Ann Arbor, MI — May 1, 2012 — An alumna with the University of Michigan School of Dentistry’s dental hygiene program and graduates of the dental hygiene class of 2012 were recently honored for their academic achievements and contributions to the profession and community.
Mary Layher, Outstanding Alumna
The School’s Dental Hygiene Alumni Association presented its Outstanding Alumna Award in mid April to Mary Layher, an educator, clinician, administrator, and researcher in the Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine.
A 1981 graduate of the School’s dental hygiene program, Layher was honored for her contributions to the profession locally, state wide, and nationally. She has been a member of the Washtenaw District Dental Hygienists’ Society (WDDHS) and Michigan Dental Hygienists’ Association (MDHA) for more than 40 years, and served two terms as president of WDDHS from 1984 to 1986 and later from 1995 to 1997. She was also president of MDHA from 2000 to 2001, chaired the Leadership Conference Task Force in 1998 and 1999, and served on the organization’s Council on Research.
Layher has been honored for her contributions to the dental hygiene profession, including the ADHA’s Award for Excellence in Dental Hygiene in 2008, MDHA’s Francis Shook Award in 2006, and MDHA’s Outstanding Dental Hygienist of the Year Award in 1991.
Several graduates of the Dental Hygiene Class of 2012 received awards. They included:
- Elizabeth Easter, the Pauline Steel Student Leadership Award.
- Kyle Katynski, the WDDHS Student Professional & Community Involvement Award.
- Ashley Copus, the Colgate Student Total Achievement Award for demonstrating enthusiasm for community service and compassion in patient care.
- Mona Riaz, the Johnson & Johnson Professional Excellence Award for outstanding clinical expertise in dental hygiene, health promotion and disease prevention education.
- Ashley Copus, Elizabeth Easter, and Mona Riaz, Ginsberg Center Service Cords recognizing graduates who have completed at least 135 hours of community service.
- Deborah Kerr, AAPHD Dental Hygiene Community Dentistry and Public Health Student Recognition Award for community service.
Three other dental hygiene students were also recognized for national awards they received:
- Jennifer Cullen, AAPHD’s First Place, Student Merit Award for Outstanding Achievement in Community Dentistry.
- Ashley Copus, Julia Johnson, AAPHD’s Second Place, Student Merit Award for Outstanding Achievement in Community Dentistry.
The awards were presented to Layher and students during a luncheon co-sponsored by the U-M Dental Hygiene Alumni Association and the Washtenaw District Dental Hygienists' Association.
Honor Society Inductees
Four dental hygiene students and a faculty member were inducted into the Sigma Phi Alpha Nu Chapter of the National Dental Hygiene Honor Society during the organization's meeting in March. The four students were Kyle Katynski, Emily Hill, Mona Riaz, and Samantha Reidenbach. The faculty inductee was Elizabeth Betzig, an adjunct clinical lecturer in the Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine.
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: www.dent.umich.edu.