Macomb County, and a dental clinic in collaboration with Wayne County Health Communities in Hamtramck.

Professor Persiani receives Detroit Mercy's 2021 Alumni Achievement Spirit Award Congratulations to Richard Persiani, D.D.S. ’73, M.S., affiliate professor, Detroit Mercy Dental, on being chosen as one of seven honorees for the 2021 Detroit Mercy Annual Alumni Achievement Award. The Spirit Awards honor alumni for outstanding achievements, leadership in their work, and devotion to service the community. Honorees reflect the University’s mission of excellence and service and bring pride to their alma mater. Persiani is an innovative leader who utilizes his education and talents to make an impact in the field of dentistry, community and the lives of his patients around the world. Persiani has inspired, mentored and taught students spanning nearly five decades. His teaching reaches far beyond clinical skills, as he embodies what it means to be a person for others. Persiani maintained a private practice for 42 years, has held numerous leadership roles in organized dentistry and authored articles in peer-reviewed journals. Persiani’s philanthropic service includes more than 30 mission trips with Operation Smile, founding the dental clinic at Vista Maria Community Services, and co-directing the Children’s ToothFairy Foundation.

Professor Pacheco named a division director of Clinical Essentials and Simulation Rafael Pacheco D.D.S., M.Sc., Ph.D., associate professor, joins Joel Felsenfeld, D.D.S., as division directors of Clinical Essentials and Simulation. Pacheco holds a D.D.S., M.Sc. (Dental Materials) and Ph.D. (Dental Materials) from State University of Campinas, Brazil. He is the author/co-author of multiple peer-reviewed journal articles, four book chapters, and his research is focused on dental materials used in restorative dentistry (polymerization, dental ceramics, resin composites and adhesive systems). Pacheco assumes this position after joining the School of Dentistry in 2015.

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT Michigan Board of Dentistry The following alumni were recently appointed or re-appointed to the state Board of Dentistry by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer: • Mamnoon Siddiqui, D.D.S., M.S. '02 • Vaijanthi Oza, D.D.S. '98 (reappointed) • Edward G. Sarkisian, D.D.S.'78

ADEA /FEMA donates KN95 masks to the School In response to COVID-19, ADEA—in collaboration with FEMA and Henry Schein. Inc.—is distributing close to 3 million KN95 masks to U.S. dental schools and allied dental education programs to be used for patient care. Detroit Mercy Dental has received our shipment of over 44,000 KN95 masks. Thank you to ADEA and FEMA for their generous contribution as we continue to strive to keep our students and patients safe, happy and healthy.

Erick Rupprecht, D.D.S. '80 received the 2020 Distinguished Service Award from West Michigan District Dental Society. He was selected as the “Silent Bell” awardee for his many contributions to organized dentistry, community involvement and mentorship.

Brian Anderson, D.D.S. ‘09 received the 2020 Michigan Dental Association’s Public Relations Award which recognizes the public relations efforts of an MDA member dentist or MDA component society. Anderson was awarded this honor for his leadership role in organizing Superior Dental Day.

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Promotions within the Office of Diversity and Inclusion Congratulations to Melvin Lunkins, promoted to director of Diversity and Inclusion and Bethsave Lozano, promoted to coordinator of Diversity and Inclusion (D&I). Lunkins has been with Detroit Mercy Dental since 2017. During his time as coordinator for D&I, the school has seen continued growth in pipeline programs, such as Dental Imprint, Summer Enrichment Program and Wayne State University C2 Pipeline programs. Lunkins has a B.S. in Enhanced Entryway Opening Community Development from Central Michigan University and an M.A. in Social On Monday, Aug. 24, the doors to our new enhanced entryway were opened for Justice from Marygrove College. our patients to enjoy. Patients were greeted by a new three-story glass structure, terrazzo flooring, and four stained glass panels from the Mercy College chapel. Lozano has been with Detroit Mercy Dental since 2008. She joined as an adminisDue to COVID-19 and social distance guidelines, seating is available for no more trative assistant in the Office of Dental than 50 patients at one time. Only patients receiving treatment will be able to Admissions where she became an integral enter the building (unless they need to be accompanied by a parent or guardmember of the admissions team, contributian). A receptionist will scan each patient at the door for their temperature and ing her efforts and talents in growing the ask if they have any COVID-19-related symptoms. admissions programs, administering interviews and selection processes, and movThe Office of the Dean would like to thank the dental community for its patience ing the office forward with new initiatives. during this renovation. Lozano has a B.S. in International Business & Economics, and an M.A. degree in Higher Education Administration, both from Anthony Neely receives Excellence Award from Madonna University.

American Academy of Periodontology (AAP)

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT D.D.S. Class of 2013 Alumni from the Dental Class of 2013 took part in the #DontRushJustBrush social media challenge with a stylish and equally entertaining video. View their take of the challenge at https://bit.ly/3lh6jy6

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Congratulations to Detroit Mercy Dental associate professor Anthony Neely, D.D.S., M.Dent.Sc, Ph.D., who was chosen as the AAP 2020 Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring Award recipient. This award is presented to the periodontal educator at each institution who has demonstrated a commitment to excellence in providing education in the full scope of periodontics and relays that enthusiasm to students. Neely was presented this award at the AAP 106th Annual Meeting (virtual), Nov. 6-15.

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT Detroit Mercy Dental alumni, Stephen Meraw, D.D.S. ’95, M.S., G. Michael Kabot, D.D.S. '85, M.S. '88, William S. Demray, D.D.S. '75 and Dawn Kulongowski, D.D.S. '02, were recently featured in a Detroit Free Press article titled “Are dental offices safe right now? 6 questions to ask before your next appointment”. The article discussed how dental offices are taking various safety measures to keep patients and staff safe during the pandemic and beyond.

Community PPE Donations Detroit Mercy Dental has been fortunate to have a sufficient supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). We would like to acknowledge and thank those who contributed or coordinated PPE donations in response to the national shortage. We are humbled to have so many supporters who jumped into action to ensure our clinics remained safe and our faculty, staff and students protected. Thank you to the following generous contributors: • Kavitha Tatikonda, of Farmington Hills, Mich, donated 100 face shields created on her personal 3-D printer. • Promess Incorporated, via clinic lead, Michael Pyatenko, D.D.S. '91, donated of 300 face shields. •Associate Professor Zheng Zhou, D.D.S., Ph.D. and his overseas colleagues donated 600 face shields and 1,200 KN95 masks. In addition, Zhou's friend and colleague, Bihuan Cheng, coordinated volunteer help and covered shipping costs. • Associate Professor Mary Parise, D.D.S., and daughter Ann Marie coordinated the production, delivery and donations of 300 face shields made by Joe Amica Terra of Corning, New York. • Micah Nuzum, D.D.S., M.S., owner of Shieldont, donated seven operative microscopic face shields in the endodontic clinic. These clear plastic devices replace goggles while blocking surgical spatter to the face and eyes. • Alumni Board member, Basam Shamo, D.D.S. '13, helped coordinate the donation of 1,500 face shields from Detroit District Dental Society.

Promotions within the Office of Educational Technology Congratulations to former Director of Instructional Development, L. Michael Verdusco, Ph.D., who transitioned to a new department and position as Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning at Detroit Mercy. This new position will focus on faculty development and support University-wide, including the School of Dentistry. The new position is the result of Detroit Mercy receiving a $1.6-million, five-year Title III Part A Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP) grant from the United States Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education. This grant will fund the creation of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL). Congratulations to Thomas Zielonka, M.A., who has been promoted to director of Instructional Development at the School of Dentistry effective Nov. 9. Zielonka joined the School of Dentistry in 2015 as an instructional designer and has been an integral part of the transition to remote learning, teaching and testing. D E N TA L . U D M E R C Y. E D U

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CARES Act Funds The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress with overwhelming, bipartisan support and signed into law on March 27, 2020. This over $2 trillion economic relief package protects the American people from the public health and economic impacts of COVID-19. Because of the CARES Act Grant, Detroit Mercy Dental was able to help 532 Dental students in their time of need. See https://bit.ly/34oLyJU for figures. As of September 2020, the school has raised over $67,070 in COVID-Relief funds.

Faculty members invited to present at College of Prosthodontists Annual Meeting Director and associate professor Tenzin Dadul, M.D.S., D.D.S., M.S. and associate professor Ahmad Fard, D.D.S., M.S. were invited to present “Reaching Students with Great Presentations” at the American College of Prosthodontists (ACP) Annual Meeting in November. Dadul and Fard were selected among the pre-doctoral and post-doctoral prosthodontic programs in North America. They were especially invited to evaluate the current research in implantology, 3-D imaging and guided surgery.

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Dean Juliette Daniels conducts research on the impostor phenomenon in dental students Juliette Daniels, Ed.D., assistant dean for student services and enrollment, received a Doctor of Education in Higher Education Administration degree from Gwynedd Mercy University in Philadelphia. Her dissertation was titled, “Impostor Phenomenon in Dental Students.” This is the first known focused study of the extent to which the impostor phenomenon impacts dental students in the United States.

Professor Deepthy Nair named the 2020 ADEA Scholar-in-Residence Deepthy Nair, B.D.S., M.S., clinical associate professor, was named the 2020 American Dental Education Association’s Enid A. Neidle Scholar-in-Residence recipient. The scholar in-residence recipient receives a stipend to pursue a fellowship at the ADEA office in Washington, D.C., to gain a distinct perspective on issues facing women faculty, including promotion, advancement and tenure policies, entry and reentry into the workforce, child care and elder care, women’s health, work patterns, advanced education research opportunities, and other gender-related issues.


School Receives E. “Bud” Tarrson Dental School Student Community Leadership Award On behalf of the ADA Foundation, the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry was awarded the E. “Bud” Tarrson Dental School Student Community Leadership Award and grant. The funding will support the work of the Detroit Mercy Outreach and Community Service (DOCS)/Malta Free Dental Clinic and allows for expansion of services provided to uninsured adults for a year. DOCS, which operates out of the Malta Clinic, is a student-managed organization and provides dental care to underprivileged members of the Detroit community. Detroit Mercy Dental student Matthew Stratton, DS4, the primary student volunteer on the grant, stated: “Patients are always thankful for our services, and the students are ecstatic to be providing dental care this early in their careers and thus give patients their undivided attention. The complete attention of a health care provider is seldom seen in our community and is why our patients are thankful. Both the entire DOCS organization and I are honored to have won this grant. We encounter patients at the Malta Clinic who are very poor and in dire need of dental care. This grant money will go a long way toward improving the experience for these patients.” He continued, “The Malta Clinic is held in the basement of a St. Leo’s Catholic Church in Detroit, where a soup kitchen is run Tuesday through Saturday. The people of the community are able to enjoy meals while also learning the importance of oral health. The students are ecstatic to be providing dental care this early in their careers and thus give patients their undivided attention. The complete attention of a health care provider is seldom seen in our community and is why our patients are thankful.”

Professor Judith Jones receives VA commendation Judith Jones, D.D.S., M.P.H., Dsc.D., professor, received a commendation for years of excellent service to the Department of Veterans Affairs. She is the original director of Oral Health Quality Group, a group that was started in 2008 by the VA’s Central Office of Dentistry. There, Jones provided guidance and expertise in the development of assessment tools and clinical recommendations that continue to influence the quality of care provided to Veterans across the nation.

Carol Aiken, D.D.S. ’82 has been selected as a 2020 Centurion Fellow in The American College of Dentists, a distinction achieved by fewer than 5% of dentists. This fellowship nomination recognizes outstanding contributions to the field of dentistry, especially in ethics, professionalism, excellence and leadership. Aiken has practiced general dentistry at her office in Boston, Mass., for over 30 years. She served on the Ethics Committee of the Massachusetts Dental Society for many years and chaired it for the past 4 years. Aiken has volunteered her services as a dentist on several humanitarian missions with Remote Area Medical and International Medical Relief, from Oklahoma to Tennessee to Kenya. Additionally, Aiken has served as adjunct faculty at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and the University of Michigan School of Dentistry.

Timothy Kosinski, D.D.S. ’84 receive the Academy of General Dentistry's Lifelong Learning and Service Recognition. The Lifelong Learning and Service Recognition epitomizes a career of excellence in dentistry. It acknowledges the continued achievements of AGD Masters to embrace their obligation to stay current and to give back to their communities and profession. By embracing the core beliefs of AGD throughout their careers, LLSR recipients set a higher standard that all general dentists are encouraged to emulate. To date, fewer than 375 members have received this recognition. Kosinski was also elected as editor by the Academy of General Dentistry. Since 2015, he has served as associate editor and has a strong appreciation for AGD’s news and peerreviewed publications.

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Alumni Board

Personal and Professional Resiliency safely care for them. Remember to treat them with all of the empathy and respect they deserve, and it will reward you back a thousand times over.

John D. Dinka, D.D,S., '86

Reflecting on the past nine months of this year, I am amazed at the resiliency, adaptability, and tenacity demonstrated within the dental profession. Detroit Mercy Dental administration, faculty and staff reopened the School after the COVID-19 shutdown with enhanced safety protocols. They have also implemented revised systems and schedules to maintain delivery of the exceptional education the students expect and deserve, as well as the quality of dental care that patients of the School receive. A special thank you goes to Dean Mert N. Aksu for piloting our fine School through such trying times. Dentistry as a whole has demonstrated similar qualities, bouncing back from mandated closures or limitations to providing patient care. Utilizing critical thinking skills attained in school, a hallmark of a Detroit Mercy education, dentists have been able to navigate the myriad articles, studies, recommendations, mandates and supply chain issues to successfully restart practices and provide the outstanding level of care the patient community deserves. Despite uncertainties, our patients are reaching out for treatment, and are thankful we are available to

As we have all come to realize now more than ever, having strong support structures in place facilitates our ability to survive and flourish through especially challenging times. As students graduate and move on from the day-to-day support of the School, they should remember the vast network of Detroit Mercy Dental alumni who are ready and willing to continue to mentor and support them as new professionals. With the constantly changing dynamics of the dental profession, as well as life in general, never feel that you need to go it alone. Your Detroit Mercy Dental alumni are here to help you. With all the education and support that Detroit Mercy Dental has and continues to provide its students and alumni, please try to the best of your abilities to give back to the School. Having come to the personal realization years ago the importance of giving back and that sharing is truly caring, the giving of time, talents or resources back to our alma mater can serve not only to provide personal fulfillment, but to enhance many aspects of lifelong learning, relationships and opportunities. Wishing everyone good health,

“With the constantly changing dynamics of the dental profession, as well as life in general, never feel that you need to go it alone. Your Detroit Mercy Dental alumni are here to help you.”


President John D. Dinka, D.D.S. ’86 Vice-President Mario Tomei, D.D.S. ’92 Secretary Marcy Murrell, R.D.H. ’93, D.D.S.’02 Board Members Sarmad Alyas-Askar, M.S., D.D.S. ’13, M.S. Sarah Charland, R.D.H. ’17, B.S. ’17 Patrick Latcham, D.D.S. ’81 Peter Namou, D.D.S. ’17 Richard Raad, D.D.S. ’84 Basam Shamo, D.D.S. ’13 Benjamin Underwood, D.D.S. ’15 Michael J. Vilag, D.D.S. ’13

John D. Dinka, D.D.S ’86 President, Alumni Board of Directors

Jenna Zelek, R.D.H., ’01, B.S. ’01 Barbara Zrebski, R.D.H. ’75, MBA

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Continuing Education

Institute for Advanced Continuing Dental Education 2021 Course Offerings

Kimberly Raleigh, R.D.H. ’01, M.H.S.A. ’06 Director, Institute for Advanced Continuing Dental Education and Alumni Relations

“Detroit Mercy Dental offers practical and evidence-based CE courses designed to elevate skills, enhance patient care and transform practices.” CONTACT US PHONE: 313-494-6626 EMAIL: dentalce@udmercy.edu To register, or for complete course information, visit: dental.udmercy.edu/ce 46 |

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Infection Control in the Era of COVID and Beyond

Successful Integration of CBCT in the General Dental Practice

Sanjay Chand, M.D.

Tenzin Dadul, M.D.S., B.D.S., M.S.

LIVE Webinar

LIVE Webinar

6–9 p.m. 3 CEUs (Lecture)

6–9 p.m. 3 CEUs (Lecture)



Periodontal Classification: The Old, the New and What to Do

Effective Use of Clear Aligner Therapy in Dentistry

Tamika Thompson, D.D.S., M.S. Marinelle Campos, D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D.

Riyad A. Al-Qawasmi, B.D.S., M.S.D., F.R.C.D.C., Ph.D.

LIVE Webinar

LIVE Webinar

8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. 4 CEUs (Lecture)

8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. 4 CEUs (Lecture)



Opioid and Controlled Substance Awareness Training for the Dental Team**

Immunosuppressants and Chemotherapy: Managing the Implications on Oral Health

Sanjay Chand, M.D.

Aman Gupta, M.D.

LIVE Webinar

LIVE Webinar

6–9 p.m. 3 CEUs (Lecture)

6–9 p.m. 3 CEUs (Lecture)



A Common Sense Approach to Removable Partial Denture Design and Treatment Planning

Preventive Strategies: Fluorides and Antimicrobial Agents

Timothy Saunders, D.D.S.

Durinda Mattana, R.D.H., B.S.D.H., M.S. Erin Relich, R.D.H., M.S.A.

LIVE Webinar/Remote Hands-On

LIVE Webinar

8 a.m.–4 p.m. 7 CEUs (Lecture & Hands-On/Participation)

5:30–8:30 p.m. 3 CEUs (Lecture)




An Update on Burning Mouth Syndrome & Medication-Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw

A Hands-On Review of Local Anesthesia Techniques: Helping to Better Manage Your Patients’ Pain*

A Hands-On Approach to Bone Grafting for Dental Implants

Junu Ojha, B.D.S.

Ana Janic, D.D.S., M.S. M. Lynne Morgan, R.D.H., M.S., M.A. Carl Stone, D.D.S., M.A., MBA, M.A.

LIVE Webinar 6–9 p.m. 3 CEUs (Lecture)  FRIDAY, APRIL 16

Managing the Medically Complex Dental Patient Sanjay Chand, M.D.

8 a.m.–4 p.m. 14 CEUs (Lecture & Hands-On/Participation)

9 a.m.–2:30 p.m. 5 CEUs (Lecture & Hands-On/Participation) 3 CEUs (Lecture Only)



Managing Personal and Professional Stress

9 a.m.–noon 3 CEUs (Lecture)

Bailey Andersen, L.M.S.W.


6–8 p.m. 2 CEUs (Lecture)

Rafael R. Pacheco, D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D. LIVE Webinar 6–9 p.m. 3 CEUs (Lecture)

LIVE Webinar


Best Practice Guidelines for Pain Management in Dentistry* Sanjay Chand, M.D.


LIVE Webinar 9 a.m.–noon 3 CEUs (Lecture)

Promoting Your Practice: Social Media Boot Camp


Bianca Boji, D.D.S. LIVE Webinar 6–9 p.m. 3 CEUs (Lecture)

Detroit Mercy Dental Corktown Campus, Detroit

Detroit Mercy Dental Corktown Campus, Detroit

LIVE Webinar

Esthetic Minimally Invasive Treatments of Dental Stains

Bassam M. Kinaia, D.D.S., M.S. Anthony Neely, D.D.S., M.Dent.Sc., Ph.D.

Location Specific Lesions of the Oral Cavity - A Review

Periodontal Risks in Orthodontic Patients Riyad A. Al-Qawasmi, B.D.S., M.S.D., F.R.C.D.C., Ph.D. Zheng Zhou, D.D.S., Ph.D. LIVE Webinar 9 a.m.–4 p.m. 6 CEUs (Lecture)  WEDNESDAY, JUNE 23

I Didn't Know That Was A Law! (Meets Human Trafficking Requirement)*** Mert N. Aksu, D.D.S., J.D., M.H.S.A. Deborah Monroe Pamela Zarkowski, J.D., M.P.H. LIVE Webinar 5–9 p.m. 4 CEUs (Lecture)

Junu Ojha, B.D.S. LIVE Webinar 6–9 p.m. 3 CEUs (Lecture) D E N TA L . U D M E R C Y. E D U

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Continuing Education Continuing Education



Antibiotics 101: Drug, Dose & Duration

"Helping Children Grow Beautiful Faces" Medical/Dental Collaboration for Pediatric Airway Health

Sanjay Chand, M.D. LIVE Webinar 6–9 p.m. 3 CEUs (Lecture)  FRIDAY, JULY 16

Nitrous Oxide/Oxygen Sedation for the Dental Hygienist and Registered Dental Assistant*

Karen O'Rourke, D.D.S. Wyland Gibbs, D.D.S., M.S. Stacy Pulley, M.S., CCC- SLP Terri Cooper, M.S.O.T., OTR/L LIVE Webinar 9 a.m.–4 p.m. 6 CEUs (Lecture)

M. Lynne Morgan, R.D.H., M.S., M.A. Claudine Sordyl, R.N., M.S. Tamika Thompson, D.D.S., M.S.


Detroit Mercy Dental Corktown Campus, Detroit

M. Lynne Morgan, R.D.H., M.S., M.A.

8 a.m.–2 p.m. (R.D.A.) 8 a.m..–4:30 p.m. (R.D.H.) 6/9 CEUs (Lecture & Hands-On/Participation)

6–8 p.m. 2 CEUs (Lecture)


Drugs Our Patients Take and How They Affect Dental Care Sanjay Chand, M.D. LIVE Webinar 6–9 p.m. 3 CEUs (Lecture)

The Cutting Edge of Instrument Sharpening for the Dental Team LIVE Webinar


Updates in Periodontal Disease Classification Ana Janic, D.D.S., M.S. Hana Gadalla, D.D.S, M.S. LIVE Webinar 9 a.m.–noon 3 CEUs (Lecture)



ABCs of CBCT in Endodontics

Local Anesthesia Administration for the Dental Hygienist: An Online, Lecture and Hands-On Program*

Tenzin Dadul, M.D.S., B.D.S., M.S. Susan Paurazas, D.D.S., M.S., M.H.S.A. LIVE Webinar 6–9 p.m. 3 CEUs (Lecture)

M. Lynne Morgan, R.D.H., M.S., M.A. Francisco Plaza Villegas, D.D.S., M.S., M.S. Joshua Scheys, Ph.D. Claudine Sordyl, R.N., M.S. Carl Stone, D.D.S., M.A., MBA, M.A. Pamela Zarkowski, J.D., M.P.H. Detroit Mercy Dental Corktown Campus, Detroit

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L E A D I N G E D G E FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 2 0

8 a.m.–5:30 p.m. 29 CEUs (Online, Lecture & Hands-On/ Participation)  FRIDAY, AUG. 20

How to Make Your Practice Insurance Independent Jason G. Souyias, D.D.S. LIVE Webinar 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. 4 CEUs (Lecture)  THURSDAY, AUG. 26

Management of Developmental Disabilities in the Dental Office Marguerite Buehner, R.D.H., R.D.A., M.H.S.A. Sanjay Chand, M.D. LIVE Webinar 6–9 p.m. 3 CEUs (Lecture)  THURSDAY, SEPT. 16

QPR: Protocol for Inspiring Hope to Individuals Experiencing Suicidal Crises Bailey Andersen, L.M.S.W. Juliette Daniels, Ed.D. Option: LIVE Webinar OR In-Person at Detroit Mercy Novi Campus 6–8 p.m. 2 CEUs (Lecture)  FRIDAY, SEPT. 17

Management of Most Common Medical Emergencies in the Dental Office Andrea L. Adams, B.S.D.H., R.N., B.S.N. Sanjay Chand, M.D. Barbara A. Loucks, R.N., E.M.T.-P.

Detroit Mercy Dental Corktown Campus, Detroit 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 6.5 CEUs (Lecture & Hands-On/Participation)  WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 29

Presenting the Best Treatment Plan AND Getting Your Patient's Buy-in



Prosthetic Dentistry: Outsmarting Combination Syndrome for Predictable Success

Tips and Tricks for Composite Restorations and Solving Post-Op Sensitivity

Timothy Saunders, D.D.S.

Option: LIVE Webinar OR In-Person at Detroit Mercy Novi Campus

Option: LIVE Webinar OR In-Person at Detroit Mercy Novi Campus

Jason G. Souyias, D.D.S.

6–9 p.m. 3 CEUs (Lecture)

Option: LIVE Webinar OR In-Person at Detroit Mercy Novi Campus


6–9 p.m. 3 CEUs (Lecture)

Creating a Soft Tissue Management Program That Works Jason G. Souyias, D.D.S.

Homecoming and Alumni Day  FRIDAY, OCT. 1

Opioid and Controlled Substance Awareness Training for the Dental Team*-** Sanjay Chand, M.D. Option: LIVE Webinar OR In-Person at Detroit Mercy McNichols Campus, Detroit 9 a.m.–noon 3 CEUs (Lecture) Course Description: The dental healthcare provider will receive an overview of the opioid endemic in the United States and gain a better understanding of commonly prescribed opioid medications and their side effects, toxicities and interactions with other dental drugs. This course meets the Michigan licensing requirement for opioid and other controlled substances awareness training.

Option: LIVE Webinar OR In-Person at Detroit Mercy Novi Campus 9 a.m.–noon 3 CEUs (Lecture)  WEDNESDAY, NOV. 3

Bleeding Disorders: Best Practices for Dental Procedures and Drug Management Aman Gupta, M.D. Option: LIVE Webinar OR In-Person at Detroit Mercy Novi Campus 6–9 p.m. 3 CEUs (Lecture)  FRIDAY, NOV. 5

Nitrous Oxide/Oxygen Sedation for the Dental Hygienist and Registered Dental Assistant * M. Lynne Morgan, R.D.H., M.S., M.A. Claudine Sordyl, R.N., M.S. Tamika Thompson, D.D.S., M.S. Detroit Mercy Dental Corktown Campus, Detroit 8 a.m.–2 p.m. (R.D.A. Lab) 8 a.m..–4:30 p.m. (R.D.H. Lab) 6/9 CEUs (Online, Lecture & Hands-On/ Participation)

Rafael R. Pacheco, D.D.S., M.Sc., Ph.D.

9 a.m.–4 p.m. 6 CEUs (Lecture)  FRIDAY, NOV. 19

Perfecting Digital Radiology: From Novice to Beyond for the Entire Dental Team Tenzin Dadul, M.D.S., B.D.S., M.S. Kristina Okolisan-Mulligan, R.D.H., M.A. Detroit Mercy Dental Corktown Campus, Detroit 8 a.m.–4 p.m. 6 CEUs (Lecture & Hands-On/Participation)


P Multiple delivery options university-based CE credits from P Live the comfort and safety of home P Expert faculty P Unbiased programming P Discounts and special pricing available screened programs to meet P Carefully your educational needs course transcript tracking P Easy-to-use and printing

P Convenient online course registration D E N TA L . U D M E R C Y. E D U

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Continuing Education

ONLINE COURSES/ AVAILABLE ANYTIME 60 Minute Review of Local Anesthesia for the Dental Practitioner** M. Lynne Morgan, R.D.H., M.S., M.A. 1 CEU (Online)

60 Minute Review of Nitrous Oxide/Oxygen Sedation for the Dental Practitioner*

No Drilling and Minimal Intervention: Paradigm Shift in Dentistry for Children Fouad S. Salama, B.D.S, M.S. 1 CEU (Online)

Pain Pathways of the Head and Neck

Restoring Abfraction Lesions with Glass Ionomers Camilo Machado, D.D.S., M.S. 1 CEU (Online)

Strategies of Behavior Guidance for the Difficult Pediatric Patient: Changing How You Practice

M. Lynne Morgan, R.D.H., M.S., M.A. 1 CEU (Online)

Maha Ahmad, Ph.D.

Caries Risk Assessment and Management for the Pediatric Patient

Practical Tips for Health Professionals to Care for Individuals with Special Health Care Needs

Updates to Diagnosing and Classifying Periodontal Disease

Fouad S. Salama, B.D.S, M.S. 1 CEU (Online)

1 CEU (Online)

Fouad S. Salama, B.D.S, M.S. 1 CEU (Online)

1 CEU (Online)

Fouad S. Salama, B.D.S, M.S. 1 CEU (Online)

Tamika Thompson, D.D.S., M.S.

*This course meets the Michigan licensing requirement of pain and symptom management credit required each renewal period for licensed dental professionals. **This course meets the Michigan licensing requirement for opioid and other controlled substances awareness training. ***This course meets the Michigan licensing requirement for human trafficking training.

The University of Detroit Mercy is a member of the Association for Continuing Dental Education. The ACDE is the organization of continuing dental education providers associated with dental schools in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

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L E A D I N G E D G E FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 2 0

On behalf of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry, I would like to thank the dedicated faculty and staff members who selflessly worked to keep our Emergency Dental Clinic open and fully operational during Michigan’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order from March 24 – May 31. While the world was plagued with uncertainty and doubt surrounding COVID-19, we had a team that worked bravely to service those in need of immediate dental care. I recognize your contributions and responsibilities extended far beyond campus. Many of you simultaneously managed additional personal obligations, managed homes, cared for loved ones and homeschooled children. Our dedicated team triaged 552 patients, which is 2.5 times the normal number of emergency calls we receive on a yearly basis. Patients ranged in age from 5 to 95 and traveled across the state of Michigan to receive treatment. Along with providing care to patients of record, we also serviced hospital emergency room follow-ups and some patients who were without a dental home. Though patients presented with the need for emergency care, they left with not only having had their chief complaint addressed but a better understanding of COVID-19 and a deep appreciation of the School and the team who treated them. Thank you to every dentist, dental assistant, receptionist, cashier, dispensary team member, public safety officer, mail courier, custodian, supervisor and staff member whose contributions were vital in keeping our Emergency Dental Clinic operational. I, along with the entire School of Dentistry community, thank you for all you sacrificed and endured to be a steward of the School and champion for those in need. The unwavering commitment that was displayed on both the individual and team level was truly remarkable. Thank you for all you have done. We are proud to work with and among you. With thanks and respect, Mert N. Aksu, D.D.S., J.D., M.H.S.A.

The School of Dentistry would also like to thank Dean Mert N. Aksu for his leadership and fortitude during a unprecedented time. Please see https://bit.ly/38LZgsN for a short video and testimonial of thanks to dean Aksu. D E N TA L . U D M E R C Y. E D U

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