Alumni Awards

Detroit Mercy Alumni Achievement Spirit Awards

Each year, University of Detroit Mercy chooses an alumnus from each of its Colleges or Schools to honor as someone who has excelled in his or her profession, demonstrated outstanding leadership in work and devoted himself or herself in service to the larger community. Award recipients reflect the University’s mission of excellence and service and bring pride to their alma mater.

2022 School of Dentistry Alumni Achievement Spirit Award Honoree

Dr. Cheri Newman
Cheri Newman, R.D.H. ’89, B.S. ’90, D.D.S. ’98 
This year, the School of Dentistry honors Cheri S. Newman ’89, ’90, ’98, adjunct professor (Ret.) Detroit Mercy Dental. 

Newman is the epitome of the American story - you can accomplish anything you want in life, and it is never too late to start. In 1987 after single-handedly raising two daughters and working as a waitress to put herself through pre-requisites, Newman began her journey with Detroit Mercy as a non-traditional student. In 1989 she earned a certificate in dental hygiene and, in 1990, a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene ­– achieving this while raising two teen daughters, graduating with honors, and being invited into the Sigma Phi Alpha Dental Hygiene honors society. 

After five years of working as a dental hygienist, Newman returned to Detroit Mercy, earning a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 1998. This graduation was significant as both Newman and her daughter Stephanie graduated from Detroit Mercy Dental the same year. Over the years, Newman's connection to the School has continued. Although now retired, she was a long-time professor, a title she held in addition to being a successful business owner, international leader, volunteer, mentor, humanitarian and philanthropist. But, if there were just one word to describe Newman, it would be – benevolent. 

Newman has focused much of her work on providing care and coordinating services for patients with special needs and different abilities. As a professor, Newman was instrumental in planning and operationalizing a weekly clinic for patients with special needs and physical disabilities and developed a fund that pays for care for these individuals. In addition, Newman runs a yearly weeklong outreach program that provides dental services for adults who are disabled at Bay Cliff Health Camp. The camp is located in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and helps adults with special needs achieve greater independence. Her involvement with Bay Cliff Health Camp was outside of her faculty duties. Yet, Newman still opened the opportunity up to Detroit Mercy Dental students and served as their supervising practitioner and mentor as they gained meaningful educational experiences while exploring their mission.

By creating these learning opportunities, Newman has not only helped provide care for marginalized communities, but she has also lived our mission by contributing to our students' intellectual, spiritual, ethical and social development.

In addition to providing care to patients with special needs, Newman has spent considerable time serving the dental profession. She has held various leadership positions within organized dentistry, including serving as president of the Francis B. Vedder Society and as a board member or executive board member of many local and national dental organizations. Newman currently serves as a trustee for the Michigan Dental Association, president of the Pierre Fauchard Leadership Foundation, and on a dental science advisory board. She also volunteers her free time with her church, non-profits and with medical missions, including Mission of Mercy.

Most notably, Newman is a past president of an international honorary dental service organization, Pierre Fauchard Academy (PFA). Fellowship in the PFA is extended to fewer than 3% of dentists worldwide and is conferred only to those dedicated to service. While the international president for PFA, Newman traveled the world and was honored by delegates in France, Japan and South America. She represented University of Detroit Mercy proudly and talked about the importance of using dentistry to serve others. 


Spirit Award Honorees

2021–Richard Persiani, D.D.S. ’73, M.S.
2019 – Allan J. Warnick, D.D.S. '64
2018 – Mary Sue Stonisch, '87
2017 – Dr. Carl E. Misch, '73
2016 – Richard Golden, D.D.S. '71
2015 – William Knysz Jr., D.D.S. '75
2014 – John A. DiBiaggio, D.D.S. '58

Alumnus of the Year Awardees

1972 Dr. Joseph Syron, '54
1973 Dr. Richard Litt, '65
1974 Dr. William Quinn, '42
1975 Dr. Henry Dziuba, '42
1976 N/A
1977 N/A
1978 Dr. Stephen Weshale, '52
1979 Dr. Julius Chikos, '54
1980 Dr. Leo Shipkop, '51
1981 Dr. Edward Ribitsp, '45
1982 Dr. Donald Pokorny, '53
1983 Dr. Paul A. Jacobs, '58
1984 Dr. Stephen Baynai, '52
1985 Dr. Donald S. Rumon, '52
1986 Dr. Richard N. DiLaura, '56
1987 Dr. Leo Shipko, '51
1989 Dr. Leonard W. Wades, '54
1990 Dr. Daniel Goodman, '46
1991 Dr. Paul J. Mentag, '47
1992 Dr. Robert Moseley, '51
1993 Dr. William R. Chase, '72
1994 Dr. Rodney Hyduk, '74
1995 Dr. Joseph Caurdy, '61
1996 Dr. John Hinterman, '69
1997 Dr. George Bletsaas, '66
1998 Dr. Charles J. Cooper, '58
1999 Dr. William Berkowski, '74
2000 N/A
2001 Dr. Timothy F. Kosinski, '84
2002 Dr. H. Robert Steinman, '73
2003 Dr. Richard J. Persiani, '73
2004 Dr. Jonathan P. Wiens, '73
2005 Dr. Donald Sherman, '63
2006 Dr. John A. DiBiaggio, '58
2007 Dr. Carl Misch, '73
2008 N/A
2009 Dr. Paul H. Pokorny, '78
2010 Dr. Richard Kulbersh, '75
2011 Dr. Nicholas Fontana, '72
2012 Dr. Michael Maihofer, '74
2013 Dr. Robert Legel, '54

Allied Dental Alumnus of the Year Awardees

1988 Ms. Pauline Schmidt, '55
1989 Ms. Mary Ann Hashimi, '71&
1990 Ms. Irene Woodall, '65
1991 Ms. Linda Popp, '72
1992 Ms. M. Elaine Parker, '64
1993 Ms. Janiece Popowich, '71
1994 Ms. Sherryl Harfst, '67
1995 Ms. Barbara Nelson, '59
1996 Ms. Linda Borowski, '59
1987 Ms. Annamae Manning, '52
1997 Ms. Jacqueline Oliver '66
1998 Ms. Janet A. Newman-Graham, '73
1999 Ms. Barbara Purifoy-Seldon, '70
2000 N/A
2001 Dr. Joah M. McGowan, '62
2002 Ms. Jane M. York, '73
2003 Mr. Edward L. Cleland, '74
2004 Ms. Barbara Posler, '70
2005 Ms. Karen McGuire Trompete, '74
2006 Ms. Kathi R. Shepherd, '82
2007 Ms. Margie Coleman, '74
2008 N/A
2009 N/A
2010 Ms. Judy Luxmore, '69
2011 Ms. Rene Louchart, '85
2012 Ms. Brenda Marriott, '74
2013 Ms. Colleen Kuxhaus, '73

Honorary Alumni of the Year Recipients

Dr. Chester K. Perry
Dr. Stephen Applegate
Dr. Anthony Cadaretter
Dr. Joseph L. Champagne
Dr. Albert H. Dredge
Dr. Kenneth Gibson
Dr. Chauncy Hall
Mr. Benjamin Levinson
Dr. P.C. Lowery
Dr. Walter McBride
Dr. A. Alfred Nelson
Dr. Rene Rochon
Dr. Alfred E. Seyler
The Very Rev. C.J. Steiner, S.J.
The Rev. Charles Wideman, S.J.
Dr. William Fred Longe
Mr. Victor De Schryver
1973 Dr. Martin Naimark
1974 N/A
1975 N/A
1976 N/A
1977 N/A
1978 Dr. William Travis
1979 Mr. Edward Hoban
1980 Mr. Peter Morgano
1981 Mr. Robert Miller
1982 Dr. Theodore G. Mahaz
1983 Mr. Frank Schumacher
1984 Dr. John Molinari

1985 N/A
1986 Mr. Gerald J Zedan
1987 Dr. Charles J. King
1988 Dr. Anna Ettinger
1989 Ms. Shirley Ann Wilson
1990 Prof. Pamela Zarkowski
1991 Dr. Robert Bruce MacIntosh
1992 Dr. Virginia Merchant
1993 Ms. Patricia Harris
1994 N/A
1995 Dr. Lloyd W. Lariscy, Jr.
1996 Mr. Eric Jacobs
1997 Dr. Maureen A Fay, O.P.
1998 Ms. M. Agnes Shoup
1999 Dr. Bruce S. Graham
2000 N/A
2001 Dr. Edward O. Blews, Jr.
2002 Mr. David P. Hafst
2003 Dr. Leon Herschfus
2004 Dr. Mert Aksu
2005 Dr. George Goodis
2006 Dr. S. Pamela Herrera
2007 Ms. Gerry Cherney, CAE
2008 Fr. R. Gerald Albright, S.J.
2009 Dr. Larry Anderson
2010 Dr. James Winkler
2011 Dr. Daman Thanik
2012 Dr. Gary Jeffers
2013 Dr. Sherif Badr
N/A= Not awarded