Dental Alumni Association

Dental Alumni Association

The UNC Adams School of Dentistry’s Dental Alumni Association began in 1954, organized by 34 members of the school’s first graduating DDS class. Three years later, there were 120 alumni spread across the state.

Over the years, thousands of DDS students have turned their tassels and received their diplomas at commencement. We are proud of our alumni and of the extraordinary work they have done and continue to do in their communities around the world.

While the activities of the earliest years of the organization are somewhat obscure, alumni meetings began in the mid-1960s. In 1970, there was an all-day scientific meeting of the organization that was followed with a dinner at the Ranch House Restaurant in Chapel Hill. Table clinics were added to the program the following year and by 1972, annual membership was over 1,000.

Deans Bawden and White re-invigorated the organization in the 1970s, resulting in a Dental Alumni Association (DAA) Board of Directors’ composition similar to what exists today: representatives from each of the five NCDS districts as well as an officer corps. Dr. Jack Shankle was the first executive director of the DAA and Prissy Allen was his full-time executive secretary.

Over time, annual DAA meetings were supplemented with special alumni activities developed to occur in conjunction with the NCDS Annual Session, Hinman Dental Society Annual Meeting, and NC Academy of General Dentists (AGD) Annual Meeting. The DAA remains an important resource for alumni, facilitating connections to classmates and our school.

If you have questions regarding the Dental Alumni Association, please reach out to the Executive Director of the DAA, Kaylee Cutler, via email at or phone at (919) 537-3261.

Stay in touch! Click here to update your information online.

Board of Directors and Officers

The 2021-22 Board of Directors includes the following individuals:


Paige T. Holbert
DDS Class of 2003
Richmond, VA


John W. McNeill
DDS Class of 1991

Raleigh, NC  


Ralph K. Mensah
DDS Class of 2008
Durham, NC


E. Lynn Styers
DDS Class of 1987

North Myrtle Beach, SC


Alicia G. Rodriguez  
DDS Class of 1994 
Asheville, NC  

Ashley Mull
DDS Class of 2021 

Gastonia, NC  


Steve W. Yang
DDS Class of 1997 
Salisbury, NC  

Elizabeth Damesek
DDS Class of 1999

Charlotte, NC  


Anbec Deshield-Mayes
DDS Class of 2009

Greensboro, NC  

Elise Newsome
DDS Class of 2010
Greensboro, NC


Tara L. Wiggins-Smith
DDS Class of 2008 
New Hill, NC  

Tina Shih Kendall
DDS Class of 1997 

Cary, NC  


William S. Harvey III  
DDS Class of 2006
Beaufort, NC

Ashley Basinger
DDS Class of 2000

Wilmington, NC  


Benjamin T. Anders
DDS Class of 2016 

Summerville, SC


Janet Guthmiller

Paul Gardner  
Associate Dean of Advancement  

Kaylee Cutler 
Executive Director, UNCDAA  

Student Support

As stewards of the Adams School of Dentistry, and supporters of all Tar Heel dentists, the DAA takes part in programs and activities that benefit current students. The connection between current and past students is a mutually beneficial one.

DAA Scholarships: Each year, the DAA awards several scholarships to third-year dental students. All eligible students are encouraged to apply. Finalists are interviewed by the scholarship selection committee.

Short-Term Research Fellowships: Periodically, the DAA supports several dental students with a significant grant to support their research efforts.

Spurgeon Table Clinic Awards: Each year the DAA provide monetary awards for student table clinic presentations.

Travel Grants for AADR: The DAA helps support student travel to present papers/table clinics at the American Association of Dental Research meeting.

Dental Research and Review Day: The DAA provides financial support to this event, which devotes an entire day to research reports by both faculty and students.

Student Lobby Day Travel Support: Each year, dental students attend a national lobby day in Washington, D.C. to learn about current legislative issues and agendas. The DAA helps support student travel.

Gifts for Incoming and Graduating Students: The DAA provides gifts for graduating students, encouraging them to be part of organized dentistry and the DAA.

NCDS Student Mentor Reception: The DAA and DFNC both provide major support to the NCDS mentor program reception held during the NCDS Annual Session. Typically, 60-100 students attend the reception and enjoy the opportunity to visit with their NCDS mentor, as well as NCDS and school officials.


The DAA gives the below awards annually, or when a worthy candidate is identified.

Distinguished Alumni Award

Established in 2007, the Distinguished Alumni Award at the Adams School of Dentistry recognizes the alumnus/a who has brought credit to the school through significant and extraordinary contributions to the profession and/or their community. Emphasis is given to alumni who work outside a full-time academic setting.

Distinguished Alumni Award Winners
2019 John W. Atwater, Jr.
2019 William E. Williams
2018 Nona Breeland
2017 Michael A. Webb
2016 Mark W. Casey
2015 Richard F. Hunt III
2014 Joe Camp
2013 C. Frank Brantley III
2012 Chuck Norman
2011 Bettie McKaig
2009 Delma Kinlaw
2008 Stephen B. Mackler
2007 Gavin G. Harrell

John C. Brauer Award

The John C. Brauer Award is named for the first dean of the  Adams School of Dentistry and recognizes outstanding service to the school. Eligible candidates include senior faculty and administrators, alumni, or friends who have made outstanding contributions to the Adams School of Dentistry. This award typically recognizes a lifetime of service rather than one specific contribution. This award is not presented annually and instead is awarded when the committee chooses to honor someone with this prestigious award.

John C. Brauer Award Winners
2019 Allen Samuelson
2018 Ronald P. Strauss
2017 Ray C. Williams
2016 Timothy Turvey
2015 Ken N. May, Jr.
2014 Michael Roberts
2013 Aldridge D. Wilder, Jr.
2012 Bill Proffit
2011 Bill Vann
2009 Ed Kanoy
2008 Clarence L. Sockwell
2007 Harald Heymann
2006 Sandy Madison
2005 John Stamm
2003 James C. Eagle, Jr.
2002 Kenneth Morgan, Sr.
2001 Morris Griffin
2000 Ray White
1999 Ted Roberson
1998 John Jacoway
1997 H.V. Murray
1996 Jack Sowter
1995 Troy B. Sluder, Jr.
1994 Walter McFall
1992 E.B. Tarrson
1991 James Baldwin
1987 Baxter B. Sapp, Sr.
1986 James Harrell, Sr.
1985 Clifford Sturdevant

Distinguished Service Award

The Distinguished Service Award honors exceptional service to the school and the profession of dentistry, as well as a significant impact on the Dental Alumni Association. The recipient is usually a graduate of the Adams School of Dentistry.

DAA Distinguished Service Award Winners
2019 J. Jackson Teague III
2018 R. Lee Warren
2017 Evan N. Miller
2016 W. Arthur Cooper III
2015 Sharon Nicholson Harrell
2013 C. Scott Davenport
2012 Gene Howden
2011 Ben Smith
2009 Flynn Harris
2008 Benjamin W. Brown and Rex B. Card
2007 Ralph Leonard
2006 Ken N. May, Jr.
2005 Charles Willis
2003 Ted Roberson
2002 Greg Chadwick
2001 Dale Finn
2000 Jim Congleton
1999 Larry Williams
1998 Robert Outland, Jr.
1997 John Stamm
1996 Sue Pendergrass
1995 Kenneth Morgan, Sr.
1994 Joe Camp and Henry Zaytoun, Sr.
1992 Matthew T. Wood
1991 Bettie McKaig
1990 Jim Elliot, Jr.
1989 Keith Bentley and Sandy C. Marks
1988 Priscilla Allen
1986 Dudley Chandler, Jr.

Honorary Lifetime Membership

An Honorary Lifetime Membership may be awarded to non-alumni the DAA Board of Directors wishes to recognize for service to the Adams School of Dentistry and the profession of dentistry in North Carolina.

Honorary Lifetime Membership Award Winners
2019 André V. Ritter
2018 William E. Milner, Jr.
2017 Steven Offenbacher
2016 Valerie Murrah and Ricardo Padilla
2015 Sandra Henson and Maurice Koury
2014 Clarence L. Sockwell and Jane Weintraub
2013 E. Paul Gardner
2012 Timothy Wright
2011 Dan Cheek and Kitty Tulloch
2009 John Williams
2008 Royce Montgomery
2007 Stanley L. Allen, Jr.
2006 Alec Parker
2005 Karl Leinfelder
2003 James A. Harrell, Jr.
2002 John Jacoway
2001 E. Jefferson Burkes
2000 Stephen C. Bayne
1999 Gary Oyster
1998 Lee Sockwell
1997 Robert Sherman and E.B. Tarrson
1996 James Harrell, Sr.
1995 Jacob Freedland and Robert Plage
1994 Henry S. Zaytoun, Sr.
1992 John Sowter and John Stamm
1987 Shuford Abernethy and R.B. Barden
1986 Charles Horton and J.H. Spillman
1985 Nathan Schupper
1983 The Keiter Dog
1982 Ray White
1981 David Dobson and Jack Shankle
1980 Cliff Sturdevant
1976 Grover Hunter
1970 L.B. Higley
1966 John C. Brauer