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UM Today | Rady Faculty of Health Sciences

UM Today | Rady Faculty of Health Sciences

December 1, 2023 — 

The Dr. Gerald Niznick College of Dentistry and the School of Dental Hygiene celebrated the achievements of its hard-working students, faculty and staff at its Awards Evening last week.

The event took place in the Brodie Centre atrium Nov. 24., where more than 70 awards and scholarships were handed out by Dr. Anastasia Kelekis-Cholakis, dean of the dental college, and Lorraine Glassford, advisor to the School of Dental Hygiene Class of 2024.

Kelekis-Cholakis told the audience the awards celebrate the achievements of the students who have excelled in the college’s demanding programs. 

“For us as educators, supporting our students and seeing them succeed is one of the most rewarding aspects of this job,” she said.

Sophie and Dr. Kelekis-Cholakis pose for a photo. Dr. Kelekis-Cholakis is handing Sophie a folder that holds a certificate.

Sophie Chen and Dr. Anastasia Kelekis-Cholakis

Dentistry student Sophie Chen received several awards, including the Dr. A.W. Hogg Undergraduate Scholarship for Dentistry (awarded based on eligibility for Dean’s honour list and for the highest average standing in years one to three) and the Isbister Undergraduate Scholarship for Dentistry (awarded to the student with the highest sessional GPA irrespective of the year, excluding graduate class).

“Dental school isn’t easy, so having these awards definitely is a good push for me to keep doing my best,” Chen said. “We’re so lucky to have all the donors to be able to supply these awards for us.”

Dental hygiene student Stacey Urban was awarded several honours, including the Dr. A.W. Hogg Scholarship (awarded for the highest standing in the second year of the dental hygiene program) and the Isbister Undergraduate Scholarship in Dental Hygiene (awarded to the dental hygiene student with the highest academic standing). She said she was honoured to receive the awards and it is motivation to keep working hard.

Stacey and Dr. Kelekis-Cholakis pose for a photo. Dr. Kelekis-Cholakis is handing Stacey a folder with a certificate inside.

Stacey Urban and Dr. Anastasia Kelekis-Cholakis

“I want to keep going and keep doing my best, not just because of the awards, but because I love what I’m doing,” Urban said. 

Glassford told the audience that faculty and staff awards are the result of nominations made by students and peers.

“I do believe that these awards hold a special significance as they represent recognition from the people we serve and work with,” said Glassford, who spoke on behalf of the director of the School of Dental Hygiene Mary Bertone, who was unable to attend.

For the first time, Long-service Awards were handed out to part-time academic instructors who have been with the dental school for more than 10 years.

15 people pose for a photo on the stage. The award recipients hold certificate folders.

Long-service Awards were handed out to part-time academic instructors.

Dr. Vincent Chan was one of the dental professionals who received a Long-service Award.

“It’s quite an honour,” said Chan, who has been a part-time instructor with the Centre for Community Oral Health since 2000. “We want to give the students a good experience in school, so hopefully when they finish, they take that experience with them.”

Natasha Kravtsov, a part-time instructor with the School of Dental Hygiene, said it’s a pleasure to work with the students and the recognition is a nice pat on the back.

“It’s always rewarding to see students grow and find their way through the challenging program and become competent dental hygienists,” Kravtsov said. “Sometimes you feel like you’re sending off little birds into the world and they can fly, which is wonderful.”