On May 3rd the UConn School of Dental Medicine celebrated the accomplishments of the graduating Class of 2023 with the annual farewell and awards ceremony before UConn Health’s 52nd Commencement ceremony on May 8th.
The event at the Pond House in West Hartford allowed the students to gather with their classmates one last time before heading off to their residencies. The ceremony included faculty well-wishes as well as the announcement of faculty and student awards.
Dean of the School of Dental Medicine, Dr. Steven Lepowsky, opened the ceremony by congratulating the class on completing the most challenging and rigorous dental educational programs.
“I congratulate you on all your achievements and accomplishments that have brought you to this point, which are even more impressive considering the incredible impact that COVID-19 had on your education and your life,” said Lepowsky. “There will be a time when you will be able to look back and reflect upon the past few years and realize that this experience will have had a life-changing impact on who you are, as a person, as a dentist, and as a member of society.
The students heard inspiring remarks from Kathlene Gerrity, executive director of the CT State Dental Association as well as UConn Alum and president of the UConn Dental Alumni Board, Dr. Ron Birmingham ’10.
Dr. Sarita Arteaga, associate dean for students, kicked off the awards portion of the ceremony by applauding the students for their hard work and achievements.
“We are here to recognize and applaud you,” said Arteaga. “You have been resilient and now ready for many of your future challenges. The individual disciplines have submitted nominations and you have been selected by the Awards Committee to acknowledge your accomplishments.”
Students from the commencement committee, Caroline Wilson, Madeline Montenegro, Natasha Patel, and Basant Sallam announced the faculty awards. Dr. Thomas Taylor received the South Park Inn Dental Clinic Award for his outstanding service to the community. Dr. Shivani C. Suvarna received the Kaiser Permanente Faculty Award for excellence in teaching in the clinical sciences.
The student awards were selected by the senior awards committee, a committee made up of a diverse group of faculty, with nominations from faculty from each of the School’s disciplines. The full list of awards and award winners is below.
American Association of Endodontists Student Achievement Award
Demonstrates a skill level in endodontics that is above average.
Academy of General Dentistry Senior Student Dental Award
Student who exhibits potential for becoming an outstanding General Dentist
Academy of Operative Dentistry Award
Exemplifies outstanding achievement in operative dentistry.
American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry Student Award of Merit
Student who has demonstrated the highest level of clinical proficiency and greatest interest in esthetic dentistry.
The Quintessence Award for Clinical Achievement in Restorative Dentistry
Presented to a student for achievement in Restorative Dentistry
Olmstead Prize in Geriatrics
To recognize outstanding achievement in Geriatric Dentistry
Society for Color and Appearance in Dentistry (SCAD)
Awarded to a dental student who demonstrates the highest level of clinical proficiency with a great interest in color and appearance, either through esthetic clinical dentistry or research
Carlos Cardenas Peralta
American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology Dental Student Award
Demonstrates exemplary aptitude and achievement in Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
Jonathan Leonard and Madeline Montenegro
Allan B. Reiskin Award
For outstanding achievement in Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology
Laura Doherty and Emma Warren
American Academy of Oral Medicine Award
For developing and maintaining high standards for excellence, interest and achievement in oral medicine
American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons Dental Student Award
To recognize a dental student who has shown outstanding performance in the area of dental implant placement.
American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons Dental Implant Award
To recognize a dental student with high academic standing for outstanding performance in undergraduate student and clinical training in the area of oral and maxillofacial surgery and anesthesiology
American College of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons Award (2022)
For outstanding achievement in Oral Surgery
Connecticut Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons Award
To a student who has excelled in activities at the SDM related to Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
HEALTH CAREERS OPPORTUNITY PROGRAM
Health Careers Mentorship Award
Serves with distinction as a mentor.
Edward Amelemah, Carlos Cardenas Peralta, Talia Staiger and Flaviah Muchemi
American Association of Orthodontists Award
Demonstrates exceptional interest in the development of the Oro-Facial Complex
Dr. Surender Nanda Memorial Award
For exceptional interest in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Certificate of Merit
For outstanding promise in the field of Pediatric Dentistry
Special Care Dentistry Association/Academy of Dentistry for Persons with Disabilities Award
For Outstanding contributions in the delivery of oral health care to patients with special health care needs
American Academy of Periodontology Award
For outstanding achievement in Periodontics
Northeastern Society of Periodontists Award
Excellence in the field of periodontics
The Quintessence Award for Clinical Achievement in Periodontics
Achievement in Clinical Periodontics
2022 ASDA Award of Excellence
Student who honors the spirit of volunteerism and recognizes student participation or leadership in service to their school or local community.
American College of Prosthodontists Achievement Award
To a student who excelled in Prosthodontics
American Prosthodontic Society Award
Awarded to a student with the highest level of clinic proficiency and greatest interest in prosthodontic dentistry.
Hanautm Best of the Best Prosthodontic Award
To a student who has demonstrated excellence in Prosthodontics
Carlos Cardenas Peralta
To a student who has demonstrated excellence in removable Prosthodontics
American Academy of Implant Dentistry Student Award
For outstanding achievement, academically and clinically in implant dentistry
Academy of Osseointegration Outstanding Dental Student in Implant Dentistry
Given to a student to support and expand their interests, education, and research in dental implants.
International Congress of Oral Implantologists/Dentsply Student Achievement Award
Student who has demonstrated the most interest in and enthusiasm for dental implantology.
SENIOR AWARDS COMMITTEE AWARDS
American College of Dentists Outstanding Student Leadership Award (Yankee Dental Congress)
To a student who has demonstrated leadership and outstanding scholastic performance
Dr. Robert G. Levine Award
Presented to an outstanding student continuing in an Advanced Education in General Dentistry or General Practice Residency program.
Dr. Richard G. Topazian Prize
Awarded to a student who demonstrates volunteerism and service to Humanity.
The Dr. Loeb Prize
Awarded to a student who is a resident of Connecticut and has been selected for qualities of leadership.
Friends of the School of Dental Medicine – Fox Award
Awarded to the student judged to the best all-around in the class.
International College of Dentists Student Humanitarian Award
Awarded to a graduating student who has demonstrated exemplary character traits when participating in humanitarian service or projects.
Decelia Makera Gen Browne
International College of Dentists Student Leadership Award
Awarded to a graduating student who has demonstrated significant leadership traits when participating in humanitarian service or projects.
The Brian D. Stone Student Memorial Award
Presented to an outstanding senior dental student who embodies the mission of Dental Lifeline Network by demonstrating exceptional volunteer service or care for patients with special needs.
The Pierre Fauchard Academy Award
Presented to an outstanding and deserving student who has exhibited leadership and
whose accomplishments have demonstrated dedication to the advancement of the dental profession and literature.
The Quintessence Award for Research Achievement
Presented to a student for research achievement.
University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine Professional Development Award
To a senior student who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in professional development over the four years of the curriculum
Academic Achievement Award 2023 Sponsored by the Provost’s Commission on the Status of Women, the UConn Alumni Association, and the Women’s Center
Excelled academically and demonstrated high achievement in research and service to the University community.
American Association of Women Dentists Eleanor J. Bushee Senior Dental Student Award
The recipient of this award should demonstrate enthusiasm in her career in dentistry and in her life as a colleague, friend, and mentor.
The Alumni Relations Award
Appreciation of student leadership and commitment to the UConn School of Dental Medicine
Alumni Advisory Board
The South Park Inn Homeless Shelter Award
For long-standing service to the South Park Inn Homeless Shelter Dental Clinic
Phi Chi Chapter of Omicron Kappa Upsilon 2023 Inductees
Inducted into the Phi Chi Chapter of OKU National Honor Dental Society with a focus on scholarship and character.
Audrey Brigham, Carlos Cardenas Peralta, Catherine Florentine, Lauren Gross, Talia Staiger, and Caroline Wilson