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School of Dentistry Honors Memory of Dr. Martin Luther King

Dr. Bonita Neighbors (center), director of the Community Dental Center, checks the work of dental students Sarah Tomaka (D3) and Joey Musselwhite (D4).

Fourth-year dental student Brandon Vetemis (left) and second-year dental student Bartosz Maska complete a filling.

The Community Dental Center's dental assistant Carolyn Thomas (left) and Dr. Anne Bibik conduct a preliminary examination of a patient.

Fourth-year dental hygiene students Renee Berger and Luke Shaw clean a patient's teeth.

Dental hygiene students Emily Pedersen (left) and Jessica Duell confirm patient appointments.

Fourth-year dental students Rebecca Lewkowicz and Toni DePetro with their happy four-year-old patient after her first cleaning.

Second-year dental students R.J. Price (left) and Brian Chang worked at the Community Dental Center's front desk.

Scott Ward, Isabel Castillo and John Squires each hold an Ida Gray Award they received during the School of Dentistry's celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Dental Services Donated at Community Dental Center, Awards Presented

Ann Arbor, MI — March 3, 2014 — The University of Michigan School of Dentistry honored the memory of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with dental and dental hygiene students teaming up to provide oral health care in Ann Arbor and the presentation of awards at the School to three individuals for their community service initiatives.

Community Dental Center

A group of third- and fourth-year dental and dental hygiene students from the School of Dentistry worked with dentists and dental assistants at the Community Dental Center in downtown Ann Arbor to provide oral health care services during two special Saturday clinics prior to Martin Luther King Day. 

Twenty-five patients received cleanings, exams, fillings, extractions and oral hygiene education.  The value of the services surpassed $12,000.

First- and second-year dental and dental hygiene students were also involved.  They gathered health history information from the patients, checked their vital signs, cleaned up operatories after each appointment and assisted at the front desk.

Dr. Bonita Neighbors, director of the Community Dental Clinic, and Dr. Anne Bibik supervised the dental students.  Janet Kinney, director of the School of Dentistry’s dental hygiene program, and Christine Ropp and Darlene Jones, both CDC hygienists, supervised the dental hygiene students.

“I appreciate the dental and dental hygiene students and those in our office to give up their Saturday to help out,” Neighbors said.  “These patients have no other alternative when it comes to receiving dental care, and I’m glad we were able to help them.”


Ida Gray Awards Presented

Dr. Laurie McCauley, dean of the School of Dentistry, led a program in the Sindecuse Atrium emphasizing the importance of diversity at the School.  “This is a wonderful opportunity for us to celebrate how, working together, we can address many of the challenges we face and move forward to solve them,” she said.

McCauley also presented an Ida Gray award to three individuals for their commitment to diversity and inclusion as well as their involvement in community service activities.  The award, presented annually, honors Dr. Ida Gray (DDS 1890), the first black woman to graduate from the School of Dentistry.


John Squires

After a 35-year career at U-M, 33 of which were spent at the School of Dentistry, Squires retired in Dec. 2012.  For more than 20 years, beginning in the 1970s, he helped produce nearly 2,000 videotapes about dental anatomy and dental procedures that were recorded in the television studios at the School of Dentistry and distributed worldwide.  Digital versions of many of those videotapes are still used worldwide today by other dental schools, public health facilities and private practitioners.

Squires was praised for how “he embodies diversity with his respect and appreciation of others, in words and actions,” not only at the School of Dentistry, but in his service to the Boy Scouts of America.


Isabel Castillo (D4)

During the four years in the School’s predoctoral program, Castillo has been actively involved in oral health care service and education.  Working with the Latin American & Native American Medical Association, she has provided oral health care screenings and education to underserved groups in southeast Michigan and other parts of the state.  She organized a dental aid trip to Guatemala for a group of U-M dental students in 2012.

Castillo has helped revive the School’s Hispanic Student Dental Association and served in leadership positions, serving as its secretary, treasurer and public relations chair.  She collaborated with some of her peers to create the Spanish Conversation Hour for students, faculty and staff at the dental school.


Scott Ward

A former dental laboratory technician at the School of Dentistry, Ward owns his own dental laboratory business and volunteers his services at the Hope Dental Clinic in Ypsilanti.  In recent years, he has also been involved with the Vina Community Dental Center in Brighton.  Last year, he participated in a Mission of Mercy held at Saginaw Valley University.