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Around Campus: Volume 1

Nine Join OKU, Laski Wins Kramer Award

High academic achievement, outstanding personal character, and promise for the future were celebrated last May as newly elected members of the Omicron Kappa Upsilon (OKU) National Dental Honor Society were welcomed at Omega Omega Chapter's Annual Awards Dinner.

Dr. Arnold H. Rosenheck, Chairman, Board of Trustees-UMDNJ, was the keynote speaker. Along with Dr. Kim E. Fenesy, President of Omega Omega Chapter, and Dr. Robert A. Saporito, Acting Dean of NJDS, he congratulated new members and award recipients.

"Admission and membership is limited to those students who have distinguished themselves by a high grade of scholarship, have demonstrated exemplary character, and who have shown potential qualities for future growth and attainments," noted Dr. Fenesy. Election to OKU is based on a number constituting not more than 12% of the entire class that may be elected to alumni membership by active members of the component chapter.

These alumni have received numerous awards, beginning in college and continuing through their years at NJDS. Among them are Garden State Scholars, Presidential Scholars, Trustee Scholars, a Retchen Scholar, UMDNJ Scholars, N.J. Dental Alumni Scholars, Champion Scholars, and a finalist as a N.J. Rhodes Scholar. They all received full four-year academic scholarships for college and dental school.

Other honorees included:

Robert Laski, Class of 1998, who received the Dr. William S. Kramer Award of Excellence. This award recognizes a rising junior dental student at a component chapter school who has demonstrated scholarship, character, and the potential promise for advancement of dentistry and service to humanity as shown by William S. Kramer's dedication to his profession, his specialty, and the principles and ideals of OKU.

Mr. Laski attended Rutgers University, graduating summa cum laude in 1994. As an undergraduate, he received a Rutgers University Honors four-year scholarship and the National Merit Special four-year scholarship; he was also named the Edward J. Bloustein Distinguished Scholar through the N.J. Department of Higher Education. Mr. Laski was also inducted into the Beta Beta Biological Honor Society at Rutgers for the highest overall cum in discipline, and inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, which requires a 3.85 cum or better to be considered. He was awarded a full four-year academic scholarship to NJDS.

Dr. Stephen M. Cohen was elected to faculty membership in OKU. Faculty receive this honor based on their outstanding contributions to the art, science, or literature of dentistry and service. In addition, the Omega Omega Chapter requires nominees to demonstrate a keen sense of ethics and professionalism.

Dr. Cohen has been an NJDS faculty member since 1985, and in 1991 was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in the Department of Prosthodontics & Biomaterials. He is active in the Army Dental Reserves as a Lt. Colonel. In addition to his clinical responsibilities, he administers instructional programs to his unit and others.

Dr. Cohen has been the recipient of the "Excellence in Teaching" incentive award presented through the Foundation of UMDNJ. Each year, this prestigious honor is voted on and given by students to the faculty member they consider to be an excellent teacher. Dr. Cohen, principal investigator, has also been awarded numerous grants totaling $125,000, including a National Institutes of Health grant to support his ongoing research. Based on this research, Dr. Cohen has brought recognition to NJDS by regularly presenting on the national level at the American Association for Dental Research meetings, as well as the International Association for Dental Research meeting. His primary area of research involves the castability of palladium-based alloys.

Jo Anne Lametta, NJDS registrar, received a Special Recognition Award for the many years of support, effort, and invaluable information she provided to OKU regarding senior dental students nominated for National Dental Honor Society membership.

The following 1997 graduates were elected to Oku:

Robert J. Bruzzichesi

Doreen Cloughley

Jeffrey J. Herman

William A. Howland

Charles G. Kocun

Donald P. Lapine

Lynda A. Mabene

Gloria S. Montalban

Suhair A. Rahim

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Student Notebook

Welcome to the new edition of the NJDS alumni magazine and this column, Student's Notebook. As President of the Student Government Association, I have been asked to report in each issue on the happenings here at NJDS.

The dental school has a new lounge near the student lockers. It has several pool tables, snack machines, computers, lounge chairs and couches, and even a television! Alumni have been instrumental in purchasing some of these items, and the students are grateful! Also, we each have our own dental unit with locking cabinets.

The innovative Community Oriented Dental Education program has seen overwhelming success. Through Code, 15 fortunate seniors finish their clinical requirements at select satellite locations, currently Northfield, Plainfield, and Stratford. The students function in an atmosphere very similar to a private office. Each student, for instance, has his or her own operatory and assistant, and the staff schedules appointments for them, collects fees, etc. The students are chosen in a lottery fashion, and as you might imagine, everyone wants in!

From an administrative perspective, Acting Dean Robert Saporito is doing a terrific job. Speaking of deans, congratulations to Dr. Kenneth Chance for his appointment as Dean at Meharry in Tennessee. This means a new department chair is on the way for endo! The Department of General and Hospital Dentistry gave a retirement party for Dr. Harris Silverstein, who is leaving us after more than 35 years of service! The student body will dearly miss him. Dr. Jeffrey Linfante ('90) is a group practice administrator supervising 35-plus students. Likewise, Dr. Joel Pascuzzi (Dec. '72) and his partner, Dr. Andrew Sullivan, share responsibility for another group of students, all while maintaining a very busy private practice.

Some names from the past: Dr. George Kozam still rules the gross anatomy lab, Dr. Peter Kudyba is going strong, and yes, our beloved Dr. Bill Nicholas continues to run the Fixed Prosth Department with an iron fist!

We are still feeling the loss of Dr. Michael Balbo and Dr. Irwin Quinn. Both gentlemen meant a great deal to the institution and to the field of dentistry. They are deeply missed by students, friends, and faculty.


George Schmidt ('98), NJDS Student Government President


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Vitaletti, Quaranta Receive Excellence in Teaching Awards

Students selected two Oral Pathology, Biology & Diagnostic Sciences (OPBDS) faculty as recipients of the Foundation of UMDNJ's Excellence in Teaching Award. Patrick Quaranta, associate professor of clinical OPBDS, and Gary Vitaletti, clinical associate professor, received the honor. They share another distinction: Both are NJDS alumni, Class of 1972.

Search Committee Update

As the Dean's Search Committee at NJDS concludes its work, another committee charged with finding a replacement for UMDNJ President Stanley S. Bergen, Jr., continues its task.

A recommendation for former NJDS Dean Richard Buchanan's successor is expected by the year's end. Meanwhile, the following have been appointed to the UMDNJ President's Search Committee: Edward N. FitzPatrick, Esq., co-chair (UMDNJ Board of Trustees); Albert R. Tama, M.D., co-chair (UMDNJ Board of Trustees); Terri L. Freeman, Esq. (UMDNJ Board of Trustees); Roger Fine (Vice President of Johnson & Johnson and Chairman of the Board of the Foundation of UMDNJ); Stuart D. Cook, M.D. (UMDNJ faculty member); and Alfred J. Cade (Chairman, New Jersey Commission on Higher Education).

Dr. Bergen plans to leave his post on June 30, 1998.

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Alumni Award and Scholarship/Stipend Recipients for 1997


Alumni Leadership Award: (As Published in the Graduation Program) John Anthony Robina, '97

Alumni Student Award: Stephen J. Malki, '97

Alumni Leadership Awards: (For Class Presidents, Sga President)

Philip Baldo, '97

George Schmidt, '98

Jason Karns, '99

Joseph Silverman, '00

Nicholas Conti, '97 (Sga President)

Scholarships: Daniel C. Pizzi, '98, Torin W. Rutner, '98

The Michael Balbo Scholarship: Robert Laski, '98

Summer Student Research Program: (Supported by Stipends from the N.J. Dental Alumni Assoc.) Peter Kyriakakis, '00

Title: "The Effects Of Thermocycling and Occlusal Loading On Marginal Gaps of Indirect Composite Resin Inlays"

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Balbo Expo '98 Slated for April 1

A legacy and love of learning lives on at the Dr. Michael Balbo Dental Sciences Exposition '98, which will be held April 1 at the New Jersey Dental School. The Continuing Education Program, "Esthetic Dentistry: Current and Future Trends," will feature speakers Van P. Thompson, D.D.S., Ph.D., and Martin C. Prager, D.D.S., according to Dr. Fotinos S. Panagakos ('92), expo coordinator. Student and faculty table clinics, poster presentations, equipment demonstrations, and commercial exhibitors will all be part of the day.

Dr. Panagakos describes as the Expo as "a showcase for New Jersey Dental School faculty and students, and a special opportunity for all to learn." Additionally, the Expo is also an opportunity to contribute to The Michael Balbo Scholarship Fund.

Between 300 to 400 people attended Expo '97, when the Continuing Education Program featured presentations on new dental technologies. Topics included intraoral photography, lasers in dentistry, and digital radiography. Junior dental students were invited to a three-hour seminar on post-graduate training opportunities. After lunch, Expo attendees viewed commercial exhibits, as well as research presentations by the students and faculty. First-place winners of the student research competition, Mr. Michael Pallante ('00) and Mr. Xueyu Shen ('99), represented NJDS at the American Dental Association Annual Session this October with their entry, Doxycycline Alters Production of Pro-IL-1 beta and Mature IL-1 beta.

The Continuing Education Program counts as six credit hours, and the course code is D0216. For more information about the Expo, contact UMDNJ-Continuing Education at 1 (800) 227-4852.