NYSDF Deans Award Recognizes Five Outstanding Dental Students
FOR THE SECOND YEAR,the New York State Dental Foundation is
honoring students at all four of the dental colleges in New York
State, as well as at Eastman Dental Center, with its NYSDF Deans
Award.The prize,valued at $5,000,is given to foster a growing and
sustainable oral health work force, critical to expanding available
oral health services for all New Yorkers.It is a need that has become
more acute as the ranks of the underserved grow and culturally
diverse communities within the state expand.
This year,the Foundation Board of Trustees changed the crite-
ria for the Deans Award. Previously, it was awarded to graduating
seniors. Now it is given to a third-year student or postdoctoral
trainee who has demonstrated an exceptional level of achievement
as measured by the following criteria:
● Outstanding academic performance.
● Demonstrated commitment to enhancing and improving the
oral health of underserved populations.
● Membership in the American Student Dental Association.
Candidates for the NYSDF Deans Award mustbenominated by
the dean of each of the qualified academic dental institutions.They
are Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, New York
University College of Dentistry, University at Buffalo School of
DentalMedicine,StonyBrook UniversitySchoolof DentalMedicine
and the University of Rochester Eastman Dental Center.
Maricelle Uy Abayon, Eastman Dental Center.
Graduating as one of the highest ranking students
at the University of the Philippines and ranked
highest in her dental school class, it would seem
there is little leftfor Dr.Abayon toachieve.Yet,in less
than two years at Eastman Dental Center, Dr.
Abayon has demonstrated an ability to form excel-
lent relationships with patients, administrators,
staffand faculty,while,at the same time,performing atthe highestlevel
in the difficultmaster ofscienceprogram atthe UniversityofRochester.
The advanced education in general dentistry program at Eastman has
always been considered demanding because of the required literature
reviews,case presentations,researchseminarsand academic classes,to
say nothing of the patient component of the program.Dr.Abayon has
been an active participant in all of these areas and still finds time to
lend a hand to others. She has never refused a request to help with
emergency patients ortoassistanother residentin a difficultprocedure.
Dr.Abayon’s unique ability to recognize the social, economic, psycho-
logical,medical and financial impediments to successful dental treat-
mentfor her patients,and todoso with both an air of confidenceand a
sense of humility,evidence a maturityfar beyond her years