The Kappa Lambda Chapter is the Dental College of Georgia component of Omicron Kappa Upsilon (OKU), the national dental honor society with chapters in all U.S. and Canadian Dental Schools. It is dentistry’s equivalent of Phi Beta Kappa or Phi Kappa Phi.
The chapter is very active in supporting student scholarship and achievement. During the academic year, many students are recognized by this chapter with certificates and scholarship awards.
Examples of recognition by OKU include:
The Kappa Lambda chapter also sponsors an annual research award named after founding DCG dean, Dr. Judson C. Hickey, and an award for the best comprehensive patient case presentation by a senior. We also sponsor an award for a junior student that is selected by their classmates for their professional character, which is named after former chapter and national OKU president, Dr. Ralph McKinney.
Membership in OKU is by election. Each year we elect alumni members from the graduating senior class. To be eligible for membership, candidates must rank academically in the top 20% of their class. From this group, a number equal to 12% of the senior class may be voted into membership and inducted into OKU just prior to graduation.
Invitations for membership are based on GPA, extracurricular activities and professional conduct. Each year we also elect one honorary member who may or may not be a dentist, and two faculty members. Their election is based on significant contributions to the art and science of dentistry. To read more about OKU, please visit Supreme Chapter of Omicron Kappa Upsilon (OKU) website.
A banquet is held annually at the end of the school year to celebrate our new members. New members are guests of OKU for an evening of dinner and recognition. This is an elegant evening in which new members are encouraged to invite guests and family to celebrate their induction.
Healthcare Professionals have specialized skills & knowledge, an obligation to life-long education, codes of ethical conduct, and a commitment to enhancing the greater community good or interest through service and leadership. Society empowers us in ways that very few other groups can imagine. Accordingly, we owe it to society to do right, give our best and be compassionate. OKU recognizes excellence in scholarship and character in the dental profession.
President: Alan R. Furness
President Elect Weston Fortson
Vice President: Tara Schafer
Secretary/Treasurer: Kevin Frazier
Immediate President: Joe Vitolo
Webmaster: Martha G. Brackett
On May 18 and 19, 2020, during the seniors’ awards and recognition ceremonies at the Dental College of Georgia, OKU Kappa Lambda Chapter president Dr. Joe Vitolo and secretary/treasurer Dr. Kevin Frazier (both left) inducted ten alumni members from the DCG Class of 2020, two faculty members, Dr. Amara Abreu-Serrano (top, right), and Dr. Mario F. Romero (bottom-right), Department of Restorative Sciences, and one honorary member, Dr. J. Ben Deal DCG Class of 1974 (not pictured). Alumni, honorary, and faculty members were presented the traditional OKU key and stole. The ceremony followed all of the AU health and safety rules and regulations related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Congratulations to the Kappa Lambda Alumni Class of 2020!
Pictured here left to right: (top row) Michelle Lonati, Sherry Kim, Meaghan Cleary, Jackie Janzen, and Rachel Hancock, (bottom row) Caitlyn Stouder, Cindy Huang, Harrison Taylor Farr, Hyun Jung (Lisa) Hong, and Emely Williams.
OKU Supreme Chapter Sponsored Individual Awards
Dr. Ahmed Zaher, Assistant Professor in the Department of Restorative Sciences received the inaugural Omicron Kappa Upsilon (OKU) Jon B. Suzuki Research Award at the OKU Supreme Chapter annual business meeting held in conjunction with the 2018 ADEA Meeting in Orlando, Florida. Dr. Zaher’s research proposal- “Fatigue de-bonding resistance of acrylic denture teeth to a conventionally processed denture base, or bases fabricated using computer-assisted milling or digital printing technologies,” was selected for funding by the OKU Supreme Chapter research award committee. Dr. Fred Rueggebergwill serve as Dr. Zaher’s mentor for this project. OKU, the National Dental Honor Society, is the sponsor for this faculty research development program, and the $5,000 grant was established to help early career faculty be successful in dental education. (Pictured with The Dental College of Georgia Dean Dr. Carol Lefebvre and OKU Kappa Lambda Chapter Secretary Dr. Kevin Frazier)
Dr. Frederick Rueggeberg received the prestigious, "Stephen H. Leeper Award,” for [sustained] teaching excellence from the Supreme Chapter of OKU. The award was presented at the 2016 Annual Convocation Banquet by the Kappa Lambda Chapter Secretary, Dr. Kevin Frazier. Congratulations to Dr. Rueggeberg on this distinguished honor.
Dr. Allison Buchanan was recognized for receiving the 2017 Charles Craig Teaching Award from the Supreme Chapter. This award honors early career dental educators who have, “demonstrated new and innovative teaching techniques in teaching the art, science and literature of dentistry.”
Each chapter is permitted to select one recipient every calendar year. Nominations are at the end of each year (December). For more information, please visit the OKU Supreme Chapter website.