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Delta Dental Community Care Foundation Announces 2019 Student Leadership Award Recipients

San Francisco — The Delta Dental Community Care Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Delta Dental of California, today announced the recipients of its annual Delta Dental Student Leadership Awards. 29 exceptional dental school students from across the U.S. will each receive $10,000 in recognition of their leadership abilities and dedication to providing dental care and oral health education to the various communities in which Delta Dental serves.

The Delta Dental Community Care Foundation has provided more than $39 million in funding since its inception in 2011 to support increased access to quality dental care, oral health education, and to advance research across the Delta Dental of California enterprise’s 15-state service area, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

The deans and faculty at the 29 dental schools handpicked the award recipients for their strong leadership skills, dedication to serving others and passion for the field of dentistry. The students were honored at their dental school’s award presentations and commencement ceremonies in front of friends, family, teachers and peers.

“Supporting dental students is an integral part of the Delta Dental Community Care Foundation’s investment in the communities we serve and the promotion of oral health and wellness,” said Kenzie Ferguson, vice president of Foundation and corporate social responsibility for Delta Dental of California. “These talented students represent the future of oral health care, which includes bringing dental care to the underserved and those who are most in need. We are proud to honor these outstanding students by investing in their futures.”

Delta Dental Community Care Foundation Student Leadership Award winners:

  • Hanna Brody, University of California, San Francisco School of Dentistry
  • Melissa Campbell, University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine
  • Yulissa Alvarez, Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine
  • Belema Mark Abere, University of Alabama School of Dentistry
  • Marvin Payen, Howard University College of Dentistry
  • McCall McCord, University of Utah School of Dentistry
  • Zachary Hansen, Roseman University College of Dental Medicine
  • Michael Petrides, West Virginia University School of Dentistry
  • Rana L. Shammas, University of Texas School of Dentistry in Houston
  • Andre` Thomas Jones, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio School of Dentistry
  • John Ratliff, Texas A&M University College of Dentistry
  • Larisa Polet Flores, Temple University Kornberg School of Dentistry
  • Bret Stein Lesavoy, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine
  • Rachel W. Kim, University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine
  • Steven McDaniel, University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Dental Medicine
  • Megan Cloidt, Columbia University College of Dental Medicine
  • Vishnu Reddy, New York University College of Dentistry
  • Sarah Kathryn Breland, University of Mississippi School of Dentistry
  • Nicholas Mntanaro, Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine
  • Kathryn Pawlak, University of Maryland School of Dentistry
  • Jeffrey Kerst, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center School of Dentistry
  • Alexandra Howell, Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University
  • Grant Ross, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, School of Dental Medicine
  • Angela Claire Sayoc, University of Florida College of Dentistry
  • Lina Raffo, Western University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine
  • Nicole Lee, University of California, Los Angeles School of Dentistry
  • Sinead Benyaminov, Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of the University of Southern California
  • Marilyn Nguyen, University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry
  • Chanica Veranunt, Loma Linda University School of Dentistry

About Delta Dental of California

About Delta Dental of California

Since 1955, Delta Dental of California has offered comprehensive, high quality oral health care coverage to millions of enrollees and built the strongest network of dental providers in the country. The Delta Dental of California enterprise includes its affiliates, Delta Dental Insurance Company, Delta Dental of Pennsylvania, Delta Dental of New York, Inc., and provides dental benefits to more than 36 million people across 15 states and the District of Columbia; and includes the national DeltaCare USA network. All are members of the Delta Dental Plans Association, based in Oak Brook, Illinois, the not-for-profit national association that collectively covers millions of people nationwide. For more information about Delta Dental of California, please visit

About the Delta Dental Community Care Foundation

About the Delta Dental Community Care Foundation

The Delta Dental Community Care Foundation partners with local communities to increase access to care, support dental education and fund research that advances the oral health field. Since 2011, the Foundation has awarded more than $60 million across 15 states and the District of Columbia. The Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Delta Dental of California and its affiliated companies, including Delta Dental Insurance Company, Delta Dental of Pennsylvania and Delta Dental of New York, Inc.