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School’s Omicron Kappa Upsilon chapter celebrates new inductees3 min read

April 8, 2021

School’s Omicron Kappa Upsilon chapter celebrates new inductees3 min read

Ann Arbor, Mich., April 8, 2021 – Fourteen graduating dental students, three faculty and one staff member of the School of Dentistry were inducted yesterday into the Chi Chapter of Omicron Kappa Upsilon (OKU), a national dental honor society.

The top 12 percent of graduating students achieve this honor, which is a testament to excellence in scholarship and character. During an online induction, Dean Laurie McCauley remarked on the students’ ability to overcome significant obstacles during the pandemic. “Your perseverance over the past year should be noted. Your ability to adapt and continue excellent work is another sign of the talent and capability that we are highlighting today.”

This year’s student inductees are:

• Diksha Agrawal
• Alexander Bageris
• Joshua Brown
• Sagar Chadha
• Katarina Crause
• Miranda Haas
• Michael Havel
• Hanna Kwon
• Sumer Panesar
• Jay Pietila
• Ian Segall
• Keerthi Shabadu
• Lunan Shao
• Sara Tinawi

Dental faculty are nominated for membership based on their outstanding contribution to the art, science, or literature of dentistry. Faculty members inducted this year include:

• Dr. Rogerio Castilho, Associate Professor of Dentistry and Interim Chair, Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine.
• Dr. Chin-Wei (Jeff) Wang, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine.

Dr. Phil Richards, Clinical Professor of Dentistry, Periodontics and Oral Medicine, and Vice President of the OKU chapter, noted Dr. Castilho’s work as interim department chair in his induction remarks. “Taking on the role of interim department chair in the middle of a pandemic is no easy challenge. I have an appreciation for Dr. Castilho’s thoughtful and collegial leadership of our department.”  Regarding Dr. Wang’s work, Richards said, “I have been impressed by his continuous innovation and his continuous efforts to create opportunities for students to expand both their scientific and practical awareness and skills.”

Honorary membership to OKU is given to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of dentistry. This year’s recipient is faculty member Darlene Jones. She has been a Clinical Lecturer in the dental hygiene program since 2014 and has mentored many students during their community-based research projects.  Dr. Larry Salzmann, Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry, and President Elect of OKU chapter, described Jones’ approach to student projects: “To watch Darlene interact with her students is not only a joy, but a lesson in teaching structure, essential learning, new approaches, personalized learning, valuable feedback and student support.”

Teresa Patterson, Preclinical Classroom and Lab Coordinator, is this year’s staff recipient of the certificate of recognition for her exemplary service to the School of Dentistry. Dr. Renée Duff, Associate Dean for Students and OKU Secretary-Treasurer, noted Patterson’s significant contributions that focus on helping students.  “Teresa has an exceptional history of being recognized by patients, staff, faculty and students for having a positive, person-centered approach that makes everyone feel valued and welcome. She is an exemplar of our core values at the School of Dentistry.”

Omicron Kappa Upsilon is the national dental honor society founded in 1914 with the purpose of recognizing the outstanding scholarship of dental students. The admission standards are meant to encourage and develop a spirit of ambition among students in dentistry and to recognize those who distinguish themselves by exemplary scholarship.

The OKU awards ceremony and photos of the inductees can be seen here.


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:  Contact: Lynn Monson, associate director of communications, at, or (734) 615-1971.