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Dental School faculty members receive national honors

Posted: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 · Volume: XLVI · Issue: 10

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David P. Cappelli, D.M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., received the Distinguished Service Award from the American Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors. He is an associate professor in the Department of Comprehensive Dentistry.
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David P. Cappelli, D.M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., received the Distinguished Service Award from the American Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors. He is an associate professor in the Department of Comprehensive Dentistry.clear graphic

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By Rosanne Fohn

Two faculty members from the Dental School at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio are in the national spotlight.

David P. Cappelli, D.M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Comprehensive Dentistry, was presented the Distinguished Service Award by the American Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors (ASTDD) in April at the National Oral Health Conference held in Huntsville, Ala.

Carol Nguyen, RDH, M.S.,, was chosen in March president-elect of Sigma Phi Alpha (SPA), the dental hygiene national honor society, at the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) annual meeting. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Periodontics’ Division of Dental Hygiene.

Distinguished Service Award
Dr. Cappelli’s award recognizes his contribution to the specialty of dental public health as director of a residency program in this dental specialty. The award recognized Dr. Cappelli’s “many years of teaching, research, and service in the field of dental public health.” He has been the director of the Dental Public Health Residency program at the UT Health Science Center since 2005.

He received his dental training and Master of Public Health degree from the University of Pittsburgh. He joined the Health Science Center faculty in 1988 and since that time has excelled in teaching, advising and service while also conducting research.

He earned his certificate in dental public health from the UT Health Science Center in 1999 and his doctorate in epidemiology in 2002 from the UT Health Science Center Houston School of Public Health.

“I am truly humbled and honored to receive the ASTDD Distinguished Service Award,” Dr. Cappelli said. “To be recognized in this way by the ASTDD, an organization that serves as a leader in the practice of dental public heath, is gratifying.”

Dr. Cappelli is an associate member of ASTDD and a member of the ASTDD working group tasked with updating the Best-Practice Approach Report for Oral Health Workforce Activities, said Christina A. Demopoulos, D.D.S., M.P.H., who presented the award. “He has dedicated his career to dental public health and to preparing and educating residents about the importance of meaningful community engagement. His passions and commitment to the specialty is apparent in his mentoring and teaching of pre-doctoral dental students and D.P.H. residents.”


Carol Nguyen, RDH, M.S., is president-elect of Sigma Phi Alpha (SPA), the dental hygiene national honor society. She is involved in several other national organizations, as well.
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Carol Nguyen, RDH, M.S., is president-elect of Sigma Phi Alpha (SPA), the dental hygiene national honor society. She is involved in several other national organizations, as well.clear graphic

 

Leadership in Sigma Phi Alpha
As SPA president-elect, Nguyen is continuing through the three-year leadership commitment within the national organization that promotes scholarship, leadership and service in the dental hygiene profession. In this role Nguyen works to select, coordinate and review presenters for the national meetings of the ADEA and the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, of which she is a member.

Nguyen also serves as president of the SPA’s local dental hygiene honor society, Beta Sigma Chapter, where she promotes service and scholarship among undergraduate and graduate students. In additon, she is a member of the ASTDD’s School and Adolescent Oral Health Committee, which reviews best-practice submissions for sealant programs at the state level.

The assistant professor earned her undergraduate and graduate dental hygiene degrees from the UT Health Science Center. In 2013, she received the Alumna of the Year Award for her service to the profession. Specific examples of her service cited at the awards ceremony included her contributions to “Oral Health Care in Cancer Therapy: A Guide for Health Professionals” and her collaboration with the San Antonio District Dental Society and San Antonio Metropolitan Health District at the Texas Mission of Mercy San Antonio in April 2013, which provided $684,761 in uncompensated dental care for 1,183 patients.

Her faculty assignments include teaching undergraduate courses in community oral health and introduction to research, as well as graduate-level online classes and special topics regarding vulnerable populations.

In 2012, Nguyen received the Teaching Excellence Award from the Texas Dental Hygiene Directors for exemplary service in teaching. “Recognition from your peers provides an opportunity for self-reflection,” Nguyen said. “Earning the alumni and teaching excellence awards helped me visualize the capacity and strength of teaching and service. My desire is to leave a perpetual spirit of giving in others and a thirst for lifelong learning.”

 
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