Penn Dental Medicine Faculty Members Receive 2014 Teaching Awards


Philadelphia – Penn Dental Medicine faculty members were honored for excellence in teaching at the School’s Senior Farewell, held May 13 at The Bellevue in Center City Philadelphia. Each academic year, the graduating class recognizes members of the faculty with teaching awards, presented at this annual event that celebrates the passage of students to professional dentistry. The event is sponsored by the Penn Dental Medicine Alumni Society. The awards and recipients included the following:

The Senior Outstanding Teaching Award – presented to a faculty member who has gone beyond the scope of his/her responsibilities to significantly impact the class’s education at Penn Dental Medicine. This year, the Senior Outstanding Teaching Award was presented to Dr. Elliot Hersh, Professor, Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery/Pharmacology. A highly respected researcher in local anesthesia and the management of acute pain, Dr. Hersh has been part of the Penn Dental Medicine faculty since 1988. He currently serves as Course Director for the second-year Pharmacology course and also lectures in the first-year Physiology course, second-year Pain Control course, third-year Geriatrics Course, and directs the fourth-year Clinical Therapeutics and Board Review Course. Dr. Hersh is also a past recipient of the University of Pennsylvania’s Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching and of the IADR Distinguished Scientist Award in Pharmacology, Therapeutics and Toxicology. Dr. Hersh was also recognized 20 times in years past with The Basic Science Award.

The Joseph L. T. Appleton Award – presented to a part-time faculty member for excellence in clinical teaching. This year’ recipient is Dr. Scott Odell (D’82), Clinical Assistant Professor of Oral Medicine. A member of the School’s faculty since 2007, Dr. Odell teaches diagnostic radiology and also teaches in the Emergency Care Clinic. This is the sixth year in a row he received the Appleton Award, named in honor of Dr. Joseph Appleton, a 1914 alumnus of Penn Dental Medicine, who served as dean of the School from 1941 to 1951. The award was founded in 1979 by Dr. Abram Cohen, a member of the Class of 1923 and father of Dean Emeritus D. Walter Cohen, Class of 1950.

The Basic Science Award – presented for excellence in teaching within the basic sciences. This year’s recipient is Dr. Elisabeth Barton, Associate Professor and Interim Chair, Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology, who has been a member of the School’s faculty since 2003. Dr. Barton is the Course Director of Physiology at Penn Dental Medicine and also teaches in Histology. Her research interests focus on muscle physiology, where she is studying mechanisms of skeletal muscle repair and mechanical signal transduction through membrane complexes.

The Earle Bank Hoyt Award – presented for excellence in teaching to a Penn Dental Medicine graduate who is a full-time junior faculty member. The award was established by a grateful patient in honor of Dr. Hoyt, a distinguished clinician and educator and member of the Class of 1918. This year’s recipient is Dr. Helen Giannakopoulos (GD’02), Associate Professor of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery/Pharmacology, and Director, Postdoctoral Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Residency Program, who has been a member of the School’s faculty since 2003. Dr. Giannakopoulos is Course Director of the anesthesia, pain, and medical emergencies course; lectures in the third-year oral surgery course; and is also a clinical instructor.

The Robert E. DeRevere Award – presented for excellence in preclinical teaching by a part-­‐time faculty member. The award is named in honor of Dr. DeRevere, a member of the Penn Dental Medicine Class of 1945, who served on the School’s faculty. This year’s recipient is Dr. Joy Bockstein Abt (D’94), Clinical Assistant Professor of Restorative Dentistry and Director of Fixed Prosthodontics. From 2001 to 2004, Dr. Abt was Assistant Professor of Restorative Dentistry and Director of Operative Dentistry. She returned to the faculty in 2007 as Clinical Assistant Professor and was appointed Director of Fixed Prosthodontics in 2008. In addition to fixed prosthodontics,

Dr. Abt also teaches in the first-­‐year operative dentistry course, second-­‐year complete dentures and removable partial dentures courses, and the third-­‐ and fourth-­‐year restorative dentistry clinic. Dr. Abt is a member of the Matthew Cryer Honor Society and Omicron Kappa Upsilon. In 2012, Dr. Abt was the recipient of Penn Dental Medicine’s Award for Outstanding Service to Students. This is the second consecutive year that Dr. Abt has received the Robert E. DeRevere Award.

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