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12 Honored with Dean's Excellence Awards

Friday, June 28, 2013 - 2:17pm

Dean's Excellence Award winner for 2013

Dean's Excellence Award winners for 2013 included (from left) Dr. Ryan Quock, Dr. Gene Stevenson, Dr. Nadarajah Vigneswaran, the late Dr. Alan Levine (Dr. Kalu Ogbureke accepting on his behalf), Dr. Gena Tribble, and Dr. Jerry Long (Dr. Gary Frey accepting on his behalf).   Levine was part of the Clinical Simulation Team, whose seven members (pictured elsewhere in this article) collectively won an award for innovation in teaching. Photo by Brian Schnupp.

Dean John A. Valenza, DDS, has announced winners of the Dean’s Excellence Awards for 2013 at The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston. Twelve faculty members were selected in four categories, including Innovation in Teaching, Scholarship in Teaching, Volunteer and Research.

The winners included Drs. Ryan Quock, Gene C. Stevenson, S. Jerry Long, Gena Tribble, Nadarajah Vigneswaran and the Clinical Simulation Team, whose members included Dr. Deborah Franklin, Dr. Gargi Mukherji, the late Dr. Alan Levine and dental hygiene faculty members Joanna Allaire, Harold Henson, Darla McKitrick and Donna Warren-Morris. The award to Levine marks the first time a Dean’s Excellence Award has been given posthumously. A certificate will be presented to his family, along with his portrait.

For more detailed information on each award:

The Clinical Simulation Team won a Dean's Excellence Award for Innovation in Teaching.

Clinical Simulation Team volunteers (from left) included Darla McKitrick, Joanna Allaire, Donna Warren-Morris, Harold Henson and Dr. Gargi Mukherji. Not pictured are Dr. Deborah Franklin and the late Dr. Alan Levine. Photo by Brian Schnupp.

Dean’s Excellence Award:  Innovation in Teaching
CLINICAL SIMULATION TEAM:  These faculty volunteers led the effort to create a new model for clinical simulation called for in the UTSD Change Initiative of 2010, using virtual patients in a new curriculum unlike any other in dental education. Now in its second year, the new curriculum is fully integrated into the DS3, DS4, DH1 and DH2 clinical programs.  

Team members included Associate Professor Deborah Franklin, DDS; Assistant Professor Gargi Mukherji, DDS; Professor Donna Warren-Morris, RDH, MEd; Associate Professor and Director of Clinical Simulation Harold Henson, RDH, MEd; Associate Professor Darla McKitrick, RDH, MS; Assistant Professor Joanna Allaire, RDH, MDH; and the late Associate Professor Alan E. Levine, PhD. 

Dean’s Excellence Award:  Innovation in Teaching
RYAN QUOCK, DDS, associate professor, Restorative Dentistry and Prosthodontics: Honored for creating and implementing a new course that required unifying a team of general dentists and prosthodontists; created a publication series, “The Affected Dentist,” in The Journal of the Greater Houston Dental Society; and secured grant funds for work on fluoride varnish, with results in MedEdPORTAL.

Dean’s Excellence Award:  Scholarship in Teaching
GENE STEVENSON, DDS, MS, associate professor, Diagnostic and Biomedical Sciences:  Honored for his work directing both sections of the removable prosthodontics curriculum, teaching in other preclinical courses, and providing clinical instruction in both pre- and postdoctoral programs. He completed a master of public health degree and has leveraged this learning opportunity into a more effective curriculum in the courses he directs. Stevenson is currently enrolled in the blended Evidence-based Health Care Master of Science program at the University of Oxford in England.

Dean’s Excellence Award:  Volunteer
S. JERRY LONG, DDS, adjunct associate professor: A 1966 alumnus of UTSD, Long has been a volunteer faculty member since 1987 but has become even more involved since selling his practice in 2012, serving as Advisory Council Chair and on the UT Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Development Board.  Of particular note:  His work with Dr. Boyd Shepherd to set up the new Professional Resource Center.

Dean’s Excellence Award:  Research
GENA D. TRIBBLE, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Periodontics and Dental Hygiene: Since joining UTSD in 2008, Tribble has had nine peer-reviewed journal publications, two book chapters and three invited-review articles. She was awarded a multi-year grant funded by the National Institutes of Health to “determine the molecular mechanisms underlying genetic variability in P. gingivalis and to measure the effect of DNA changes on bacterial films.” She collaborates with UTHealth’s School of Nursing and Medical School, Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine and mentors faculty, postdoctoral fellows, residents and dental and dental hygiene students.

Dean’s Excellence Award:  Research
NADARAJAH VIGNESWARAN, BDS, DrMedDent, DMD, professor, Department of Diagnostic and Biomedical Sciences:  Honored for his nearly two-decade history of basic, translational and clinical research in oral cancer. He has extramural grant funding of more than $2.5 million from the NIH and U.S. Department of Defense. He has published more than 95 journal articles and book chapters in high-impact biomedical and specialty journals and has presented at several high-profile national and international cancer research meetings. He collaborates with investigators at UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Rice University and has mentored numerous faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, residents and predoctoral students while maintaining his work with UTSD’s pathology consulting service and UT Dentists.