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Dental school highlights achievements among faculty and staff

New hires, advanced education and research attention announced

We are proud to be able to recognize the accomplishments of our faculty and staff. We will continue to share as information crosses the dean’s desk. Our intent is to continue to highlight the successes of the employees whom we are fortunate to have at the WVU School of Dentistry and WVU Dental Care.


Dr. Constance Wiener, associate professor, and Mr. Chris Waters, research lab director, were recognized for their recent paper on the effects of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances on teeth, which was published in the Journal of Public Heath Dentistry, by the website Blogarama. This paper continues to receive coverage in the scientific media regarding the impact the research study has had on this area of oral health.


Dr. Peter Ngan, chair of the Department of Orthodontics, has been appointed as an associate editor for the APOS Orthodontic Journal. The respected position brings further distinction to the department and school.

Dr. Ngan has also been invited back to his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania, for the 67th annual meeting of the Penn Dental Medicine Department of Orthodontics. He will participate in the J. Henry O'Hern Jr. Alumni lecture.

Clinical Education and Patient Care

We bid farewell to Ms. Vickie Smith and Ms. Diane Hess. Both have been longstanding members of the clinical affairs staff.

Of Vickie, Donna Haid, director of clinical education and patient care, wrote:

“Vickie’s welcoming and professional demeanor, as well as her “can do” attitude, continue to be a wonderful example for others. Regardless of the wide variety of responsibilities she has taken on over the years, her attention to detail, work ethic, commitment to excellence, and ability to keep us on track in meeting deadlines has been invaluable. I personally owe her a debt of gratitude for all that she has done to support our office. In addition to her outstanding competence, even in the most difficult of circumstances, she has been a friend to all and the first person to offer quiet encouragement to colleagues at all levels.”

Of Diane, Donna, wrote:

“Diane has been an esteemed member of our clinical operation for many years. Her leadership and innovation have provided critical support for some of the most important initiatives the school has undertaken. Since the time of our initial development of our electronic health record to current, her expertise and commitment to effectively developing EHR revenue cycle protocols has helped us remain competitive with or ahead of many schools nationwide. She has also been responsible for the development of countless other revenue cycle protocol enhancements beyond the EHR. Most importantly, we are indebted to her vision and commitment for developing an effective billing team that provides a unique and broad skillset for our school.”

New Full-time Faculty

We welcomed Dr. Dami Kim, assistant professor, to the Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Dr. Ben Kordusky, assistant professor, to the Department of Restorative Dentistry. Dr. Kim is a board-certified pediatric dentist who joins us from her private practice in New Jersey. Dr. Kordusky just completed the prosthodontic post-graduate program. Both bring skill and talent at a critical time, as we pursue establishing a pediatric dentistry post-graduate program and continue to expand our teaching and patient care in restorative dentistry.

Department of Dental Hygiene

Ms. Ashlee Sowards, associate professor in dental hygiene, was accepted into the American Dental Education Association’s LEADE program. LEADE (Leadership Essentials for Allied Dental Educators) is an eight-week, online course designed to promote leadership and professional development, as well as increase and enhance leadership opportunities, for allied dental faculty.

New Part-time Faculty

Four new dentists join our part-time faculty team. They are Dr. Catherine Conner, Department of Endodontics, Dr. Andrew Lusk, Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Drs. Tyler Brown and Faezeh Motabar, Department of Restorative Dentistry. Part-time faculty fill a crucial role in our academic programs, and without their help we would not be able to deliver exceptional instruction and patient care.

Department of Diagnostic Sciences

Dr. Juan Bugueno has been selected to participate as the School of Dentistry representative in a new WVU Inclusive Hiring Initiative (IHI). The IHI is a WVU ADVANCE Center initiative that aligns with and is informed by the goals and requests of the Office of the Provost; the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; and the concerned Black students, faculty, staff, alumni and community allies of West Virginia University. Dr. Bugueno will attend this program and be a resource for our school as we continue to enhance our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts.

Institute for Teaching and Learning Participants

Congratulations to three of our faculty members. Dr. Gina Graziani, chair of the Department of Pediatric Dentistry, completed the Academy for Advancing Leadership Institute for Teaching and Learning program. Dr. Graziani attended the training program on a Master Clinician Scholarship from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

Drs. Valerie Perrine and Arif Salman also recently completed the Institute for Teaching and Learning (ITL) development program. Delivered virtually this year, the program provides early career faculty the opportunity to “achieve better student outcomes by refining their teaching skills and enhancing the quality of their interactions with students”. The full program from the 2020 Institute for Technology and Learning session is online. Dr. Salman attended the program on a scholarship from the Academy of Periodontology Foundation, and Dr. Perrine received a scholarship to attend from the ADA Council on Dental Education and Licensure.