Awards, Students

Two Dental Students Receive Prestigious Academic Dentistry Fellowships

Allison Cavenaugh and Joshua Fein, both third-year dental students at UNC-Chapel Hill, are among the 11 students recently selected for a national academic dental careers fellowship.

Joshua Fein and Allison Cavenaugh, recently selected for the American Association for Dental Research (AADR) and the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) Academic Dental Careers Fellowship Program, were recognized at a March 31 reception. They are pictured with Dr. Janet Guthmiller, associate dean for academic affairs, and Dean John N. Williams.

The American Association for Dental Research (AADR) and the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) Academic Dental Careers Fellowship Program selection committee chose the 2008 fellowship class from all U.S. and Canadian dental schools and ADEA member allied dental programs. The fellowship class is made up of 10 dental students and one allied dental student.

Fellowship components include a day-and-a-half summer fellow/mentor training session, biweekly collaborative meetings between fellows and mentors, faculty/administrator interviews, teaching practicum in four settings, career reflection essays, research practicum, poster presentation at the 2009 AADR/ADEA Annual Session and other activities. The fellowship’s focus is to encourage and prepare students to enter academic dentistry.

Cavenaugh’s faculty mentor is Dr. Lorne Koroluk, an associate professor with a joint appointment in the Departments of Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics. “I have always been attracted to the care of craniofacial patients, and I hope to be involved in this aspect of dental care for the rest of my career,” said Cavenaugh. “I hope to pursue a career in academics in a pediatric dentistry department, combined with the care of my own patients and working on a craniofacial team.”

Fein’s faculty mentor is Dr. Eric M. Rivera, chairman of the Department of Endodontics. He said his post-graduation plans are to enter a specialty program and eventually pursue a career in academia. Fein, who has elementary and middle school teaching experience, said he looked forward to the close interaction with faculty and students as a part of the year-long fellowship.

“While the students are certainly different from the fourth- and fifth-graders I used to teach, the principles and goals of teaching are still the same. A dental school educator has a great responsibility to help mold students and, therefore, significantly affect patients.” Dr. Janet Guthmiller, associate dean for academic affairs at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Dentistry, said she looked forward to working with Cavenaugh and Fein and their mentors “as we integrate their teaching and scholarship activities into their curriculum.”

“Having previously served as a mentor in this program,” she added, “I am very appreciative and enthusiastic about how the program will show Josh and Allison so many facets of academics as a career. It is my hope that we will continue to encourage UNC students to apply for this national fellowship opportunity and at the same time look internally at developing a similar program at the School of Dentistry.”

The 2008 AADR/ADEA Academic Dental Careers Fellowship Program fellows will be formally announced at a March 31 reception held as a part of the ADEA Annual Session and Exhibition in Dallas.