2021 Commencement Award Recipients

Class of 2021 Virtual Graduate Recognition Award Ceremony


DMD Student Awards

Jiachen Lin, DMD21

Jiachen Lin
Harvard Dental Alumni Association Gold Medal
For exceptional all-around scholastic achievement

The Lois K. Cohen Award
For excellence in global health


Emily Chen, DMD21


Emily Wei-Ling Chen
Harvard Dental Alumni Association Silver Medal
For outstanding all-around scholastic achievement


Daniel Mark Roistacher, DMD21


Daniel Mark Roistacher
Dr. Paul Boyle Award
For excellence in the field of Oral Pathology


Kasey Disney Ha, DMD21


Kasey Disney Ha
Dr. Roy O. Greep Award
For excellence in basic sciences


Ashiana Jivraj, DMD21


Ashiana Jivraj
Harvard Odontological Society Award
For excellence in research

Alexander M. Cruz Walma, DMD21


Alexander M. Cruz Walma
Grace Milliken Award
For an outstanding thesis on the general subject of dental health


Ryan Anthony Williams, DMD21


Ryan Anthony Williams
Dr. Norman B. Nesbett Award
For excellence in clinical dentistry

Hye Soo Chung, DMD21


Hye Soo Chung
Dr. Leo Talkov Award
For excellence in clinical dentistry

Leela Breitman, DMD21

Leela Sivie Breitman
Gerald Shklar Memorial Award
For excellence in academics and demonstrated talents in fields distinguished from the sciences, such as art, literature, and/or public service
Paul Chung, DMD21

Paul Youngwook Chung
The Community Service Predoctoral Student Award
For overall achievement in public health and contribution to the field


Advanced Graduate Education Student Awards

Hesham A. Alhazmi
The Lois K. Cohen Award
For excellence in global health

Dr. James M. Dunning Award
For outstanding research in oral epidemiology/public health dentistry
Diana Wang
Diana Wang
Dr. Joseph L. Henry Award
For extraordinary accomplishments in research and clinical dentistry, and contributions to the School
Lama Alabdulaaly

Lama Alabdulaaly
Dr. James H. Shaw Award
In recognition of research that greatly advances knowledge in a particular discipline

Headshot of Kobie Gordon, MMSc21

Kobie Charles Gordon
The Community Service Postdoctoral
Student Award

For overall achievement in public health and contribution to the field

2020 Professional Awards and Special Recognition

Academy of General Dentistry Senior Dental Student Award
Hye Soo Chung

Academy of Operative Dentistry Award
Emily Wei-Ling Chen

Academy of Osseointegration Outstanding Dental Student in Implant Dentistry Award
Hye Soo Chung

American Academy of Implant Dentistry: Postdoctoral Dental Student Award
Shahram Raoof

American Academy of Implant Dentistry: Predoctoral Dental Student Award
Jiachen Lin

American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
Alexander M. Cruz Walma

American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology
Andrew Paige

American Academy of Oral Medicine
Alisha N. Desai

American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
Nicholas Paul DeMeo

American Academy of Periodontology
Alexander M. Cruz Walma

ASDA Award of Excellence
Jennifer Erin Lee

International College of Dentists Leadership Award
Nicholas Paul DeMeo

International College of Dentists Humanitarian Award
Chun-Chia Lin

International Congress of Oral Implantologists Award
Tiantian Karen He

Northeastern Society of Periodontology
Alisha N. Desai

Pierre Fauchard Academy Senior Student Award
Jennifer Erin Lee

Oral Health Foundation of the Pierre Fauchard Academy Third Year Student Award
Camille Herzog

Whip Mix Corporation - Hanau Award in Prosthodontics
Daniel Mark Roistacher


Outstanding Teaching Faculty Awards

Recipients of these awards were chosen by the DMD Class of 2021 to honor individuals who had a significant impact on the class.

Shigemi Nagai, DDS, PhD
Graduating from Iwate Medical University School of Dentistry with her DDS in 1982 and PhD in 1988, Dr. Shigemi Nagai has been an HSDM faculty member since 2001. In her twenty-year tenure, she has had an indelible impact and influence on her past students including the members of the class of 2021. Dr. Nagai can often be found on a Teaching Practice computer running statistical analysis on her most current research initiative, or ready to teach and mentor at any moment. What makes Dr. Nagai stand out is not only her passion but her drive to push her students to improve at any given opportunity. In her pedagogical approach, be it in the clinical setting or serving as a research mentor, she trusts in her students’ ability to succeed - for it is during these experiences of “figuring it out” where we grow and gain confidence. The Class of 2021 is grateful to Dr. Nagai for her amazing contributions and would like to recognize her with the Outstanding Teaching Faculty Award.

Luis Lopez, DMD
Dr. Lopez joined the faculty and began working closely with the Class of 2021 when we needed him most; it is safe to say we would have had a very different 3rd and 4th year, without him. Prior to joining HSDM as a Senior Tutor, Dr. Lopez worked at the Geiger Gibson Community Health Center and served as a clinical professor teaching forensic dentistry. Although, it is not clear if Dr. Lopez knew what he was getting himself into when he took on the role of Senior Tutor, he certainly stepped up to the plate. Whether it be stepping in to increase clinical faculty coverage on the clinic floor, providing extra time for guidance and treatment planning, or volunteering to come in for weekend sessions to prepare students for the CDCA, Dr. Lopez was always there. He brought a refreshing perspective to the clinic, with his signature line “I don’t see why not.” His real-world experience working in community health clinics and private practice shines through whenever he is teaching. For all these reasons, the Class of 2021 has decided to honor Dr. Lopez with this year’s Outstanding Teaching Faculty Award.

Outstanding Resident Teaching Award

The pre-doctoral Class of 2021 has elected to honor an advanced graduate dental resident for their significant contributions to the class.

Chiho Ahn, DMD, DMSc 
Dr. Chiho Ahn’s demeanor, approachability, shoe collection, and outstanding teaching have easily made him a fan favorite among the DMD Class of 2021. Dr. Ahn approaches every situation with a calm, soothing aura. He is a graduate of Boston University’s Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine predoctoral program and a soon-to-be graduate of HSDM’s advanced graduate Periodontology program and Doctorate of Medical Sciences degree recipient. His clinical excellence and advanced doctoral training allowed him to advance in dental research and foster his own academic pursuits. He will be joining Boston University School of Dental Medicine next year as full-time faculty member and we know that he will continue to positively impact the dental school experience and clinical training of the students who have the opportunity to work with him throughout his career. The DMD Class of 2021 is appreciative of the treasured time and shared experiences of learning together with Dr. Ahn during our clinical experience at HSDM.

Outstanding Staff Awards

The recipient of this award was chosen by the DMD Class of 2021 to honor an individual who had an immeasurable impact on the class

Charles Mwele, CDT
As Laboratory Coordinator and Instructional Dental Technologist, Charles Mwele teaches students lab skills in the preclinical environment. He also assists students in navigating the lab components of patient cases, while offering stories and lessons that are equally as valuable. We chose Charles to receive the Outstanding Staff Award because he has been instrumental in teaching us the foundational skills of dentistry. Further, he always shows enthusiasm and passion to go above-and-beyond to help us with the questions we constantly seek from him. With a supportive and nonjudgmental demeanor, we can count on him to offer his assistance and advice. Through all the challenges of dental school, he not only helps us with our lab cases but also reassures us that we can persevere in all aspects of dentistry. We would like to recognize him for his outstanding mentorship and kindness to us as students. Charles, we couldn’t have done it without you!

Distinguished Faculty Awards

Vicki Rosen, PhDDistinguished Senior Faculty Award
Vicki Rosen, PhD

Dr. Vicki Rosen served as Interim Dean of Harvard School of Dental Medicine during the most challenging early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring the safety of the HSDM community amidst a global health crisis. A highly-respected scientist in the field of bone and mineral research, Rosen’s career at HSDM spans nearly two decades. As chair of the Department of Developmental Biology, she oversees the clinical specialties of pediatric dentistry and orthodontics, as well as basic research, and is involved in the education of postdoctoral fellows and residents, students enrolled in the DMD program, and MD and PhD candidates at Harvard Medical School (HMS). Additionally, she co-leads HSDM’s PhD program in Biological Sciences in Dental Medicine and is a principal faculty member of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. As a respected scientist and administrator, she brought valued leadership, innovation, and guidance to faculty, staff, and students during an extremely difficult time. It is a great honor to recognize Dr. Rosen’s remarkable stewardship and numerous contributions to the School of Dental Medicine with this year’s Distinguished Senior Faculty Award.

Peter Grieco, DDS, DMScDistinguished Junior Faculty Award
Peter Grieco, DDS, DMSc

Dr. Peter Grieco, instructor in Restorative Dentistry and Biomaterials Sciences, serves as the predoctoral prosthodontics director at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM). He completed his advanced graduate education program in prosthodontics in 2014 and earned his Doctorate in Medical Science in 2015 from HSDM. He is dedicated to teaching and pursuing a career in academic dentistry. Dr. Grieco’s research focuses on dental materials, esthetics, and color science, and he has presented his findings at numerous local, national, and international meetings. Dr. Grieco has demonstrated exemplary dedication to teaching as evidenced by his nomination by the DMD Class of 2019 for the Outstanding Teaching Faculty Award. He is known as a valued mentor and colleague in the HSDM community. In recognition of his commitment to being a dedicated educator and clinical leader who influences progressive change in dental education, Dr. Grieco is the recipient of this year’s Distinguished Junior Faculty Award.