The SIU SDM Class of 2019 arrived on campus on July 28, 2015 for the first day of a three-day Orientation Program. New this year, the program was expanded to three days (from two days). The goal of the expanded format for the Orientation Program is to offer the students more time in between program sessions to process the information they receive during each session.
Consistent with previous years, the Orientation Program continued to provide the entering class with many of the tools, literally and figuratively, that they will need to be successful throughout the four-year dental education curriculum. Also, consistent with the past, the entering students exemplified an academically astute class of students. The students of the Class of 2019 achieved high marks on the Dental Admission Test (DAT) and during their undergraduate programs, respectively.
The entering class earned an average score of 19.3 on the academic section and a 19.6 the perceptual ability section of the DAT. The average cumulative grade point average for the entering class was a 3.64 (on a 4.0 scale).
“Without question, these students have the potential and promise to positively impact the profession,” said Dr. Rotter, Dean of the SIU School of dental Medicine.
This year’s entering class included 50 new dental students, including 32 male and 18 female students. A strong pool of 547 applicants completed the application process to become an entering student this year at the SIU dental school. Procter & Gamble (Crest + Oral B), the Illinois State Dental Society, the Central Illinois Academy of General Dentistry, GlaxoSmithKline, and the U.S. Army served as sponsors for the 2015 Orientation Program. Each sponsor provided a meal for the Class of 2018 during the three-day program.
Photo Captions (Top-left to right): Michael Hawk, a Year 1 dental student, during the Instrument Distribution session of the Orientation Program; Year 1 student, Emily Markwood, recieves assistance from Jo Johnson, a Dental Assistant on staff at the SIU School of Dental Medicine; JaTerra Castine, a Year 1 dental student, during the Instrument Distribution session of the Orientation Program; (Bottom) The Class of 2019, posing for their first class photo in front of the Robert Wadlow Statue on the Alton Campus
Additional Photos on flickr
On May 15, 2015, the outstanding achievements of a number of senior dental students were recognized at the annual Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine Awards Program. Each year the event offers the administration and faculty of the SIU School of Dental Medicine the opportunity to bid farewell to the graduating class. The students, faculty and guests enjoyed a wonderful dinner reception and celebrated excellence in dental education.
The highlight of the SIU SDM Awards Program is traditionally the Presentation of Awards segment of the evening, when individual dental students who demonstrate exemplary qualities in specific areas of the dental school curriculum are recognized. During the Class of 2015 Awards Program, 36 distinct awards were presented.
The SIU dental school was honored by the attendance of several specials guests during the evening. Ms. Cindy Smalley, a member of the Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation’s Board of Directors, presented the Delta Dental of Illinois Award.
Representing the Dental Lifeline Network of Illinois as the Immediate Past President, Dr. Susan Bordenave-Bishop presented the Dental Lifeline Network of Illinois/Brian D. Stone Memorial Award. Representing the International College of Dentists as the Deputy Regent of District 8 (Illinois), Dr. Bordenave-Bishop also presented both the International College of Dentists and the International College of Dentists-Humanitarian Awards.
Dr. Gary Fischer, Director of the SIU SDM Advanced Education in General Dentistry Program and an alumnus of the SIU SDM Class of 1982, hosted the Presentation of Awards. The SIU SDM Class of 2015 Awards Program was held in the LeClaire Room on the N.O. Nelson Campus of the Lewis & Clark Community College in Edwardsville, IL.
Photo Caption: TOP, Alexandria Hawkins was presented with the American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons - Surgery Award by Dr. Art Misischia; BOTTOM, Caleb King was presented with the American Student Dental Association Award by Dr. Cornell Thomas
Congratulations to all of the award recipients! (For more information about each award, please click here.)
Congratulations to Caleb King, Ana Biscontine, Vance Knauer, Jennifer Worner and Alexandria Hawkins, who were elected as Alumni Members of the Omicron Kappa Upsilon (OKU), Class of 2015. The five new members were inducted into the OKU, Nu Xi Chapter at a reception held on April 29, 2015 at the Sunset Hills Country Club in Edwardsville, Illinois.
Election to Omicron Kappa Upsilon is one of the highest honors earned by members of a dental school graduating class. To be considered for election, graduating students must rank among the highest in scholarship for the entire period that they have been in attendance at the dental school. In addition to scholarship, students must demonstrate exemplary traits of character and potential qualities of future professional growth and attainment.
Photo Caption: Congratulations to the Five Newest Members of OKU, Nu Xi Chapter - Caleb King, Ana Biscontine, Vance Knauer, Jennifer Worner and Alexandria Hawkins
A Special Thank You to the Gold Sponsors of the 2015 Prophy Cup Challenge Golf Tournament!
*Lunch and dinner (including a commemorative cake) served at the 20th Annual Prophy Cup Challenge was sponsored by Delta Dental of Illinois!
On May 1, 2015, the Annual Mac McKenzie Prophy Cup Challenge celebrated 20 years of fun on the golf course in support of the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine. The event enjoyed an absolutely perfect day, as well as great attendance.
Sadly, the 20th Annual Mac McKenzie Prophy Cup Challenge represented the first year that the namesake of the event, Mac McKenzie, was no longer with us. Mac passed away in July 2014. Nonetheless, Mac was there in the hearts of all who knew him. He was remembered by many who participated in the tournament this year.
Proceeds from the golf tournament will again support faculty recruitment and retention at the SIU School of Dental Medicine. This support genuinely offers the School the best opportunity to continue to find innovative ways to attract and retain faculty with the latest knowledge, skills, and passion to motivate and engage our students.
Dental Arts Laboratories (DAL) sponsored the championship team this year. In fact, the team was led by Bruce Colgin, CEO of DAL. He was joined by Ty Milner and Micah Roberts, both graduates of the SIU SDM Class of 2012. The DAL Team played an excellent round of golf to earn the coveted Prophy Cup title, topping the leaderboard with an outstanding 16 under par.
Chris Sehy (Class of 1982) led a team including dental students Robert Huey (Year 3), Zach Rodeffer (Year 3), and Brett Haarmann (Year 2) to make a competitive run for the championship title. Sehy’s team also finished the day at 16 under par, but they were undone by the playoff hole and finished in second place in the championship flight.
In other contests held during the tournament, Vanessa Keller (Class of 2002) earned the trophy among the women in the Closest-to-the-Pin contest. Gina Orland (Class of 2007) won the Longest Drive contest among the women.
Drew Bradley (son of Rebecca Bradley-Class of 1989) earned the trophy among the men in the Closest-to-the-Pin contest. Bill Seaton (faculty at SIU SDM) won the Longest Drive contest among the men.
Thank you to all those who played in 20th Annual Mac McKenzie Prophy Cup Challenge. We appreciate your support of the SIU School of Dental Medicine, our faculty, and our students.
Photo Captions TOP (left to right): The 2015 Prophy Cup Challenge Championship Team - Ty Milner, Micah Roberts and Bruce Colgin; Brian Hamel, Jon Owen, Andrew Martens and Courtney Morgan, clearly carrying the team; Deb Schwenk, Deb Dixon, Kathy Ridley and Sara Whitener enjoyed the day on the course
Photo Captions Bottom (left to right): Randy Parmlee, Keith Dickey, Lucas Steele and Randall Markarian having fun at the 20th Annual Prophy Cup Challenge; Bob Schorsch, Tim Theobald and Jordan Simonovich read the green, as Zach Middleton shows his team the line; Jeromy Dixson, Theron Waisath, Tyler Shoemaker and Nathan McGuire had fun at the annual SIU SDM golf tourney
A team of five dental students, led by Year 4 dental student Travis Cripps, recently earned a grant award from the SIUE Meridian Society to support dental care for area homeless veterans. During a luncheon held on April 9, 2015, hosted by the SIUE Meridian Society, three of the dental students—Travis Cripps (Year 4), Patrick Farrow (Year 4) and Mikal Bell (Year 2)—accepted the $5,000 grant award on behalf of the School and the Tri-Service Military Dental Club.
Dental students Alexandria Hawkins (Year 4) and Vance Knauer (Year 4) were also instrumental in securing the grant. The Tri-Service Military Dental Club is a new organization on the Alton Campus for dental students who have a military background and or plan to serve following graduation from dental school.
The “Dental Care for Homeless Veterans” grant proposal was a collaborative effort, led by the Tri-Service Military Dental Club at SIU SDM and supported by Gateway 180 and Operation: Reveille –a pair of St. Louis-based organizations committed to eradicating homelessness. The effort was also supported by the Student Professional and Ethics Association and the Illinois State Dental Society.
The homeless veterans who will receive dental treatment have been identified through Operation: Reveille in St. Louis. Operation: Reveille hopes to provide these veterans with services that include housing assistance, employment opportunities, health and mental health treatment, transportation, food, and related social services. The ultimate goal is to help make it possible for these veterans to begin to lead stable and productive lives once again.
The School of Dental Medicine and Tri-Service Military Dental Club have a shared goal to fulfill the oral health component of Operation: Reveille’s mission. Over time and with sufficient resources, the School and the Tri-Service Military Dental Club plan to provide comprehensive oral health treatment for all of the homeless veterans identified through Operation: Reveille.
With the recent grant award from the SIUE Meridian Society, the School and the Tri-Service Military Dental Club have secured $17,000 in donations to support the effort to provide free dental care for homeless veterans in the area. The initiative to provide free dental care for veterans at the School started with a generous gift from John Simmons, a prominent attorney in Alton.
This spring, the School will provide treatment for the first six homeless veterans identified through the program. Following the first round of dental treatment, the School hopes to begin the process for additional homeless veterans.
The Tri-Service Military Dental Club presently includes 30 chapters throughout the country. The organization has a stated philanthropic goal of providing free dental care for homeless veterans.
The SIUE Meridian Society is a group of women who provide leadership through philanthropy. Through the pooled resources of their membership they help assist SIUE projects that provide direct services in the community. Since 2003, the Meridian Society has distributed more than $225,000 in awards to more than 118 community projects.
Photo Captions: Travis Cripps and Patrick Farrow (Year 4 dental students) with Dr. Bruce Rotter (Dean at SIU SDM) and Mikal Bell (Year 2 dental student), accepting the SIUE Meridian Society grant award on April 9, 2015
The 2015 Student Table Clinic Competition at SIU SDM was held on Tuesday, April 6-7, 2015. The two-day event featured research presentations from more than 25 students. The overall winner of the competition was announced early in the afternoon of April 7, following a presentation by Dr. Ricardo Teles, Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry, Guest Speaker for the 2015 SIU SDM Research Day.
Year 2 Dental Student Casey Ritchhart earned the top prize and was named the overall winner of the 2015 SDM Student Table Clinic Competition. As the overall winner, Ritchhart will enjoy a recognition plaque and monetary award. Moreover, Ritchhart earned the opportunity to represent the SIU School of Dental Medicine at the 2015 American Dental Association / DENTSPLY Student Clinician Research Program at the ADA Annual Session, which will be held in Washington, D.C. in November.
Ritchhart presented on the topic, “Reversal of drug-induced gingival overgrowth by UV-mediated apoptosis.” She was mentored in her research by Dr. Anita Joy, Section Head of Anatomy at SIU SDM.
Photo Captions: Ritchhart; Ritchhart with Dr. Joy; Student researchers at SIU SDM who presented at the 2015 SIU SDM Research Day
The SIU School of Dental Medicine hosted our Annual Research Day on April 7, 2015. The School and the Office of Research were honored to host Dr. Ricardo Teles as the Guest Speaker at the event.
Dr. Ricardo Teles is Principal Investigator of the multi-center National Institutes for Dental and Craniofacial Research study, Biomarkers of Periodontal Disease Progression. His research goal is to gain an understanding of the cause and develop a cure for periodontal disease.
Dr. Teles visited SIU SDM not only as a distinguished guest and speaker, but also as a collaborator, since SIU SDM is one of five dental schools participating in the Biomarkers of Periodontal Disease Progression project. He was introduced by Dr. Nathalia Garcia, Assistant Professor in the Section of Periodontology at SIU SDM, who is Principal Investigator of the SIU SDM Biomarkers of Periodontal Disease Progression study.
Dr. Teles takes a unique approach to understanding periodontal disease by studying microbial and host-derived biomarkers in patients as they progress to periodontal disease. His long term vision is to enable the development of a point-of-care diagnostic test to help clinicians identify sites and/or subjects that are susceptible to periodontal disease progression.
During the SDM Research Day, Dr. Teles offered two lectures: “Biomarkers of Periodontal Disease Progression” and “The Relevance of Research to Periodontology.” The lectures were well attended and well received by faculty, students and staff at the SIU School of Dental Medicine.
Dr. Teles recently joined the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Dentistry as Distinguished Professor. Prior to that, he held positions as Senior Research Investigator at the Forsyth Institute in the Department of Applied Oral Sciences and Clinical Instructor in Oral Medicine, Infection and Immunity at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine.
Photo Captions: Dr. Teles during his afternoon lecture at the 2015 SIU SDM Research Day; Dr. Teles during his afternoon lecture at the 2015 SIU SDM Research Day; Dr. Teles with Dr. Jane Gillespie (left), Director of Research at SIU SDM, and Dr. Garcia (right)
The SIUE Graduate School hosted the 19th Annual Spring Symposium on March 31, 2015. Over 50 students from across a wide-range of academic disciplines at SIUE presented at the research event.
Year 2 Dental Student Spencer Blackham earned recognition as the winner in the Biological Sciences/Dental Medicine category. Blackham presented on the topic, “An evaluation of novel bone filling materials with the calvarial defect model in rodents.” Blackham was mentored in his research by Drs. Anita Joy, Nathalia Garcia, Adriana Marcuzzi and Keven Rowland.
Five SIU SDM dental students presented at the 19th Annual Spring Symposium. The research event was held in the Morris University Center on the Edwardsville Campus of SIUE.
The Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine once again provided free oral health exams throughout the month of February as part of its celebration of National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM).
The SIU SDM Community and Preventive Dentistry Program invited local elementary school children to the Alton campus throughout the month for free exams and comprehensive, fun and interactive oral health education. The SDM has conducted the program for more than 20 years.
In 2015, SIU SDM held a total of six sessions to celebrate NCDHM. (Eight were scheduled, but were regretfully cancelled due to inclement weather.) The elementary schools that participated included Lovejoy Elementary from Alton, South Roxana Elementary School, and Central Elementary from Roxana. A total of 253 local school children attended the month-long celebration and 216 of those children received free oral health exams.
SIU SDM Year III and Year IV dental students were involved in the NCDHM program. The interactive oral health education learning centers focused on oral-systemic connections, appropriate dietary and beverage choices and oral hygiene.
“The experiment table uses eggs and chicken bones immersed in soda and teaches about the effects of acids in drinks on teeth and bones,” said Poonam Jain, BDS, MS, MPH, director of SIU SDM Community and Preventive Dentistry. “The children simply love our spinning wheels that have questions about diet, hygiene and connections of the mouth to the body.”
At the end of each session, all participating children received an oral health kit and each participating teacher received a set of educational resources.
Photo Captions: TOP - Morgan Harding (left), Year 3 dental student, asks a group of children a question from the spinning wheel; Beth Hagen (center), a Year 3 dental student, explains the effects of acids in soft drinks on teeth and bones; Dr. Jain (right) starts each session during NCDHM with a few questions about oral health; BOTTOM - Blake Ferando (left), Year 3 dental student, discusses appropriate dietary and beverage choices; Josh Heimerdinger (center), Year 4 dental student, provides an oral health exam during NCDHM; Bryce Evans (right), Year 3 dental student, explains oral-systemic connections
On February 27, 2015, the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine continued celebrating 40 years of graduating outstanding dentists at our annual Midwinter Alumni Reception in Chicago. Nearly 150 guests, including over 90 SIU SDM alumni, attended the event at the InterContinental Chicago Hotel.
The event marked one of the largest gatherings of SIU SDM alumni under one roof. Including the Class of 2015, representing the 40th class of graduates from the SIU SDM, the event was attended by class members from 26 different graduating classes.
The SIU SDM Classes of 2000, 2011, 2013, and 2015 were all well represented this year. Nonetheless, the Class of 2014 was the best represented class at the event with 13 class members in attendance.
The School of Dental Medicine’s Midwinter Alumni Reception is held each year on the Friday evening of the Chicago Dental Society’s Midwinter Meeting. The event is co-sponsored each year by the SIUE Alumni Association.
We are already making plans for the 2016 SIU SDM Midwinter Alumni Reception. We will return to the Hotel InterContinental Chicago on Friday, February 26, 2016. We hope to see you there!
Photo Captions: Top - (left) David Steinwedel, Robert Schorsch, Alexander Hutnik, Jacob Voyles, Maggie Schaefer, Jordan Simonovich, Rachel Goldberg, and Bryce Miller were among the alumni in attendance from the Class of 2014; (right) Lisa Baines (Class of 2007), Katie Kosten (Class of 2009) and Deb Schwenk (Class of 1985) - all SIU SDM Alumni Association members - enjoyed the evening; Bottom - (left) SIU SDM continued a year-long 40th Anniversary Celebration at the Midwinter Alumni Reception; (right) Jeff Dougherty and Spencer Zaugg (both of the Class of 2002) were joined by Chris Bulnes (Class of 2000)
The Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine hosted more than 180 children during this year’s Give Kids A Smile Day. This full-day, community service event at SIU SDM was held on Monday, October 13, 2014 at the School’s main clinic in Alton.
Children between the ages of 3 and 13 received free dental care – including examinations, radiographs, cleanings, fluoride treatments, fillings and extractions—throughout the day. The total dental treatment provided was valued at nearly $75,000.
The dental care was offered by SIU School of Dental Medicine faculty, staff and students; members of the Madison and St. Clair district dental societies; Lewis and Clark Community College dental assisting and dental hygiene faculty and students; and faculty and students from the Missouri College dental assisting and dental hygiene programs. Professionals and volunteers from the community also participated.
“What sets us apart from other programs around the country is that we provide a full range of comprehensive treatment at no cost,” said Dr. Poonam Jain, Professor and Director of Community and Preventive Dentistry at the SIU School of Dental Medicine. “Also exciting is the fact that we have genuinely become a dental home for many children. There was a child here today who has come to this event for six years in a row.”
Give Kids A Smile Day is a national event sponsored by the American Dental Association to provide free dental treatment for underserved children. The event promotes community awareness of the need for dental services among the underserved.
Fun activities for children took place throughout the event. First-year dental students from the SIU School of Dental Medicine hosted a “Smile Station” featuring fun, educational activities and games to help children learn the importance of a good diet, oral hygiene and the connections between their mouths and bodies.
Photo Captions: Left - Year I dental student Kyle Horcher with children attending the 2014 Give Kids A Smile Day; Middle - Year III dental student Brittany Scanlon providing dental care for a child; Right - Year III dental student Jacob Bleyer reviews a digital radiograph with new SIUE Provost Parviz Ansari, who was attending the SIU SDM Give Kids a Smile Day for his first time.
Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine (SIU SDM) in partnership with Team Smile and the St. Louis Rams provided dental services to underserved students at Miles D. Davis Elementary School in East St. Louis, Ill. earlier this month.
SIU SDM students, alumni and faculty, along with local dentists, joined together to provide free comprehensive dental care and screening to more than 300 kindergartners. The range of treatment included examinations, cleanings, fluoride treatments, fillings and extractions.
"For most of the kindergartners, this event served as their first dental exam. The exciting and stress-free environment made for an exciting day for both the children and our students," said Dr. Roucka, associate dean for academic affairs at SIU SDM. "Our students gained valuable experience by providing service to a local community in need. Without their dedication to service, this event would not have been possible."
Throughout the day, all 425 kindergarten students were educated on proper oral health and wellness. St. Louis Rams mascot, Rampage, and former wide receiver, Brandon Williams, attended the event to ease anxiety and explain the importance of oral hygiene and staying healthy.
"The Team Smile concept of adding the sports element to a dental outreach program has proven powerfully successful in bringing children a positive connection to dental health," said Kellie Reneau, executive director of Team Smile. "The success of the concept has been outstanding, and its growth nothing short of phenomenal."
The one-day event was successful through the collaboration and partnership of more than 20 oral health care professionals, volunteers and students.
Photo Captions: Right, Dr. Roucka at the Team Smile event; Bottom, SIU SDM Volunteers at the Team Smile event