Campus Notes

October 10, 2013

  • TUSDM hosts implant symposium: The dental school was proud to host the 19th Northeast Postdoctoral Implant Symposium on October 3 and 4. The event attracted approximately 240 attendees from postgraduate programs in the northeast region. Residents from the different programs in attendance (including TUSDM) presented cases and clinical research to their fellow residents and faculty. There were about 24 presentations in total over the two days. Dr. Hans-Peter Weber, Professor and Chair of the Department of Prosthodontics and Operative Dentistry, was the primary organizer of the event. He said that hosting the event is a unique opportunity to showcase the school, its facilities, and its residents to other programs in the region.
  • Dental society helps Boston homeless and hungry: The TUSDM chapter of the Student National Dental Association (SNDA) renewed their weekly trips to the Arlington Street Church in downtown Boston to volunteer for the Friday Night Supper Program. The program, which has been running since 1984, serves hot meals to the homeless and hungry and accepts donations of clothes, shoes and other items. Volunteers serve food and drinks, mop floors, sort donations, dry and wash dishes, and clean up after dinner. The SNDA also regularly donates toothbrushes and toothpaste to the program. The group is still looking for volunteers to assist with this semester’s trips, set to take place on October 11, 18 and 25. For more information or to sign up, contact Israel Adeloye, D14, or visit the SNDA web page..
  • Associate Dean and Dean Emeritus travel to Fisk University: Dr. Robert Kasberg, Associate Dean of Admissions and Student Affairs, and Dr. Lonnie Norris, Professor and Dean Emeritus, traveled to Nashville, Tenn. on October 2 for Fisk University’s 2013 Fall Career and Graduate School Fair. In addition to speaking with Fisk students and alumni about TUSDM at the fair, Dr. Norris met with Fisk President H. James Williams, Barbara Landers Bowles, Chair of Fisk’s Board of Trustees, and Dr. Hassell McClellan, Chair of the Board of Trustees’ Academic Affairs Committee to discuss a possible relationship between Tufts and Fisk. “The overall purpose was to increase the awareness of TUSDM as an option, the school’s core value of diversity, and provide some insights concerning preparation for admission into dental school,” Dr. Norris said. Dr. Kasberg said Fisk University is one of the top five Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the nation and the caliber of the student body there would be a terrific fit for TUSDM. He added that he would be interested in the possibility of inviting Fisk students to the school. “The students seemed excited about what Tufts has to offer,” he said. “They picked up on the student-friendliness that we foster at TUSDM. One student told me, ‘It sounds a lot like Fisk.’”
  • Turning lemons into lemonade: A TUSDM student and faculty member had an unusual bonding experience on September 9. Dr. Hans-Peter Weber, Professor and Chair of the Department of Prosthodontics and Operative Dentistry, and Raj Thaker, D14, were riding the No. 14 elevator in One Kneeland, when the car stalled on the 10th floor, trapping the two together for approximately an hour and 15 minutes while Tufts University Public Safety and Facilities Services worked to fix a mechanical problem. According to the two detainees, however, this wasn’t nearly as bad an experience as it could have been. “It was a good time for us to bond,” Thaker said. “Of all the people to be trapped in an elevator with, Dr. Weber would be the guy you want. We talked about everything!” Thaker said Dr. Weber, who is his faculty mentor, gave him valuable advice on work and life and they conversed about everything from dental implants to FIFA soccer, to parental expectations, and how to have a happy marriage. For his part, Thaker shared his lunch with his mentor – Dr. Weber said he had originally been heading to a catered meeting on the 15th floor, but appreciated the protein bars, peanut butter sandwich and goldfish crackers that Thaker provided even more. “It could have been much worse,” Dr. Weber said. “Thankfully we did not have any elderly or ill people in the elevator with us, no small children, and the car wasn’t crowded. And Sean helped us remain calm.” Sean Donlon, Campus Police Officer, arrived approximately two minutes after Thaker called Campus Security and stayed outside the elevator car, joking with the two that he was sorry he couldn’t slip them a few beers to pass the time. Later that afternoon, Mark Gonthier, Executive Associate Dean, e-mailed Thaker and Dr. Weber to make sure they were all right after their ordeal. When asked if they learned anything from their experience, Thaker said it showed how important it was to make lemonade from lemons, and to remember “that everything happens for a reason.” Dr. Weber agreed but had a follow-up. “Turns out Mark [Gonthier] is right,” he said. “He always takes the stairs!”
  • Tufts President and Provost connect with the Boston campus: The Tufts Boston campus had a chance to chat with President Anthony Monaco and Provost David Harris on October 1. The university leaders were on campus for “Office Hours” to allow students, faculty and staff to stay engaged with the Tufts community. There were no appointments or RSVPs required – anyone in the Tufts community was welcome to stop by. President Monaco will return to the Boston campus this fall for more opportunities for engagement; he will lead a Town Hall Meeting on November 21, and will hold another round of Office Hours on December 11. The Provost will also be on the Boston on October 24 for office hours; the Provost’s Office will send information on this event in the next few days.
  • TUSDM faculty member places in national tennis competition: The Waltham Winsanity, a United States Tennis Association (USTA) league tennis team, placed fourth in the USTA National Championships held at the Jim Reffkin Tennis Court in Tucson, Ariz. September 27-29. Among the members of the Winsanity team is Dr. Boris Bacanurschi, D06, Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Prosthodontics and Operative Dentistry. Dr. Bacanurschi won three of his four matches but lost in the semifinals. The team is a member of the UTSA New England section of the tennis organization. Congratulations to Dr. Bacanurschi and his team!
  • Staff and faculty updates for September and early October: There were several additions to the TUSDM staff in the past month. Julie Fleck and Dreydi Zapata-Martinez were hired as Central Sterilization Assistants, and Iolanda Gomes was hired as a Dispensary Assistant for the TUSDM clinic. Sean Hopkins is now a Staff Assistant for the Office of Academic Services. Several faculty members were also hired; we welcomed Dr. Ellen Patterson as Assistant Professor and the Director of Interprofessional Education, Dr. Richard Stevens as a Clinical Instructor and Practice Coordinator, and Dr. Carroll Ann Trotman as Professor and Chair of the Department of Orthodontics. Due to restructuring in the Continuing Education Division, Dr. Vangel Zissi, Professor Emeritus, took on a new role as Senior Advisor to the Dean in Development and Alumni Relations, and Sam Ruth, Special Projects Coordinator, agreed to serve as Associate Director in the division for the next 18 months. TUSDM was also sorry to see a few staff and faculty members depart in the past month. Best of luck to Michelle Stone, Director of Continuing Education, Amy Vaz, Registered Nurse in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery; Paula Wheeler, Lead Dental Assistant in the Department of Orthodontics; Paula Manowitz, Department Administrator in the Department of Orthodontics; Amii Miles, PG Patient Services Liaison for the TUSDM Clinic; Dr. Kevin Ryan, Assistant Professor in the Department of Diagnosis and Health Promotion; and Rachel Unwin, Billing Coordinator in the Department of Public Health and Community Service.
  • Hispanic Dental Association Annual Meeting kicks off at Tufts: The Student Hispanic Dental Association (SHDA) at TUSDM was pleased to host representatives from the Hispanic Dental Association, who were in Boston for the organization’s Annual Meeting. The student presidents of the HDA met at Tufts on September 26 for a social gathering in the Alumni Lounge. The representatives from dental schools around the country enjoyed Colombian food from Camino Real, a restaurant in Allston, and networked with their colleagues. The event was hosted and funded jointly by TUSDM and the Harvard School of Dental Medicine.
  • Correction: On October 3, TUSDM distributed an e-mail regarding the 2020! Vision Strategic Plan. The document incorrectly identified Susan Macdonald, Program Manager, as a member of the plan’s Research subgroup. The correct member is Quigley Raleigh, Program Manager.