Augusta University
Carol Lefebvre presents the State of the College address.
Carol Lefebvre presents the State of the College address. Photo by Phil Jones

DCG News Briefs

DCG No. 16 in Global Rankings

The Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University is ranked among the top dental schools in the world, according to the latest survey by an international organization that rates universities and programs. ShanghaiRanking lists The Dental College of Georgia at No. 16 for Dentistry and Oral Sciences in its Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2017.

“To be considered 16th in the world is a testament to the excellence and dedication of our faculty, students and staff,” said Dr. Carol Lefebvre, dean of the college. “This ranking confirms that the education we deliver, patient care we provide, and the research and innovation we lead are truly world class.”

Established in 1969, The Dental College of Georgia provides education and training for more than 300 dental students and approximately 60 residents per year.

“The fact that more than 1,000 students applied to fill the 96 seats in our incoming freshman class also speaks volumes about who we are,” Lefebvre said.

“It’s a state-of-the-art dental school,” said Dr. Marcus Cowan, who earned his DMD in 2017 and is now working as a resident in the school’s General Practice Residency program. “We have faculty members and students from all over the world, and when we graduated, I know that all of my classmates, including myself, were fully confident of our ability to go out and thrive as practicing dentists.”

Accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation, the college has graduated nearly 2,500 dentists who are now
providing oral health care in Georgia and around the world.

“As Georgia’s only dental school, we are honored to be ranked among the leaders in dentistry, especially since we are a young school in comparison — we will be celebrating our 50th anniversary in 2019,” the dean said.

“There are a ton of dental schools just in the United States, but to be ranked in the top 20 in the world is an amazing accomplishment. You always think that your alma mater is one of the best schools out there, but actually being ranked in the top just shows that all of the hard work that the students, faculty and administrators are doing is being noticed,” Cowan said.

ShanghaiRanking considers research, international collaboration and faculty honors among its criteria. The organization surveys 1,500 deans, chairs and heads of faculties and departments of the top 100 universities in the world across a range of subjects. Questions on the survey focused on publications in the top-tier journals in dentistry, the most influential and credible awards in the profession, and researchers who have contributed the most to the field, with an emphasis on research performance and reputation.

Student Appointed to ASDA Delegation

Abby Halpern, Class of 2018, was appointed to serve on the American Student Dental Association’s (ASDA) delegation to the American Dental Association’s (ADA) House of Delegates during the ADA Annual Session in Atlanta in October. This prestigious appointment carries with it great responsibility. As a member of ASDA’s delegation, she is charged with understanding, representing and advocating for the needs of her fellow dental students to the ADA House of Delegates.

Peacock Wins Teaching Award

Dr. Mark Peacock, associate professor in the Department of Periodontics, received the 2017 Outstanding Teaching and Mentoring in Periodontics
Award from Department Chair
Chris Cutler.

Gift Honors Konchady

The Class of 2018 chose to honor the late Dr. Gayathri Konchady by establishing a Vanguard College Savings 529 plan for her only child. Konchady supervised students in both the simulation lab and student clinics and was well known among students.

“Our thoughts were to honor her and give back to the endless effort she gave to us,” said class treasurer Nick Sasser.

Students raised $10,722, and they hope to double the funds raised to cover a significant part of Konchady’s daughter’s future college education.

Alumni Honored at GDA Annual Session

In July, several alumni were honored at the Georgia Dental Association (GDA) annual session.

Dr. Edward Green (’83), received the Award of Merit, given to a member who has exhibited service and merit above the recognized standards. It is the highest honor the GDA bestows.

Also receiving awards were Dr. Amber Lawson (’06) and Dr. Amanda Merritt (’05), who were awarded the Honorable Fellow designation. Lawson also received the Committee Chair of the Year Award.

The following alums were also elected to serve as incoming GDA district presidents:

  • Dr. Tommy Peterson (’09)
  • Dr. Paul Trotter (’10)
  • Dr. Becky Martin (’08)
  • Dr. Heather Colson Hardy (’04)
  • Dr. Scott McLaurin  (’01)

Alumni Board Members Named

Dr. Mike Pruett was elected as the new Alumni Board president, succeeding past president Dr. Jason Hamilton.

Other board members include Drs. Rhonda Sword, Darron Alvord, Celia Dunn, Grant Loo, Louvenia Annette Rainge, T. Barrett Trotter and Paul Trotter.

Advancing Opportunity 

Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Columbia, UNC – Chapel Hill, Rutgers, Boston University, University of Utah, University of Colorado, University of Alabama, University of Florida, Medical University of South Carolina and University of Pittsburgh.

All highly respected educational institutions.

All have outstanding dental schools.

All were chosen over The Dental College of Georgia this year by applicants to the Class of 2021.

Competition is intense to successfully recruit and retain the best and the brightest students planning to pursue careers in dentistry.

And this year 20 of the over 100 Georgia residents made the decision to go elsewhere for their dental educations based primarily on much higher scholarship offers.

We believe most of these students genuinely wanted to remain in Georgia and attend their home state’s dental school. Yet, we continue to lose excellent applicants to schools that have built large endowments over many years and are able to offer significantly larger scholarships. By comparison, The Dental College of Georgia is much younger than many dental schools.

The DCG awarded $313,000 in scholarships to 98 students at the beginning of the academic year, and we must do better if we are to attract and retain superior Georgia students.

You can read in this issue about two alums, Drs. Nancy Young (’06) and Louvenia Annette Rainge (’90), who stepped up to the challenge and endowed scholarships to assist in our effort to continue providing the finest dentists possible for our state.

They join many others who have either established endowments to fund their scholarships in perpetuity, or contribute annually to assist these many worthy students achieve their goals of becoming Georgia’s future dentists.

If you would like to consider helping our students — your future colleagues — please contact me. I will be happy to help you achieve your goal.

SEEP Students Exposed to Dentistry Education

Augusta University’s six-week Summer Educational Enrichment Program (SEEP) exposed a select group of high school students to dental education by having them shadow participants in DCG’s residency programs as well as seniors in the comprehensive care clinic.

SEEP is a pipeline program within the Medical College of Georgia’s Office of Multicultural Affairs. In addition to coursework and test preparation, the program is designed to introduce students who are underrepresented in the health care professions to the areas of health care where they show an interest.

Five of the 44 program participants showed an interest in the dental profession and completed observations in all of the clinics.

Students Participate in Preschool Program

Students Danielle Volante and Abby Halpern participated in a two-week rotation in general dentistry with a pediatric emphasis at TenderCare Clinic in Greensboro, Georgia. During their time there, they were part of the Dental at Preschool program, where they brought equipment and supplies into preschools for preventative visits.

During the visit, they looked for cavities, brushed and flossed teeth, and applied fluoride, then sent each student home with a tooth report card and a goodie bag with a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and a treatment plan detailing the visit and any further treatment that might be needed.

Program Helps Students Transition

This summer, three dental students participated in the Medical College of Georgia’s Pre-matriculation program.

Housed in the Office of Student and Multicultural Affairs, the program helps students acclimate to professional school both socially and academically by exposing them to sessions in histology, physiology, neuroanatomy and physical diagnosis, including oral medicine and oral exams.

In addition, dental student participants also received mini sessions in dental terminology, dental anatomy, and occlusion and prosthodontics.

ICD Recognizes Student and Faculty Leaders

The International College of Dentists (ICD) has a long history of promoting its core values of leadership, integrity and international humanitarianism. Each year the ICD hosts a Leadership Luncheon for junior dental students and local members of the ICD. At the luncheon, Jackson Griffeth, Class of 2019, and Dr. Nancy Young, assistant professor in the Department of General Dentistry, were recognized for exhibiting these core values. Dr. Janine Bethea, a retired prosthodontist from Marietta and leadership coordinator for the Georgia Section of the ICD, presented the awards.

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For nearly 200 years, Augusta University and its legacy institutions have been centers of learning and drivers of discovery and innovation in Augusta, the state of Georgia and beyond. Our community of alumni, students, faculty and friends are amazing people living incredible lives and making invaluable contributions to our world.

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