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2022 Dean’s Excellence Awards winners announced

Published: October 03, 2022 by Kyle Rogers

Nominated by peers, eight UTHealth Houston School of Dentistry faculty were recognized with Dean’s Excellence Awards for 2022
Nominated by peers, eight UTHealth Houston School of Dentistry faculty were recognized with Dean’s Excellence Awards for 2022
2022 Dean’s Excellence Awards recipients (from left): Drs. Charles Streckfus, Marilia Sly, Joann Marruffo, Marie Latortue, Dianna Arriaga, and Dharini van der Hoeven stand with Dean John A. Valenza, DDS. Not pictured: Drs. Gargi Mukherji and Simon Young.
2022 Dean’s Excellence Awards recipients (from left): Drs. Charles Streckfus, Marilia Sly, Joann Marruffo, Marie Latortue, Dianna Arriaga, and Dharini van der Hoeven stand with Dean John A. Valenza, DDS. Not pictured: Drs. Gargi Mukherji and Simon Young.

Eight faculty members have been named recipients of the UTHealth Houston School of Dentistry Dean’s Excellence Awards for 2022.

Dianna Arriaga, DDS; Marie Latortue, DDS, MS; Joann Marruffo, DDS, MS; Gargi Mukherji, DDS; Marilia Sly, DDS, MSD; Charles Streckfus, MA, DDS; Dharini van der Hoeven, MSc, PhD; Simon Young, DDS, MD, PhD; were honored for outstanding work in the categories of Application, Clinical Service, Discovery, Integration, Mentoring, Teaching, and Volunteerism.

Dean and Distinguished Teaching Professor John Valenza, DDS, announced the award recipients in July during the Summer Faculty Retreat.

DEAN’S EXCELLENCE AWARD IN THE SCHOLARSHIP OF APPLICATION

“For aiding society and professions in addressing problems”

  • Marilia Sly, DDS, MSD, associate professor
    Department of Restorative Dentistry and Prosthodontics

Nominators’ Comments: Excellent leadership; demonstrated excellent scholarly activities and leadership roles.

DEAN’S EXCELLENCE AWARD IN CLINICAL SERVICE

“In recognition of passion and exemplary dedication to patient care”

  • Dianna Arriaga, DDS, assistant professor
    Department of General Practice and Dental Public Health

Nominators’ Comments: Great with patients providing clear and consistent messages; makes a significant contribution as a clinician in the mobile dental van or any outreach area.

  • Marie Latortue, DDS, MS, assistant professor
    Department of General Practice and Dental Public Health

Nominators’ Comments: Innovative in inventing new devices and materials for the clinic; her efforts to improve her abilities are really notable, particularly in the last few years through COVID; dedicated and hardworking clinician.

DEAN’S EXCELLENCE AWARD IN THE SCHOLARSHIP OF DISCOVERY

“For building new knowledge through research”

  • Simon Young, DDS, MD, PhD, associate professor
    Bernard and Gloria Pepper Katz Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Nominators’ Comments: Scientific achievements are substantial, and particularly when noted within the context of his clinical time commitments and the last several years of the COVID pandemic; exceptional clinical researcher; his accomplishments and enthusiasm for scholarly activity are above and beyond all requirements; his energy is focused on high-quality research projects and is a prominent advocate for UTHealth Houston School of Dentistry.

DEAN’S EXCELLENCE AWARD IN THE SCHOLARSHIP OF INTEGRATION

“For interpreting the use of knowledge across disciplines”

  • Charles Streckfus, MA, DDS, professor
    Department of Diagnostic and Biomedical Sciences

Nominators’ Comments: Has closely collaborated with multiple departments with the focus on improving the quality of life in patients; strong ability to connect with different experts across disciplines.

DEAN’S EXCELLENCE AWARD IN MENTORING

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

  • Gargi Mukherji, DDS, associate professor, director of clinical simulation
    Department of General Practice and Dental Public Health

Nominators’ Comments: One of Dr. Mukherji’s greatest attributes, and the reason I started this letter with Steven Spielberg’s quote, is her ability to help guide a path, being careful not to create it for the mentee.

“The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.” –Steven Spielberg

She has a sincere desire to help others succeed, and has also taught many how to become a great mentor ourselves.

DEAN’S EXCELLENCE AWARD IN THE SCHOLARSHIP OF TEACHING

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

  • Dharini van der Hoeven, MSc, PhD, associate professor, student research coordinator
    Department of Diagnostic and Biomedical Sciences

Nominators’ Comments: Strong evidence in scholarship of teaching with educational research, publications, and mentorship; presentations beyond UTHealth Houston School of Dentistry; student mentoring and leadership in the American Dental Education 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”

  • Joann Marruffo, DDS, MS, clinical assistant professor
    Department of Restorative Dentistry and Prosthodontics

Nominators’ Comments: Highly-valued volunteer faculty at UTHealth Houston School of Dentistry and deserves the award; exceptional individual and a joy to work with her; she deserves recognition.

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