Alumni Spotlight

Campaign Priorities

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12/2019 - Sam Muslin‘77

In his 40-plus-year dental career, Dr. Sam Muslin has enjoyed well-earned success, but claims that his biggest accomplishment to date is achieving a satisfying work-life balance. With complete dedication to his patients, he knew from the start that his practice must allow for family time in equal measure—that being a youth soccer coach was just as important as being an innovative professional. Born in Pennsylvania and raised in California, Dr. Muslin returned to Santa Monica after graduating from the dental school in 1977 and leased space in his own dentist’s office to start his practice. Although he was told that it would be a great challenge to succeed in this coastal city, he was undaunted and has thrived there ever since. Even the devastating January 17, 1994 earthquake (6.7 magnitude) that destroyed his office did not deter him. With the help of his wife Cathy, a real estate broker and certified designer, they were able to rebuild in a year and a half. Dr. Muslin is unequivocal in the credit he gives to the School of Dental Medicine for the academic, technical, and problem-solving training he received that he deems “nothing short of phenomenal.” After completing the dental school’s requirements in three years, he approached the then-dean, Dr. Thomas Demarco, to ask about early graduation. Instead, Dr. Demarco assigned him to a series of complex cases from full mouth reconstructions to periodontal surgeries—working, in turn, with each of the department chairs. Dr. Muslin’s gratitude for the dean’s interest in him remains a motivating factor for his success. At the center of Dr. Muslin’s philosophy is that dentistry is first about health and is more than a beautiful smile—it is about the entire face. In other words, he strives to deliver functionality and health benefits, with surprising cosmetic results. To this end, he developed a unique form of non-invasive bite correction dentistry that focuses on jaw position—it is described on his practice website: “Many years ago, I gave away my general dentistry practice in order to focus on the non-invasive bite correction method,” notes Dr. Muslin. 

2/2019 - Tim Benich ’73  and Ace Goerig '71

The series featured presentations from Timothy (Tim) Benich, DDS ’73 from Atlanta, Georgia and Albert (Ace) Goerig, DDS ‘71, M.S. from Olympia, Washington. Both Drs. Benich and Goerig have been long-time advocates for the School of Dental Medicine as volunteers, donors, and reunion participants. “Alumni Spotlight resulted from current students expressing their interest in learning about additional successful practice management techniques from alumni in the ‘real world,’” says Paul Wolansky, Assistant Dean for Development and Alumni Relations. “Dr. Benich and Dr. Goerig are both successful in their communities and are both passionate supporters of the school. They are great role models in every way for our students.” 

10/2013 - Kari Cunningham '10 '12 and Tasha Hall '11

Drs. Cunningham and Hall have been featured in CWRU's 30 Under 30 list of alumni who have invented, influenced and become standouts in their fields, all before the age of 30. As a dental student, Kari Cunningham won a scholarship from the National Health Service Corps that commits her to spend at least four years in an underserved area. Today, she is the first pediatric dentist at Northeast Ohio Neighborhood Health Services, a community-based health care clinic, where she helps patients who lack access to essential preventive care and educates them on the importance of oral health.

After dental school, Tasha Hall returned home to Indiana for post-graduate study in Orthodontics, but her career path took a detour after she helped treat several children with severe facial deformities. Last month, Hall returned to CWRU and University Hospitals to begin a fellowship in craniofacial, surgical and special care orthodontics--among the first accredited fellowships of its kind in the US. Hall will be part of a team of specialists who meet with parents shortly after birth to plan long-range therapy for craniofacial deformities, like cleft lip and cleft palate, that can take years to correct. Read more on Drs. Cunningham and Hall.

9/2013 - Mario Pavicic '92

Dr. Pavicic, an adjunct assistant professor, was featured in CWRU's think magazine for his Associate Certified Coach (ACC) certification from the International Coaching Federation. Only a handful of dentists in the world have accomplished this coaching certification and now fill a small niche in the dental specialty. The organization has about 10,000 ICF-certified coaches worldwide, and the latest ICF figures show about 6,400 have their ACC. “The title represents yet another feather in the cap of CWRU’s dental school practice management program. The students will be able to experience what a dental coach does and how he can help them throughout their dental career,” Pavicic said. He teaches two Practice Management courses that teach dental students the business side of running a practice. Read the story on Dr. Pavicic.

4/2013 - John King '84, Rachelle Boudreau '96, Dory Stutman '90

John Kling, Rachelle Boudreau, and Dory Stutman were honored at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry in Seattle, WA. They received recognition along with 14 other dentists for becoming Accredited in the Academy. The accreditation process is arduous and consists of passing written and oral examinations and submitting and passing five comprehensive cosmetic cases (actual clinical cases). There are only about 300 dentists in the world who have accomplished this. Read the story about the newest recognized members at the AACD web site.

11/2012 - Zachary Mellion '04

Dr. Mellion has received this year's N. Wayne Hiatt Rising Star Award from the Ohio Dental Association. After receiving his DMD from Case Western Reserve in 2004, he earned a Master's in Orthodontics from St. Louis University, then returned to his family's orthodontics practice, which has offices in Akron, Uniontown, Massillon, Medina, and Brunswick. In addition to seeing patients, the practice is involved in educational programs at local schools and Dr. Mellion is an Assistant Professor at CWRU and guest lecturer for the Stark State Dental Hygiene Program. Dr. Mellion is also very involved in organized dentistry, including the ODA, the Akron Dental Society, and the Orthodontic Education and Research Foundation. Read the profile on Mellion.

11/2012 - Kari Cunningham '10

Dr. Cunningham was featured in "An Inside Look - How Dr. Cunningham got her start" in a recent edition of Generation D, an e-publication for new dentists by the Ohio Dental Association. Cunningham is a recipient of the National Health Service Corps Scholarship, which requires a commitment to four years of service to an underserved community upon graduating from dental school. She now works at Northeast Ohio Neighborhood Health Services Inc. (NEON) in Cleveland, where she can fulfill her commitment and give back to her community at the same time. Read the article on Dr. Cunningham.

10/2012 - Ronald Lemmo '84

Dr. Lemmo was installed as Treasurer of the American Dental Association, where he will be designing a budget process in concert with the Board of Trustees, serving as a resource for the House Reference Committee on Budget, Business, and Administrative Matters, overseeing Association finances, and presiding as chair of the Board's Administrative Review Committee. Read the press release on Dr. Lemmo.

10/2012 - Brian Scott '78

Dr. Scott was installed as second vice president of the American Dental Association, where he will serve on the Board of Trustees to formulate and review policies and programs and make recommendations to the members of the ADA's governing body. He will play a major role in the ADA's organizational objective of being America's leading advocate for oral health. Read the press release on Dr. Scott at the American Dental Association website.

10/2012 - Eric Edward Ellis '06

Dr. Ellis was featured in the summer edition of the Dental School's magazine. He currently practices in Phoenix, Arizona.

7/2012 - Jack Beattie

Dr. Beattie has been featured in the Spring 2012 issue of the American Association of Orthodontics' magazine, New Dimensions.

1/2012 - Francis Curd '77

Dr. Curd has published "The declining number of practicing African American dentists in Cuyahoga County, 1970 through 2001."

12/2011 - Samer Safadi '03

Dr. Safadi has been featured on CWRU's Alumni Spotlight.

11/2011 - Samuel C. Muslin '77

Dr. Muslin was featured in the fall edition of the Dental School's magazine.