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.

2021 School of Dentistry Alumni Achievement Spirit Award Honoree
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Richard Persiani, D.D.S. ’73, M.S.
 

Detroit Mercy Dentistry is pleased to announce Richard Persiani, D.D.S. ’73, M.S. as this year's Alumni Achievement Spirit Award Honoree.

Persiani has served on the Detroit Mercy Dental faculty for more than 45 years, and has served on the craniofacial surgical team at Providence and Beaumont hospitals. He also uses his skills to provide medical treatments to the community, both local and global.

He is the founder of the dental clinic at Vista Maria Community Services where he provides dental care for young women who have suffered the effects of abuse, neglect and trauma, as well as the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, who run the center. For 10 years, he was the co-director of the Children’s Tooth Fairy Foundation, providing dental care, financing, support and logistics for more than 2,000 underserved children in Wayne County.

He has participated in more than 30 mission trips with Operation Smile, providing surgical care for children with cleft lips or palates.

Closer to home, he and his wife, Penny, who he met while in dental school, also volunteer with the penguins and kangaroos at the Detroit Zoo and have the unique title of Distinguished Clowns in Detroit’s annual Thanksgiving Day Parade.

To read a story about Persiani’s charity work and how he met his wife, click here.

Spirit Award Honorees

2019 – Allan J. Warnick, D.D.S. '64
2016 – Dr. Richard Golden, '71
2015 – Dr. William Knysz Jr., '75
2014 – Dr. John A. DiBiaggio, '58
 

Alumnus of the Year Awardees

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

Allied Dental Alumnus of the Year Awardees

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

Honorary Alumni of the Year Recipients

Dr. Chester K. Perry 1985  N/A
Dr. Stephen Applegate 1986  Mr. Gerald J Zedan
Dr. Anthony Cadaretter 1987  Dr. Charles J. King
Dr. Joseph L. Champagne 1988  Dr. Anna Ettinger
Dr. Albert H. Dredge 1989  Ms. Shirley Ann Wilson
Dr. Kenneth Gibson 1990  Prof. Pamela Zarkowski
Dr. Chauncy Hall 1991  Dr. Robert Bruce MacIntosh
Mr. Benjamin Levinson 1992  Dr. Virginia Merchant
Dr. P.C. Lowery 1993  Ms. Patricia Harris
Dr. Walter McBride 1994  N/A
Dr. A. Alfred Nelson 1995  Dr. Lloyd W. Lariscy, Jr. 
Dr. Rene Rochon 1996  Mr. Eric Jacobs
Dr. Alfred E. Seyler 1997  Dr. Maureen A Fay, O.P.
The Very Rev. C.J. Steiner, S.J. 1998  Ms. M. Agnes Shoup
The Rev. Charles Wideman, S.J. 1999  Dr. Bruce S. Graham
Dr. William Fred Longe 2000  N/A
Mr. Victor De Schryver 2001  Dr. Edward O. Blews, Jr.
1973  Dr. Martin Naimark 2002  Mr. David P. Hafst
1974  N/A 2003  Dr. Leon Herschfus
1975  N/A 2004  Dr. Mert Aksu
1976  N/A 2005  Dr. George Goodis
1977  N/A 2006  Dr. S. Pamela Herrera
1978  Dr. William Travis 2007  Ms. Gerry Cherney, CAE
1979  Mr. Edward Hoban 2008  Fr. R. Gerald Albright, S.J.
1980  Mr. Peter Morgano 2009  Dr. Larry Anderson
1981  Mr. Robert Miller 2010  Dr. James Winkler
1982  Dr. Theodore G. Mahaz 2011  Dr. Daman Thanik
1983  Mr. Frank Schumacher 2012  Dr. Gary Jeffers
1984  Dr. John Molinari 2013  Dr. Sherif Badr
N/A=  Not awarded