GSDM Community Dazzles at 2024 Yankee Dental Congress

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During this year’s Yankee Dental Congress, the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) community reunited in the alumni lounge, expanded their knowledge with continued education classes, and mingled at the alumni reception.  

Stacey McNamee, director of Alumni Relations & Annual Giving, said it was great to see so many familiar faces during this year’s Yankee Dental Congress, which was held from January 25-27 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. 

“Yankee Dental Congress is the perfect place to catch up with those from the GSDM community and honor everyone who is doing great work in the field,” McNamee said. 

Read on for some highlights from this year’s event. 

Two GSDM alumni inducted into Pierre Fauchard Academy 
Two GSDM alumni were inducted into the Pierre Fauchard Academy during the dental honor society’s annual breakfast meeting on Friday morning. Fellowship in the Pierre Fauchard Academy is by nomination and is designed to honor past accomplishments in dentistry and encourage future productivity. The fellows are selected based on contributions to dental literature, service to the profession, and service to the general community. 

  • Michael Mayr CAMED 12 DMD 16 
  • Frank Schiano CAS 01 DMD 06 AEGD 07 ORTHO 19 

Six GSDM faculty/alumni named to MDS “10 under Ten” list
GSDM alumni and/or faculty members accounted for more than half of the Massachusetts Dental Society’s (MDS) 2024 “10 under Ten” recipients. The award recognizes dentists who have made significant contributions to the field and have been in the profession for 10 years or less.    

  • Matthew Mara DMD 16 AEGD 17 Wheelock 19, assistant professor of general dentistry 
  • Dr. Kelly Sayre, assistant professor of oral & maxillofacial surgery 
  • Sonya Hasan Wheelock 09 DMD 15 
  • Mohammad Abbas Khan DMD 17 
  • Hitesh Vij DMD 20 
  • Trinh Vo DMD 13 

Catching up in the Alumni Lounge 
The alumni lounge was hopping throughout the three-day conference, welcoming members of the GSDM community and offering them a chance to catch up with each other and to learn more about current happenings at GSDM.  

The GSDM Development & Alumni Relations team stocked the lounge with new giveaway items for alums, including GSDM-branded chip clips, pens, and coffee sleeves. (To learn more about how McNamee prepared for Yankee Dental Congree, check out our “Behind the Scenes” article.)  

“The alumni lounge was as busy as ever,” McNamee said. “Just like every year, at the end of the three days, Yankee Dental is starting to wrap up, and I still have all my alumni mingling in the lounge.”  

GSDM students receive awards from MDS, ACD
Tia Patterson DMD 24 was the GSDM recipient of the Matthew Boylan Award. This award is presented annually during Yankee Dental Congress to a Massachusetts resident and dental student who has provided distinguished service to organized dentistry and the community. 

Patterson has been volunteering with the Boston-based nonprofit organization Community Servings Kitchen since 2019 and is a top 5 percent lifetime volunteer.  

Mary Morcos DMD 24 was this year’s recipient of the American College of Dentists (ACD) Outstanding Student Leader Award. This award is given to one fourth-year dental student from each of the five New England dental schools who represents ACD’s principles of high achievement, strong leadership, and high ethical standards.  

DMD students participate in debate
Julia Dudek DMD 27 and Suleman Shaikh DMD 27 represented GSDM at the 15th Annual Massachusetts Dental Society (MDS) and the American Student Dental Association (ASDA) District 1 Student Debate on Saturday.  

In addition to GSDM, University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, University of New England College of Dental Medicine (UNE), Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, and a pre-dental team competed in the debate.  

GSDM went up against UNE in the first round on the topic of whether tele-dentistry increases access to care or creates new problems. GSDM argued well in favor of the latter position, but UNE ultimately won the round.”

The final round was between UNE and Harvard on the question of whether pediatricians should be trained and reimbursed for providing fluoride varnish. Harvard won the debate.  

Special reunion event for two predoctoral classes
GSDM collaborated with representatives from the predoctoral classes of 2004 and 2007 to plan special reunion events on Thursday for the members of those respective classes—the first time an event of this kind was held during Yankee. Members of both classes enjoyed an evening of mingling and merriment in the private room at MJ O’Connors in the Westin.  

“It’s special to be able to create opportunities for members of a specific class to catch up, especially as Yankee Dental can be so busy,” McNamee said. “We hope to do this type of class-specific event more in the future.”  

Hundreds attend alumni reception
The trademark event of Yankee Dental Congress, the alumni reception, was a huge success, said Amanda Modelevsky, GSDM director of meetings & events.  

More than 500 attendees checked into the alumni reception at the Plaza Ballroom in the Seaport Hotel on Friday, including alumni, current students, faculty, staff, and friends of GSDM.  Modelevsky noted that the members of the school’s Alumni Board helped with check in, using a new electronic process that proved to be quick and efficient. 

“It was such a warm and fun atmosphere at the event on Friday,” Modelevsky said. “It was so nice to see everyone enjoying themselves… signs of a successful event!”  

By Rachel Grace Philipson