DentistryA Public Ation for Alumni And friends of the school of dentistry       sPrinG 2008                               ...
Please visit us at                       Dean’s Message                                                               www....
contents                                                                                           Volume 9/1 Spr ing 2008...
Admit One             How the UABSOD Selects    FOR FIVE YEARS RUNNING, every single student graduating             Its St...
But motivated, high-achieving students don’t just           applying to the UABsOD? Filler and his fellow commit-magically...
with, which is a supplemental application we will send       dentists share some common qualities: good “people           ...
IntERvIEw DAyiA ‘Ride- Along’ with Six UAB HopefulsIT’S ABOUT 10 O’CLOCk on a Wednesday morning, and six people—          ...
has a clear picture of each applicant without having to            “it was kind of obvious that i was in a different      ...
4.                                                               “there’s no bias or string-pulling; we don’t care who    ...
The Hinman Pledge                                   PerHAPs tHe GreAtest LeGACY of the pro-                  education and...
Surfing the SODeven BeFOre Her First DAY on the job, Michellerobinson, D.D.s., was making plans for the school            ...
Behind                                                                                   THE SCENES                       ...
“i still have one floor yet to go,” says White. “the   and two daughters. After a busy day, she still makestransformation ...
student spotlights                  Juliaisherwood                                    TRUE CALLING                  in Lis...
student spotlights                                                    BrandyAdams                                         ...
faculty focus         Jimbroomed.d.s.                                          AGENT OF CHANGE         WitH His MAster’s i...
faculty focus                                                  WenChouWu,d.d.s.,m.s.                                      ...
alumni profiles          William davis,          Noah Dean miller,          and Lewis chapman          THEY EXCELLED BOTH ...
alumni profiles                                                                                                           ...
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  1. 1. DentistryA Public Ation for Alumni And friends of the school of dentistry sPrinG 2008 Admit One How the UABSOD Selects Its Students— And What It Takes to Get In
  2. 2. Please visit us at Dean’s Message for an online version of GreetinGs! With the dawning of spring in the south comes the refreshing renewal of new growth and vitality; so it is within UAB Dentistry as well as the school of Dentistry as well. this issue of UAB Dentistry covers information on: a broad spectrum of fresh ideas and newsworthy topics related to events and people comprising the school of Dentistry. “Admit • Continuing EducationOne” describes our current student selection process for the school; interview Day • Dentistry Catalogsis an exciting opportunity for Dr. steve Filler and other members of our faculty tomeet with dental-student prospects in face-to-face interviews that we consider a most • Departmentsimportant aspect of the admissions process. • Degree Programs “the Hinman Pledge” relates to the Atlanta-based Hinman Dental society, whichhas provided generous support to our school for many years. Most recently, the • Alumni Associationsociety has graciously bestowed a $500,000 endowment to support a named profes- • Academic Calendarsorship at our school. Another new development in the sOD is our new Web site, Dr. Michelle robinson and her staff worked diligently for many • Researchmonths to debut it in time for spring semester 2008. We have received great feedback • Givingfrom students, faculty, staff, and alumni who have already made use of this outstand-ing resource. if you haven’t already, take a look at the material available to you aboutour school’s organization, current events, and contact information. You may have heard the term “unsung heroes” to describe those faithful workers Dentistrywho toil long hours without recognition to keep the wheels turning in any organiza-tion. We are proud to give thanks in a public way to several of sOD’s “unsung heroes” UAB Dentistry is published by the School ofin our article “Behind the scenes.” Kathleen Diveley, recently appointed as director of Dentistry in collaboration with the Office of Public Relations and Marketing.clinics, discusses her new position and her vision for patient care. Within our student,faculty, and alumni profiles and other articles, details about new sOD research proj- EXECUTIVE EDITOR Pam Powellects are discussed. three of our top dental students are profiled in this edition, and it is MANAGING EDITORalways invigorating to feel the energy and enthusiasm that these young professionals Doug Gillettbring to the school as they advance through their studies—a June graduate complet- EXECUTIVE ART DIRECTORing her residency in pediatric dentistry, Julia isherwood; Chris Canales, now preparing Ron Gamblefor graduation; and Brandy Adams, who’s completing her second year of dental school. ART DIRECTOROur faculty profiles describe the varied and active careers of several of the school’s Laura Hannahleading faculty, including Dr. Jim Broome, who began his dental career in the Air PHOTOGRAPHYForce; Dr. Dennis Pillion, one of our Joint Health sciences coursemasters in pharma- Steve Woodcology; and Dr. Wen Chou Wu, a recent addition in prosthodontics who broadens the WRITERSschool’s cultural base by bringing us insights from his former life in China. Shelly DeButts, Laura Freeman, Doug Gillett, Cindy Riley We close this edition of UAB Dentistry with our alumni profiles and developmentnews. the love of sports is universal, but in the south, it is sacred. i hope you will enjoy PRODUCTION MANAGER Mike Turneras much as i did learning about the athletic prowess of three of our sOD alumni: Drs.William Davis and noah Miller, both former Alabama football players, and Dr. Lewis PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS Jennifer GhandhiChapman, a former Birmingham-southern tennis star. Jazmund Walker in closing, i would like to express my heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to all of EDITORIAL BOARDour devoted alumni, faculty, staff, and students who faithfully and diligently give of Huw F. Thomas, B.D.S., M.S., Ph.D.their time, financial contributions, and other resources that sustain our growth and Dean, School of Dentistryrenewal within the school of Dentistry. J. Scott Huffman, C.F.R.E. Senior Director of Developmentsincerely, Faculty RepresentativesHuw F. thomas, B.D.s., M.s., Ph.D. Jim Broome, D.D.S.Dean, school of Dentistry Steven Filler, D.D.S., M.S., M.A. Mary MacDougall, Ph.D. Michael McCracken, D.D.S., Ph.D. On the cOver: More than ever, students are lining up to apply for admission to the SOD— Maureen Pezzementi, D.M.D. meaning bigger challenges for the teachers and administrators tasked with evaluating them.
  3. 3. contents Volume 9/1 Spr ing 2008 C o v e r S t o r y F a c u l t y F o c u s2Admit One—What makes a good dentist? That’s what theUABSOD admissions committee has to decide as it evaluateseach year’s group of prospective students. 14 Jim Broome, Dennis Pillion, and Wen Chou Wu are at the forefront of the SOD’s nationally recognized excellence in teaching and research. F e a t u r e s A l u m n i P r o f i l e s8The Hinman Pledge—One of America’s oldest and mostrespected dental societies shows its support for the School ofDentistry in a big way. 16 William Davis, Noah Dean Miller, and Lewis Chapman all excelled athletically at other schools before coming to the SOD. Now their children are following in their footsteps.9Surfing the SOD—To match the major renovation underwayat the School of Dentistry’s physical home, its virtual homegets a makeover of its own. E n d N o t e s10Behind the Scenes—They’re not out in front getting all thecredit, but the SOD’s staff is critical to the success of its 18 Bruce Cunningham reflects on a lengthy career in den- tistry and a productive year as president of the School of Dentistry’s Alumni Association.faculty, students, and patients alike. D e v e l o p m e n t N e w s 20 S t u d e n t S p o t l i g h t s Beloved faculty and alumni of the SOD are being remem-12Julia Isherwood, Chris Canales, and Brandy Adams camefrom a variety of different backgrounds, but all are findingsuccess at the School of Dentistry. bered through scholarships and endowments. Here’s how you can contribute. 2 9 14 14
  4. 4. Admit One How the UABSOD Selects FOR FIVE YEARS RUNNING, every single student graduating Its Students—And from the UAB School of Dentistry has passed their national What It Takes to Get In board exams, and the class of 2005 ranked number one in the nation on Part II of those tests. In addition, students at every level have raked in research awards and grants, and the possi- bilities for achievement are set to grow even more as the school implements its groundbreaking curriculum-reform plan. By Doug gillett illustrations By ernie elDreDge2 (U A B De n t i s t r y )
  5. 5. But motivated, high-achieving students don’t just applying to the UABsOD? Filler and his fellow commit-magically appear on the UAB campus every summer. tee members don’t mind sharing some advice.the sOD’s high-achieving classes are select groups of and women who were making names for themselveseven before they applied to the school of Dentistry— G e t s t a r t e d e a r l y — i t ’s aand whom the school took great pains to recruit. the long application process.process for assembling each year’s incoming class islengthy and complex. it all starts in the spring, more than a year before the it is also a task that has only become more difficult applicants who are ultimately selected will enter an sODwith each passing year. in just three years, the applicant classroom for the first time. Aspiring dental students typi-pool has nearly doubled, with more than 900 prospective cally begin applying around the end of their junior yearstudents vying for fewer than 60 spots in 2007. And with or the beginning of their senior year, but Filler says thethe sOD increasingly attracting the “cream of the crop” in “early birds” begin completing their applications as soonterms of the nationwide applicant pool, transcripts alone as mid-May.don’t necessarily narrow the field; the admissions commit- the dental-school application process, however,tee has to take a long look at each applicant and get to is not the same as the undergraduate admissionknow them well before deciding which ones will be the process. instead of applying directly to the schoolbest fit for the school’s unique personality. of Dentistry, aspiring dental students around the “there’s no magical formula for it,” says steve Filler, country submit highly detailed online applications toD.D.s., associate dean of student, alumni, and external the Associated American Dental schools Applicationaffairs and, for the last few years, the sOD’s admis- service (AADsAs), a central application processor that,sions director. “it’s hard work, sorting through all the according to Filler, serves all but a handful of the dentalapplications and trying to decide, and the truth is there schools in the United states. With the help of pre-healthare people who don’t make it despite fitting our criteria advisors at their undergraduate institutions, the appli-really well. What i tell people is that it’s not like we have cants then select the schools to which they’d like theira class of 58 students and the 59th is a stinker—number application forwarded; Filler says the average applicant59 could be a very nice person who’d make a great den- will apply to nine or ten institutions.tist, but we only have so many spots, so we just have to AADsAs verifies the applicants’ grades and tran-do the best we can in prioritizing and getting the very scripts and begins mailing weekly packets to the coun-best people available.” try’s dental schools in June. “We immediately start so how do they choose? And what do prospective reviewing those applications to choose the people westudents need to know to put their “best foot forward” in would like to pursue further, or at least take the next step (U A B Dentistr y ) 3
  6. 6. with, which is a supplemental application we will send dentists share some common qualities: good “people them,” says Filler. skills,” perhaps even a cut above those of other health- From an applicant pool of as many as 900, Filler says care providers; good artistic skills, or at least the ability that around 200 will get that supplemental application, to recognize good art when they see it; and a passion at which point they will be asked to submit letters of for learning. the last of those is important not just recommendation, photographs, and other information. for good students but for good practitioners, she says. the admissions committee reviews this additional info “As the seniors are about to graduate, i tell them that and selects applicants for a formal interview at the sOD. dentistry is sort of like driving—you’ve been in driver “interview days” start toward the end of August and are training for a year with your permit, and when you held each Wednesday until the end of January—or “until finally get your license, they tell you, ‘now you’ll learn we’re done,” says Filler with a grin. how to drive.’ Dentistry’s the same way, in a sense: You An interview day (see sidebar) includes a tour of go through dental school, you sit for the board exams, the sOD building and lunch with a number of current you receive your license to practice, and then you start students—but the conversation during these activities learning dentistry.” rarely involves grades or shop talk. Any applicant who the committee members ask straightforward ques- has made it to the interview stage clearly has the intel- tions such as “What characteristics would you bring to lect and experience necessary to become a capable den- the class?” and “What are your strongest and weakest tal student; the purpose of the interview is to learn more personality characteristics?” Jackson says, but they also about “the person behind the transcript” and decide delve into some seemingly unrelated topics: What do which applicants have the interpersonal skills and work you like to do to relax? Do you have any pets? What ethic to make good dentists. sorts of foods do you like to eat? “each of us has our own special questions that we introduce into the pro- 2. cess, and from the time that i started on the committee, Know what your my question was always, ‘What’s your favorite dessert?’” f avo r i t e d e s s e r t i s . Jackson remembers with a laugh. “And that just sort of became a standard part of the interview. Food becomes a big part of the process of trying to determine a candi- so what makes a good dentist, and how do the date’s personality; it’s just something about being in the interviewers determine these qualities? neither question south—food’s a big issue for us.” has a simple answer, says admissions committee mem- Filler says the committee prides itself on two aspects ber Janice Jackson, D.M.D., an associate professor of of the interview in particular: First, all five members of pediatric dentistry. she adds, however, that most good the committee conduct the interviews, so each member4 (U A B De n t i s t r y )
  7. 7. IntERvIEw DAyiA ‘Ride- Along’ with Six UAB HopefulsIT’S ABOUT 10 O’CLOCk on a Wednesday morning, and six people— here—does anybody feel like they need to leave?’ Not one of themthree men and three women—are waiting in the SOD lobby. Their wanted to reschedule their interview—they didn’t want to worryformal business attire suggests a job interview, which isn’t far from the about it one more day.”truth—but this interview will be longer, and yet paradoxically more Today’s group includes an applicant from California, another fromcasual, than any job interview they’ve ever had. Welcome to “interview Alberta, Canada, and two sisters from Florence, Alabama. Third-yearsday” at the School of Dentistry. Alec Hill and Jenny Castanez improvise nicely as they lead the inter-Steve Filler and his admissions committee have hosted hundreds of viewees floor by floor through the busy clinics and laboratories. Alonginterview days, but that doesn’t mean they have it down to a science— the way, students approach the interviewees and chat with them aboutthe unexpected is always likely to occur. This morning, for instance, what life is like at the SOD—something that isn’t necessarily commonFiller disappears for a moment to park a car for an interviewee unfamil- at other dental schools, Filler says.iar with UAB’s campus, and the two fourth-year students slated to lead Filler, who wears a tie but no jacket as he guides the interviewees inthe tour of the school have been sidetracked with exams, meaning that for lunch, says the admissions committee goes out of its way to createa pair of third-year students have to fill in at the last minute. But that’s a relaxed atmosphere on interview day. “I purposely don’t make thefar from the strangest thing that’s happened on interview day, Filler says. applicants wait until everybody shows up for lunch,” he says. “It doesn’t“I remember one interviewee who hit a dog on his way to the school, take much to get their anxiety level running high, and we do our best toand his airbag went off, and he came in with powder from the airbag keep that in check.” He adds that he tries to create a comfortable mixall over his suit,” he recalls. “Another time, it snowed, and we didn’t of applicants and students at lunchtime—for instance, if the interviewknow because we were deep inside the building. I came out to get one group includes an older “nontraditional” applicant, he’ll try to find a non-of the applicants to come in and interview, and the school had more traditional student to eat with them; if there’s a big group from Auburn,or less shut down, so I said, ‘Now, I don’t want to get anyone trapped he’ll pick out a couple of Auburn grads from among the student body. cOntinueD On page 20 (U A B Dentistr y ) 5
  8. 8. has a clear picture of each applicant without having to “it was kind of obvious that i was in a different rely on secondhand descriptions from other interviewers. situation from the other students i was grouped with second, the committee strives to make the interviews as on interview day—i’d been married for five and a half comfortable as possible. the latter aspect is something years when i started class,” he says. “i was nervous, too, Chris Canales can attest to personally: Just a few years because there’s such a tremendous buildup: You know ago, Canales was facing the five committee members for this is the last piece of the puzzle, the last thing you have his interview, and this year, as a UABsOD senior, he served control over in the process. as the student member of the admissions committee. “But the interviewers were very nice—they calmed Canales says the friendly atmosphere of the inter- our nerves by saying, ‘this is more of a getting-to-know- view—a conversation as opposed to an interrogation—is you opportunity; we’re not going to grill you about your no accident: it mirrors the friendly, familial atmosphere accomplishments or lack thereof.’ A lot of the questions of the school itself. “Other schools can grill you during were kind of what i expected—how’d you come to the interviews,” he says. “i think one of the things that sets decision to apply to dental school, why do you think UAB apart is the fact that, day to day, people are friendly you’d be a good dentist. there was one question that here, and the way they interact is great. We want to make seemed a little bit more obviously tailored toward me in sure the applicants understand that this is not only one of particular—‘Have you ever considered doing anything the top dental schools in the country, but it’s also a fun else?’ But i just answered honestly: When i got out of place to be.” school with my degree, i had four or five things in mind that i might try, but once i made the decision to go to 3. dental school, i was focused on it. there wasn’t another r e l a x . d o n ’t b e a f r a i d career that entered my mind, which was a little foreign to be different. to me—coming out of undergrad, my goals hadn’t been nearly that specific. But this time around, that narrower focus helped me with my resolve and determination to if ed richardson’s experience is any indication, that see the process through.” message is getting across nicely. now completing his first richardson was soon accepted into the class of 2011, year at UAB, richardson earned a degree in mechanical and he says the positive first impressions he got of UAB engineering from Auburn University and spent four years on interview day have proved to be accurate. “i’ve been working for a paper company before deciding he wanted to very happy with my experience here with the faculty and exercise a little more control over his own life and career— facilities,” he says. “And Dr. Filler . . . well, it’s not hard and that dentistry would be a good way to achieve that con- to see why everyone likes him. When i was applying to trol. As a “nontraditional” student, however, he had twice dental school, there wasn’t a whole lot of reason for me to as many reasons to be nervous heading into his interview look elsewhere, and if i had to do it all over again, i’d do it at the sOD. pretty much the exact same way.”6 (U A B De n t i s t r y )
  9. 9. 4. “there’s no bias or string-pulling; we don’t care who your daddy was or that you bumped into the governor be patient. one night at dinner. We look at the whole person and ask ourselves whether they have the character to make a good dentist one day.” Once the interviews take place, the admissions com- 5.mittee members compare notes and decide which appli-cants were the most impressive. But even if an applicant d o n ’t b e a f r a i d o finterviews in August or september and is immediately high expectations.deemed worthy of admission, the sOD cannot notifyapplicants of acceptance earlier than December 1, byagreement with the rest of the nation’s dental schools. Filler admits that the committee makes its own job the committee members recognize that this “waiting a little tougher by setting its expectations so high: “Wegame” can be another nerve-wracking part of the process, want people who can handle books, handle tests, handleparticularly for the applicants who don’t get a decision people, and be compassionate and honest on top of all ofright at the beginning of December, but it’s made neces- that,” he says. “We want the whole package—and we getsary by the “rolling” nature of the months-long interview- it most of the time. i’ve been very proud of the studentsing process. “At all times, we have to keep in mind both we’ve gotten to come to the school of Dentistry andhow many people we have already accepted and how what they’ve done, both here and after they graduate.”many people have said yes—that’s how we keep track of For Canales, that includes an orthodontics residencyhow many spots we have left to fill,” Jackson explains. at the University of north Carolina at Chapel Hill start-“We go through a ranking process at various times on ing in August. reflecting on his time as a member of thethe schedule, and we’ll go back to those rankings quite admissions committee, he says their work has been hardoften. And once we send out another batch of acceptance and their decisions difficult to make, but adds that “it’sletters, and we get responses from those people, then an important burden to have.we ask ourselves, ‘OK, we’ve filled a few more spots in “We’re looking at the future of our profession here,”the upcoming class—now how many more can we pick?’ he says. “When you boil it down to the essentials, we’reAt any given time we have to base our decisions on the deciding who’s going to serve the field of dentistry inremaining number of open slots in the next class, and Alabama for the next 30 years, because that’s how longthat number is constantly changing.” some of these people are going to work. it’s an though the process can be worrisome for the appli- important task that we take very seriously,cants, Canales says he can assure prospective students of and we try to put our best foot forwardone thing: the interviews and final decisions are handled so that we get the top candidates—andfairly and equitably. “that was the thing that blew me we pick the ones who put their best footaway, being on this side of the process this year,” he says. forward as well.” (U A B Dentistr y ) 7
  10. 10. The Hinman Pledge PerHAPs tHe GreAtest LeGACY of the pro- education and in the individual’s contribution to The SOD fession of dentistry is being able to make a differ- dentistry, and he organized the first meeting of 40 ence in the lives of numerous patients each day. dentists for educational purposes in 1911. nearly Gets a Boost through passing on their knowledge to educate the dentists of tomorrow, dentists also reach out to a century later, the Hinman Dental Meeting has grown to more than 23,000 dental professionals from One of future generations. A longtime ally and supporter of the school from across the country and around the world. the meeting focuses on providing the best possible America’s of Dentistry, the Hinman Dental society, recent- ly pledged $500,000 to support the thomas P. continuing education for the entire dental team, including general dentists, specialists, hygienists, Hinman Dental Meeting endowed Professorship in assistants, front office staff and students. Most Revered the Department of Comprehensive Dentistry. senior Director of Development J. scott the first portion of the donation was awarded Huffman explains that the pledge grew from Dental in March at the 2008 thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting in Atlanta and was accepted by Dr. Huw F. ongoing support from the society with the help of dental students who studied at UAB in years Societies thomas, dean of Dentistry. “this contribution will be tremendously ben- past. “We’ve had a very strong relationship with the society through the years, and they know how eficial to the school in carrying out our academic much we appreciate their support and what such a mission,” says thomas. “We very much appreciate pledge would mean for the school,” Huffman says. it. the professorship gives us the opportunity to “several of our alumni are members and were very add another quality faculty member to teach our supportive when the donation was under consider- students and allows us to continue to build our ation, particularly Dr. Jim Bob Williamson, who is relationship with the Hinman Dental society, a member of the Board of trustees, and Drs. John which we treasure. C. Barnes and Ken Kendrick.” “the society has been very supportive of edu- the donation, which will be awarded in multiple cation at all levels. in the past, their generosity installments over five years, will be invested with endowed the Hinman Alabama education seminar, earnings funding the endowed professorship. When an annual one-day continuing-education program funds are fully invested, a nationwide search for at UAB that presents a leading authority lecturing candidates for the professorship will begin. on some aspect of dentistry. the Hinman Dental “through this professorship, the pledge helps to society also offers scholarships for two of our dental strengthen our association with the Hinman Dental students each year.” society,” says Huffman. “that relationship with such the society is named for Dr. thomas P. Hinman, a world-renowned group of dental professionals professor of oral surgery at the southern Dental means a lot. it will be a tremendous boost in helping By laura Freeman College in Atlanta. Hinman believed strongly in us to attract and retain a top faculty member.”8 (U A B De n t i s t r y )
  11. 11. Surfing the SODeven BeFOre Her First DAY on the job, Michellerobinson, D.D.s., was making plans for the school “While the new curriculum is in progress, much of our work will be hosted on a sharePoint site New Web Siteof Dentistry’s new Web site. linked from our main Web site,” robinson adds. “i started at UAB in August 2005, but the com- “sharePoint is a Microsoft-based collaboration tool a Big Benefitmittee chair was so anxious to get this project under- that uses a Web portal to allow us to share docu-way, he started e-mailing me in July,” says robinson,assistant dean for dental informatics at the UABsOD. ments, have internal discussions, coordinate meet- ings, share blogs and newsletters, and obtain current for Patients“However, the school was about to go through an news feeds from curriculum-related sites. the newexhaustive accreditation process and a huge imple- layout features a topical menu on one side of thementation project that involved a new clinical infor- page and a user-centered menu at the top. We nowmation system. Both these processes caused the Web have a search feature that allows users to sort throughproject to be stalled.” all our pages and a site map to help guide users. the in 2007, after a series of meetings, construction content-rotation feature allows us to put many morefinally began on the site,, which items on a page by using ‘teaser’ links that give userswas redesigned to be more user-friendly, with easily tidbits of information linked to full articles.”updatable pages. “We also wanted to preserve the Working on the redesign process, which includesUAB branding, so the new Web site has an appear- a second phase, has been extremely rewarding forance that is more consistent with the campus site,” robinson and her committee.robinson explains. “in addition, current technologies “Because there are so many exciting developmentsmake it much easier to introduce interactivity and happening at the school, it was a challenge givingmultimedia. i think the biggest challenge was agree- every department and topic the appropriate ‘realing on a unified design and getting content from the estate’ on the site. i was thrilled to have this problem,experts in a timely manner.” and think the new site will handle it well.” By CinDy riley According to robinson, the old Web site’s contentwasn’t always current, and many facets of clinical careweren’t presented. the new site preserves some of theinformation layout but allows patients to obtain morespecific information about clinics and learn aboutresearch studies in which they might be eligible toparticipate. “Patients will also be able to send comments tothe Webmaster,” says robinson. “eventually, we planto feature more interactive content targeted to thosewith specific dental needs. And each departmentwill have areas where theycan showcase renovations,research projects, and newpersonnel.” With a video server anda new staff member experi-enced in photography andvideography, the departmentplans to showcase accom-plishments with images thatlook professional but can beviewed by most internet userswith average computers. thesite also has several areasthat rotate content, makingit flexible for demonstrations the school’s new Web site is better-looking than the old one, but it’s also more functional for patients, says Michelle robinson.and event publishing. (U A B Dentistr y ) 9
  12. 12. Behind THE SCENES (left-right) Debbie Stanford, Kay White,Yolanda Jones, and Kathleen Diveley The Staffers MOvies MAKe it LOOK eAsY—just wave a magic wand and cue the special effects. in the real that he can’t get the appointment time he wants, so i try to explain things.” world, however, creating a place where amazing Diveley also hears from happy patients. “the nurse Who Keep things can happen takes a lot of work behind the practitioner from a state agency told me what a posi- scenes to set the stage. tive experience it was when i was able to coordinate the UABSOD the school of Dentistry has its own supporting cast of all-stars working to create an environment several departments to help two patients,” she recalls. “i also worked with a social worker as an advocate for Going where dental students and those who teach them can perform at their best and give their patients the a patient with disabilities who had no family. Being able to do things like that means a lot to me.” highest standards of care. Here, a few of those many Diveley, who was named to her current position unsung heroes get their turn in the spotlight. late last year, has several new goals: “i’d like to ramp up diversity training and standardize orientations, and Kathleen diveley | i’m working on a risk-management policies and pro- Director of clinical Operations cedures manual as a ‘go-to’ source for new people.” After hours, Diveley still makes time for walking, Ask Kathleen Diveley what her typical day is like, animal rescue work, and public service with groups and she’ll tell you, “there’s no such thing as a typical such as Habitat for Humanity. day. i might do 15 different things. if there are emer- “every year i try to do at least one thing that con- gencies, we handle them; if a patient falls, or a student tributes and makes the world a little better.” gets a needle stick, we make sure they get help.” the clinical operations office also handles com- K ay W h i t e | pliance, legal issues, and quality assurance and makes sure labs meet OsHA standards and regulations; Facilities coordinator they do orientations and in-service training for clini- When people talk about Kay White knowing cal staff and students, and they make sure students the dental school from top to bottom, it’s literally have their vaccinations and CPr training. true. since transferring from the school of Health Another part of Diveley’s job is resolving prob- Professions seven years ago, White has helped to By laura Freeman lems. “First i listen—a patient may just be unhappy coordinate the renovation of almost every floor.10 (U A B D e n t i s t r y )
  13. 13. “i still have one floor yet to go,” says White. “the and two daughters. After a busy day, she still makestransformation is exciting to see.” time to work with the PtA, the football boosters, and “When I go to White writes work orders, reviews blueprints, and the Girl scouts.represents the dean in planning meetings. Her officehandles maintenance requests, records storage, mov- “i never thought i’d like working with kids this much, but i do. some day i might like to go back to work in theing, furnishings and equipment, and building access.she has signed up to 60 access cards at a time for stu- school and have a business that works with kids and helps to give them a positive spin on life. morning, Ident tours, and she keeps a close watch on the weatherand gets on the intercom when tornadoes are near. “For now, though, they are keeping me pretty busy in prosthodontics. it’s good to be able to get up never know “You have to be ready to deal with the unexpect- in the morning and look forward to going to work.ed,” she says, “like the water pipe that broke behind . . . We have a good time in this department—when what mightthe mechanical room, flooded the floor below, and you enjoy being around the people you work with,set off the fire alarms.” One of White’s favorite jobs is organizing alumni everybody does a better job.” come up. That’s debbie stanford |tours of renovations and designing posters showingwork in progress. Her proudest moments are the executive assistant, Dean’s Office what makes itdedications of projects she helped to complete. “theCharles A. McCallum Jr., D.M.D., M.D., Oral and every morning Debbie stanford arrives at her desk in the dean’s office with a carefully planned interesting.”Maxillofacial surgery Clinic was the first large proj-ect, dedicated in 2003. the dedication of the JeffcoatPeriodontology Clinic and the eighth-floor renova- schedule. However, even with the best-made plans, experience has taught her to expect the unexpected. —Kay White “it may be an out-of-town visitor who can’t maketion were also major highlights,” she says. his connecting flight or a student issue that needs White lives in nearby Leeds with her husband, the dean’s immediate attention—we manage to get itBilly, who is retired from the Alabama Department done. the word ‘no’ is simply not in our vocabulary,”of Public safety. someday, she says, she would like she says. “i must sing the praises of the great staffto do more antiquing in new england to add to her members in our office.”huge collection of Heisey glass. in the meantime, she stanford schedules appointments, keeps thehas plenty to keep her busy. school’s calendar updated, schedules flights, and “When i go to work in the morning, i never know keeps the paperwork flowing. Along with her team,what might come up. that’s what makes it interesting.” she coordinates the annual reporting process for accreditation and plans events such as faculty retreats,yo l a n d a “ te r r i ” J o n e s | Office Alumni Weekend, graduation, the White CoatServices Specialist, Dept. of prosthodontics Ceremony, and other events in conjunction with the if you’re looking for Yolanda Jones in the offices of Alumni Affairs and student Affairs. stanfordDepartment of Prosthodontics, ask for terri. You’ll says one of the highlights of the past year was help-recognize her by her quick smile and upbeat per- ing to plan the southern Conference of Dental Deanssonality. and examiners meeting at ross Bridge resort. “People say i’m too happy,” she says with a laugh. stanford is also secretary for the school’s executive“i’m outgoing and i enjoy working with students.” Council and Dean’s Council and has served as secre- in addition to typing exams and sometimes proc- tary for two UAB dean searches and one chairmantoring them, Jones scans slides, helps with lecture search. But she still manages to find the energy afterpreparations, and does PowerPoint presentations. a busy day to enjoy home renovation projects, sew-“After instructors give a lecture, i post it online for ing, and painting. stanford and her husband, Larry,students to review and check against their notes. it have two sons.helps them study before tests to make sure they are After working at University Hospital early inwell prepared.” her career, stanford returned to UAB in 1996 and Jones is also this year’s chair of the administra- has been helping to keep things on track in thetive staff council, and she works with junior and dean’s office ever since. “Meetings are cancelled andsenior students to make sure they are getting all their rescheduled, e-mail requests are continuous, and therequirements. phone never stops ringing . . . and i have to keep Dr. Jones started working at UAB shortly after thomas in step with it all,” she says. “it keeps me onmoving to Birmingham from Mobile with her son my toes!” (U A B Dentistr y ) 11
  14. 14. student spotlights Juliaisherwood TRUE CALLING in ListeninG tO Her HeArt, pediat- As she worked with patients, ric dentistry resident Julia isherwood found isherwood was drawn to pedi- her true calling. atric dentistry. “i have a better After graduating in biomedical sciences knack for working with kids and as a premed student at Auburn, she was gaining their trust,” she says. rethinking her original plan to go into “Pediatric dentistry is a challeng- medicine and decided to take a year off to ing field, and it’s not for everyone. consider what choices best fit her talents it requires patience and tact, and and what she wanted to achieve in life. “i it’s more of a calling. was working as a lab tech in a genetics lab “though there are many chal- at UAB and talked with a coworker who had lenges, the rewards are even great- been a dental student and was thinking of er. to be able to create a positive switching to medical school. We were such dental experience for children so opposites. the more we talked, the more i that they may continue to have a realized that the things he didn’t like about pleasant outlook on dental care dentistry were exactly what i was looking throughout life is one of the most for. My husband and another friend were rewarding experiences for the dental students at UAB, and they suggested pediatric dentist.” Julia isherwood looked into dental school at the that i look into it. so i worked a while as a this summer, after isherwood STEVE WOOD encouragement of her husband; later this year, dental assistant to get a feel for the work, completes her residency and her they’ll begin practicing together. and i applied to dental school.” husband finishes his orthodontics Chriscanales UP FOR A CHALLENGE—IN ANNAPOLIS OR BIRMINGHAM FrOM tHe stArt, Chris Canales knew school. the more i looked into dentistry, he’d chosen a challenging profession. the more i felt it was the profession for “i think all of us can think of some- me—i wanted to have an impact on the where we’d rather be than in the dentist’s lives of others. even on an average day you chair,” admits Canales, who will graduate have the opportunity to help someone by from UABsOD in May. “My goal is to improving his or her oral health.” provide each patient with a positive expe- While in school, Canales remained in rience so they don’t mind coming back.” the naval reserves and was named com- Canales, who earned a bachelor’s manding officer of his unit. that made com- degree in weapons and systems engi- pleting his degree much more complicated. neering from the United states naval “As the person ultimately responsible Academy in 1995, actually entered the for 40 sailors, i often had to put my stud- dental field as a second ies aside to help these individuals and their career. “After 14 years as families get ready for one-year deployments a naval officer, i briefly to iraq or Afghanistan. i also had to dedi- worked as a pharmaceuti- cate one weekend each month and several cal rep here in Birmingham weeks each summer to active-duty service. after leaving active-duty While this required detailed time manage- chris canales (seen at right as a naval military. i lived with my ment and made dental school more difficult, STEVE WOOD academy cadet) had to balance dental sister, who was in her it was the most rewarding thing i’ve done in school with service in the naval reserves. freshman year of dental the last four years.”12 (U A B D e n t i s t r y )
  15. 15. student spotlights BrandyAdams A LONG AND WINDING ROAD THAT LED TO DENTISTRYtraining, they plan to begin practicing inMontgomery. Of the many lessons isherwood has nOW A sOPHOMOrelearned while pursuing her degree at UAB, at the sOD, Brandyshe says one of the most valuable is persis- Adams says she definitelytence. “Although there are obstacles in the made the right decisionquest to achieve a goal, it is important to by choosing to explorebelieve in times of doubt that if you keep the field of dentistry.positive and stay dedicated, then your hard it just took her a littlework and persistence will eventually pay off. longer than some otherMy best advice to other students is to enjoy people to arrive at thatcollege life, but also set priorities to achieve decision.your goal. Also, never give up, do your best “i did my undergradacademically, and this will keep your future studies at the Universityoptions open. if you do, career opportuni- of Alabama, finished up,ties will fall into place.” and really didn’t know —Laura Freeman what i wanted to do,” she says. “i went to work, did several different jobs, and tried to talk with peo- ple about what i really wanted to do with my life; eventually i went into pharmaceutical sales, and i did that for about three years. But i knew that i didn’t want to do that STEVE WOOD Brandy adams credits her parents and family members with forever. providing the support she needed to succeed in a challenging field. “i have some good After graduation, Canales, 35, will begin friends who went to den-a residency in orthodontics at the University tal school here at UAB, and through talking of people who had careers before this—of north Carolina at Chapel Hill. He says to them and doing a little shadowing, i just accountants and engineers and all kindshe’s looking forward to both the move and kind of figured it out—‘that’s it. that’s what of things. And there’s a good mix of singlethe opportunity to continue learning. i want to do.’” people and those who are married and have “each specialty seems to have a personal- Adams quit her sales job and moved in children. i just love my classmates.”ity, and orthodontics fits mine,” explains the with her brother and his family in Mobile, Adams has also developed quite a bitFlorence, Alabama, native, who has some where she spent a year working in a den- of school spirit in a short amount of time:advice for others considering a career in tist’s office—which was actually her second even during her freshman year, she coulddentistry: “Make sure you spend quite a bit stint in the dental field; she’d worked in an be spotted regularly volunteering at den-of time observing dentists and specialties. orthodontist’s office briefly before going tal-school events, from Homecoming toDentistry blends science, working with your into pharmaceutical sales. During that time, Alumni Weekend to Give Kids a smile.hands, managing a small business and staff, she was accepted to the sOD, and despite “Dentistry combines all the things thatand handling the personalities of patients. following what would technically qualify as i wanted in a career,” she says. “it lets meMost patient anxiety comes from fear of the a “nontraditional” path to dental school, she interact every day with people; it lets meunknown. it is important to build trust with says she’s been able to fit in well. help people and provide a service i knowa patient and make sure that they understand “My class gets along really well, and it’s a they need; it’s got great hours and a goodwhat their procedures entail. Just because a good mix,” she says. “there are some people lifestyle—you just can’t go wrong. i’m luckypast visit was unpleasant doesn’t mean the who came straight out of undergrad, and to have found this path.”current one has to be.” they’re in their early 20s, but there are a lot —Doug Gillett —Cindy Riley (U A B Dentistr y ) 13
  16. 16. faculty focus Jimbroomed.d.s. AGENT OF CHANGE WitH His MAster’s in biomaterials sci- “However,” he says, “it can be hard to ence from the University of Alabama and a make a connection when you separate position at a top dental school, Jim Broome, biomedical learning from clinical practice. D.D.s. is certainly well positioned to come And these students come here to learn up with the next great advance in dental how to treat patients, so we’re integrating biomaterials. But it may be his current the biomedical with the clinical scienc- administrative project that has a bigger es—similar to what the medical school impact on the future of dentistry. launched last fall.” For Broome, research has taken a back Pride is evident in his voice as he seat the last two years to the UABsOD’s describes being part of a new way of efforts to roll out a new curriculum. As asso- learning. “there are a lot of schools going ciate dean for clinical affairs, Broome chaired through these changes, but i can say with the Curriculum innovation task Force based all honesty that we are at the forefront.” on a vision provided by the school’s dean, Broome describes a “perfect storm” of Huw thomas, B.D.s., M.s., Ph.D. the dean’s vision, resources, and people. As Broome explains, dental students “We have the strongest faculty in the coun- traditionally go through two years of try,” he says. “We have the type of people basic biomedical sciences, then two years who embrace change, get down to task, and of clinical studies. Arriving at UAB in make it happen. virtually everyone on the Jim Broome has served in leadership positions 2000, he saw no problem with that, since faculty is involved in one way or another.” STEVE WOOD from elmendorf air Force Base in alaska to here in that was exactly how he had learned at it’s that type of teamwork that Broome Birmingham at the School of Dentistry. the north Carolina school of Dentistry. experienced in what he calls the most Dennis Pillion,Ph.d. CLASS ACT eArLY in His CAreer, Dennis Pillion, “i’m in a unique position to serve as Ph.D., didn’t care much for public speaking. director of the organ-systems courses in A former laboratory scientist, he focused the new curriculum, because pharma- instead on his research. But that changed cology has always been quite broad in after volunteering at a diabetes camp as an its coverage of multiple systems in the assistant counselor. body,” says Pillion, a Connecticut native “it really had an impact on my pro- who received a bachelor’s degree in biol- fessional development,” explains Pillion, ogy and chemistry from the University interim chair of UAB’s Department of of Hartford and completed his doctor- Pharmacology and toxicology, a Joint al training at the Medical College of Health sciences department. “i got back Georgia. “Drugs that affect the heart, tenfold what i gave, and over the years i brain, or teeth also affect other systems. became more comfortable in front of a Pharmacology considers the entire spec- classroom.” trum of those drug actions and touches Pillion, a member of UAB’s faculty since every aspect of the body. 1979, started out working on kidney-trans- “students in the UABsOD program port systems, then moved his focus to fat have an incredibly challenging academic cells before focusing on diabetes research objective,” he adds. “they must learn the and education. He has served as a director basics of normal human anatomy and Once strictly a laboratory scientist, for the pharmacology courses offered to physiology and then discover what hap- Dennis pillion now enjoys teaching students STEVE WOOD medical, dental, and optometry students pens in a disease state and how to treat from three different uaB schools. for almost nine years. the problem. the challenge is to filter14 (U A B D e n t i s t r y )
  17. 17. faculty focus WenChouWu,d.d.s.,m.s. A LONG-DISTANCE OPPORTUNITY THAT PAID OFFgratifying assignment of his 22-year AirForce career before coming to UAB. Most W Hen tAiPei nAtiv eof his time was spent in medical centers, Wen Chou Wu moved tolargely insulated from military operations— Birmingham in 2003, he knewbut when he was asked to run the dental it wouldn’t be an easy transi-service at a base in Alaska, the culture was tion. the nearly 24-hour over-all about fighter jets, not medicine. He says seas flight didn’t help.most people don’t realize that for every “it was really tough in theromantic-sounding solo jet mission, there beginning,” says Wu, an assis-are a thousand people behind the scenes. tant professor in the UABsOD’s “i felt a real connection. i was contribut- prosthodontics department. “iing to the mission of the Air Force,” he says. came with my wife, whom i’d“it was a great way to end my career.” just married. she didn’t speak so what happens when the curricu- english, and with the southernlum rollout mission is complete? this fall, accent people have here, weBroome says he will “go back to his day had a difficult time fitting in.”job” managing the school’s operations. But But Wu was determinedafter an exhilarating Air Force stint and the to stick it out. After threeenergetic undertaking of the Curriculum years training in the Graduateinnovation task Force, don’t expect him to Prosthodontics Program atremain quietly behind his desk for long. the sOD, Wu pursued addi- —Shelly DeButts tional studies in maxillofacial prosthetics. “My original plan was to Wen chou Wu’s original plan was to finish his schooling STEVE WOOD learn as much as i could, then and return to his native taiwan, but he found uaB too good an environment to leave. go back to serve my people in taiwan,” explains Wu. “i felt i lacked the ability to handle big cases, “Coming here was a big move—imaginethe information and present those students especially regarding implants. However, suddenly being in China or Japan withwith the most important aspects of it. Add the more i learned, the more i became people who, from your point of view, haveto that the fact that our information is interested in this specialty. i found UAB strange customs,” he explains. “in the begin-really rudimentary in many areas and con- provided a better environment in academic ning, my wife was afraid to even answer thestantly changing as we discover holes in dentistry, which is why i changed my plans phone—she was frustrated and lonely whenour understanding. these deficiencies make and decided to stay here.” i was at work. But the people here were sothe whole process of educating future den- Along with his mentor, Michael nice and considerate, she started meetingtal practitioners a never-ending chess game McCracken, Ph.D., Wu teaches in the friends and practicing english with them.that requires us to continuously revamp implant clinic for graduate prosthodontics. now she has finished the M.B.A. programand replace what we teach. it also creates a He also sees patients and consults at the at UAB. i am very proud of her.”great opportunity and responsibility for us Kirklin Clinic. Wu is also grateful to have the opportu-as educators to continue to learn.” “i’m particularly interested in maxil- nity to help others through his work. And Pillion is looking forward to what lofacial prosthetics and implant dentistry. “those patients who’ve acquired defectslies ahead. nothing pleases me more than seeing the from cancer, accidents, or congenital “Failure to change our curriculum would happiness of my patients. i feel very fortu- defects really suffer a lot,” he says. “it is sohave important and long-lasting effects on nate to be in this position.” rewarding to be able to put smiles back onour competitiveness. And we owe a debt Wu hopes to become board-certified in their faces.”to our current and past faculty for their prosthodontics and eventually plans to get —Cindy Rileyefforts, positioning us in the top echelon involved in more clinically relevant studies,of dental schools in the country. i see the as well as more teaching. But he feels he’snational landscape changing, with UAB at already accomplished a great deal.the front of the pack.” —Cindy Riley (U A B Dentistr y ) 15
  18. 18. alumni profiles William davis, Noah Dean miller, and Lewis chapman THEY EXCELLED BOTH ON THE PLAYING FIELD AND IN THE CLASSROOM; NOW THEY’VE INSTILLED THAT SPIRIT IN THE NEXT GENERATION By shelly DeButts Less tHAn tWO YeArs AGO, William been a big influence on me,” he says. “Going dents are thinking because you all shared Davis, D.M.D., recruited a new player to the reunions, there’s a lot of camarade- so much,” he says. for his team. she was a ’Bama legacy, of rie—it’s just like being on a [sports] team, And he wholeheartedly agrees that if course, just like he was, although she and it gets stronger all of the time. As the you can play sports in college, you can didn’t try out for the football squad as he, years go by, we just keep getting stronger tackle anything—pun intended, since his brothers, and father all had. And he as a team. that may seem strange, but i’ve Miller played defense. Both he and Davis had drafted her from the UABsOD, which always thought that.” say that playing football, especially in Bear he knew from experience was a reliable noah Dean Miller, D.M.D., agrees. He Bryant’s demanding championship-level source of new recruits. and Davis were football teammates, then program, helped prepare them for life. so he really didn’t need to spend too UABsOD teammates, and now practic- “Coach always taught us that if you much time deciding on his pick—she was, ing professional teammates. Miller has a make it through something tough once, it after all, his own daughter, Clay reese. general-dentistry practice in rainbow City, makes it that much easier to do it again,” she’s now a successful member of his Alabama, and still sees Davis on a regular says Davis. “You learn how to stick with dental practice in Athens, Alabama, a fully basis, evidence of the close friendship they something and not give up. He was always contributing member of the team. Davis developed when they met in Alabama’s talking about that.” wouldn’t have it any other way. 1970 football recruiting class. Miller sees “Unlike at UA, we actually had free “there’s a certain amount of respect his fellow UABsOD graduates as team- time to study in dental school, since there that comes with a degree from the UAB mates, too. was no football practice,” Miller remem- school of Dentistry,” he says. “not to men- “it’s hard to explain to a layperson, but bers. “i wasn’t having to prepare for tests tion all of the help that you get from your you almost know what the other dental stu- sore and tired after four or six hours of former teammates.” practice. it was still intense with academics, but i was pretty well dentistry as a focused by the time i got to te a m s p o r t dental school. the discipline i For Davis, this means pro- “Going to the reunions, learned carried over and i knew fessional colleagues and former what i wanted to do.” Crimson tide teammates alike. Before he was Dr. Davis, he was there’s a lot of camaraderie Both of Miller’s sons learned the life lessons of mixing sports Bill Davis, football player for Bear Bryant’s title-winning dynasty at —it’s just like being on a and academics as he learned them from his father, who was UA in the 1970s. Back then his both a coach and a teacher. Matt teammates were on the field and team, and it gets stronger led the Crimson tide to the in the locker room; now they’re Cotton Bowl before graduating everywhere. “Other dentists [from the all the time.” to pursue his career; Marc, also a tide player, followed in his UABsOD] have been a lot of help throughout my career. it’s —Bill Davis father’s footsteps to graduate from the UABsOD in June. He caption16 (U A B De n t i s t r y )
  19. 19. alumni profiles noah Dean Miller (left) and Bill Davis (below, with daughter clay reese) say they learned valuable lessons both as alabama football players and as uaB dental students that they’ve been able to pass along to their children. Will chapman (above, left) followed in his father Lewis’s footsteps by playing tennis at Birmingham-Southern college and then earning a dental degree at uaB; they now practice orthodontics together in currently part of a periodontal residency field and explored different areas while in of college. But by his sophomore year he hadprogram in the Air Force. college, but the “before and after” treat- earned a place in the playing rotation and a so will Marc join his dad’s team when ment results he saw in his father’s office scholarship, and by his senior year he washe’s ready to start practicing? “With my son convinced him that working in his father’s named to the nAiA All-Academic team.specializing in periodontics and me being a practice was where he needed to be. “i always felt like i was a better studentgeneral dentist, i don’t know right now, but “the familiarity and trust level we have because i played on the tennis team,” saysit’s a big topic of conversation,” Miller says. with each other are the biggest advantages Will. “it definitely made me budget my time“there’s a lot of opportunity for him here— to working together,” he says. “But my wife better.”i’m keeping my fingers crossed.” sometimes gives me a hard time about being echoing Miller’s sentiments, he adds, “it too much like my dad. i tell her if he wasn’t was easier for me in dental school after beinglegacies in the clinic— a good orthodontist, then that would be a a student-athlete. i was used to going toand on the court problem.” class in the morning, playing tennis in the that question is already answered for Being a lot like his dad extended to play- afternoon, and studying at night. in dentalLewis Chapman, D.M.D. He and his son, ing tennis, which eventually earned Will a school, the only difference was that i wasWill Chapman, D.M.D., are on the same scholarship to Birmingham-southern, where going to lab or clinic in the afternoon insteadteam, practicing orthodontics together his father earned his bachelor’s degree in of playing tennis.”in Montgomery; both are graduates of mathematics. Will pursued a degree in eco- now Will has the chance to pass theBirmingham-southern College (BsC), as nomics there before following his father to athlete-scholar-professional tradition downwell as part of the UABsOD “team” referred the UABsOD. to a third generation just as Davis and Millerto by Davis and Miller. Will started playing tennis with his dad did: His first child is five years old—just As early as high school, Will had a and brothers as a child and was a walk-on about old enough to pick up a tennis racquet.general goal of working in a health-related to the BsC tennis team in his freshman year right, Dad? (U A B Dentistr y ) 17