IITS employees

Faculty of Dentistry celebrates its people with a virtual summer event

The Faculty of Dentistry celebrated its first ever virtual summer luncheon on Friday, June 26. The annual event traditionally marks the end of the academic year and presents an opportunity to celebrate the invaluable contributions made by faculty and staff.

Teaching awards

Assistant professor Beatrice Leung and instructor Joe (Anthony) Stokl were the recipients of this year’s Dr. A. Bruce Hord Master Teacher Awards. These awards recognize exemplary role models, clinicians and teachers, and reward continuing excellence in teaching and other contributions to education.

Leung was noted for her consistently strong teaching evaluations. One noted, “She is an excellent teacher to learn from. A true blessing for the students and Faculty,” while another stated that Leung’s lectures “were detailed and very helpful.”

Stokl’s nomination said he was, “by far the busiest instructor because so many students want to work with him, yet he manages to find time to help any student that needs it.” He was additionally named an “enthusiastic” and “passionate teacher” who “wants students to succeed.”  

"She is an excellent teacher to learn from"

The W.W. Wood Award for Excellence in Dental Education was established by the Association of Canadian Faculties of Dentistry. This year’s award, which went to Faculty lecturer Joel Rosenbloom, honours a full or part-time faculty member who consistently demonstrates excellence through the course of his or her teaching.

Rosenbloom’s nomination noted that he “genuinely cares about students well-being and learning experiences.” He was additionally recognized for sharing his “extremely inspirational” experiences from his work at CAMH and Addis Ababa University with the entire community: “his combination of scientific knowledge, technical, and inter-personal and life skills at such high level, are truly difficult to find,” said Jim Lai, vice dean, education, during the award’s presentation.  

Staff honoured for excellence in stressful times

The annual Staff Excellence Awards were also announced during the June 26 event. Established in 2016, the awards celebrate a staff member or members who demonstrate professionalism, teamwork, contribution to morale, and work excellence.

This year, as an exceptional measure, the awards were received by two teams which have have gone “above and beyond” during the current closures.

Clinic staff stars

Team leads Jennifer Lanteigne (oral surgery and dental anaesthesia) and Mary Anne Lisotti (Clinic 1) were one of the teams recognized.

The nominations came on the heels of the duo’s extraordinary work to help treat the Faculty’s patients who were experiencing dental emergencies during the pandemic.

“This team stepped up above and beyond to deliver emergency care to patients in need during the COVID-19 pandemic,” read one of the nominations. “They worked efficiently and effectively to facilitate the delivery of care under restrictive conditions and consistently presented in good spirits, eager to help.”

IITS shines

A second team was also recognized: the ten-member team of Information and Instructional Technology Services (IITS). That team consists of manager James Fiege, as well as Marika BanfiJeff ComberCharles CoxAndrea CormierMarisa Curmi, Danny JeronimoChristine Nicolau KennedyMichael Limberger, Marshall Mednick and Nick Fallavollita.

While this team has always been notable for its excellent service to the Faculty, this year, the nominator noted, was different.

“They have managed the changes seamlessly"

As the Faculty of Dentistry shut down in mid-March, along with the rest of the University, IITS accommodated the transformation of a large, in-person workforce into an agile, off-site work force, troubleshooting connection issues, software problems, and various incompatible operating systems.

“They have managed the changes seamlessly,” wrote a nominator. “Suddenly everything changed, and we all had to work from home. This must have at least tripled the IITS team’s workload, and they managed it without a hiccup.”


Also honoured at the event were this year’s retirees.

Marika Banfi (IITS) was recognized for her years of service by IITS manager James Fiege. Director of Clinical Affairs James Posluns thanked clinic team leads Nina Gawlik and Andrea Welsh for their years of service.

The accomplishments of this year’s faculty retirees were noted by dean Daniel Haas, who thanked them for their years of service:

Associate Professor Peter Birek

Associate Professor Wafa El-Badrawy

Professor Omar El-Mowafy

Assistant Professor Romanita Ghilzon

Assistant Professor Hartley Kestenberg

Associate Professor Angelos Metaxas                          

Assistant Professor Julia Rukavina

Associate Professor William Wilson


Photo: IITS team (Jeff Comber)