Skip Navigation and Go To Content

Masks continue to be strongly encouraged for everyone entering UTHealth Houston School of Dentistry. Learn more about COVID-19 precautions …
The Urgent Care Clinic has reopened (by appointment only) as of 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 4.

2021 Dean’s Excellence Award winners announced

Published: September 08, 2021 by Kyle Rogers

Dean’s Excellence Award winners for 2021 were recognized Tuesday, Sept. 7, during a virtual, evening event held via Cisco Webex. Faculty department chairs were also invited to attend.
Dean’s Excellence Award winners for 2021 were recognized Tuesday, Sept. 7, during a virtual, evening event held via Cisco Webex. Faculty department chairs were also invited to attend.

Eight faculty members have been named recipients of the UTHealth Houston School of Dentistry Dean’s Excellence Award for 2021.

Walid Fakhouri, MSc, PhD; Cameron Jeter, PhD; Margo Melchor, RDH, EdD; Ezinne Ogbureke, BDS, DMD; Karo Parsegian, DMD, PhD, MDSc; Maryam Tabrizi, DMD, MPH; Bing-Yan Wang, DDS, MS, PhD; and Samuel Winkelmann, DDS, MS; were honored for outstanding work in the categories of Application, Discovery, Integration, Teaching, Mentoring, and Volunteerism.

Dean and Distinguished Teaching Professor John Valenza, DDS, recognized the award recipients Tuesday, Sept. 7, during a virtual, evening event held via Cisco Webex. Faculty department chairs were also invited to attend.

The award winners were first announced during the Joint Faculty + Staff Retreat in July.

Here are details about each category and winner(s), including comments from nominators:

DEAN’S EXCELLENCE AWARD IN THE SCHOLARSHIP OF APPLICATION

“For aiding society and professions in addressing problems”

Department of Diagnostic and Biomedical Sciences

Nominators’ Comments:  Dr. Fakhouri’s depth and breadth of accomplishments since he joined our institution have been consistently demonstrated. For example (2):

  • He received the National Award from the American Association of Anatomists (AAA) for the best publication in 2019 by Developmental Dynamics and recently published in “Science” in collaboration with other prominent investigators.
  • He has utilized his knowledge of molecular biology and applied it to the clinical problem of oral mucositis in a collaborative project between clinicians and basic scientists.

As director of the Evaluation and Presentation of Scientific Research elective course, Dr. Fakhouri’s dental students have significantly benefited from his expertise in human genetics and published multiple peer-reviewed articles with him.

DEAN’S EXCELLENCE AWARD IN THE SCHOLARSHIP OF DISCOVERY

“For building new knowledge through research”

  • Bing-Yan Wang, DDS, MS, PhD, professor
    Department of Periodontics and Dental Hygiene

Nominators’ Comments:  Dr. Wang is an active collaborator with other researchers in and outside UTHealth School of Dentistry, demonstrated by her publications, presentations, and grants record.

She has established novel strategies to assess antimicrobial properties of regeneration materials and potential antimicrobial agents, developing models systems mimicking the oral cavity.

Dr. Wang has published 59 research articles and presented at multiple national and international meetings.

She has obtained multiyear grant funding from major funding agencies, including R03, U01, U30, R15, and U54.

DEAN’S EXCELLENCE AWARD IN THE SCHOLARSHIP OF INTEGRATION

“For interpreting the use of knowledge across disciplines”

  • Cameron Jeter, PhD, associate professor
    Department of Diagnostic and Biomedical Sciences

Nominators’ Comments:  Dr. Jeter has developed innovative strategies and methods of integration of teaching in dental education and for interdisciplinary teaching and research, especially IPE. She is a newly appointed co-course director for three courses:

  • Clinical Applications I here at UTHealth School of Dentistry;
  • GSBS Graduate Neuroanatomy, bringing PhD grad students to teach dental students;
  • GSBS Neurobiology of Disease, attended by medical, dental, and graduate students.

Dr. Jeter is also a mentor on Dean's Small Grants, and a PI on funded interprofessional research in oral health, dementia, and access to health care for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

She has published numerous articles and made several national talks.

DEAN’S EXCELLENCE AWARD IN THE SCHOLARSHIP OF TEACHING

“For studying teaching models and practices to achieve optimal learning”

  • Karo Parsegian, DMD, PhD, MDSc, undergraduate periodontics program director, assistant professor
    Department of Periodontics and Dental Hygiene

Nominators’ Comments:  Dr. Parsegian is an individual who continuously proposes innovative ideas to enhance students’ educational experiences. For example:

  • He introduced a new session into the Periodontics I course that enhanced interactions between dental and dental hygiene students;
  • He initiated and led several innovative approaches to improve clinical workflow and the accuracy of periodontal diagnosis through the development of two software applications, PerioPlanner and PocketPerio;
  • He developed and introduced simulated periodontal instrumentation sessions to maintain and enhance student instrumentation skills during the COVID-19 pandemic in summer 2020.

Dr. Parsegian’s teaching endeavors have been recognized nationally, as he is a recipient of the Colgate Junior Faculty Award from the American Dental Education Association and the Award for Outstanding Teaching and Mentoring in Periodontics from the American Academy of Periodontology.

  • Maryam Tabrizi, DMD, MPH, assistant professor
    Department of General Practice and Dental Public Health

Nominators’ Comments:  Dr. Tabrizi has demonstrated an award-winning contribution in teaching and advancement in geriatric oral health to all learning levels at UTHealth School of Dentistry. Examples of her achievements include:

  • Teaching dental and dental hygiene students, where she has been taking students to a nursing home to expose them to oral health conditions in the elderly with dementia;
  • Teaching Advanced Education in General Dentistry residents, where our AEGD program is the only one in the U.S. with a formal geriatric component;
  • Teaching colleagues, where Dr. Tabrizi has collaborated with her peers to bring the innovate telementoring project, ECHO, to UTHealth School of Dentistry.

Dr. Tabrizi, through her efforts, has improved the overall health of the geriatric population and taken geriatric education from the classroom to chairside and bedside.

DEAN’S EXCELLENCE AWARD IN MENTORING

“For Demonstrating commitment to, and effectiveness in, faculty mentoring”

  • Margo Melchor, RDH, MEd, EdD, director of community outreach, associate professor
    Department of Periodontics and Dental Hygiene

Nominators’ Comments:  Dr. Melchor’s guidance has indeed placed me where I am today as one of her colleagues, and she continues to mentor me through the good and difficult times as I become familiar with the art of instruction.

She provides advice on leadership opportunities through suggesting conference attendance and committee work, including holding leadership positions within the committees and how to support the school endeavors through these leadership positions.

She tirelessly models professionalism and provides guidance on how to write, speak, and conduct myself as a professional. I am encouraged to reach out to new faculty in supportive and mentoring relationships in preparation of becoming a strong mentor myself in the future.

  • Ezinne Ogbureke, BDS, DMD
    Department of General Practice and Dental Public Health

Nominators’ Comments:  Dr. Ogbureke not only leads by example by continuing to pursue scholarly activity, but also by encouraging me to do the same. Regularly, she encourages me to submit abstracts, invites me to assist with editing, and provides valuable scholarly content for workshops and presentations.

Examples of Dr. Ogbureke’s contemplative advice include mentoring on a survey questionnaire for my first research project. This effort led to a presentation at an IADR Annual Session. Later, she mentored me in redesigning this project that was also accepted for an ADEA Annual Session as a workshop.

Through her mentorship, I was able to edit an article that was published in the GHDS Journal and invited to provide scholarly content for a presentation in 2020 for the Gulf State Dental Association.

DEAN’S EXCELLENCE AWARD IN VOLUNTEERISM

“For a faculty member who has consistently volunteered his/her time in supporting and sustaining the mission of the School of Dentistry”

Nominators’ Comments:  Dr. Winkelmann has distinguished himself as a dedicated educator and has demonstrated a remarkable commitment to excellence and service to orthodontics and UTHealth School of Dentistry.

He is a teacher who understands how to engage students, sharpen their minds, and cultivate within them curiosity for learning the material.

Dr. Winkelmann is the ultimate teacher, mentor, and role model, who has brought the highest level of professional standards to his teaching responsibilities for the past 13 years.

site var = sod