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School of Dentistry Alumni Awards

Honoring alumni of the OHSU School of Dentistry for their outstanding contributions to the dental profession

Student and faculty treating a patient at the School of Dentistry

2021 Alumni Award Honorees

Early Career Achievement Award: Samyia Chaudhry, DMD ‘17

Samyia Chaudhry, DMD, ’17, has worn her badge proudly at the OHSU School of Dentistry for the past 12 years. As a volunteer, research staff member, dental student, and now assistant professor, Dr. Chaudhry has been named the OHSU School of Dentistry’s Early Career Achievement Award winner.

Dr. Chaudhry was born and raised in Pakistan, with the dream of going into a medical profession. She got married, moved to the United States, and decided to pursue her goal of higher education. She was inspired to go into dentistry after observing her son’s dental treatment — and was amazed at the detail-oriented, artistic nature of the profession.

Dr. Chaudhry is now in her fourth year of teaching at OHSU, and is always looking to help learners become more successful at integrating basic science in their clinical experiences. She also recently received a faculty development grant to participate in the American Dental Education Association’s summer program for emerging leaders.

“OHSU always felt like home. It’s a friendly atmosphere of collaboration, compassion and eagerness,” Dr. Chaudhry said. “I am honored and grateful to receive this award. It has brought me so much joy and encouragement.”

Samyia Chaudhry, DMD ’17



Jill Shelton Wagers, DMD ’94

John C. Peterson Distinguished Alumni Award (presented jointly): Jill Shelton Wagers, DMD ‘94

Jill Shelton Wagers, DMD, FAGD, ’94, always wanted to work in health care. She spent her summers working at her father’s periodontal practice, starting out mowing the lawn and working her way to assisting chairside before heading to college.

Dr. Wagers graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology, then pursued dentistry after her orthodontist and mentor encouraged her to attend dental school. Dr. Wagers attended the OHSU School of Dentistry, a place she felt a strong connection to because her father was a graduate. She then graduated from a general practice dental residency program in Denver, Colorado. She enjoys providing care for patients of all ages and backgrounds.

Dr. Wagers now owns her own practice in Boise, Idaho. She is passionate about making a difference in the world around her, and spends much of her time giving back to her community through volunteering and professional memberships. Dr. Wagers is a joint recipient of the John C. Peterson Alumni of the Year Award.

“I am grateful for this honor, but this award is only recognition of the luck and blessings I have been given in my life,” she said. “I am grateful for the family support that encouraged my aspirations, the exceptional education I received at OHSU, and my mentors who taught me the responsibilities that come with opportunities.”


John C. Peterson Distinguished Alumni Award (presented jointly): Barry J. Taylor, DMD ‘95

Barry Taylor, DMD, ’95, is a longtime leader in the Oregon dental community. His more than 25 years of service as a general dentist, assistant professor at the OHSU School of Dentistry, and dental advocate have made him a joint recipient of the John C. Peterson Alumni of the Year Award.

Dr. Taylor has been called an innovative leader and passionate advocate for dentistry. He was recently named the executive director of the Oregon Dental Association, a nationally recognized 2,300-member professional association, and has taught students at the OHSU School of Dentistry for more than nine years.

“There are so many people to thank, I can’t name just one,” he said. “I am truly where I am today because of the encouragement of my parents when I was younger and the dental community in Oregon which has always been so supportive of my career.”


Honorary Alumni of the Year Award: Dennis Nicola, DDS

President’s Award: E. Robert Quinn, DMD ’55

Barry Taylor, DMD ’95



Awards and nominating

The School of Dentistry Alumni Association provides support for student and alumni awards to recognize outstanding contributions. SDAA encourages alumni to nominate candidates for these awards.

John C. Peterson Distinguished Alumni Award

The John C. Peterson Distinguished Alumni Award honors Dr. John Peterson, a 1955 DMD graduate, for his years of service to the OHSU School of Dentistry and its Alumni Association. This award recognizes OHSU School of Dentistry alumni who demonstrate the qualities that Dr. Peterson displayed as an advocate for dentists and dental hygienists, and who in professional achievement and service to their communities reflect the highest ideals of the School and dental profession. OHSU alumni and community members are encouraged to submit nominations, which are reviewed and selected by the OHSU School of Dentistry Alumni Association’s Awards Committee and endorsed by the School of Dentistry Alumni Association Board of Directors. Nominations remain active for three years.

Submit a nomination for the Peterson Award
Past Recipients

Early Career Achievement Award

In an effort to recognize the accomplishments of alumni at every stage of their career the OHSU School of Dentistry Alumni Association has created the Early Career Achievement Award. This award will be presented to an alumnus/a from the OHSU School of Dentistry who has demonstrated a commitment to evidence-based practice and has made significant contributions to improving patient care and health in a community setting or in the areas of scientific research or academia within ten years of graduation. OHSU alumni and community members are encouraged to submit nominations, which are reviewed and selected by the OHSU School of Dentistry Alumni Association’s Awards Committee and endorsed by the School of Dentistry Alumni Association Board of Directors. Nominations remain active for three years.

Submit a nomination for the Early Career Achievement Award
Past Recipients

Legacy Faculty Award

Established in 2010, the Legacy Faculty Award is presented to a longtime faculty member who has worked or is still currently working at the OHSU School of Dentistry and who has demonstrated a commitment to educating and mentoring the next generation of dental professionals. OHSU alumni and community members are encouraged to submit nominations, which are reviewed and selected by the OHSU School of Dentistry Alumni Association’s Awards Committee and endorsed by the School of Dentistry Alumni Association Board of Directors. Nominations remain active for three years.

Submit a nomination for the Legacy Faculty Award
Past Recipients