Penn Dental Medicine faculty/staff members were honored for excellence in teaching by the School’s graduating class of DMD students with the 2018 teaching awards. Each year, these awards are presented by students as part of Senior Farewell, an annual event that celebrates the passage of students to professional dentistry and welcomes them into the Penn Dental Medicine Alumni Society. This year’s event was held May 8 at The Bellevue in Center City Philadelphia. The awards and recipients included the following:
Basic Science Award
The Basic Science Award is presented for excellence in teaching within the basic sciences. This year’s recipient is Mel Mupparapu (D’96), professor of oral medicine and director of radiology. Dr. Mupparapu has been part of the School’s faculty for 13 years, presently teaching radiology and oral medicine in nine courses, including three for which he serves as course director. In addition, Dr. Mupparapu also directs the radiology honors program and the radiology fellowship program. In selecting the recipient of this award, the students noted, “The basic sciences are the cornerstone of our dental education and our teachers have fostered in us an appreciation of how clinical practice is continually advanced by the discoveries made at the bench.”
Robert E. DeRevere Award
The Robert E. DeRevere Award is presented for excellence in preclinical teaching by a part-time faculty member. The award is named in honor of Dr. DeRevere, a member of the Penn Dental Medicine Class of 1945, who served on the School’s faculty. This year’s recipient is Dr. Frank Smithgall (C’79, D’83), clinical associate professor of restorative dentistry, who has been a member of the School’s part-time faculty since 1984. Dr. Smithgall lectures in preclinical courses, and for the past four years, he has been course director of Partial Removable Dental Prosthesis. This is the fifth time Dr. Smithgall has been recognized with this award, also receiving it in 1990, 2010, 2011 and 2016.
Joseph L. T. Appleton Award
The Joseph L. T. Appleton Award is presented to a part-time faculty member for excellence in clinical teaching. This year’s recipient is Dr. Patrice Ierardi (MT’80, D’84), clinical assistant professor of restorative dentistry and assistant director of comprehensive care clinics. Dr. Ierardi joined the faculty in 2014, teaching clinical restorative dentistry on the clinic floor. Since taking on the role of assistant director of comprehensive care clinics last year, she has added to her teaching responsibilities with all DMD students throughout the predoctoral clinics. The Appleton Award is named in honor of Dr. Joseph Appleton, a 1914 alumnus of Penn Dental Medicine who served as dean of the School from 1941 to 1951. The award was founded in 1979 by Abram Cohen, a member of the Class of 1923 and father of Dean Emeritus D. Walter Cohen, Class of 1950.
Earle Bank Hoyt Award
The Earle Bank Hoyt Award is presented for excellence in teaching to a Penn Dental Medicine graduate who is a full-time junior faculty member. This award was established by a grateful patient in honor of Dr. Earle Bank Hoyt, a distinguished clinician and educator who was a member of the Class of 1918. This year’s recipient is Dr. Steven Wang (D’09, M’12, GD’15), Instructor in the department of oral & maxillofacial surgery/pharmacology. Dr. Wang completed his DMD and oral surgery training at Penn Dental Medicine, joining the School’s faculty in 2015. Dr. Wang is the director of the predoctoral oral surgery clinic, teaching students in the clinical setting on the fundamentals of oral surgery.
Senior Outstanding Teaching Award
The Senior Outstanding Teaching Award is presented to a faculty or staff member who has gone beyond the scope of his or her responsibilities to significantly impact the class’s education at Penn Dental Medicine. This year’s recipient is Art Kofman, C.D.T. quality control coordinator and the Office of Laboratory Affairs supervisor for the clinical labs at the School; this is the second year in a row that he was recognized with this award. Mr. Kofman has been sharing his knowledge and expertise in dental lab work with students as a member of the School’s staff for the past 17 years. Among his responsibilities, he coordinates students’ lab work from the School to commercial laboratories and vice versa, guides dental students in lab-related technical issues, and provides hands-on assistance as needed for minor adjustments to dental appliances at a chair-side setting.