Seven alumni of UTHealth School of Dentistry at Houston, including Dean John Valenza, DDS ’81, FAGD, are among nominees for Texas Dentist of the Year™ and Texas New Dentist of the Year™ for 2019. The Texas Academy of General Dentistry will announce the winners Sept. 20 at the Lone Star Dental Conference in Austin. 

Valenza and fellow alumni John Case, DDS ‘79, MS, and James Person, DDS ’78, are among 15 total nominees for Texas Dentist of the Year. Every year, TAGD requests nominations from Texas Dental Association District Dental Societies and components of the Academy of General Dentistry throughout the state. Valenza was nominated by both the Houston AGD and the Greater Houston Dental Society. Case and Person were nominated by the Brazos Valley AGD and the Rio Grande Valley AGD, respectively. 

Of 10 nominees for 2019 Texas New Dentist of the Year, four are UTSD alumni, including:

  • Timothy Hill, D­­­DS ’14, nominated by South Texas AGD;
  • Laura Johnson Schott, DDS ’12, FAGD, Houston AGD;
  • Michael Sullivan, DDS ’14, Rio Grande Valley AGD;
  • Michelle Aguilos Thompson, DDS, GPR ’14, Greater Houston Dental Society. Thompson earned her DDS at Howard University College of Dentistry before completing UTSD’s General Practice Residency program. 

TAGD launched the Texas New Dentist of the Year Award in 2009 to recognize the outstanding achievements of general dentists who graduated within the past seven years and who have shown exemplary leadership and a clear vision for the future of dentistry. UTSD Class of 2011 alumna Summer Ketron, DDS, won the title in 2018.