The ADA has announced the recipients of its inaugural 10 Under 10 Awards, which recognize new dentists who have demonstrated excellence in their work and community and in inspiring others. With a pool of more than 200 nominees who graduated from dental school within the past 10 years, the ADA New Dentist Committee selected the winners for making a difference in science, research, and education; practice excellence; philanthropy; leadership; and advocacy.
“It is remarkably invigorating to see this new generation of dentists—our generation—so efficiently impact change in our communities,” said Nipa Thakkar, DMD, chair of the ADA New Dentist Committee. “These selected 10 new dentists display a passionate and deliberate effort to change the face of the dental profession.”
The award winners include:
- Vanessa Benavent, DDS, Clarksville, Md: Benavent is the current president of the Maryland State Dental Association and has testified as an expert witness in front of Maryland legislative committees on behalf of the dental profession.
- Jon Copeland, DDS, Wildwood, Mo: Copeland is an action team leader for the ADA Dentist and Student Lobby Day. He also is a fellow in the Pierre Fauchard Academy and the International College of Dentists.
- Gerald E. Davis II, DDS, Nashville, Tenn: Davis services as the assistant dean of academic affairs at Meharry College of Dentistry, where he obtained the agreement with Microsoft for Meharry to be a developer site for HoloLens, an innovative technology that assists dental students in training.
- Mai-Ly Duong, DMD, Mesa, Ariz: Duong organized an annual oral cancer walk in her community to promote awareness of the disease and how dentists can help save lives through oral cancer screenings. She also is actively involved in dental science research.
- Michael Kroll, DMD, Lawton, Okla: Kroll is a federal dentist in the US Army. He currently serves as a deputy consultant to the US Surgeon General for Comprehensive Dentists.
- Christine Meiners, DDS, San Antonio: Meiners is a leader in the Hispanic Dental Association and her community. She initiated a program to influence high school students to pursue a career in dentistry.
- Hubert J. Park, DMD, Cambridge, Mass: Park founded a student-run free dental clinic while attending Tufts University of Dental Medicine and continues to provide care in Boston and internationally.
- Kristopher P. Rappold, DDS, New Orleans: Rappold founded RappGuard, a company devoted to custom athletic mouthguards, which he gives away for free to high school sports teams. He also serves as a team dentist and provides dental care on international trips.
- Katie Vincer Sears, DDS, Columbus, Ohio: Vincer Sears operates two dental practices that accept Medicaid in underserved areas in her community. She also offers an educational program for local community members to successfully achieve employment in the dental profession.
- Amisha Singh, DDS, Aurora, Colo: Fluent in five languages, Singh was selected for her business savvy and entrepreneurial spirit. She has a real estate licensed and owned and managed a convenience store during dental school to pay for her education.