CDM Alumni Gather for Reunion Day 2023

On June 9, more than 100 alumni of the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine gathered to celebrate the College and each other.

In the morning, alumni had the opportunity to attend one of four educational workshops. David Gelb, DDS ’73, lectured on and demonstrated the “Gelb Abutment: Rapid and Unique Provisional Fabrication,” a technique he devised. Joseph McManus, CDM’s senior associate dean of admissions and an associate professor of dental medicine at CUMC, spoke on “Having an Exit Strategy for Your Practice to Ensure Continuity of Care.”

Arthur Volker, DDS ’03, lectured on “In-office Digital Dentistry: Disrupting the Status Quo” and Letty Moss-Salentijn, Zegarelli Professor of Dental Medicine and CDM’s vice dean for curriculum innovation and IPE, delivered a talk on the “History of Dentistry in Art: 1470-1870.”

Dean Christian Stohler warmly welcomed alumni and shared updates about CDM and the University, including the imminent arrival of a new University president. Nemat “Minouche” Shafik will become the University’s 20th president and the first woman to hold that position on July 1. Dr. Shafik has served as the president of the London School of Economics since 2017. She succeeds Lee Bollinger, who has served as the University’s president since 2002. The Dean noted that although the number of dental schools is set to increase over the next few years, CDM is preparing practitioners to be the profession's thought leaders with the expertise and industry perspective to offer unique guidance and inspire innovation.

Dean Stohler told alumni that this changing of the guard, coupled with the upcoming accreditation, provides the College both opportunities and pressures. He noted that CDM students are distinguished by the rigorous, preclinical medical training that they receive. “Your success is our success,” he said.

Biana Roykh, senior associate dean for clinical affairs, told alumni that CDM provides students with strong biomedical and social science backgrounds and that they are active participants in the 100,000 patient visits to CDM’s clinics that occur each year.

Nicole Pallas, class of 2024, told alumni that her rotation on the Columbia University mobile dental clinic gave her an appreciation of the importance of outreach initiatives.

Vicky Evangelidis, DDS’87, AGD’90, MPH’93, who has been a member of Columbia’s faculty since her graduation from dental school, received the first of two Distinguished Alumni Award. Under her direction, CDM developed and implemented the first comprehensive care program for predoctoral students in the country. This initiative focused on both patient care and a didactic curriculum that enabled students to integrate their knowledge in basic, behavioral, and clinical sciences into patient care and has been emulated by other dental schools. 

The second Distinguished Alumni Award was presented to John Feeney, DDS’75 [see sidebar]. The final presentation was made by Thomas Magnani, DDS’80, president of the 1852 Society, which honors Columbia University College of Dental Medicine’s most generous and loyal donors. Magnani presented Hung Quach, DDS’23 with the Class of 2002 Scholarship honoring Jonathan Mender.