Alumni Recognition

Alumnus featured for humanitarian works

 COSAM alumnus Dr. Wendell “Chip” Taylor, ’79 Pre-Dentistry Biology, was featured in The Birmingham News for his long-standing relationship with Big Oak Ranch, a home for abused, abandoned and neglected children, located in Gadsden, Ala. Taylor, who is an orthodontist, has provided free orthodontics to the children of Big Oak Ranch for 26 years. To read the full story of how this Auburn graduate has helped hundreds of children smile, follow this link:

Medical student gives presentation in Sweden, named president of the FMA student division

Matthew Tufts, ’09 Biomedical Sciences, is in his third year of medical school at the University of South Florida College of Medicine. Following his first year of medical school, he participated in the college’s Business of Medicine Boot Camp. This intensive eight-week program is offered to medical students in the summer between their first and second years. Taught by faculty from the College of Business and USF Health, students get a comprehensive look at the business skills needed to be successful physician leaders and innovators who can invent new ways of diagnosing and treating diseases, ensure healthier communities and shape the system in which they are central players. They are introduced to organizational management, health care economics, finance, marketing, health care information technology and systems engineering, negotiation, and innovation and entrepreneurship – topics not typically covered in medical school. This summer marked the second year of the Boot Camp, and students and faculty members from USF were invited to give a presentation on the concepts learned in the program in Stockholm, Sweden, at the annual meeting of the International Council on Small Businesses. Among those selected to participate was Tufts, who along with fellow student Corey Reeves and Dr. William G. Marshall, Jr., presented a USF paper on healthcare innovation and entrepreneurship for medical students.
In July, Tufts was also elected president of the Florida Medical Association, Medical Students Division. COSAM congratulates this young alumnus on his accomplishments.

COSAM alumnus receives teaching award

Dr. Kenan Penaskovic ’00, Pre-medicine Microbiology, the attending psychiatrist and director of medical student clerkship at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, recently received the Devneil Vaidya Junior Faculty Teaching Award. The Devneil Vaidya award recognizes a junior faculty member who demonstrates excellence in teaching, mentoring and curricular innovations related to medical student education and is given by the Association of Directors of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry. Penaskovic’s wife, Bridget, also graduated from COSAM with a degree in Biomedical Sciences in 2001. To read the full story of Penaskovis’s award, click on this link: C:\Users\ceh0012\Documents\Candis\e-Journey\2011\August\Med School Watercooler Dr_ Penaskovic Receives Devneil Vaidya Junior Faculty Teaching Award.mht

COSAM alumni excel in medical school

Auburn University alumni accounted for 15 of the 69 spring 2011 graduates from the University of South Alabama (USA) College of Medicine. Of those, 10 were COSAM graduates and include the following:
-Dr. Lauren J. Platt, who received a five year orthopedic surgery appointment at the University of Missouri Columbia School of Medicine in Columbia, Mo. Honors include membership in Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. Platt was also the recipient of the 2011 Dean's Award, which recognizes the highest scholastic grade-point average for the full four years of medical school. This is the highest honor bestowed on USA College of Medicine graduates. She also received the Glasgow-Rubin Achievement Citation, awarded for academic achievement to women who graduate in the top 10 percent of the class; the Outstanding Student in Anatomical Sciences, awarded to the student with the best performance in the four anatomical sciences (gross anatomy, histology, neuroscience, and development anatomy); and the William A. Gardner, Jr. Pathology Award, awarded for outstanding achievement in the pathology course.
-Dr. Andrew R. Grucza, who received an appointment in emergency medicine at the University of Alabama Medical Center in Birmingham, Ala. Grucza is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and the recipient of the Microbiology/Immunology Achievement Award for outstanding performance.
-Dr. Matthew R. Irvin, who received an appointment in family medicine at Florida Hospital Medical Center in Orlando, Fla.
-Dr. Robert A. Lockwood, who received an appointment in internal medicine at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va. Lockwood is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and the winner of the Pharmacology Achievement Award for outstanding student performance.
-Dr. Sarah E. Stephenson, who received an appointment in anesthesiology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver, Colo.
-Dr. James Morgan Tucker, III, who received an appointment in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Ky.
-Dr. Micah R. Whitson, who received an appointment in internal medicine-emergency medicine at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y.
-Dr. Barry Dale Ballard, Jr., who received an appointment in general surgery at University of South Alabama Hospitals in Mobile, Ala.
-Dr. Katelyn V. Braswell, who received an appointment in obstetrics and gynecology at University of South Alabama Hospitals in Mobile, Ala.
-Dr. Christin Davis Taylor, who received an appointment in obstetrics and gynecology at University of South Alabama Hospitals in Mobile, Ala.


COSAM congratulates UAB Dental School class of 2011

Fifty-five students graduated in the spring of 2011 from the University of Alabama at Birmingham Dental School. Of the 55 graduates, 16 received their undergraduate degree from Auburn. Congratulations to the Auburn alumni and War Eagle!



COSAM graduate receives LDA Distinguished Service award

Dr. O. William Reeder, Jr.

is named the 2011 recipient of the Distinguished Service Award that was awarded during the 131st Annual Session of the Louisiana Dental Association (LDA) on April 16, 2011, at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center. The Distinguished Service Award is the highest honor bestowed by the LDA and is presented annually to individual members who have exemplified the highest standards of professional conduct in dentistry and have made extraordinary contributions in organized dentistry and their community.

Reeder grew up in Luverne, Ala., and was valedictorian of his 1964 graduating class. He graduated summa cum laude from Auburn University in 1968 and with honors from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry in 1971. Reeder earned his certificate in Endodontics from the Medical College of Georgia in 1976. He served as a general dentist in the U.S. Air Force from 1971-1973.

Reeder has been a member of the LDA, the American Dental Association (ADA) and the New Orleans Dental Association (NODA) for over 39 years. He has served the LDA in many capacities, including at-large member of the Executive Council, director to the Political Action Committee and chair of the Council on Membership. While a member of NODA, Reeder served on and chaired most committees including the Honors and Awards, Council on Membership and Dental Practice, Executive Office, Long-Range Planning, Public Relations, Nominating and United Way committees, and held most offices culminating in serving as president in 1989-90. Reeder served as director to the LDA Board of Directors for six years. He was also active in the New Orleans Dental Conference in various capacities during his years as a member of NODA.

In addition to his services to the LDA, NODA and New Orleans Dental Conference, Reeder also served the ADA in the Membership Recruitment & Retention Field Services Program, and as a member of the Local Arrangements Committee and the House of Delegates Reference Committee on Dental Benefits, Practice and Health. He was a delegate to the ADA House of Delegates for six years.

Reeder has been a member of the American Association of Endodontists since 1974, during which time he served on the Committee on Governmental Affairs. He also is a member of the New Orleans Endodontic Study Group, Louisiana Association of Endodontists, the Southern Endodontic Study Club, and the Southwest Society of Endodontists.

Among other services to the dental profession, Reeder was assistant professor and clinical associate professor of Endodontics and co-founder and coordinator of the endodontic specialty postgraduate program at the Louisiana State University School of Dentistry. After retirement from the practice of endodontics, Reeder became the executive director of the American Society of Dentist Anesthesiologists.

In addition to this award, Reeder is also a fellow of the American College of Dentists, a fellow of the International College of Dentists and was the Honor Dentist of the New Orleans Dental Association in 2002.

Reeder and his wife Mary now live on Beaver Lake in the Ozarks, outside of Eureka Springs, Ark.

-Louisiana Dental Association


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Last updated: 09/13/2011