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Ida Gray Award Recipients

Ida Gray Award - 2017

Ann Arbor, MI — February 22, 2017 — This year’s Ida Gray Awards were presented to Dr. Ken May, faculty; Teresa Patterson, staff; and Carlotta Fantin-Yusta, student. The award honors individuals who have contributed to the advancement of diversity and who have improved the climate for work, learning, research and patient care. The award is named for Dr. Ida Gray, the first African American woman in the country to earn a DDS when she graduated from the School of Dentistry in 1890. She was also the first black woman to practice dentistry in Chicago.

May, associate professor in the Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences and Division of Prosthodontics, was cited for his longstanding commitment to diversity in working with students, colleagues and patients. The nomination included his clinic work with underserved populations, including Native Americans, and his mentoring of numerous minority student groups. He is also a past director of the school’s Office of Multicultural Affairs and Recruitment Initiatives.

Patterson, a staffer in Dental Stores, was lauded as someone who embodies the core values of the Ida Gray Award, contributing to a climate of care, acceptance and welcoming. One nominator called her “the most caring person at the Dental School.” Others said she seems like a family member and that her positive attitude transfers to those she helps as she does her job.

Fantin-Yusta, a third-year student, has quietly but persistently taken on the role of making the school a better place, nominators said. “She constantly works to create the climate of care and acceptance and welcoming that we’re celebrating today,” one of the nominators said. “It’s genuinely about creating an environment that is accepting of everyone, especially marginalized groups, and that’s the bottom line. Very, very admirable.” Read the full story

Dr. Ida Gray (DDS 1890) was the first black woman to graduate from the School of Dentistry, the first black woman in the country to earn a dental degree, and the first black woman to practice dentistry in Chicago.

Past Awards

2017 - Dr. Kenneth B. May, Carlotta Fantin-Yusta, Teresa Patterson

2016 - Dr. Bonita Neighbors, Guneet Kohli, Dean Laurie McCauley

2015 - Dr. David White, My Yang, Dr. Margherita Fontana

2014 - Scott Ward, John Squires, Isabel C. Castillo

2013 - Jauana Gissendanner, Elizabeth Easter, Wolverine Patriot Project

2012 - Ricardo Lugo, Dr. Henry Temple, Dr. James Lee

2011 - Christinel Dima, Evelyn Lucas-Perry, Dr. Sharon Brooks

2010 - Synthinia Pryor, Javier Johnson, Dr. Preetha Kanjirath

2009 - Dr. Ali Nikoo, Nejay Ananaba, Dean Peter Polverini

2008 - Elizabeth Rodriguez, Joan Anderson, Dr. William Gregory

2007 - Patricia Anderson, Brent Frey, Dr. Marilyn Woolfolk

2006 - Tamanika Terry Stewart, Paul Lopez, Dr. George Taylor

2005 - Diane Nixon, Justin smith, Dr. Todd Ester

2004 - Patricia Katcher, Erika J. Tyler, Dr. GrahamR. Holland

2003 - Cara Voss, Paulta Lloyd, Dean William Kotowicz

2001 - Cheryl Quiney, Damon Watson

2000 - Dr. Emerson Robinson

1999 - Dr. Lisa Tedesco

1998 - Dr. Marita Inglehart

1997 - Dr. Lee Jones