Omicron Kappa Upsilon National Dental Honor Society’s Mu Mu Chapter at UTHealth Houston School of Dentistry welcomed its Class of 2023 inductees in April. The 14-member class featured 12 students from the Dental Class of 2023 and two faculty members.
The ceremony was held April 11 in the Denton A. Cooley, MD and Ralph C. Cooley, DDS University Life Center. A PDF of the program is available online.
Cowboy and painter Stan Cobb, DDS, served as the banquet’s keynote speaker.
New alumni members of the DDS Class of 2023 included Ali Al Hatem, Bethany Burgess, Mackenzie Clayton, Meghna Dara, Tuyet Doan, Benjamin La Guardia, Sydney Moye, Elizabeth Pohlmann, Hanna Rowe, Parnian Salehi, Jackson Valencia, and Jayson Workman. OKU confers alumni membership on senior dental students who, in addition to scholarship, have exemplary traits of character and ethics.
Assistant Professor Vinu Taneja Sista, DDS; and Assistant Professor Michelle Aguilos Thompson, DDS, were extended faculty membership, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the art, science, or literature of dentistry.
Ten first-year dental students were honored with $1,000 scholarships for being in the top 10% of the DDS Class of 2026. Honored DS1 students included Hanan Abdelgilil, Kamryn Jackson, Thy Thy Nguyen, Nicholas Pace, Emily Ray, Sara Roach, Tiffany Saba, Francesca Scalise, Katherine Shei, and Emma Wolfe.
Third-year dental student Arya Reddy was named the Mu Mu Chapter’s 2023 recipient of the Dr. William S. Kramer Award for Excellence, which is given annually to a DS3 who embodies the ideals of scholarship, character, ethics, and potential promise for the advancement of the profession of dentistry and service to humanity.
OKU was founded by faculty of the Northwestern University Dental School in 1914; the Mu Mu Chapter at the UTHealth Houston School of Dentistry was organized in 1940.
OKU is a national dental honor society that recognizes dental students, faculty, and others who distinguish themselves by a high level of scholarship. In addition to outstanding academic achievement, criteria for election to membership include exemplary traits of character and ethics, as well as potential for future professional growth and attainments. The admission standards are meant to encourage and develop a spirit of excellence among students in dentistry.