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Biologic and Materials Sciences and Division of Prosthodontics

Previous Clayton Award Winners

2017-2018 Award Winner - Brandon Gordon

Dr. Brandon A. Gordon was born in Detroit’s Henry Ford Hospital and raised in the Grand Rapids area until 1994 when his family relocated to Marietta, Georgia. After graduating from Campbell High School, Dr. Gordon remained in Georgia to attend Morehouse College, a historically Black liberal arts college for men, renowned for its commitment to academic excellence and leadership development. Dr. Gordon graduated from Morehouse College in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. In the summer of 2002, Dr. Gordon participated in a post-baccalaureate program at the UCLA School of Medicine, where he also volunteered in the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Clinic. The culmination of Dr. Gordon’s educational experiences inspired his return to Michigan to attend the University of Michigan’s School of Dentistry in Ann Arbor. He graduated in 2007 with a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. While in dental school, Dr. Gordon also grew spiritually. He joined Second Baptist Church of Ann Arbor in 2004 and has been working in various ministries at the church since then. In April 2009, Dr. Gordon was ordained as a deacon. Dr. Gordon’s faith in God and participation in church ministries inform his perspective of dental care. He believes that providing optimal dental care to those in need is the primary ministry to which God has called him.

Dr. Gordon takes great pride in his ability to deliver the highest quality of dental care. By the grace of God, he is able to administer this type of treatment both in the United States and abroad. Dr. Gordon participates in a yearly outreach program sponsored by HealthCare International that provides dental and medical care to rural areas of Jamaica. In keeping with his commitment to provide the highest quality of service, Dr. Gordon also participates in a wide range of top quality continuing education programs for professionals. In particular, his emphasis on integrating the most advanced technology and treatment options with genuine care allows him to maintain the highest level of quality dentistry. In July 2016 Dr. Gordon started the Graduate Prosthodontics Residency Program at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. Once completed, Dr. Gordon not only plans to serve the community again, but also to begin another career teaching undergraduate dental students the fundamentals of Prosthodontics.

2016-2017 Award Winner - Daniel Hammaker

Dr. Daniel Hammaker was born in Dayton, Ohio, but has spent most of his life in southeastern Michigan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Science in Biology in 2010, and earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Michigan in 2014. Before entering the Graduate Prosthodontics Program, Dr. Hammaker spent time working in private practice and teaching at the School of Dentistry. In the future, he hopes to own a private practice in southeastern Michigan and continue teaching at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry.

2015-2016 Award Winner - Jesse Kane

Dr. Jesse Kane earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry in 2014. His desire to properly manage complex dental cases and restorative options involving implant therapy has led him to the field of prosthodontics. He began the graduate prosthodontics program at the University of Michigan in the fall of 2014 where he plans to obtain the combined certificate/masters degree. His plans once he graduates are to work in a private practice in southeast Michigan.

2014-2015 Award Winner - Andrew Dill

Dr. Andrew Dill was born and raised in Ann Arbor. He graduated from Albion College with a Bachelor’s in Music Performance (French Horn) and Biochemistry. He went on to complete his DDS degree from the University of Michigan in 2011. Immediately after graduation Andrew began a private practice, West Ann Arbor Dentistry, practicing general dentistry. He also taught in the CRSE department of the University of Michigan School of Dentistry as an Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor to third and fourth year dental students. He continues to maintain his practice on evenings and weekends during the graduate program. In his free time, he continues to play his French horn in the UofM Life Sciences Orchestra. After graduation, Andrew plans to apply his knowledge in Prosthodontics to expand his private practice and continue to teach dental students either as an adjunct or in a greater role.

2014-2015 Award Winner - Mika Stefos

Dr. Stefos was born and raised in Farmington Hills, Michigan. She attended the University of Michigan where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology (with honors). Upon graduation in 2008, she was accepted to the University of Michigan School of Dentistry and received her D.D.S in 2012. Dr. Stefos was accepted to join the Graduate Prosthodontics Program immediately after graduation. Dr. Stefos is proud to be completing her academic pursuance at The University of Michigan. Upon graduation she plans to work in private practice as well as teach in a University setting.

2012-2013 Award Winner - Chady Elhage

Dr. Elhage was born and raised in Novi, Michigan, in the Metro-Detroit area. He attended the University of Michigan-Dearborn where he received his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry. Upon graduating in 2007, he was accepted at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry and received his D.D.S. in 2011. Dr. Elhage was accepted into the Graduate Prosthodontics program immediately after graduating from dental school. He has maintained a part-time office while completing his specialty training, working on weekends and evenings since graduating from dental school. In addition, Dr. Elhage contracts with local nursing homes as the on-site dentist, treating elderly patients who are unable or have difficulties traveling to the dentist. As a proud member of the Class of 2014, Dr. Elhage plans on practicing in the Metro-Detroit area as a Prosthodontist, continuing to research and teach as well.

2011-2012 Award Winner - Lisa Kane 

Lisa Kane earned her dental degree from the University of Detroit. She was inducted into the dental honor society Omicron Kappa Upsilon in 2001. Dr. Kane’s research interests are in the field of metals and ceramics produced by CAD/CAM technology for clinical use in dentistry. She practiced as a general dentist for several years prior to returning for her specialty training and has worked in public health, managed care, and private practice.

2011-2012, 2010-2011, 2009-2010 Award Winner - Quinn Chan

Dr. Chan grew up in Northern Virginia, a suburb of Washington D.C.  He graduated from the University of Virginia in 1999, receiving his B.S. in Engineering Science with a focus in Biomedical Engineering.  After undergraduate studies, he worked full-time as a computer network engineer for four years at the National Institutes of Health while completing his M.S. in Biotechnology with an emphasis in Bioinformatics from the Johns Hopkins University in 2003.  Dr. Chan received his D.M.D from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in 2007 and completed one year of AEGD residency at the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine from 2007-2008.  He then returned to Tufts University in 2008-2009 and taught full-time in the dental school's undergraduate clinic and pre-clinic as a removable and fixed prosthodontics instructor.  He is now very proud and excited to be a part of the Class of 2012 in the Graduate Prosthodontics program at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry where he will improve his ability to rehabilitate the most challenging clinical restorative cases.

2011-2012, 2010-2011, 2009-2010 Award Winner - Carl Pogoncheff 

Dr. Pogoncheff was born and raised in Lansing, Michigan. He attended Lansing Catholic Central High School, received a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan in 2005, and graduated from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry in 2009. Upon graduation from Dental School he received numerous awards including the Francis B. Vedder Award for Crown and Bridge Dentistry, the Comprehensive Care Award, and the American College of Prosthodontists Undergraduate Achievement Award. In addition, Carl maintains a part-time private practice in Lansing. He is very interested in the field of Prosthodontics and is excited to study in the graduate program at the University of Michigan.

2008-2009 Award Winner - Abrahim Al-Munif

Dr. Al-Munif was born and raised in Saudi Arabia. He received his undergraduate degree in biology from Virginia Commonwealth University, and then proceeded with his dental education at the Medical College of Virginia School of Dentistry. He graduated in 2003, and moved back to Saudi Arabia. He completed a 12-month internship (GPR) at King Faisal University (Hospital), followed by working as a general practitioner at King Fahd Military Medical Complex in Saudi Arabia. Dr. Al-Munif’s wife, Wala, is a student at Eastern Michigan University. They both live in Ann Arbor along with their beautiful daughter, Manar.

 2008-2009, 2007-2008 Award Winner - Emily C. Giroux 

Dr. Giroux was born and raised in Rochester Hills, Michigan.  She graduated from Saint Louis University in 2003 with a B.S. in Exercise Science.  She then went on to attend dental school at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.  There she developed an affinity and fondness for prosthodontics.  After receiving her DDS degree in 2007, she was accepted into the graduate prosthodontics program at the University of Michigan.  She is thrilled about being back in Michigan with her family nearby.

2008-2009, 2006-2007 Award Winner - Jennifer S. Suh
Dr. Suh was born in Seoul, South Korea, and then her family moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 1988. She completed her undergraduate training at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, Georgia with a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene. After graduation, she worked in private practice for two years and decided to pursue further training in dentistry at the Medical College of Georgia. There, her interest in Periodontics and Prosthodontics emerged and her decision to specialize in Prosthodontics solidified. She is ecstatic to start a new chapter in her life in Ann Arbor and she feels very fortunate to be surrounded by knowledgeable, amiable, and supportive professors and colleagues.

2005-2006 Award Winner - George Wei Chih Wu

Originally from Taiwan, Dr. Wu has spent much of his education in North America. After finishing high school in Vancouver, Canada, he graduated Cum Laude with an A.B. degree in biochemistry and minor degrees in Business and biomedical physics from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. He subsequently received his D.D.S. degree from New York University, College of Dentistry, in 2003. After completing a GPR program from the Brooklyn Hospital Center and an AEGD program from the University of Rochester, Eastman Dental Center, he decided to pursue a graduate degree in Prosthodontics. Dr. Wu feels fortunate to have supportive parents, good friends, and teachers to help him continue and complete his education. He is proud to be a member of the Prosthodontics program at the University of Michigan, and hopes that this will be a most rewarding and challenging learning experience.

2004-2005 Award Winner - Averil  Mearnic

Averil graduated from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry in May 2004. While here she was awarded the American College of Prosthodontists Undergraduate Achievement Award. She also has a Bachelor of Science degree in Physiology from Eastern Michigan University. She says she is very happy to have been accepted to the University of Michigan Graduate Prosthodontic Program and hopes to obtain a Master's Degree. She would like to practice in the area as well as teach here at the University at least part-time after graduation. Her very supportive husband, Matthew, is a Firefighter/Paramedic for Canton Township. They are currently living in Gregory, Michigan, but hope to move closer to campus and to Canton. Her family lives in Canton, and she says it will be nice to be closer to them. They have two Great Dane dogs that are very affectionate and are quite spoiled.

2003-2004 Award Winner - Bryan Williams

Dr. Williams received his D.D.S. degree from the University of Michigan in 2001. Upon completion of the Graduate Prosthodontics Program, Dr. Williams plans to attend the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, to further his education in the area of Maxillofacial Prosthodontics. Eventually he plans to return to his native Detroit to continue his practice, splitting time between private practice and a hospital setting. Dr. Williams currently lives in Ypsilanti with his wife.

2002-2003 Award Winner - Rob Schumacher

Dr. Rob Schumacher grew up in White Pigeon, Michigan, where he completed his pre-college curriculum. He finished his undergraduate degree at Asbury College in Willmore, Kentucky. He graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry in May 2001. Rob is married to Elizabeth, and they have a two-year-old daughter named Ashley. Upon completion of his Prosthodontic program he aspires to earn his National Board Certification in Prosthodontics. He also desires to serve as a missionary, either overseas or here in the United States. Finally, he would like to contribute to the ever-growing body of prosthodontic knowledge through clinical practice and teaching.

2001-2002 Award Winner - Karen-Lee Jones Stewart

I was born and raised in Ann Arbor. I attended Hampton University in Virginia and received a Bachelor of Arts degree with high honors in Biology in 1990. I then attended The University of Michigan School of Dentistry. I earned my D.D.S. in 1994, and then began the Master's degree program in Prosthodontics at the University of Michigan. I am practicing dentistry in Ann Arbor with my father, Lee Jones, part time. I am very glad to have continued my education here at Michigan. Everyone in the department has been very supportive while keeping me focused on my educational goals. My future plans include teaching and practicing part-time in Ann Arbor.