Two Penn Dental Medicine Faculty Recognized for Distinguished Teaching


Philadelphia — Two Penn Dental Medicine faculty have been recognized by the University for their excellence in teaching – Dr. Helen Giannakopoulos, Associate Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, as a 2021 recipient of a Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching; and Dr. Joy Bockstein Abt, Clinical Associate Professor of Restorative Dentistry, who received a 2020 Provost’s Award for Distinguished Teaching. Drs. Giannakopoulos and Abt were honored at a virtual ceremony held April 26, when 2021 and 2020 awardees were celebrated. Both awards define distinguished teaching as teaching that is intellectually demanding, unusually coherent, and permanent in its effect.

“Our students and patients benefit greatly from the skills, knowledge, and dedication of Dr. Giannakopoulos and Dr. Abt,” says Penn Dental Medicine’s Morton Amsterdam Dean, Dr. Mark S. Wolff. ”Their awards are well deserved, and Penn Dental Medicine is proud to count them among our stellar faculty.”

Dr. Helen Giannakopoulos

Dr. Giannakopoulos, who completed her specialty training in oral surgery at Penn Dental Medicine (2002), has been part of the School’s faculty since 2003. Since 2021, she has also served as Director of Penn Dental Medicine’s Residency Program in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery. Dr. Giannakopoulos teaches both predoctoral dental students and postgraduate residents in oral surgery, lecturing in a variety of courses and teaching within the Oral Surgery Clinic as well. She is presently Course Director of the anesthesia course.

Dr. Giannakopoulos was also recognized for her teaching by Penn Dental Medicine DMD students with the Earl B. Hoyt Excellence in Teaching Award in 2014 and by oral surgery residents with the John W. Mooney, DDS Teaching Award in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in 2015 and the Joseph W. Foote, DMD, MD Mentorship Award in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in 2016.

Penn presents eight Lindback awards each year, divided evenly between health-related disciplines and all other departments and divisions of the University. Award winners are determined by nominations and recommendations made by faculty and students.

Dr. Joy Bockstein Abt

Dr. Abt earned her DMD at Penn Dental Medicine in 1994 and is Director of Fixed Prosthodontics. She first joined the School’s faculty in 2001. From 2001 to 2004, Dr. Abt was Assistant Professor of Restorative Dentistry and Director of Operative Dentistry. She returned to the faculty in 2007 and was appointed Director of Fixed Prosthodontics in 2008. In addition to fixed prosthodontics, Dr. Abt also teaches in the second year complete removable dental prosthesis and partial removable dental prosthesis courses. Dr. Abt is a member of the Matthew Cryer Honor Society and Omicron Kappa Upsilon. Recognized for her teaching by Penn Dental Medicine students numerous times, Dr. Abt was the recipient of the 2012 Award for Outstanding Service to Students and received the Robert E. DeRevere Award for excellence in preclinical teaching in 2013, 2014, 2017, and 2019.

The Provost’s Award for Distinguished Teaching was established in 1988 as a teaching award similar to the Lindback Award, but given only to full-time members of the associated faculty or academic support staff. The University grants two Provost’s Awards each year – one for distinguished teaching in the health sciences and another in non-health areas.