Dental Alumni Board of Directors

The Dental Alumni Board maintains and perpetuates friendly cooperation among Detroit Mercy Dental graduates and prospective students members, helping to further Detroit Mercy Dental's objectives and upholding the highest standards of the dental profession.

For more information about how you can become involved, contact us at

2020-2021 Detroit Mercy Dental Alumni Board

John Dinka, D.D.S. '86

Dr. John Dinka received both his undergraduate and Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Detroit. He is involved with the American Dental Association, Michigan Dental Association, Macomb District Dental Society, Detroit District Dental Society, and the Academy of General Dentistry. He has practiced with his wife in Sterling Heights since 1989.

He is committed to giving back to the community and is a volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America: Council Advisory Council as well as Country Day’s Blue and Gold Club Board. When Dr. Dinka isn’t practicing dentistry, he enjoys traveling.

Mario Tomei, D.D.S. ‘92
Vice President

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Dr. Mario Tomei graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern Michigan University before earning his D.D.S. from the University of Detroit Mercy School Of Dentistry in 1992. He is a member of the American Dental Association, Michigan Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry as well as the Livonia Chamber of Commerce. With a passion for serving the underserved, Dr. Tomei is a volunteer dentist at Gary Bernstein clinic in Pontiac, and sponsors numerous church events, food banks, and sports teams.  He enjoys spending time up-north at his cottages, boating, snowmobiling, and target shooting.

Dr. Tomei resides in Plymouth with his wife, and their three children

Marcy Murrell, R.D.H. ‘93, D.D.S.’02

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Dr. Marcy Murrell earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene from the University of Detroit in 1993. Always knowing that she wanted to become a dentist, she returned to Detroit Mercy to earn her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 2002. Upon graduation, Dr. Murrell earned several awards, including the American Academy of Dental Practice Award, Organization of Teachers of Oral Diagnosis Award, Quintessence Award for Clinical Achievement in Restorative Dentistry, Dental Hygiene Community Service Award, and the Russell W. Bunting Study Club Award for Excellence in Periodontics.

Dr. Murrell practices in Plymouth, Michigan, and is an adjunct clinical assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, a clinical consultant to the Dental Advisor, and a member of the American Dental Association, the Michigan Dental Association, and the Detroit District Dental Society. She resides in Northville with her husband, David, and their three children, where she is an active member of the community.

Sarmad Alyas-Askar, M.S., D.D.S. '13, M.S.


Dr. Sarmad Alyas-Askar received his undergraduate degree from Calvin College, and his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Detroit Mercy Dental School. After graduating, he completed a General Practice Residency at Summa Health Systems in Ohio. Dr. Alyas-Askar then continued his pursuit of higher education and received his specialty training in Endodontics from Indiana University School of Dentistry. He is currently practicing clinical Endodontics in Livonia, Michigan and is a part-time faculty member for the Endodontic Department at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry. Dr. Alyas-Askar prides himself with his commitment to giving back to the community. He is a member of Michigan Dental Association, Michigan Association of Endodontists, American Association of Endodontists, and the Detroit District Dental Society. 

Sarah Charland, R.D.H., B.S. '17

charlandMs. Sarah Charland graduated from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry in 2017 with her Bachelors of Science and Certificate in Dental Hygiene.  She had the opportunity to attend the alumni board meetings as a student, which interested her to be part of such an influential committee as a graduate. Ms. Charland had held various positions since graduation, including travel dental hygiene. She currently works in a pediatric dental office in Grosse Pointe Woods where preventing periodontal disease and dental caries in the pediatric patient has become her passion.

Patrick Latcham, D.D.S. ‘81


Dr. Patrick Latcham received his Doctorate in Dental Surgery from University of Detroit School of Dentistry, following his graduations from University of Detroit High School and Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH. He also earned the prestigious Masters award (MAGD), the highest available from the Academy of General Dentistry. Dr. Latcham has practiced dentistry in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, since 1981. His special interests include comprehensive implant procedures, cosmetic dentistry, and TMD treatment. In addition, Dr. Latcham received extensive training in laser treatment for gum disease, as well as CEREC, the system for one-visit crowns. Dr. Latcham has been an evaluator for Clinicians Report, a non-profit educational research organization. Their monthly reports are published worldwide in seven languages.

Dr. Latcham balances his busy career with an active home life. He and his cherished wife, Linda, enjoy skiing, water sports, sailing, and biking with their four terrific sons. 

Peter Namou, D.D.S. '17

Dr. Peter Namou attended the accelerated dental program at the University of Detroit Mercy, earning his Bachelor of Science, and his Doctorate of Dental Surgery degrees in 2017. He graduated Magna Cum Laude and earned multiple awards including the Pierre Fauchard Academy Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement. Dr. Namou knew early in life that he had a passion for helping others. He has volunteered for two missions to Haiti to provide dental care to those lives were upset by the earthquake in 2010, and Hurricane Mathew in 2016. Now, his dedication to helping others guides him as he works to provide patients with brighter and healthier smiles.

Richard Raad, D.D.S. '84


Dr. Richard G. Raad attended Wayne State University and studied chemistry before completing his dental education at the University of Detroit Mercy in 1984. He completed The Aesthetic Program at The State University of New York at Buffalo (SUNY) and Implant Prosthetics Training at The Misch Institute. He has studied at The Pankey Institute in Key Biscayne, Florida and throughout the country in all disciplines in dentistry. He received his Fellowship Awards in the Academy of General Dentistry in 1998 and the Academy of Dental - Facial Aesthetics. He currently works in private practice and enjoys providing excellent dentistry to all the wonderful patients he meets. On his time off, he enjoys spending time with his wife Karen and 3 wonderful kids. He also enjoys bicycling, running and working out. He has competed in many duathlons and half marathons locally.

Richard G. Raad, D.D.S. is a past adjunct professor, Department of Restorative Dentistry University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry. He taught preclinical dentistry to DS1 and DS2 dental students and clinical dentistry to the DS3 and DS4 dental students. His areas of special interest are mentoring dental students to be the best dentists in our communities and teaching aesthetic restorative dentistry techniques. He has received recognition from the dental students for teaching excellence.

Basam Shamo, D.D.S. '13

latchamDr. Basam Shamo received his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Detroit Mercy. Dr. Shamo strives to practice under the philosophy that the patient’s wants and needs are essential to providing the best treatment while in a comfortable and relaxing environment; and prides himself with his commitment to giving back to the community. He also serves on the executive board for the Detroit District Dental Society and on the Committee on Membership for the Michigan Dental Association.

Benjamin Underwood, D.D.S. ‘15

underwoodDr. Benjamin Underwood graduated from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry in 2015. Dr. Underwood is a proud member of the Michigan Dental Association where he serves as the Chairperson on the Continuing Education Committee. In addition, he also serves as the Deputy of the Delta Sigma Delta Pi Pi undergraduate chapter. Dr. Underwood holds memberships in the Academy of General Dentistry, Pierre Fauchard Academy, and the American Dental Association. Dr. Underwood practices in Warren, MI and when he’s not in the office he can be found on the golf course.

Michael Vilag, D.D.S. ‘13

Alumni BoardDr. Michael Vilag received his undergraduate and Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Detroit Mercy. Dr. Vilag prides himself on his commitment to giving back to the community. He is also a member of the Michigan Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry, Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity, and American Dental Association, He was recently honored by the Michigan Section of the Pierre Fauchard Academy for early career achievements.

Jenna Zelek, R.D.H., '01, B.S. '01

Ms. Jenna Strader-Zelek graduated from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry in 2001 with her Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene.  She was honored to be inducted into the dental national honor society, Sigma Phi Alpha, and was one of only two students invited to sit on the Accreditation Committee.  She says that that experience opened her eyes as to what an amazing school Detroit Mercy really is.  She has worked in private practice, with an exceptional dentist, since 2001, and says that seeing her periodontal therapy patients transform from disease to health keeps her motivated in this field.  Volunteering is important to Jenna, as she jumps in to offer her dental hygiene services at outreach programs throughout the year, including an annual dental event held at Ford Field in partnership with the Detroit Lions.  The elementary students in her area also benefit from her regular visits to their classroom, bringing books, puppets and tooth models to share. She says that the relationship she's developed with her patients is a two-way street. While she may be the one giving dental treatment, she also takes something valuable away from each and every patient experience.  "I'm incredibly grateful for this new position on the Alumni Board because it keeps me involved in a school that I love very much".

Barbara Zrebski, R.D.H. '75, M.B.A.

zrebskiMs. Barb Zrebski graduated from the University of Detroit Dental School with a Certificate in Dental Hygiene as Class Valedictorian. Barb was elected to Sigma Phi Alpha, a dental hygiene honor society. She later graduated from the University of Detroit with a Bachelor of Science, Summa Cum Laude.  She received her Master's in Business Administration from the University of Michigan.  Ms. Zrebski has worked for the past 25 years as a Dental Hygienist.