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Dean’s Excellence Awards Honor 14 at School of Dentistry

Tuesday, July 1, 2014 - 3:42pm

The Clinical Applications I Team won a Dean’s Excellence Award for Teaching. From left are Drs. Ted Pate, Gena Tribble, Art Jeske, Lincoln Edwards, Cameron Jeter, Charles Streckfus, Dharini van der Hoeven, Deborah Franklin and Ransome van der Hoeven. Dr. Saroj Bahl is not pictured. Photo by Brian Schnupp.

As a group, the Clinical Applications I Team won a Dean’s Excellence Award for Teaching. From left are Drs. Ted Pate, Gena Tribble, Art Jeske, Lincoln Edwards, Cameron Jeter, Charles Streckfus, Dharini van der Hoeven, Deborah Franklin and Ransome van der Hoeven. Dr. Saroj Bahl is not pictured. Photo by Brian Schnupp.

Fourteen faculty members of The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston have been chosen as winners of Dean’s Excellence Awards for 2014.

Four were honored individually, including Associate Professor and Director of Simulation Renato M. Silva, DDS, MS, PhD; Department of Endodontics Chair and Professor Sam Dorn, DDS; Professor Donna Warren-Morris, RDH, MEd; and Associate Professor and Advanced Education Director Robin Weltman, DDS, MS.

Ten others received a group award as members of the “Clinical Applications 1 Team” that included Drs. Saroj Bahl, Lincoln Edwards, Deborah Franklin, Art Jeske, Cameron Jeter, Ted Pate, Charles Streckfus, Gena Tribble, Dharini van der Hoeven and Ransome van der Hoeven.

Winners receive a cash award and automatically become members of the Dean’s Academy of Distinguished Teaching Scholars.  A full listing of the awards, along with information from the nominations follows: 

Individual winners of Dean's Excellence Awards (from left) are Dr. Renato Silva, Donna Warren-Morris, RDH, MEd; Dr. Robin Weltman and Dr. Sam Dorn.

Individual winners of Dean's Excellence Awards are (from left) Dr. Renato Silva, Donna Warren-Morris, RDH, MEd; Dr. Robin Weltman and Dr. Sam Dorn. Photo by Brian Schnupp.

DEAN'S EXCELLENCE AWARD IN THE SCHOLARSHIP OF DISCOVERY
Renato Silva, DDS, MS, PhD, Associate Professor, Director of Simulation

“Dr. Silva does not shy away from challenging ideas, in fact, it’s quite the opposite,” one resident wrote in a letter of nomination. “Dr. Silva leads by example and has a unique talent for pushing us all beyond our comfort zone. Pushing us to not just settle for good, but strive to always be great.” 

Silva was also recognized for developing innovative strategies and methods of research, obtaining multi-year grant funding, developing opportunities for the continuous exchange of ideas, strategies and methods related to research, within and outside the school; mentoring those interested in research, and discovery of distinctive solutions to research problems faced by the School of Dentistry and the community.

DEAN'S EXCELLENCE AWARD IN THE SCHOLARSHIP OF APPLICATION
Samuel Dorn, DDS, Professor and Chair, Department of Endodontics

Since joining the UTSD faculty in 2009, Dorn has publicized the school, department and endodontic research at the local, national and international levels through publications, presentations and his leadership roles in professional organizations. He serves as a consultant to industry and is often asked to evaluate new products and educational materials. He is president of the International Federation of Endodontic Associations (IFEA) and past president of the American Association of Endodontists.

At the School of Dentistry, Dorn advised and mentored student leaders, such as the residents who organized the Quad School Endodontic Association and APICES (Advanced Programs in Clinical Endodontics) at UTSD. He presented and led many continuing education courses, such as the National Board Review Course presented by the College of Diplomates of the American Board of Endodontics and the APICES meeting for all endodontic residents in the U.S. and Canada. 

Among many other accomplishment cited, Dorn’s nominators also noted his work with the endodontic component of the 2014 Texas Mission of Mercy.

DEAN'S EXCELLENCE AWARD IN MENTORING                                                                             Robin Weltman, DDS, MS, Associate Professor and Program Director, Postgraduate Periodontics; Advanced Education Director; former Interim Chair, Department of Periodontics and Dental Hygiene

In multiple nominations received from dental and dental hygiene faculty alike, Weltman was praised for her didactic knowledge, clinical excellence, ethics, creative thinking and leadership skills.  Several credited her with helping the department be more cohesive by encouraging collaboration and research activities among the faculty. The department’s current chair, Dr. Nikola Angelov, wrote in support of her nomination, citing Weltman’s assistance, guidance and advice as he transitioned into his new job. 

She helped create rubrics for faculty evaluation within the department, and her own evaluations from her residents have been outstanding. One resident wrote, “Dr. Weltman embodies more than just Director of the Graduate Periodontal Program at UTHSC Houston. She spearheads our literature review course that seems to be second to none when we speak to our colleagues at other universities. Her encyclopedic knowledge of the sciences — everything from pharmacology to dentistry to microbiology to history of periodontology — makes her the first and last resource for any question we come across through our studies. … Despite all the hats Dr. Weltman may wear at this institution, she is first and foremost a teacher and a mentor.”


DEAN'S EXCELLENCE AWARD IN MENTORING
Donna Warren-Morris, RDH, MEd, Professor

Among multiple nominations Warren-Morris received was one from a 2012 graduate of the Dental Hygiene Program who wrote, “Although she facilitated several classes throughout the program, Mrs. Morris would go above and beyond … . She would relinquish any spare moment to assist a student in need. She took the time to tutor a group of students needing help with tooth identification for Dental Anatomy – a class she did not instruct. Her interesting ways of helping us remember and identify teeth are unforgettable … . These are just a few ways she would help us survive such a demanding program.”   


DEAN'S EXCELLENCE AWARD IN TEACHING
Shared by the Clinical Applications 1 Team:

Saroj Bahl, PhD, RD, Associate Professor
Lincoln Edwards, PhD, DDS, Associate Professor
Deborah Franklin, DDS, MA, Associate Professor
Arthur Jeske, PhD, DMD, Professor and Associate Dean for Strategic Planning and Continuing Education
Cameron Jeter, PhD, Assistant Professor
Theodore “Ted” Pate, PhD, MS, Professor and Biomedical Sciences Division Head
Charles Streckfus, DDS, MA, Professor
Gena Tribble, PhD, Associate Professor
Dharini van der Hoeven, PhD, MSc, Assistant Professor
Ransome van der Hoeven, PhD, Assistant Professor

Over a three-year period, these faculty members worked together to revise and refine the Clinical Applications I course (DDS curriculum) to integrate the basic and clinical sciences and coordinate them with clinical cases. The course is sequenced to match corresponding core basic science knowledge delivered in other fall courses, such as Biomedical Core and the Oral Biology Course.

Students’ feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with comments such as:  “I absolutely loved this course. Realistic clinical cases were provided to us, and we performed research in order to use evidence-based dentistry to find solutions. Every case provided was relevant, and I firmly believe this course will be of great use for us in the future as dentists. I was also able to improve my speaking and presentation skills in this course.”