Celebrating Our Community
Alumni Reunion at the Edison Ballroom
On Saturday, October 28, 2023, Dean Bertolami, the Office of Development & Alumni Relations, and the 2023 Reunion Committee welcomed over 200 alumni and guests to the 2023 Alumni Reunion at the Edison Ballroom, celebrating class years ending in "3" and "8." Reunion Committee Chairs Marcus Johnson (DDS '08) and Kristine Hassan (DDS '13) congratulated the Class of 1973 on their 50-year reunion and recognized the Classes of 2003, 1993, 1998, and 2013 for having the highest number of attendees. Alumni Association officers and several faculty members celebrating their reunion class years took part in the festivities.
Alumni Association Vice President Angela De Bartolo (DDS '87) presented the three Reunion Alumni Awards: Jean Paul Laurent (AAS '13), founder of Unspoken Smiles, received the Public Service Award; William Bongiorno (DDS '73), a longtime faculty member, received the Meritorious Service Award; and Michael Apa (DDS '03), a renowned aesthetic dentist, received the Distinguished Alumnus Award.
The NYU Dentistry Reunion weekend took part during NYU Alumni & Families Weekend, and the Office of Student Engagement hosted the October 26th "People, Projects, and Progress" program and campus tours for alumni, parents, and guests. The Reunion Committee also hosted the inaugural Reunion CE: "Full Mouth Rehabilitation in General Practice" lecture at the College, which was attended by Reunion classes, alumni faculty, and students. The lecture featured alumni and guest speakers Dean Vafiadis (DDS '89, PG '91), Publio Silfa, DMD; Nina Kumar (DDS '06), and Kristine Hassan (DDS '13). Dr. Vafiadis was also recognized for his 30th anniversary of teaching at the College.
The 2024 Reunion will be held in October 2024, and faculty alumni are welcome to join the 2024 Reunion Committee by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
NYU PG Prosthodontics Students Receive Major Awards at Recent ACP Meeting
At the 2023 annual meeting of the American College of Prosthodontists, NYU Postgraduate Prosthodontics students Dr. Jamie Progebin and Dr. Kankshinee Shah received second place for their presentation titled "An In Vitro Comparison of Fracture Load in One-Piece Milled, Two-Piece Milled, and Conventionally Processed Complete Dentures." Their mentor was Dr. Mijin Choi, clinical associate professor of prosthodontics. At the New York Section of the ACP, Dr. Joanne Gavras received second place for her presentation titled "Trueness and Precision of an Intraoral Scanner in Digitally Copying Complete Dentures," for which her mentors were Dr. Ilser Turkyilmaz, clinical professor of prosthodontics, and Dr. Mijin Choi. Dr. Samantha Lakhia received third place for her presentation titled, "Dimensional Accuracy of Milled Versus Printed 4-Unit Monolithic Zirconia Fixed Partial Dentures." Dr. Lakhia's mentors were Dr. Mijin Choi and Dr. Thomas Giugliano, clinical assistant professor of prosthodontics.
Congratulations to Paulina Ramirez Garcia, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow working in the field of neuroscience at NYU Dentistry, on being selected as the sole nominee from NYU for the Warren Alpert Foundation Distinguished Scholars Fellowship Award, which provides support for postdoctoral fellows in this field. To receive this nomination, Dr. Ramirez Garcia competed with renowned groups of neuroscientists at NYU. The award is administered by the Grossman School of Medicine.
Dr. Ramirez Garcia joined NYU Dentistry in 2021 as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratories of Donna Albertson, PhD, and Brian Schmidt, DDS, MD, PhD to advance her training in the neurobiology of pain, particularly oral cancer pain. That same year she received the John J. Bonica Fellowship presented by the International Association for the Study of Pain. At NYU, Dr. Ramirez Garcia studies how molecules released by cancer activate receptors in neurons to produce oral cancer pain. Her findings reveal that these receptors are located in multiple places inside neurons.
A native of Chile, Dr. Ramirez Garcia received her PhD at Monash University in Australia, where she developed pH-sensitive nanoparticles that could selectively block pain signals produced inside acidic compartments in neurons. Her work, published in Nature Nanotechnology, pioneered the use of pH-sensitive nanoparticles with a level of precision capable of targeting locations inside neurons to alleviate chronic pain.
Dr. Ramirez Garcia continued her work on the development of nanoparticles to treat pain, and migraine pain in particular, as a postdoctoral fellow at the Centre of Excellence in Convergent Bio-Nano Science & Technology (CBNS) Australia. Her work in this area has been featured in Nature Communications. She also continued her work on the development of the next generation of pH-sensitive nanoparticles, termed nanostars, that provide extended analgesia by slowly releasing drugs. Her research in this area has been featured in Biomaterials.
The winner of the 2024 Warren Alpert Foundation Distinguished Scholars Fellowship will be announced in January.
This year’s orientation from July 5-7, 2023, for the incoming DDS class featured a new, comprehensive student orientation program designed both to introduce incoming students to the resources and services to facilitate their success and to support them from the moment they enter the College through the next four years. The nucleus of the new student orientation program is the concept of Academic Societies. Established in 2023, the Academic Societies at NYU Dentistry provide an organizational structure that affords our DDS students the experience of small group learning and mentoring while still having access to the vast resources of a large university. Upon matriculation, each member of an incoming class is inducted into one of the 14 Academic Societies and remains a member of that Society throughout their time at the College.
Each Academic Society is named for an individual whose life experience represents an important and/or trailblazing contribution to the profession of dentistry, thereby complementing the College’s Leadership Education Portfolio, and is led by a “Senior Mentor” — faculty members who help students navigate the four years of the curriculum and provide them with mentorship during their clinical education. The Senior Mentor plays a critical role in promoting a strong sense of community within their Society by facilitating academic enrichment, cultural activities, and social events that promote the academic society’s goals and objectives.
In addition to the Senior Mentor, students in each Academic Society benefit from the College’s Student Success Network, which connects every dental student with a comprehensive network of peer mentors, faculty, and staff who provide individualized, one-on-one guidance and personalized support to promote their success.
Orientation for Postgraduate and Advanced Clinical Fellowship Programs
On Wednesday, June 28, the Postgraduate Programs welcomed 52 new students at a reception held at The Water Club. The PG program students and residents then participated in two days of orientation programming that included presentations and trainings provided by members of the College community.
On Thursday, July 13, 21 foreign-trained dentists were welcomed to the Advanced Clinical Fellowship Programs at a gala reception in their honor held at Manhattan Penthouse on lower Fifth Avenue. Prior to the welcome reception, the students participated in a 5-day orientation that covered topics ranging from clinic protocols and procedures to navigating New York City. The incoming Clinical Fellows hail from Bangladesh, Taiwan, Canada, Italy, France, Switzerland, Mexico, South Korea, Greece, Iran, Philippines, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, and India.
NYU’s Dental Hygiene Program Shines at ADHA 2023
The College’s Department of Dental Hygiene and Dental Assisting was well represented at the America Dental Hygienists Association (ADHA) Annual Conference, which marked ADHA’s 100th anniversary. Fourteen department faculty members and students participated in the conference, including Dr. Cheryl Theile, professor emerita of dental hygiene and dental assisting, and Dr. Andrea Beall, clinical assistant professor of dental hygiene and dental assisting, who presented “Literature Reviews and Systematic Reviews: What’s the Difference?” Dental hygiene student Nicki Loo presented “Patient Education Across a Lifetime: Effective Visual Pedagogy,” at the Undergraduate Student Professional Presentation Program, and was awarded the second-place prize. Professor Rina Nowka was among the first to be honored as a Professional Fellow of the American Dental Hygienists Association (FADHA) in the inaugural class of 2023 for her exceptional achievement in the dental hygiene profession.
In addition, Karl Dixon, RDH, BS, who has been an adjunct clinical instructor in the Department of Dental Hygiene and Dental Assisting since 1994, has been appointed to the New York State Board of Dentistry, bringing honor to himself and to the department.
Dr. Timothy Bromage’s BioArt on Display at the Science Museum of Virginia
In 2020, a digital image of human molar tooth enamel microstructure taken with a scanning electron microscope by Dr. Timothy Bromage, professor of molecular pathobiology, was selected as a winner of the 2020 FASEB (Federation of American Societies of Experimental Biology) BioArt competition, which celebrates the beauty of biological research and aims to inspire curiosity about science. A few weeks ago, that image was installed at the Science Museum of Virginia, where it will be on display through the end of the year.
Drs. Amr Moursi and Bieke Kreps Featured at the 2023 International Association of Pediatric Dentistry
Dr. Amr Moursi, professor and chair of the Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Immediate Past President of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, participated in a Global Leaders Forum discussing global pediatric dental issues at the International Association of Pediatric Dentistry (IAPD) held in Maastricht, Netherlands from June 13-17, 2023. He was joined by Dr. Bieke Kreps, an adjunct instructor in pediatric dentistry and a member of the Board of Directors of Positive Exposure, which promotes a more inclusive world through award-winning photography, films, exhibitions, lectures, and educational programs. She focuses on treating children who have special needs and/or challenges and is a well-known advocate for acceptance and inclusion of all people, regardless of their differences.
The Department of Dental Hygiene & Dental Assisting hosted a two-day inaugural continuing education program for 20 Japanese dentists and dental hygienists on June 8 and 9, 2023. Initially, the program was intended for dental hygienists, but interested dentists also participated. The program theme was “Evidence-based Techniques, Strategies, and Technology Currently Used in Preventive Dentistry.” Topics included motivational interviewing, dental practice management of patients with disabilities, oral hygiene, and dental prosthetics, and provided a hands-on workshop on advanced periodontal instrumentation. Participants said they felt they gained the knowledge, skills, and confidence to help expand oral health equity in the communities they serve.
Professor Dianne Sefo, chair of the Department of Dental Hygiene & Dental Assisting, said, “The event was such a success that the coordinators in Japan, one of whom is an NYU Dental Hygiene Program alumna, asked that this program become an annual offering, noting that they had capped the attendance at 20 participants this year but already had a waiting list for next year. Accordingly, we are increasing the number to 30 participants going forward. In addition, we have been invited to conduct such CE events in Japan every other year, a wonderful recognition of the value of our international dental hygiene CE offerings.”
NYU Dentistry a Major Presence at 2023 Philippine Independence Day Celebration Parade
Current and former NYU Dentistry administrators participated for the first time in the 125th commemoration of Philippine Independence Day on June 4, 2023. They included Parade Marshal Sonny Ago, director of diversity, equity & inclusion, and marchers Vachelle Tan, assistant director of finance & administration at the NYU Translational Research Center, Candy Petrolle, formerly of the Department of Molecular Pathobiology and currently director of administration for Journalism at NYU Arts & Science, and Asuncion Wein, formerly of the Postgraduate and Graduate Programs and currently administrator for faculty & academic affairs at NYU Silver School of Social Work. They were joined by Dr. Despina Sitara, associate professor of molecular pathobiology, and her daughter. The New York Parade is the largest celebration of Philippine Independence Day outside of the Philippines.
The NYU International Filipino Student Association was led by team leader Sophie Cariaso (Gallatin), The FilNYU employees group was led by Gene Mijares (NYU Shanghai in NY) and the NYU Administrative Management Council was represented by former AMC Alternate Senators Mark Cariaso (Office of the SVP Finance & Budget) and Jocelyn Bernal Ochoa, budget manager in Finance & Business Operations, who marched down Madison Avenue in unity to show their pride in their Filipino heritage.
Jocelyn emceed the opening ceremonies on 38th Street and Madison Avenue with participation from several dignitaries, including the Honorable Senator for New York Chuck Schumer, the Honorable Senator from the Republic of the Philippines Risa Hontiveros, and New York City Mayor Eric Adams. They were joined by the Philippine Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez, Permanent Representative of the Philippine Mission to the United Nations, His Excellency Ambassador Antonio Manuel Lagdameo Sr., and Philippine Consul General to New York Senen Mangalile. The annual parade was made possible by the Philippine Independence Day Celebration Inc (PIDCI), President Nora Galleros, Grand Marshal Dr. Dely Go and Honorary Grand Marshal Mayor Alfredo Benitez of Bacolod City in the Philippines, and hundreds of volunteers. Following the parade, Jocelyn joined network hosts Hazel Sanchez (WPIX-11 anchor) and Nina Pineda (WABC-7) at the reviewing stand area.
Perfection! Class of 2023 Scores 100% INBDE Pass Rate
Congratulations to our DDS Class of 2023 for their stellar performance on the INBDE!
For the past several years, our dedicated faculty and staff have been harnessing the science of learning in unique preparation for the Class of 2023 to take the INBDE, which is designed to provide information to U.S. dental boards seeking to determine whether licensure candidates have the necessary level of clinical skills to practice entry-level dentistry safely.
According to Dr. Andrea Schreiber, who oversaw the student preparation process in her former role as vice dean for education, “One of my main objectives after the 2017 Commission on Dental Accreditation site visit was to focus on the transition of the national boards from the two-part National Board Dental Exam (NBDE I & II) to the single Integrated National Board Dental Exam (INBDE). Accordingly, we created the Senior Academic Leadership Team (SALT), with the aim of ensuring that we ‘teach and test in an integrated fashion.’ To that end, INBDE Prep Course Directors Dr. Analia Veitz-Keenan, Dr. Johanna Warshaw, Dr. Elena Cunningham, and Ms. Lillian Moran led the development of the entire series of prep courses, an effort that required substantial planning, content creation, iterative changes, and administering exams: One course each semester built upon and included materials from previous semesters (e.g., the Spring D3 INBDE prep course contained principles from D1, D2, and D3). Each course consisted of a weekly quiz and students were provided with the rationale and evidence for each answer. The weekly quiz format and the ability to check their own knowledge allowed our students to identify areas that they needed to focus on. Educational Technology worked closely with Academic Affairs, the INBDE Prep Course Directors, and the content contributors to make the project truly integrated and user friendly. Each item was mapped to the 56 clinical content areas and the 10 foundation knowledge areas defined by the Joint Commission on National Board Dental Examinations. While the process was time consuming and labor intensive, the significant investment in supporting our students’ success clearly has paid off.”
In addition to the INBDE prep courses, D3 and rising D4 students were required to take and pass a series of three Mock Board examinations.
Everyone at NYU Dentistry is incredibly proud of this effort and these results. It demonstrates the laudable commitment of our faculty to our students.
Faculty Contributors: INBDE Prep and Mock Boards
|Cariology & Comprehensive Care||Barnett Bucklan |
|Endodontics||Davide Cuocolo |
|Epidemiology & Health Promotion||Ananda Dasanayake|
|Molecular Pathobiology||Eric Baker |
Andrew I. Spielman
|Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology, Radiology and Medicine|| |
|Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery||Ken Fleisher |
|Pediatric Dentistry||Alex Sheen |
|Periodontics||Vera Tang |
|Prosthodontics||Young Kim |
|Orthodontics||Mitchell Lipp |
Student Leadership Mock Congressional Hearing Held
On Monday, May 15, four teams of Student Leadership program participants competed in a Mock Congressional Hearing, arguing for or against a proposed bill in Congress that would require all state Medicaid programs to cover dental and oral health services for adults. Each team was asked to deliver an argument for or against this proposed bill in the style and according to the principles and philosophy of the entity they were representing, which included the American Dental Association, the Heritage Foundation, Families USA, and the American Legislative Exchange Council. The Heritage Foundation team won for the most compelling presentation on behalf of the Foundation’s mission to “formulate and promote public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, and individual freedom,” among them. The team members and their assignments are listed below.
American Dental Association (support)
Heritage Foundation (oppose)
Families USA (support)
American Legislative Exchange Council (oppose)
Maria Paula Rodriguez Wilches
Designed to train students in leadership advocacy and public speaking, the program requires participants to prepare and deliver testimony on a health policy topic before a mock congressional leadership panel composed of faculty participants, before an audience of guests from across the NYU Dentistry community. This year’s event included two days of preliminary sessions, “Advocacy in Leadership,” with Dean Bertolami and Dr. Rick Valachovic on April 28, and “How to Present an Oral Argument,” an interactive public speaking and advocacy training workshop facilitated by the Office of Student Affairs and Academic Support Services, on May 1.
DDS and Dental Hygiene Student Awards Ceremonies Honor the Class of 2023
Awards ceremonies honoring Dental Hygiene and DDS students were held on May 9th and 10th, respectively, and honored members of the Class of 2023 for academic and clinical excellence in general dentistry, the dental specialties, dental hygiene, leadership potential, ethics, professionalism, and dedication and excellence in providing care for people with disabilities. See the entire lists of awardees from the Dental Hygiene programs (PDF) and the DDS program (PDF).
OKU National Dental Honor Society Inducts Members of the Class of 2023 and Installs a New Slate of Officers
The 94th Annual Convocation and Induction Ceremony hosted by Omega Chapter of Omicron Kappa Upsilon on May 11, 2023, saw the induction of 46 members of the Class of 2023 (see below), nine faculty members, and one honorary member. The event also saw the installation of a new slate of officers. The complete program can be viewed here.
|Class of 2023 Inductees:|
Robel Gebre Alemu
So Min Oh
Young Wook Park
Ji Won Kim
Having fun at the Spring Social!
BSDEP Celebrates Fifth Anniversary
The Bringing Smiles Dental Enrichment Program (BSDEP), a pipeline program that supports and prepares underrepresented predental students for successful application and matriculation into dental school, celebrated its fifth anniversary on March 11, 2023. The program is led by Dr. Rose Amable, clinical assistant professor of pediatric dentistry, with support from Dr. Michelle Goldstein, clinical assistant professor of pediatric dentistry, coordinator Samantha Shrager, and several faculty members from the Department of Pediatric Dentistry.
Since its inception, the program has enrolled 50 interns from underrepresented backgrounds. Each semester, the interns participate in the “Bringing Smiles to NYC Schools” school-based outreach program alongside dental students and faculty, while receiving ongoing mentorship and support during the dental school application process. Currently, 23 BSDEP former interns are in dental school and the remaining participants are applying for admission in fall 2024.
More than 30 BSDEP alumni attended the five-year celebration, which included a hands-on dental lab simulation, guest speakers, mentorship and networking opportunities. Student speakers included Anthony Nunez, NYU Dentistry ’24; Cristel Galindo, NYU Dentistry, ’25; and Cristal Gonzalez-Nunez, NYU College of Arts and Sciences, ’20; UPenn Dental, ’25.
NASDAQ Opening Bell Celebrates Annual Give Kids a Smile Day
Dr. Amr Moursi, professor and chair of the Department of Pediatric Dentistry, was one of a small group of dental leaders invited by Henry Schein—the official national partner of Give Kids A Smile (GKAS)—to ring the NASDAQ Stock Market Opening Bell on February 6, in celebration of the 21st year of GKAS, an American Dental Association annual initiative that provides free oral health care to children in need across the U.S. The event also celebrated Children’s Dental Health month and Henry Schein’s partnership with the ADA, New York County Dental Society (NYCDS), NYU Dentistry, and several other metropolitan area dental schools on behalf of improved children’s oral health.
In the days leading up to the NASDAQ event, a team of NYU Dentistry student members of ASDA volunteered along with many dentists and other volunteers from the NYCDS to provide free dental care for children ages five to 12 in their local schools. The team provided free screenings and preventive fluoride treatment to a total of 1,222 children at multiple sites.
Dr. Andrew Spielman to Receive OKU Stephen H. Leeper Award for Teaching Excellence
Dr. Andrew Spielman, professor of molecular pathobiology and director of NYU Dentistry’s Rare Books Library and Historical Archives, has been named this year's recipient of the Stephen H. Leeper Award for Teaching Excellence. The award is the highest honor presented by the Supreme Chapter of Omicron Kappa Upsilon, the national dental honor society. It recognizes dental educators who have displayed exemplary standards in dental pedagogy while demonstrating vision and advancement in dental education. Each US dental school nominates one faculty member and the OKU executive group selects one person per year.
In their nomination, the authors wrote that, “Throughout an illustrious academic career spanning 45 years, Dr. Spielman has demonstrated innovations in teaching that have significantly impacted dental education and have garnered him respect both nationally and internationally.” We congratulate Dr. Spielman on this well-deserved recognition.
At the invitation of the NYC Department of Education (DOE), the Department of Pediatric Dentistry Outreach Program shared resources about low-cost and free dental care at the College with more than 400 newly arrived asylum-seekers who attended the Open Arms Resource Fair at The Shed in Hudson Yards on January 28.
Open Arms is a project of the NYC DOE, the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, and the NYC Department of Social Services that aims to provide targeted resources for asylum-seeking families currently living in and out of the City’s shelter system.
The outreach team, led by Professors Jill Fernandez, clinical associate professor of pediatric dentistry, and Paola Gil-Verastegui, clinical instructor in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry’s Teledentistry Program, and several student volunteers from the Hispanic Student Dental Association, spoke to hundreds of families and made plans to provide low-cost and free dental care to the newly arrived children.