DDS, Dental Hygiene, Faculty and Staff, Students

UNC School of Dentistry Alumni, Faculty, Students Win Awards at NC Dental Society Annual Meeting

Several UNC School of Dentistry alumni, faculty, students and former staff were honored with a number of awards during the recent North Carolina Dental Society (NCDS) Annual Session. Recipients received awards from not only NCDS, but also the International College of Dentists(ICD), the American College of Dentists (ACD) and the Pierre Fauchard Academy.

“When you look over the list of everyone who was honored at this meeting, it’s truly remarkable how many of them have strong, direct ties to the UNC School of Dentistry,” said Dr. Jane Weintraub, dean of the UNC School of Dentistry. “We’re fortunate to have such outstanding alumni, faculty, former staff and students as part of our UNC family. All of their awards and honors are well-deserved and well-earned, and we’re incredibly proud of all their accomplishments.”

NCDS honored five members of the North Carolina dental community during the annual Awards Luncheon. NCDS serves as the membership organization for dentists who reside in North Carolina.

This year’s NCDS Distinguished Service Award recipient was Dr. Bettie McKaig, who earned her B.S.D.H. and her D.D.S. from the UNC School of Dentistry in 1971 and 1978 respectively. This award, which NCDS considers its most prestigious award, honors McKaig for her outstanding service, leadership and dedication to dentistry throughout her career. Since before her D.D.S. graduation, McKaig has been involved in organized dentistry, notably including her time as NCDS president (1995-96), service to the NCDS House of Delegates for 40 years and her various roles in dental organizations such as the ICD and the American Dental Association (ADA). McKaig is also very involved with the UNC School of Dentistry, having served as president of the Dental Foundation of North Carolina (DFNC), on numerous fundraising campaign steering committees and as an adjunct faculty member.

Former UNC School of Dentistry dean Dr. Raymond White, Jr. was honored with the NCDS Meritorious Achievement Award. This award is given annually to a nominee who has demonstrated a significant achievement in dentistry. White’s impact on dentistry is immense, as is demonstrated by his countless appointments in dental organizations such as the ADA, American Association of Dental Research (AADR), and both the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (ABOMS) and the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons(AAOMS). White is the current Dalton L. McMichael Distinguished Professor in the UNC School of Dentistry Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

Dr. Harry “Frosty” Culp, another UNC School of Dentistry alumnus, received the NCDS Citizenship Award. The award recognizes a NCDS member who has rendered outstanding service to the community that reflects favorably upon dentistry. Culp graduated from the school in 1980 with his D.D.S. before entering private practice in High Point, N.C. He stays active with the UNC School of Dentistry through his involvement in the UNC Dental Alumni Association (UNCDAA) and by serving on various school committees, such as the UNC School of Dentistry Campaign for Excellence Steering Committee.

School of Dentistry alumnus Dr. Amy Batten received the NCDS Commendation Award. This award is given to a nominee who has been in practice 10 years or less and is less than 40 years old. Recipients must also have demonstrated leadership and service to the North Carolina dental community through involvement with NCDS. Batten, who earned her D.D.S. in 1992, has been practicing full-time in Goldsboro, N.C. since her graduation.

Former UNC School of Dentistry staff member and school alumnus Priscilla Allen was honored by NCDS with the NCDS Special Recognition Award for her extraordinary work and lifelong dedication to the dental community. Allen, a graduate of the UNC Dental Assisting Program, currently works at NCDS as the director of meetings and special events and the assistant to the NCDS executive director. During her time at UNC, Allen worked with the Department of Prosthodontics, UNCDAA and DFNC, and served as the editor for the school’s biannual publication, North Carolina Dental Review.

ACD, ICD and the Pierre Fauchard Academy hold a joint annual luncheon at the NCDS meeting to honor current and recently-graduated dental students. During this lunch, D.D.S. Class of 2012 graduates Dr. Kevin Ricker and Dr. Elise Watson Sarvas were honored by ICD and ACD respectively. Both Ricker and Sarvas received each organization’s Outstanding Student Leadership Award due to their demonstrated and outstanding scholastic performance while in dental school, and were honored with a certificate and a cash prize. Both Ricker and Sarvas are entering specialty programs for pediatric dentistry in the fall; Ricker will remain at UNC and Sarvas will enroll at the University of Washington School of Dentistry.

Current student James Purvis, D.D.S. Candidate 2013, received the Pierre Fauchard Academy Fourth-Year Leadership Award during the same luncheon Ricker and Sarvas were honored. The award is given annually to a student who exemplifies leadership and academic standards of the academy. Purvis has received many honors since enrolling at the UNC School of Dentistry, including receiving merit-based scholarships and being elected speaker of the house for the Student Professionalism and Ethics Association (SPEA). The Pierre Fauchard Academy is the international honor dental organization and its members strive to consistently focus on professionalism, integrity and ethics.

The NCDS Annual Session is held in mid-May in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The three-day conference includes opportunities for continuing education, organization meetings and award luncheons. For information on the 2013 NCDS Annual Session, visit