2012 Commencement Celebrates 224 Dental School Graduates

Dr. Michael Kowolik and Dean John Williams congratulate periodontics master's degree recipient Dr. Jason Au-Yeung

A new dental school reception for graduates and their families, a commencement address by the United States Navy’s top dental officer, and recognition of 224 members of the graduating classes were the highlights of Indiana University School of Dentistry’s 2012 two-day graduation celebration, held in Indianapolis May 12-13.

On Saturday, dental dean Dr. John N. Williams, Jr., hosted the first pre-graduation reception to be held at the school, giving IU’s dental faculty and staff an opportunity to meet the graduates’ families and friends, and giving the graduates a chance to show their guests the dental building, where students devote anywhere from one to eight years in pursuit of degrees and certificates in dentistry.

The graduates included 100 students enrolled in the Doctor of Dental Surgery program as well as 29 in dental assisting, 45 in dental hygiene, 11 in public health dental hygiene, and 39 in a variety of advanced dental programs.

The IU dental school’s classes of 2012 represent young professionals from 24 U.S. states and 15 countries. A total of 156 graduates are from Indiana hometowns, 49 come from other states in the U.S., and 19 are from other nations.

After the dental school reception the graduation party moved downtown to the Indiana Convention Center for the dental school’s pre-commencement ceremony.

Joining Dean Williams on the program was Charles R. Bantz, Ph.D., chancellor of IUPUI and executive vice president of Indiana University.

Rear Admiral Elaine C. Wagner, chief of the U.S. Navy Dental Corps, was invited back to her alma mater to give Dentistry’s pre-commencement address. Admiral Wagner, who also commands the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Va., is a 1980 graduate of IU’s dental program and a 1982 graduate of IU’s pediatric dentistry program.

She wove her address around the theme of trust and the importance of each dental school graduate developing trust as a team leader, not only in one’s profession but also in one’s community, one’s country, and in all aspects of one’s life. “Trust is the one thing that is common to every individual, relationship, team, family, organization, nation, economy, and civilization throughout the world,” she said. She challenged the graduates to become adept at establishing, extending – and, if necessary, restoring – trust, and to build their lives around others who are trustworthy.

At the close of her address, Admiral Wagner swore in two of the school’s dental graduates as lieutenants in the U.S. Navy Dental Corps: Mark Anderko and Matthew R. Kanter.

Four of the graduates gave farewell remarks on behalf of their classes: Chelsee N. Ehrhardt, dental assisting president; Cari B. Willingham, dental hygiene president; Ali S. Sajadi, dentistry president; and Dr. Nawaf Y. Labban, Advanced Graduate Organization president.

Each graduate crossed the stage to receive his or her diploma or certificate, and graduates receiving the Doctor of Dental Surgery degree went through an additional hooding ceremony. Dental graduates were given the choice of being hooded by either an IU professor or a member of their own family holding a doctoral degree. Faculty members participating in the hooding were Drs. Steven E. Dixon, Vanchit John, Philip C. Rake, and Trevor E. Treasure.

Saturday’s pre-commencement was complemented on Sunday by a dental graduation awards program and breakfast, also held at the convention center. More than 100 honors and awards were bestowed on 53 students, including 17 men and women who were inducted at a previous ceremony into the national honor societies for Dentistry and Dental Hygiene.

From there, the graduates moved to the convention center’s main auditorium for IUPUI’s commencement, which celebrated the efforts of more than 6,500 IUPUI graduates who completed their studies in 2012.

Indiana University School of Dentistry 2012 Graduation Honors and Awards

HONORS

Candidates, Associate of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene

Highest Distinction
Morgan M. Flook
Chassi M. Lecher

High Distinction
BreAnn E. Thornburg
Kristen M. Fahringer

Distinction
Cari B. Willingham

Candidates, Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree

Highest Distinction
Amanda F. Kot

High Distinction
Diana C. Wu
Jonathan M. Dingeldein
Shellie A. Steffen
Katherine M. Hungate
Christopher W. Painton
Katarzyna Pycinska
Brian P. LaBlonde
Katie E. Wolz
Timothy J. Zigler

Theta Chapter, Sigma Phi Alpha Dental Hygiene Honor Society Alumni
Morgan M. Flook
Chassi M. Lecher
BreAnn E. Thornburg
Samantha N. Turner
Cari B. Willingham

Theta Theta Chapter, Omicron Kappa Upsilon Dental Honor Society Alumni
Lesa M. Allison
Jayme L. Beadle
Jonathan M. Dingeldein
Keith J. Harrison
Katherine M. Hungate
Amanda F. Kot *
Daniel P. O’Callaghan
Christopher W. Painton
Shellie A. Steffen
Katie E. Wolz
Diana C. Wu
Timothy J. Zigler
*OKU Outstanding Student

AWARDS

DENTAL ASSISTING
Rosemary L. Burskey
• Academic Achievement Award
• Procter & Gamble Best Clinician Award

Danielle J.-N. Tanner
• Clinical Achievement Award

DENTAL HYGIENE
Lauren M. Abbott
• Indiana University School of Dentistry Alumni Association Harriett F. Hine Award

Morgan M. Flook
• Rossya Kaufman Memorial Award

Ashantae B. Geringer
• Northeast Regional Board Scholarship

Kelsey L. Goodman
• A. Rebekah Fisk Memorial Award of the Indiana Dental Hygienists’ Association

Jennifer L. Iannotti
• Johnson Public Health Scholarship Award

Chassi M. Lecher
• Rossya Kaufman Memorial Award
• Dr. Tillman E. Miller Clinical Achievement Award in Dental Hygiene, 2nd place

Matti K. Lynn
• Johnson & Johnson Professional Excellence Award

Michelle K. Mogg
• American Association of Public Health Dentistry Award

Kaitlyn E. Moody
• Procter & Gamble Prevention Award

Melanie D. Smith
• Johnson Public Health Scholarship
• Colgate S.T.A.R. Award
• Student American Dental Hygienists’ Association Leadership Award

Michelle Soriano
• Hu-Friedy Award

Cari B. Willingham
• Dr. Tillman E. Miller Clinical Achievement Award in Dental Hygiene, 1st place

DENTISTRY
Joseph B. Adams
• American Association of Endodontists Student Achievement Award

Lesa M. Allison
• American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry Award
• James E. Humphrey, D.D.S. Memorial Scholarship Award

Jason A. Bayless
• Russell Winfield Lehman DDS Scholarship Award
• American College of Prosthodontists Award

Ross T. Bowen
• Indianapolis General Dentistry Study Club Award

Devanshu Chowdhary
• Indiana Society of Periodontists Award

Christopher M. Cummings
• American Academy of Periodontology Award
• American Student Dental Association Award
• Indiana Dental Association Award

Kara M. Czarkowski
• American Association of Oral Biologists Award

Jenna M. Davies
• James E. Humphrey, D.D.S. Memorial Scholarship Award

Darren M. Dean
• American Academy of Oral Medicine Certificate of Merit and Award

Jonathan M. Dingeldein
• Quintessence Publishing Company Award in Restorative Dentistry
• Whip Mix Hanau Best of the Best Prosthodontics Award

Chris S. Ha
• James L. Maus Memorial Scholarship Award

Keith J. Harrison
• American Dental Society of Anesthesiology Horace Wells Award

Katherine M. Hungate
• American Association of Orthodontists Award
• American College of Dentists Outstanding Student Leader Award

Olga Isyutina
• American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology Award
• Research Honors Program—Certificate of Achievement

John P. Jansen
• Quintessence Publishing Company Award in Research

Brett Jones
• Dr. Charles E. and Janice B. Kem Award

Matthew R. Kanter
• Northeast Regional Board Scholarship

Patrick S. Kelly
• Glenn J. Pell Award
• American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons Award
• Dental Lifeline Network Outstanding Student Award

Amanda F. Kot
• Alpha Omega Scholarship Award
• DENTSPLY Merit Award in Removable Prosthodontics
• John F. Johnston Award
• IU School of Dentistry’s Outstanding Student (presented at the IUPUI Chancellor’s Academic Honors Convocation)

Brian P. LaBlonde
• Academy of Operative Dentistry Award

Kevin H. Ludwig
• American Equilibration Society Achievement Award
• Indiana University School of Dentistry Alumni Association Maynard K. Hine Award

Jeremy I. Matis
• Certificate of Merit, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Award

Jeffrey M. McQuinn
• American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons Dental Implant Award
• Academy of Osseointegration Outstanding Dental Student in Implant Dentistry Award
• Academy of General Dentistry Award

Patrick M. Murray
• International Congress of Oral Implantologists/Sullivan Schein Dental Achievement Award
• American Academy of Implant Dentistry Award

Daniel P. O’Callaghan
• Indiana Society of Pediatric Dentistry Award

Christopher W. Painton
• Quintessence Publishing Company Award in Periodontics

Katarzyna Pycinska
• Academy of Dental Materials Award

Ali S. Sajadi
• International College of Dentists Student Leadership Award

Kurush Savabi
• American Academy of Gold Foil Operators Award
• American Academy of Craniofacial Pain Award
• American Academy of Orofacial Pain – Outstanding Senior Award

Stephanie L. So
• American Association of Public Health Dentistry Award
• Delta Dental Fund Student Leadership Award

Shellie A. Steffen
• American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology Award

Eric J. Westergard
• Pierre Fauchard Academy Award

Diana C. Wu
• American Association of Women Dentists Eleanor J. Bushee Award
• Research Honors Program—Certificate of Achievement

Timothy J. Zigler
• Dr. Tillman E. Miller Clinical Achievement Award in Dentistry
• Academy of General Dentistry Award

May 14, 2012

Rear Admiral Elaine Wagner
Rear Admiral Elaine Wagner
IUPUI Chancellor Charles Bantz
IUPUI Chancellor Charles Bantz
Dental graduates Jenna Davies, Laura Davila, and Darren Dean
Dental graduates Jenna Davies, Laura Davila, and Darren Dean
Dental hygiene graduate Amanda Heath
Dental hygiene graduate Amanda Heath
Dental assisting graduates Abigail Servies and McKenzie Smith
Dental assisting graduates Abigail Servies and McKenzie Smith
Dental graduate Diana Wu with hooders Trevor Treasure (left), Steven Dixon, and Vanchit John
Dental graduate Diana Wu with hooders Trevor Treasure (left), Steven Dixon, and Vanchit John
Dental graduates Mark Anderko and Matthew Kanter are sworn into the U.S. Navy Dental Corps as lieutenants by Admiral Wagner.
Dental graduates Mark Anderko and Matthew Kanter are sworn into the U.S. Navy Dental Corps as lieutenants by Admiral Wagner.