Dental College of Georgia

DCG News Briefs: Awards, Scholarships, Appointments, and More!

Outstanding Faculty Award

Dr. Veerinder Pannu, assistant professor in the Department of Restorative Sciences, received the 2021 DCG Outstanding Faculty Award. She joined the DCG in 2016 and chaired
the DCG Infection of Hazards Control Committee during the pandemic. Pannu developed the DCG respiratory protection plan, presented infection control “boot camps” and regularly toured clinics to ensure compliance with infection control policies and protocols.

Board of Directors

Dr. Darshanjit (Dj) Singh Pannu, associate professor in the Department of Restorative Sciences, was elected to the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Fixed Prosthodontics. Pannu has served as moderator for the academy’s Annual Scientific Session, chair of its Research in Fixed Prosthodontics Research Committee, chair of its Exhibit Committee and member of its Claude R. Baker Teaching Award Committee. He is the academy’s editorial liaison for The Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry. 

Scholarship Award

Dr. Mahmoud Elashiry, third-year resident in the Department of Periodontics, was awarded a competitive 2021 scholarship from the International Society for Extracellular Vesicles for his work on the implications of extracellular vesicles as immunotherapy for inflammatory lung diseases and COVID-19. This international award supports young researchers in their studies of extracellular vesicles.

Hickey Award

Dr. Melissa Hunt, assistant professor in the Department of General Dentistry, received the 2021 Judson C. Hickey Outstanding Faculty Award. The recipient is selected by senior dental students as the faculty member who made the biggest impact on their education throughout dental school.

Site Visitor

Dr. Darshanjit (Dj) Singh Pannu, associate professor in the Department of Restorative Sciences, has been appointed a commission site visitor for 2021-22 by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. 

Board President

Dr. Brian Bergeron, professor of endodontics, has been elected to a one-year term as president of the American Board of Endodontics. The board develops and administers written, oral and portfolio exams nationally and confers board certification diplomate status.

NIH Award

Dr. Christopher Cutler, chair of periodontics, received a $1.8 million five-year National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research grant to study the effects of dendritic cell-derived exosomes on inflammatory bone loss and oral infection.

AGD Fellowship

Dr. Rhoda J. Sword, associate professor in the Department of Restorative Sciences, was named a fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry. Fewer than 6 percent of all practicing dentists receive fellowships, which denote embodiment of the academy’s  principles and ideals and the obligation of fellows to epitomize these ideals throughout their professional lives.

IADR Award

Dr. Ranya El Sayed, assistant professor in the Department of Periodontics, was awarded the 2021 International Association for Dental Research Microbiology and Immunology Group Travel Award for an abstract probing the effects of microbially induced immunosenescence on inflammatory bone loss in mice.

Hatton Competition

Christina Sun (’24) presented her osteonecrosis research at the American Association for Dental, Oral & Craniofacial Research Hatton Competition, a forum for junior investigators from all association divisions and sections to share their findings.

Years of Service

DCG employees honored for their milestone anniversaries at the 2021 Augusta University awards ceremony included storekeeper Timothy Allen and Associate Dean of Business and Finance Darrell Gentry, each with 35 years of service; and office specialist Dora Hawes, with 40 years of service.

Journal Launches

Dr. Todd R. Schoenbaum, professor in the Department of Restorative Sciences, launched Dentistry Review, an international, open access, peer-reviewed journal that publishes critical, narrative, scoping and systematic reviews from all clinical disciplines of dentistry. The journal is published by Elsevier.

Inaugural MVF Awards

Drs. Fadi AL Farawati and Abu Nazmul Hossain, assistant professors in the Department of Restorative Sciences, have received the inaugural Most Valuable Faculty Awards for their teaching, mentorship and advocacy. AL Farawati was nominated by the class of 2023 for this student-led recognition, and Nazmul Hossain was nominated by the classes of 2022 and 2024.

HRSA Grant

Dr. Alan Furness, associate dean of patient services, and Dr. John Coleman, assistant professor in the Department of Restorative Sciences, received an approximately $38,000 Health Resources and Services Administration grant to train dental and dental hygiene students and dental residents to treat low-income, uninsured and underserved HIV patients.

Teaching Fellowship Award

Dr. Ahmed El-Awady, assistant professor in the Department of Periodontics, received a 2021 Teaching Fellowship Award from American Academy of Periodontology Foundation. The award honors select faculty members within their first three years of teaching at a U.S. periodontal training institution.

Hinman Membership

Dr. Henry Ferguson, associate professor in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Dr. Alan Furness, associate dean of patient services, and Dr. Kent Knoernschild, chair of the Department of Restorative Sciences, were named members of the Hinman Dental Society

Life Membership

Dr. Kevin Plummer, emeritus faculty, was named a life member of the American Academy of Fixed Prosthodontics and life diplomate of the American Board of Prosthodontics.

Educator Scholarship

Dr. Mohamed Meghil, assistant professor in the Department of Periodontics, was awarded the 2021 Educator Scholarship from the American Academy of Periodontology Foundation. The scholarships support the development of periodontal educators by providing financial relief to students intending to pursue careers in academia upon graduation from a U.S. periodontal training program.

State Board Appointment

Dr. Larry Willis Miles Jr. (’05), adjunct faculty, was named to the Georgia Board of Dentistry by Gov. Brian Kemp. The Georgia Board of Dentistry protects public health by regulating and enforcing standards of dental practice. Miles is a partner at Dental Partners in Leesburg, Georgia.

Exam Appointments

Dr. Babak Baban, associate dean for research, Dr. Kim Capehart, interim chair of the Department of General Dentistry, and Dr. Mahmood Mozafarri, professor in the department of Oral Biology & Diagnostic Sciences, were appointed to the Integrated National Board Dental Exam Test Constructor Pool and the Advanced Dental Admission Test Construction Team by the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations. The Advanced Dental Admission Test assesses applicants’ potential for success.

Executive Coaching

Dr. Nancy Young, assistant dean of student affairs, recently completed the Sherpa Executive Coaching Certification Program at the University of Georgia. Participation leads toward certification and credentialing in the International Coach Federation.

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