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College of Dental Medicine Scholars Day

13th annual James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine Scholars Day is Friday, February 17, 2023

The annual James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine Scholars Day  showcases research from pre-doctoral dental students, graduate students, and post-doctoral residents.


2024 Keynote Speaker 

Dr. Alfred GriffinAlfred Griffin, D.M.D., Ph.D.
Founder & CEO, LightForce Orthodontics

Dr. Griffin founded LightForce Orthodontics in 2015. He received his BS in Biochemistry from the University of Virginia, after which he completed a D.M.D. and Ph.D. at the Medical University of South Carolina while lecturing internationally in craniofacial biology. Dr. Griffin also has a Masters of Medical Science and Certificate in Orthodontics from the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, where he currently serves as faculty, and he is an ABO-certified practicing orthodontist.


2023 Award Recipients

Predoctoral Category

SCDA Annual Session Award

Michael Azzer, Nima Ghorbani, & Thomas Watson
Emma Barnett, Alexis Goodson, & Emma Hughes
Katie Bell, Ashwini Pilla, & Sutton Reamer
Madison Covington & Caroline Norris
Nico Farrar
Clayton Greer & Benjamin Hardy 
Ashley Hughes & Kayla Schell
Reilly Kelly & Hannah Miller
Ed McMillan, Jason Stroud, & Josh Wright
Carlo Negroni & Daravuth Pel

Hinman Student Research Symposium Award

Brooks Swanson

Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting Award

Hudson Gray, Lacy Hylton, & Ruhi Patel

Student Competition for Advancing Dental Research and its Application Award

Gurbir Malhi

Resident (Years 2+) Category

First Place – Dr. Waqar Ahmad
Second Place – Dr. Waleed Alkakhan
Third Place – Dr. Michael Bocklet 

Ph.D. Student (Ph.D. years 1-4) Category

First Place – Megan Tennant
Second Place – Bridgette Wellslager
Third Place – Charles Holjencin 

Ph.D. Student (Ph.D. years 5+) Category

First Place (tied) – Jaden Lee
First Place (tied) – Matthew Carson

AADOCR Student Research Day Award

2023 Winner – Bridgette Wellslager
2024 Winner – Charles Holjencin

Post-Doctoral Scholar / Fellow & Staff Scientist Category

First Place – Dr. Catherine Mills
Second Place – Dr. Brianyell McDaniel Mims
Third Place – Dr. Cherice Hill 


2023 Schedule of Events

Wellness Center Gymnasium

8 – 8:30 a.m. Posters – Set Up

8 – 9 a.m. Vendor Fair – Set Up

8:30 – 11 a.m. Scholars Day Posters Viewing; Scholars Day Posters Judging
8:30 – 10 a.m. Predoctoral Judging
8:30 – 11 a.m. Residents and Senior Categories Judging

9 – 11 a.m. ASDA Vendor Fair
9 – 10 a.m. D3, D4 and Residents
10 – 11 a.m. D1 and D2

11 a.m. – 12 p.m. Additional Poster Viewing and Collaboration Time
for Senior Categories

11 a.m. – 12 p.m. Lunch Break


Drug Discovery Auditorium (DD110)

12 – 1 p.m. Keynote Speaker:
J. Timothy Wright, D.D.S., MS
Editor in Chief, The Journal of the American Dental Association, James Bawden Distinguished Professor, Pediatric and Public Health - UNC Adams School of Dentistry
“Developmental Dental Defects: Translating Discovery to Therapy”

1 – 1:30 p.m. Scholars Day Awards Presentation
Hosted by Joe Vuthiganon, D.M.D.

2 p.m. Predoctoral Classes and Clinics Resume (Delayed Start)