Dina Korte First Recipient
Ann Arbor, MI — October 17, 2012 — Dental hygiene faculty, students in the master’s degree program, and family gathered at the U-M School of Dentistry recently to recall the life, achievements, and the impact Christine Klausner had on them professionally and personally as a scholarship in her name was presented for the first time.
Established shortly after she died two years ago at age 60, the Christine P. Klausner Graduate Dental Hygiene Student Scholarship Award honors the memory of Klausner, a clinical associate professor of dentistry in the Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine.
One of Klausner’s lifelong friends, Dr. Phyllis Beemsterboer, who earned both a bachelor’s degree in 1970 and a master’s degree in 1973 in dental hygiene from U-M, presented the award. The first graduate student in the dental hygiene program to receive the $1,000 scholarship was Dina Korte.
Speaking on behalf of the family, Dr. Leo Klausner (DDS 1974, MS 1978), her husband, said, “If Chris could be here, she would be overwhelmed and humbled by the creation of this scholarship and that her life and contributions to dental hygiene are being acknowledged.” Also present were the Klausner sons, Kyle and Kent.
Dental hygiene program director Janet Kinney said, “Chris embodied optimism and enthusiasm. She conveyed that to everyone she talked to, especially in the classroom.” That sentiment was echoed by Dean Peter Polverini who added, “Chris brought enormous talent and vitality to the School of Dentistry, and had a big impact on dental hygiene both here and nationally.”
Dr. William Giannobile, chair of the Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine, whose department includes dental hygiene, spoke of personalized, handwritten notes that Klausner often sent to faculty and students on special occasions or for a job well done. “She was a dedicated teacher. She loved teaching, and it showed,” he said.
Klausner earned a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene from the School of Dentistry in 1972, and a master’s degree in dental hygiene education from the Rackham School of Graduate Studies the following year. A faculty member since 1997, she was primarily responsible for coordinating the entry-level dental hygiene preclinic curriculum and directing a course that prepared first-year dental hygiene students for providing patient care in clinics. Klausner also taught in the School’s E-Learning (online) Degree Completion Program, the internationally Trained Dentist Program, predoctoral periodontal foundation courses, and was course director of dental hygiene biomaterials. Her research focused on educational methods, genetics, and diabetes.
Dina Korte: “An Incredible Honor”
“I am grateful to have known Chris,” said Dina Korte, the first recipient of the Christine P. Klausner Graduate Dental Hygiene Student Scholarship Award. “It’s an incredible honor. I hope to make her proud.”
An adjunct clinical lecturer in the Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine for eight years, Korte said she has always been passionate about teaching and a desire to pursue higher education. “That’s why I enrolled in the master’s degree program because it would enhance my knowledge and allow me to pursue additional career opportunities as an oral health care professional.”
Klausner’s influence made a major difference in Korte’s life. “Chris was very supportive of my dream to pursue higher education. She took time to talk to me, encourage me, and share her wisdom and experience,” Korte said. “Chris loved learning and education, she loved life, and that showed in her beautiful smile.”
DH Alumna Presents Award, Speaks about Professionalism
School of Dentistry alumna Dr. Phyllis Beemsterboer, who earned both a bachelor’s degree in 1970 and a master’s degree in 1973 in dental hygiene from U-M, returned to her alma mater in October to present the Christine Klausner Graduate Dental Hygiene Student Scholarship Award and deliver a lecture as part of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Horace Rackham School of Graduate Studies. As part of the Graduate School’s celebration, more than 60 graduate programs across the University are hosting a Centennial Lecture delivered by graduate alumni.
In her presentation, Beemsterboer, a professor and associate dean for Academic Affairs in the School of Dentistry at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon, talked about the impact of professionalism and its role in academic dentistry.
“Professionalism’s core values are derived from caring about people,” she said. “Dentistry’s mission and core values are focused on compassion for patients and providing the best care based on knowledge.”
Beemsterboer said her education at Michigan inspired her to pursue a life-long path of excellence and continue her education. She attributed that to the professionalism exhibited by role models who were School of Dentistry graduates with whom she worked. Describing her education at U-M as “life altering,” Beemsterboer said the combination of classroom and clinical education and outstanding faculty members and mentors led to a rewarding career in academic dentistry and dental hygiene.
The University of Michigan School of Dentistry is one of the nation’s leading dental schools engaged in oral health care education, research, patient care, and community service. General dental care clinics and specialty clinics providing advanced treatment enable the School to offer dental services and programs to patients throughout Michigan. Classroom and clinic instruction prepare future dentists, dental specialists, and dental hygienists for practice in private offices, hospitals, academia, and public agencies. Research seeks to discover and apply new knowledge that can help patients worldwide. For more information about the School of Dentistry, visit us on the Web at: www.dent.umich.edu.