Alumni Awards

2021 Alumni Achievement

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Charles Genrich, DDS ‘83 and Jon C. Asbjörnson, DDS ‘87 - For their work with Clinic with a Heart.

Dr. Charles Genrich graduated from the UNMC College of Dentistry in 1983. He has been providing compassionate dental care for over 30 years. His passion for dentistry has led him to become a member of the American Dental Association, Nebraska Dental Association, Lincoln District Dental Association and the Capital Study Club. He is a part-time clinical instructor in the department of adult restorative dentistry at the UNMC College of Dentistry and a Fellow in the American College of Dentists. Dr. Genrich volunteers regularly at Clinic With A Heart where he provides much-needed dental care to Lincoln’s underserved community members. His help and expertise has been vital to the ongoing success of the organization.

Dr. Jon C. Asbjörnson graduated from the UNMC College of Dentistry in 1987. After graduation, Dr. Asbjörnson joined his father’s private practice (Don Asbjornson, DDS ‘62). Not only does he feel blessed to have four daughters (Amy, Molly, Katie and Madeline), he has the good fortune to work with two of them in his current dental office - Molly Asbjörnson Regelean, RDH ‘12 and Katie Asbjörnson, DDS ‘15. Dr. Asbjörnson is a part-time instructor in the department of adult restorative dentistry at the UNMC College of Dentistry. He volunteers locally at the People’s City Mission and Clinic With A Heart and internationally with Southwood Lutheran Church in Honduras, Central America, with the College of Dentistry in Columbia, South America, and with the East Meets West organization in South Vietnam. Dr. Asbjörnson’s career is a shining example of how dentists can use their skill and compassion to help those in need.


2021 Alumni Achievement

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Byron Tullis, DDS ‘58 - Posthumously

Dr. Byron Tullis was a polio survivor who went on to graduate from the University of Nebraska College of Dentistry and serve his country in the United States Air Force. Dr. Tullis grew a private practice in Lincoln, Neb., and practiced for more than 60 years, serving generations of patients with great care and a friendly chairside manner.

Throughout his life he was dedicated to helping others. He helped set up the People’s City Mission Dental Clinic. After he retired and well into his 80s, Dr. Tullis came to the People’s City Mission twice a week to volunteer. He exhibited his dedication to service throughout his entire life.


2021 Distinguished Service

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David G. Brown, BSc, MLS, PhD

Dr. David G. Brown became chairman of the UNMC College of Dentistry Department of Oral Biology in 1981-1987. He served as the director of research from 1982-1984, the assistant dean for research and administration from 1984-1989, and became the associate dean for academic affairs in 1989.

In 2000, he became executive associate dean and earned his master’s degree in legal studies from the UNL College of Law. For the past 20 years, he served the college as a professor of oral biology focusing on community outreach. He retired on Dec. 31, 2020, after 39 years at the College of Dentistry.

Dr. Brown was instrumental in helping thousands of Nebraskans receive oral health care and education through the college’s outreach events and through building partnerships with organizations like Clinic with a Heart. Additionally, due to his efforts, the college participated in community events where thousands of Nebraskans received oral health education and screenings. Dr. Brown taught generations of students the importance of helping the underserved.

During his long and distinguished career as an educator, Dr. Brown was the course director for dental research, ethics, public health and oral medicine. He also taught biochemistry and pharmacology to dental hygiene, dental, nursing and postgrad students. Dr. Brown served on more than 85 UNMC, UNMC College of Dentistry, University of Nebraska and Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services committees; received 40 grants; and worked with countless national, statewide and local nonprofit organizations.

Dr. Brown received many awards for community outreach, including the Dental Public Health Award from Nebraska Health and Human Services, the American Dental Association’s Presidential Award for increasing access to dental care for special populations, Clinic with a Heart’s Community Partner Award, and the Nebraska Rural Health Association’s President’s Award.


2021 Distinguished Service

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Janet Guthmiller, DDS, PhD

Dr. Janet Guthmiller became the dean of the UNMC College of Dentistry on Sept. 1, 2014. She is a nationally recognized leader in dental education and an accomplished researcher, author and teacher.

Dr. Guthmiller has led numerous initiatives to advance the mission of the college, including:

Dr. Guthmiller has received multiple awards for achievement in leadership and education. She is the author of two books, seven book chapters, 45 journal articles and online educational modules, and 66 journal abstracts, and the recipient of multiple grants from organizations including the National Institutes of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education. Dr. Guthmiller is a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology and Fellow of the American College of Dentists and the International College of Dentists.


2021 Outstanding Educator

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Darlene Carritt, RDH

Darlene Carritt graduated from the UNMC College of Dentistry in 1978 and has been an instructor in the college’s department of dental hygiene for over 35 years. She has been instrumental in the implementation of many new technologies for the College of Dentistry. In addition to her role as course director for three courses per academic year, she also provides guest lectures for classes and programs. Presenting is natural for Ms. Carritt and she enjoys the opportunity to educate others about oral health.

Ms. Carritt has received grants to educate health care professionals in the state of Nebraska on nursing home / assisted living oral health care. She created an oral health educational DVD for primary care givers of IDD (intellectual and developmental disabilities) teenagers and adults. She advocates for access to care for the citizens of Nebraska and participates in many outreach events throughout the year, including Nebraska Mission of Mercy, Special Olympics, UNMC Dental Days and UNMC SHARING Clinics.

Ms. Carritt supervises students in nursing homes and teaches them how to provide dental hygiene treatment, including the use of silver diamine fluoride. She also mentors dental and dental hygiene students on research projects. A few of Ms. Carritt’s additional service activities include serving on the Nebraska Board of Dentistry for 10 years and as the president of the Nebraska Dental Hygienists’ Association and serving the Central Regional Dental Testing Service (CRDTS) for 30 years in various roles, including a dental hygiene examiner, coordinator and member of the steering and executive committees.

Many alums of the UNMC College of Dentistry Dental Hygiene Program have said that Ms. Carritt was the most influential instructor they had during their time at the college.


2021 Outstanding Educator

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Robin Hattervig, DDS

Dr. Robin Hattervig is an assistant professor in the UNMC College of Dentistry Department of Adult Restorative Dentistry and is a member of the University Dental Associates Practice.

Dr. Hattervig graduated from the UNMC College of Dentistry in 1984. He practiced general dentistry for 32 years in rural South Dakota while serving as an adjunct professor for the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. He taught dental students on rotations in his dental practice.

Since joining the UNMC College of Dentistry faculty in 2016, Dr. Hattervig has been one of the most beloved faculty members. His teaching assignments include serving as a clinical color group leader, cariology for D2s, and integrated biomaterials, cariology and operative for D1s.

Dr. Hattervig stands out for earning four consecutive teaching awards: Faculty Recognition Teaching Awards in 2017, 2018, 2019 and the 2020 Kenneth Battenhorst Teaching Award. He is involved with numerous community service activities including UNMC SHARING Clinics, UNMC Dental Days, Nebraska Dental Mission of Mercy, People’s City Mission and Clinic with a Heart.

Dr. Hattervig sets an example of professionalism and service for College of Dentistry students. He is a gifted educator. He is a member of the American Dental Association, International College of Dentists, Nebraska Dental Association and the Academy of General Dentistry. 


2021 Lifetime Membership

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Joan Sivers, DDS

Dr. Joan Sivers started at the UNMC College of Dentistry in 1983 as an assistant professor of fixed prosthodontics in the department of adult restorative dentistry. She became an associate professor in 1989 and the assistant dean of clinics in 1998. Starting in 1995, she served as the Carlson Professor of Dentistry, an endowed position.

Dr. Sivers retired on December 31, 2020 after more than 37 years at the UNMC College of Dentistry. She was instrumental in helping thousands of students develop clinical knowledge and skills as an administrator, a teacher and course director. She contributed significantly to the tripartite missions of the college: teaching, research and service. Dr. Sivers served on more than 65 college and UNMC committees, including the gender equity committee and the faculty senate.

Nationally and locally, Dr. Sivers established a legacy of service and leadership. She served as president of multiple organizations, including the American Association for Women Dentists, American College of Dentists - Lincoln Section, American College of Prosthodontists - Nebraska Section, International College of Dentists - Nebraska Section, Lincoln District Dental Association and Omicron Kappa Upsilon - Alpha Alpha Chapter.

She served on the American Association of Dental Boards and as site coordinator for the college’s regional boards and was president and on the executive committee of the Central Regional Dental Testing Service (CRDTS) testing agency. Dr. Sivers received multiple awards, including the American Association of Women Dentists Certificate of Appreciation, the UNMC Service with Distinction Award, and she was featured 17 times in the Consumers’ Research Council of America’s “Guide to America’s Top Dentists.”


2021 Lifetime Membership

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Nebraska Innovation Campus Hand Sanitizer Team

Hunter Floodman, David Martin, Jerry Reif, Max Wheeler, Terry Howell Jr.

In the early summer of 2020, as the first of wave of the pandemic was surging, a planning team at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln estimated that, when the campus fully reopened in fall 2020, more than 100 gallons of hand sanitizer would be needed per day.

A team identified 1,000 locations that would benefit from a hand sanitizer dispensing station, including student housing, Campus Recreation, Nebraska Unions, athletics, 83 Nebraska Extension offices and one wall dispenser in every elevator on campus. Under the leadership of Jim Jackson, associate vice chancellor of university operations, a team was formed to solve the problem of efficiently distributing hand sanitizer across campus. They invented a large-capacity, free-standing hand sanitizer dispenser station that was in large part produced at Nebraska Innovation Campus.

The team of David Martin, Jerry Reif, Max Wheeler, Terry Howell Jr. and Hunter Floodman sprung into action. Through their efforts, persistence and innovation, the need for hand sanitizer was not only met, but exceeded. Hand sanitizer was made available to the College of Dentistry for use when supply was short and in high demand.

Past Award Recipients 

2020
Reunion not held due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

2019
Alumni Achievement: Eugene E. Keller, DDS, MS
Distinguished Service: Charles "Fritz" Craft, DDS
Honorary Life Membership: Jennifer K. Kallio, DDS
Outstanding Educator: Henry A. St. Germain, Jr., D.MD, MSD, M.A.Ed.

2018
Alumni Achievement: Chris Nix, DDS
Distinguished Service: Wayne B. Kaldahl, DDS
Honorary Life Membership: David H. Shaw, PhD
Outstanding Educator: William W. Johnson, DDS, MS

2017
Alumni Achievement: Scott L. Morrison, DDS, MS
Distinguished Service: Roger E. Jurgens, DDS, MS
Honorary Life Membership: Jillian A. Wallen, B.D.S., MS
Outstanding Educator: Larry D. Crouch, PhD

2016
Alumni Achievement: Gwen L. Hlava, R.D.H., MS
Distinguished Service: Merlyn W. Vogt, DDS
Honorary Life Membership: Janet M. Guthmiller, DDS, PhD
Outstanding Educator: Julie A. Marshall, DDS

2015
Alumni Achievement: Darold D. Opp, DDS
Distinguished Service: Kenneth L. Kalkwarf, DDS
Honorary Life Membership: Jeffrey B. Payne, DDS, M.Dent.Sc.
Outstanding Educator: Michael Houk, DDS

2014
Alumni Achievement: Wayne W. Barkmeier, DDS, MS
Distinguished Service: Richard J. Schilling, DDS
Honorary Life Membership: Dr. Henry A. St. Germain, Jr., D.MD, MSD., MEd
Outstanding Educator: Myron L. Pudwill, DDS, MS

2013
Alumni Achievement: David Neumeister, DDS
Distinguished Service: Paul Swanson, DDS
Honorary Life Membership: John W. Reinhardt, DDS
Outstanding Educator: Eric Fung, PhD

Submit a Nomination

Do you know alumni or others who deserve recognition for their outstanding contributions and/or service to the College of Dentistry, CODAA or their communities? Nominate them for one of the following CODAA Awards:

The Alumni Achievement Award is given on the basis of outstanding achievements in the dental or dental hygiene careers and/or civic involvement. 

The Distinguished Service Award is given each year to someone on the basis of their contribution to the UNMC College of Dentistry Alumni Association and the contributions they made to the dental profession. 

The Honorary Life Membership Alumni Award is given each year to someone who is not a dental alumnus but who has demonstrated a dedication to, and support for, the UNMC College of Dentistry. 

The Outstanding Educator Award is given each year to someone because of their accomplishments in the dental profession and their sincere dedication to dental education.

Nomination Process

Submit a short (one typed page or less) description of the person's achievements, service activities or other contributions which make them eligible for receiving the award. Include your name and contact information. Nominations are accepted continuously. The CODAA Board of Directors selects award winners annually.

Nominations may be emailed to: 
Dr. Jim Jenkins, Director of Alumni Affairs, jfjenkins@unmc.edu