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Dean Hosts Annual Reception for New Faculty

Dean John Valenza, DDS, (left) visits with new Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Robert Spears, PhD, and long-time Dental Hygiene Program Director Jayne McWherter, RDH, MEd, at the 2015 New Faculty Reception May 12 in The Cooley Center.  See more photos at Go.uth.edu/NewFaculty15.

Dean John Valenza, DDS, (left) visits with new Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Robert Spears, PhD, and long-time Dental Hygiene Program Director Jayne McWherter, RDH, MEd, at the 2015 New Faculty Reception May 12 in The Cooley Center.  See more photos at Go.uth.edu/NewFaculty15.

University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston Dean John A. Valenza, DDS, welcomed new faculty members at a get-acquainted reception in their honor May 12 in The Denton A. Cooley, MD and Ralph C. Cooley, DDS University Life Center.  

It was a chance for them to meet each other as well as department chairs and key staff members, he said, noting that some of the new faculty have been at UTSD since summer 2014, while a few have been here less than a month. "We like to hold these receptions when we get a sort of critical mass of new people," he added.

More photos from the event are posted at Go.uth.edu/NewFaculty15. A list of new faculty invited to the reception includes:  Read more

 

Dental Anesthesia Club Members Learn IV Techniques

Dental student Michael Rasmussen starts an IV on classmate Kurt Harman in a venipuncture lab at The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston

Dental student Greg Chaffin started an IV saline drip on classmate Justin Tullis in a venipuncture lab at The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston.

Fourteen third-year dental students participated in a different kind of “stab-lab” at The University of Texas School of Dentistry in April. Members of the Dental Anesthesia Club for Students (DACS) assembled for a “Venipuncture (IV) Workshop” under the guidance of Clinical Assistant Professor Clark Whitmire, DMD, JD, a dental anesthesiologist.

Participating students were first given a tutorial on the indications and risks associated with venipuncture. Following this overview, the DACS students met in the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Clinic to learn IV technique.

“Dr. Whitmire demonstrated the first IV, and then the fun began as students volunteered to play health-care provider and patient, to stick and be stuck,” said Justin Tullis, a student who participated in the activity.

Third-year dental students Gregory Luk and Adam Grimm — both former medical corpsmen in the U.S. Army Special Forces — volunteered to assist Whitmire and share their IV expertise. Read more

 

Researchers to Study Genetics of Missing Teeth

Dr. Ariadne Letra

Dr. Sercan Akyalcin

Dr. Letra

Dr. Akyalcin

The American Association of Orthodontists Foundation (AAOF) has awarded a $30,000, 12-month grant to two University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston faculty members to study genetic causes of oligodontia, a condition in which six or more teeth fail to develop.

Associate Professor Ariadne Letra, DDS, PhD, of the Department of Endodontics and the School of Dentistry’s Center for Craniofacial Research, will collaborate with Associate Professor Sercan Akyalcin, DDS, PhD, of the Department of Orthodontics on the study.  Read more

 

OMS History Continues in Second Printed Volume

Dr. Robert Debes, oral surgeon, hold the new edition of Department of OMS history.

Dr. Robert Debes holds the book he and Dr. Donald Butler compiled with input from current and former members of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston. Photo by Rhonda Whitmeyer. 

A second volume detailing the history of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston is now in print and available online.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery:  The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston 2000-2015 continues the departmental history originally detailed in Looking Back: A History of the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Training Program at The University of Texas-Houston 1949-1999.

Authored by Robert R. Debes, DDS, with Donald P. Butler, DDS, the second book also features chapters written by current and former OMS faculty, as well as Dean John A. Valenza, DDS.  Both Debes and Butler are oral and maxillofacial surgeons. Debes retired from private practice but still serves as a clinical professor at the school. Butler is also retired, having served as the School of Dentistry’s OMS Predoctoral Program Director.  Read more

 

Grace Avila Joins Student Affairs Staff

Grace Avila

Grace Avila

Griselda “Grace” Avila is the new administrative coordinator for the Office of Student and Alumni Affairs at The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston. She joined the staff in March and reports to Associate Dean Philip Pierpont, DDS.

Avila is a graduate of Galena Park High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from the University of Houston-Downtown in 2014.  Her work experience includes serving as finance supervisor for Hilton Americas and as administrative supervisor for BP Worldwide Security Inc. A native of Mexico, she is now a U.S. citizen and working mom, raising two children with her husband, Gilbert.  Read more

 

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