Lucy Hobbs Award Winners to Be Recognized in September

Dentistry Today


Six leading dental professionals will be recognized during the Lucy Hobbs Project 6th Annual Celebration, September 13-15 in San Francisco. Inspired by the first woman to earn a degree in dentistry in the United States, the event heralds the accomplishments of women in the profession. The award winners include: 

  • Sabiha S. Bunek, DDS: As the recipient of the Clinical Expertise Award, Bunek bridges the gap between research and clinical practice as both dentist and owner at Bunek Dental Studio in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and CEO/editor of Dental Advisor. She also collaborates with scientists at Dental Advisor’s biomaterials research laboratory and with manufacturers to advocate for testing pertinent to real-life dentistry. She serves on the Journal of Esthetic and Restorative Dentistry editorial board as well.
  • Sharon K. Parsons, DDS: As the recipient of the Humanitarian Award, Parsons dedicates her practice, Dental Associates in Columbus, Ohio, to the needs of patients of all ages. After her elder son died of an opiate overdose in 2015, she became an advocate for opiate awareness and educates dental professionals about it. She is chair of the nonprofit East Main Street SID, which works to improve the neighborhood and business district east of Bexley, Ohio. In October 2019, she will be the third woman to be inducted as president of the Ohio Dental Association as well.
  • Athena S. Papas, DMD, PhD: As the recipient of the Industry Icon Award, Pappas is head of the Division of Oral Medicine at the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston, as well as a Distinguished Professor of Diagnostic Sciences and the Erling Johansen Professor of Dental Research. With expertise in the oral healthcare of elderly, medically compromised, Sjögren’s syndrome, cancer, and bone marrow transplant patients, she has been the principal investigator on more than 100 clinical trials. 
  • Diane Johnson Krueger, CDT: As recipient of the Innovator Award, Johnson Krueger is the founder of NuSmile, which manufactures aesthetic pediatric crowns. She also is involved in ongoing research of aesthetic materials for crowns, luting cements, bioceramics, and other related pediatric dental products at the academic and clinical level. Additionally, she is active with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and its foundation, Healthy Smiles Healthy Children. 
  • Jeanette Sabir-Holloway, DDS: As recipient of the Mentor Award, Sabir-Holloway founded and directs the nonprofit Diversity in Dentistry, which supports applicants otherwise underrepresented in the profession. Also, as director of outreach, recruitment, and admissions at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, she initiated a pre-matriculation program for students primarily from economically and educationally disadvantaged environments to ease the transition into dental school.
  • Rita Y. Chuang, DDS: As recipient of the Woman to Watch Award, she practices at Breeze Orthodontics in Torrance, California. Previously, she was clinical director at the University of Pennsylvania Department of Orthodontics. She has published in several peer-reviewed journals and presented her award-winning research both nationally and internationally. She serves on the boards of the American Association of Orthodontics and North American Taiwanese Medical Association as well.

Benco Dental will host the event, which is sponsored by Midmark. Benco also is partnering with Straumann to deliver the Digital Dentistry Symposium: The Time Is Now during the celebration. Keynote speaker Erin Gruwell will introduce the educational experience, which will feature more than 15 experts in dentistry. The beneficiary of the event will be the Center for Oral Health.

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