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Roberts teaching award grants announced

Ann Arbor, Mich., Dec. 22, 2016 -– Two teams of faculty and researchers at the School of Dentistry have received grants from the school’s Roy H. Roberts Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Teaching.

Team members of the study, “Pilot implementation of team-based learning in diagnostic sciences,” are Dr. Theodora Danciu, clinical associate professor in the school’s Division of Oral Pathology/Medicine/Radiology in the Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine, and director of the Oral Pathology Biopsy Service; Dr. Vidya Ramaswamy, associate director of curriculum and program evaluation; Dr. Tami Remington, clinical professor at the U-M College of Pharmacy; and Dr. Brandon Veremis, a School of Dentistry alum who is a resident in oral pathology at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York.

The three-year study (2017-2020) will focus on developing a team-based learning model that will be subsequently piloted in a D3 diagnostic science course. Students will work in teams on patient mini-scenarios based on actual clinical cases. The study will assess the impact of this educational model on students’ learning, teamwork skills and engagement in the classroom.  The Roberts Award grant is $10,000.

The second group to receive a Roberts Award are researching “Teaching and learning strategies for improving student writing.”  Team members are Dr. Danielle Furgeson, clinical assistant professor of Dental Hygiene; Prof. Janet Kinney, Director of the Division of Dental Hygiene and a clinical associate professor; Prof. Dina Korte, clinical lecturer in Dental Hygiene; Prof. Jennifer Cullen, adjunct clinical lecturer in Dental Hygiene; Christopher Haddlesey, a former consultant at the U-M Sweetland Writing Center and currently a medical editor at StatinMed Research in Ann Arbor; and Dr. Vidya Ramaswamy, associate director of curriculum and program evaluation.

The research on improved writing is focused on students in the dental hygiene E-Learning Degree Completion and in the Master of Science in Dental Hygiene programs. The study is in Phase II with Phase III starting in the spring semester. The Roberts Award grant is $3,454.

The two awards were announced by Dr. Carol Anne Murdoch-Kinch, associate dean for academic affairs, on behalf of the review committee. The Roberts Awards were established at the school in 2012 with a donation from the Roberts Family Foundation.  They support faculty educational research projects that demonstrate innovation and an evidence-based approach to teaching. Among the criteria for awards are projects that prepare students to function effectively in interprofessional practice models; foster development of critical thinking skills; and develop learning strategies, methods and systems that foster transfer of knowledge and skills from the classroom and pre-clinic to the clinics.


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:

Sharon Grayden, Communications Director, at (734) 615-2600,, or Lynn Monson, Writer, at (734) 615-1971.