Recently, four UNC Adams School of Dentistry students were awarded the Henry S. and Martha N. Zaytoun Professionalism and Ethics Award. The awards are presented to DDS students in the third- and fourth-year classes. This year, the awards were presented to Jasmine Nevill, DDS ‘24, Niki Lanka, DDS ‘ 25, Dariel Liakhovetski, DDS ‘25 and Bree Smith, DDS ‘25.
Each student was nominated by ASOD staff, faculty and students, and the winners were selected by a panel of faculty members. Here’s what the nominators had to say about each of the winners.
“Jasmine has consistently demonstrated an unwavering commitment to ethical practices and a stellar level of professionalism all while fighting for our class. I have seen firsthand how much time, energy, thought, and foresight she has put in for our class in solving problems. She never hesitates to speak up for what’s right and often will offer solutions to help accommodate the majority of the class.”
“Niki is an incredible member of the ASOD community. As a student clinician, Niki strives to connect with her patients on a human level while also providing the best care that she can. Niki has a steadfast commitment to bettering those around her. She strives to do her very best in her leadership roles because she knows that the work she does can impact many others. She does all this while maintaining a kind, supportive, and inspirational personality.”
“Aside from his academic and professional accomplishments, what truly distinguishes Dariel is his outstanding interpersonal skills and his unique ability to collaborate with faculty, classmates, and patients. I have observed Dariel’s fervent excitement, steadfast dedication to ethics and professionalism, and exceptional leadership abilities greatly contributing to our academic community.”
“I am always amazed when I see how much Bree is doing and how much she actually cares about the things she is doing. Bree does not do things just to do them. She gives 100% of her best efforts. Bree’s passion motivates and inspires others and her drive is truly admirable. She is humble and down to earth. She makes UNC ASOD a better place with her unselfish giving of her time and energy to those around her.”
To win, each student must demonstrate the following:
- Integrity and honesty in all one’s dealings with people, particularly patients. Highest standards of morality and personal conduct.
- Conscientious and compassionate attitude.
- Strives to maintain a superior level of knowledge and competence with the attitude that the patient deserves the best service one can possibly render.
- Professional grooming and attire without being ostentatious.
- Understanding that the public holds a dentist to the highest standard of behavior and this student’s conduct reflects favorably on the profession in the eyes of his/her patients, colleagues and the public.
- Is the recognized student a genuinely nice person?
- Is the student eager to share unselfishly with his/her colleagues?
The Zaytoun Award in Professionalism and Ethics was established with a generous gift from Dr. and Mrs. Henry Zaytoun Sr. Dr. Zaytoun earned his master’s degree in orthodontics from the UNC Adams School of Dentistry in 1959 and practiced orthodontics in Raleigh for more than 50 years.