UW School of Dentistry

Alumni News

Teaching endowment’s first fellowship awarded

A new endowment started by three prominent UW dental alumni to promote excellence in teaching has made its first award.

Drs Mathews, Spear, Kokich in black tie

Dr. David Mathews (left), Dr. Frank Spear (center) and Dr. Vincent Kokich, shown at the School of Dentistry’s annual Dean’s Club dinner in April 2012, sought to promote excellence in teaching at the School.

Dr. Kimberly Espinoza, director of the School of Dentistry’s special-needs clinical program, received the first fellowship from the 2016-2017 Kokich Mathews Spear Endowed Fund for Academic Leadership in Dentistry. The yearlong fellowship, which includes a $3,000 stipend, supports a personalized master class in the art and science of effective presentation.

The endowment was launched by Drs. Vincent G. Kokich (’71, Orthodontics  ’74), David P. Mathews (Periodontics  ’74) and Frank M. Spear (’79), who lectured together for more than 25 years as leading proponents of interdisciplinary dentistry. In 2009, the three dedicated one of their final joint appearances to raising funds for the endowment, and also made substantial individual gifts to it. Dr. Kokich passed away in 2013.

Dr. Kimberly Espinoza (right) discusses a case with second-year GPR resident Dr. Keturah Lowe.

Dr. Kimberly Espinoza (right) discusses a case with second-year GPR resident Dr. Keturah Lowe.

“I am excited to be selected for many reasons,” said Dr. Espinoza, who has directed the Dental Education in Care of Persons With Disabilities (DECOD) program since 2014. She has also chaired the Special Care Dentistry Association’s Council of Dentistry for People with Disabilities.

“I am particularly interested in different ways to engage students in a large classroom setting. I’ve spent the last year in the University of Washington Teaching Scholars Program focusing on curriculum development and educational scholarship, and am excited to expand on this by developing my presentation skills and delivery of content to students,” she said.

Dr. Espinoza, of the Oral Medicine faculty, was chosen from a field of applicants by a selection committee organized by Dr. Linda LeResche, Associate Dean for Research.

As they built international reputations as dental educators, Drs. Kokich, Mathews and Spear learned  what would best help students – evidence-based instruction, strong communication and presentation skills, open-minded inquiry, and techniques to create a dynamic and nurturing environment.

“We’ve seen what doesn’t work in teaching, and have been able to use that to teach people,” Dr. Kokich said in 2009. “I never had the opportunity as a faculty member, if I wanted to improve my teaching skills, to be guided by people who do this for a living.”

Mary Kokich Boer

Mary Kokich Boer

Dr. Espinoza will work with Mary Kokich Boer, Dr. Kokich’s daughter, who is a faculty member in the School of Education at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash. Kokich, who holds a master’s degree in teaching and is a nationally board-certified teacher, also worked for 13 years as a public school teacher and lectured individually and with her father on topics related to effective teaching and engaging audiences.

At the end of her fellowship year in the fall of 2017, Dr. Espinoza will join Drs. Spear and Mathews to present a special lecture at the School.

“Dr. Espinoza has already helped DECOD make significant strides, and with this additional training, I believe she will take this legacy program to even greater heights,” Dean Joel Berg said.

“I’d also like to convey my deep appreciation for the endowment to Dr. Mathews and Dr. Spear and to the family of Dr. Kokich. This is a truly meaningful gesture of support for our faculty that will bear tremendous dividends in the years to come.”

Drs. McGraw and Shapiro honored

Dr. James C. McGraw (Endo ’69) and Dr. Peter Shapiro (Ortho ’73) were honored on April 30 at the Dean’s Club dinner, held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Bellevue, Wash.

Dr. Jim McGraw with award

Dr. James C. McGraw shows off his Honorary Lifetime Member Award after the dinner.

Dr. McGraw received the 2016 Dean’s Club Honorary Lifetime Member Award and Dr. Shapiro received the 2016 Distinguished Alumnus Award in front of about 290 people, the largest crowd ever at the annual dinner. Dr. McGraw delivered an anecdote-filled acceptance speech liberally laced with humor, while Dr. Shapiro, who was unable to attend because of a long-standing out-of-town family commitment, accepted via a taped video message.

Dr. McGraw was honored for a long record of exemplary service to the School of Dentistry, including 24 years as a Department of Endodontics faculty member and nearly 20 years on the School’s Admissions Committee. He has also served on the Endodontics and International DDS admissions committees, as well as the Ethics and Professionalism Committee. In addition, Dr. McGraw has been an influential advocate for inclusiveness during his long service on the Partners in Diversity Committee, which he helped found. He also has mentored numerous students and given substantial financial support to scholarships, Partners in Diversity, and the Robert J. Oswald and David L. Pitts Endowed Professorship in Endodontics, the department’s first endowed professorship.

Dr. Peter Shapiro head shot

Dr. Peter Shapiro

A charter member of the Dean’s Club, Dr. McGraw was also honored in 2010 with the Distinguished Alumnus award for a career in dentistry that has included the presidency of the Washington State Dental Association, American Association of Endodontists and the Seattle King County Dental Society, and the first vice presidency of the American Dental Association. He was also a founding member of the Washington State Association of Endodontists.

Dr. Shapiro was honored for a career that included distinguished leadership of the Department of Orthodontics as its Chair from 1984 to 1995 after joining the faculty in 1973. His worldwide lectures with the late Dr. Vincent G. Kokich (’71, Ortho ’74) profoundly influenced the field of orthodontics and helped establish the Department of Orthodontics as a globally prominent center of clinical practice and research.

Bloomquist and York display award

Dr. Dale Bloomquist (’69) accepts the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Dr. Carrie York (’91, GPR ’92) on behalf of his close friend, Dr. Peter Shapiro, who was unable to attend.

Dr. Shapiro’s honors include membership in the Omicron Kappa Upsilon dental honorary society, the R.R. McIntyre Memorial Lectureship of the Canadian Foundation for the Advancement of Orthodontics, the Arthur Thornton-Taylor Memorial Lectureship of the Australian Society of Orthodontists, Fellow of the American College of Dentists, and the Dale B. Wade Award of Excellence in Orthodontics from the American Board of Orthodontics. He has also compiled an outstanding record of support for the School that earned him the 2012 Dean’s Club Honorary Lifetime Member Award and designation as a UW Benefactor.