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Dental school commencement includes more than 70 graduates

Students earn bachelor's, doctorate and master's degrees

The West Virginia University School of Dentistry Class of 2021, comprised of more than 70 students across three degree programs, represents tenacity. In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, these students were among the first to return to providing patient care, in many instances, long before other dental schools and even private practices were able to reopen.

Temporary class and clinic closures, a hybrid of online and in-person classes, delayed certification examinations and postponed rural rotation assignments are some of the challenges they faced.

"Uncertainties were many - resuming clinical operations, lock-downs impacting our patients, and reverting to virtual teaching methods, yet you met each challenge brilliantly, making you ready for anything as you embark on the next stage of your careers," said Dr. Fotinos Panagakos, interim dean. 

You can read his full remarks for students by clicking here

While last year’s commencement ceremonies had to be cancelled, a number of factors from improved infection rates to vaccination distribution led to the University agreeing to outdoor commencement ceremonies with a number of social distancing and safety measures in place.

Dental hygiene, doctor of dental surgery and residents graduated at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 16, 2021. You can see some photos from commencement on our smugmug page.

Join us in congratulating these graduates:

Dental Hygiene – BSDH

Hashim Abualrahi
Samantha Alioto
Ruth Beck
Haley Cramer
Kelsey Cummings
Claire Frank
Alexis Gaydos
Amber Hott
Caitlin Hull
Merranda Lackey
Kelley Long
Harley Maynard
Nina Mitzelfelt
Anna Moser
Samantha Roberts
Taylor Sherry
Kasie Stewart
Abby Vavrick
Zoe Walls
Savannah Warnken (August 2021)
Sydney Williams

Dentistry – DDS
Hussain Ali
Zana Al-Saloum
Nick Balash
Brett Barnette
Robert Cicchino
Sarah Civitillo
Nichalos Dahlheim
Matt Dolan
Brooke Dolin
Carlie Enns
Paru Gopalan
Josh Groves
Elizabeth Strickler Higganbotham
Bailey Holihan
Lawson Hoover
James Hughes
Abdul Kaou
Hebah Kassar
Skylar Kipps
Christina Klug
Ben Lamb
Josh Lokant
Brian Lusk
Racil Mando
Tala Mando  
Nadia Mardmomen
Maya Mathai
Bryan Meadows
Braden Montgomery
Mizbah Muzaffer
Brett Nanners
Alex Pancake
Seth Prince
Dennis Rabinovich
Tim Ray
Adam Rudmann
Nemish Shah
Gabrielle Skaggs
Michelle Snodgress
Jason Snyder
Marcus Sonoga
Payton Southall
Shayla Stear
David Thieroff
Joshua Thorne
Michael Tupta
Layne Veneri
Mark Yohe

Residents - MS

Dr. Stephanie Becker
Dr. Dustin Osborne
Dr. Minh Nguyen.

Vivia Sequeira
Caitlin Libby (August 2021)