Alumni Awards

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2023 Alumni Award Recipients


Outstanding Educator Award

Given on the basis of an individual's accomplishments in the dental profession and their sincere dedication to dental education.

Amy C. Killeen, DDS '06, MS '10 - Dr. Killeen completed her undergraduate degree at Saint Louis University and went on to receive her dental degree at UNMC in 2006. After one year in private practice and public health, Dr. Killeen returned to UNMC to pursue her certificate in periodontics and her master’s degree in oral biology. She is a full-time associate professor of periodontology at UNMC where she teaches dental students, dental hygiene students and post-graduate periodontal residents in both the classroom and clinics. Dr. Killeen is a passionate educator who cares deeply about student well-being, preparation and outcomes. The students have recognized Dr. Killeen with numerous teaching awards, including the Outstanding Faculty Award from the Dental Class of 2023, and she was named the National Educator of the Year from the ADEA Council of Students/Residents and Fellows in 2015. Dr. Killeen’s most recent effort has been the launch of the UNMC Perio Club, a monthly lunch club for undergraduate and graduate students interested in periodontics.


Distinguished Service Award

Given on the basis of an individual's contributions to the UNMC College of Dentistry Alumni Association and the contributions they made to the dental profession. 

Kenneth R. Tusha, DDS '92 - A native of Papillion, Neb., Dr. Tusha attended the University of Nebraska- Omaha and earned his dental degree from UNMC in 1982. After graduation, Dr. Tusha started his private practice in Verdigre, Neb. He added a second location in Bloomfield, Neb., in 1994. He has been serving patients in northeast Nebraska for over 40 years. Dr. Tusha has a track record throughout his career of working with underserved populations. He has seen patients in tribal areas and in the prison population. He believes in giving back to the community and has participated in the Dental Mission of Mercy program and Donated Dental program for many years. He is also an advocate for the dental profession, serving as a Nebraska Dental Association delegate and is an ADA Life Member. Dr. Tusha has served in numerous district and state leadership positions, including state president in 2019-2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic began, a challenging time for the profession.


Alumni Achievement Award

Given on the basis of an individual's outstanding career achievements in the dental or dental hygiene fields and/or civic involvement. 

Paula L. Harre, DDS '82, MS '95 - A native of Lincoln, Neb., Dr. Paula Harre graduated from Lincoln High and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln before attending dental school at UNMC. Upon graduation in 1982, she completed a one-year general practice residency at the VA in Omaha before opening a general dental practice in rural Nebraska. After 10 years of private practice, Dr. Harre returned to UNMC in 1992 as the interim director of patient admissions. She started her orthodontic residency in 1993 and taught in the pre-doctoral clinic. After completing residency in 1995, she continued teaching in the pre-doctoral clinic until she retired in the spring of 2023. In addition to her clinical teaching, Dr. Harre also owned and managed a private orthodontics practice in Lincoln for 25 years, Harre Orthodontics, which she later sold to a fellow UNMC alum. Dr. Harre can be described as a hard worker, a go-getter and a passionate advocate for the College of Dentistry and the University of Nebraska. There is not a volunteer role in the College of Dentistry that Dr. Harre would say “no” to. She has been an instrumental leader on the College of Dentistry Alumni Board, serving as president for a year during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Honorary Life Membership

Given to an individual who is not a dental alumnus but who has demonstrated a dedication to and support for the UNMC College of Dentistry. 

Rowen K. Zetterman, MD - Rowen Zetterman, MD, served as the interim dean of the UNMC College of Dentistry for over one year. He oversaw the college’s nine academic programs, five departments and four dental clinics. As interim dean, Dr. Zetterman collaborated with UNMC leaders on key UNMC and college initiatives. He is a professor emeritus of internal medicine at UNMC where he served as chief of gastroenterology and hepatology and vice chair of the department of internal medicine. Dr. Zetterman received his MD from UNMC in 1969 and was a gastroenterologist for the United States Army at Walter Reed Army Medical Center before he returned to UNMC in 1976 as an assistant professor in the department of internal medicine. During his time at UNMC, Dr. Zetterman served in multiple leadership positions, including associate vice chancellor for strategic planning, associate vice chancellor of academic affairs and director of faculty mentorship programs.

With this award, Dr. Zetterman has the distinct honor of becoming the first UNMC alumnus to receive an alumni award from two separate colleges, Medicine and Dentistry.


Past Award Recipients 

2022
Alumni Achievement: Richard A. Reinhardt, DDS '72, PhD '87
Distinguished Service: John Reinhardt, DDS, MS, MPH
Outstanding Educator: James F. Jenkins, DDS '84
Honorary Life Membership: Sreenivas Koka, DDS, PhD '99

2021
Alumni Achievement: Byron Tullis, DDS '58
Distinguished Service: Janet Guthmiller, DDS, PhD
Outstanding Educator: Robin Hattervig, DDS '84
Honorary Life Membership: Joan Sivers, DDS

2020
Alumni Achievement: Charles Genrich, DDS ‘83 & Jon C. Asbjörnson, DDS ‘87
Distinguished Service: David G. Brown, BSc, MLS, PhD
Outstanding Educator: Darlene Carritt, RDH '78
Honorary Life Membership: Nebraska Innovation Campus Hand Sanitizer Team

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Submit a Nomination

Do you know alumni or others who deserve recognition for their outstanding contributions and service to the College of Dentistry, CODAA and their communities? Nominate them for the Alumni Achievement, Distinguished Service, Honorary Life Membership, or Outstanding Educator Award. 

Submit a brief (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 may be emailed to: Dr. Jim Jenkins, Director of Alumni Affairs, jfjenkins@unmc.edu

Nominations are accepted continuously. The CODAA Board of Directors selects award winners annually.