Part-Time Faculty Appreciation Dinner & Awards 2017



18 May 17

Each year the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC acknowledges the unsung heroes of the dental school — its part-time and volunteer faculty. These women and men hail from across Southern California to serve as educators, mentors and role models to the next generation of dental professionals.

The 2017 Part-Time Faculty Appreciation Dinner & Awards was held on May 17 at the Town & Gown of USC. This year’s awards recognized part-time faculty members from each division as well as part-time faculty reaching milestones of five to 55 years as educators at the dental school.

Congratulations to the following part-time faculty members being recognized by their division:


Division of Dental Public Health and Pediatric Dentistry

John Guijon

Dr. Guijon has been a member of the pediatric dentistry faculty since 1998. He has been an integral part of resident training at the dental school, at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center and at Children’s Hospital of Orange County and the Healthy Smiles for Kids community clinic in Garden Grove (where he’s been since 2006). Dr. Guijon is a great resource for our residents – working with them in the hospital operating room setting as well as providing care for children on the inpatient units of the hospital.  He is passionate about treating children with special health care needs, particularly children on the autism spectrum. Not only do the residents learn from him to provide dental management for children in a hospital setting, but he is also a great resource for understanding our patients’ medical issues.  He has contributed to the training of the next generation of pediatric dentists in California and around the country and has proven to be a definite asset to the program and the school.

–Roseann Mulligan, Chair, Division of Public Health and Pediatric Dentistry

Melina Grigorian

Dr. Grigorian is a 2004 graduate of the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry and now a faculty member at the USC- JWCH dental clinic in Downtown Los Angeles, which caters to the homeless and indigent population. Dr. Grigorian is an exemplary team player. She has always stepped up whenever we needed help. It is indeed commendable that she does not have a single unexcused absence in the last six years that she has been with the clinic. She is a compassionate and committed faculty who cares for the education of the students and the dental care for the underserved patients.

–Roseann Mulligan, Chair, Division of Public Health and Pediatric Dentistry

Mina Habibian

Dr. Habibian serves as a clinical associate professor at the Division of Dental Public Health and Pediatric Dentistry. She has been very active in teaching, research and scholarly activities at the division, since she joined the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry in 2001. She is heavily involved in the Children’s Health and Maintenance Program (CHAMP) serving as co-investigator of the program and directing its professional education section.

Dr. Habibian received her DMD from the University of Shiraz, earned her master’s of science in dental public health from the School of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of London and her PhD from the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the University of London.  She completed her dental public health residency at the School of Dentistry, UCSF, and is a diplomate of the American Academy of Dental Public Health.

–Roseann Mulligan, Chair, Division of Public Health and Pediatric Dentistry

Camille Nishikawa

Dr. Nishikawa is the prime example of a multi-tasker. She is the director of two QueensCare mobile locations that provide two rotations of dental students and dental hygiene students weekly.

Dr. Nishikawa received her DDS from the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry in 2010 and in 2012 completed her advanced pediatric training at the MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. In 2014, she became a diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. She is an energetic and dedicated faculty member who introduces the students to the value of pediatric community health care through the QueenCare Mobile Dental Program.

–Roseann Mulligan, Chair, Division of Public Health and Pediatric Dentistry

Division of Periodontology and Diagnostic Sciences

Karen Ellen Refkin

Ms. Refkin is a 1968 graduate of Ohio State University. She teaches in the predoctoral periodontology clinic. She is one of the most dedicated clinical teachers at the school. After 44 years of service at USC, Ms. Refkin is still enthusiastic about teaching at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry.

–Casey Chen, Chair, Division of Periodontology, Diagnostic Sciences & Dental Hygiene

Androush Safarian

A graduate of the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry’s advanced periodontics program in 2003, Dr. Safarian teaches in the advanced periodontics clinic where he is recognized as an outstanding teacher and a model clinician for the residents.

–Casey Chen, Chair, Division of Periodontology, Diagnostic Sciences & Dental Hygiene

Jenny Tsang

Ms. Tsang graduated from the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry’s dental hygiene program in 2012, and began to teach in the program that same year. Her role as an educator has given her insight into the best way of contributing knowledge to help the students and enhancing the quality of service for patients.

–Casey Chen, Chair, Division of Periodontology, Diagnostic Sciences & Dental Hygiene

Division of Endodontics, Orthodontics and General Practice Residency

Tiffany Chau

Dr. Chau has been a faculty in the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry GPR Program since 2008. She graduated from UCLA School of Dentistry in 2007. In 2008 she completed the GPR Program at USC. Tiffany teaches at USC one day per week and on the other four days she treats homeless veterans at the West Los Angeles Veterans Administration Hospital.

Dr. Chau is a highly motivated and dedicated faculty member. In the eight and a half years that she served as faculty at USC, she never missed a day! She demonstrates to the residents what quality work is and always finds time to provide personal attention to each one of them.

Tiffany has been a significant addition to our GPR program. She is very enthusiastic about USC and when she interviews candidates for the program, the candidates get a genuine feeling about how good our GPR program is.

–Ilan Rotstein, Chair, Division of Endodontics, Orthodontics and General Practice Residency

David Kelliny

Dr. Kelliny earned his bachelors in dental surgery from Cairo University in 1992. He obtained his DDS from the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry in 1998 and earned a certificate in endodontics also from USC in 2001. Dr. Kelliny has been a part-time faculty member since 2002. He is a highly skilled clinician and mentor. His surgical endodontics lectures and clinical instruction always receives enthusiastic feedback and excellent evaluations from our advance endodontics students. In addition, Dr. Kelliny is a hard-working and dedicated faculty member with high morale values. By setting an example, he instills these values in our advance endodontics students.

–Ilan Rotstein, Chair, Division of Endodontics, Orthodontics and General Practice Residency

Warren Schacter

Dr. Schacter is a clinical instructor in our advanced orthodontics program. He graduated from Ostrow’s orthodontic program in 1997 and has been teaching orthodontics at USC since 2007.

Dr. Schacter is a past-president of the USC Orthodontic Alumni Association and a board orthodontist. Dr. Schacter together with Dr. Dan Bahn play a critical role in ensuring that our advanced orthodontics students now pass the American Board of Orthodontics clinical exam with a 100 percent success rate.

Dr. Schacter and his father, Dr. Robert Schacter, are the first father and son to teach in our advanced orthodontics program at the same time. Both are highly regarded by their peers as two of the finest mentor and clinicians in orthodontics.

–Ilan Rotstein, Chair, Division of Endodontics, Orthodontics and General Practice Residency

Division of Restorative Sciences

Vartuhi Avanesian

Dr. Avanesian graduated from Tehran University in 1973. She then served in the military for two years before returning to serve as a faculty member in the removable prosthodontics department at National University of Iran for 10 years, while maintaining her private practice. She then moved to the United States, where she started her private practice in 1988. In 1998, her passion for teaching made her join the division of restorative sciences. Dr. Avanesian has been teaching removable prosthodontics since 1998, and she is one of the most beloved and productive faculty the division.

–Sillas Duarte, Chair, Division of Restorative Sciences

Sangho Byun


Dr. Byun received his DDS degree from the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry in 2011 and his advanced prosthodontics certificate at USC in 2015. Dr. Byun has been instrumental in the clinical and preclinical curriculum on removable prosthodontics and one of the most productive faculty in the division. Students truly enjoy spending time with Dr. Byun because of his dedication and hard work.

–Sillas Duarte, Chair, Division of Restorative Sciences

Seonho Ha

Dr. Ha initiated his career in Seul, South Korea where he received his DDS in 1987. He then moved to Southern California and earned his DDS from Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry in 1993. He furthered his education and earned the certificate in prosthodontics at USC in 1996. Dr. Ha has be exemplary on his teaching in the second floor clinic. He has a long history with the division: He was hired in 1997, became a group practice director from 2005 to 2007 and currently teaches operative dentistry.

–Sillas Duarte, Chair, Division of Restorative Sciences

Charlene Napolitano

Dr. Napolitano earned her DDS degree from University of Pacific in 1984, and she completed her GPR at the Veterans Hospital in Palo Alto, Calif. Dr. Napolitano exhibits great professionalism, outstanding teaching and dedication. She is one the most calibrated, dependable faculty and is very consistent in her teaching and grading. She expects the students to perform very well and provides 110 percent to teach them. Dr. Napolitano spends time with the students during her lunch, and many times she stays after hours to work with them.

–Sillas Duarte, Chair, Division of Restorative Sciences

Guillermo Roman

Dr. Roman received his DDS from University of Guayaquil, Ecuador in 1982. He then furthered his education by earning his DDS degree in 1985 and certificate in prosthodontics from the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry in 1986. Dr. Roman was the director of the graduate prosthodontics at the University of Guayaquil from 1995 to 1999, and he became a clinical associate professor at USC teaching in the advanced prosthodontics program. He teaches our residents on full-mouth wax-up reconstructions, challenging them by waxing up their own mouth. Our residents truly enjoying spending time with Dr. Roman, and he has also been known to challenge anyone in a bicycle race with him.

–Sillas Duarte, Chair, Division of Restorative Sciences

Daniel Tevrizian

Dr. Tevrizian graduated from Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry in 1974. He joined the division of restorative sciences in 2015, and his contribution and enthusiasm to teach is exemplary. He is creative in his teaching, extremely open to feedback and has a true desire to positively contribute to the education of the students. Dr. Tevrizian always follows instructions and asks questions if something is unclear to him. He respects the teaching dynamic and is always very considerate of other faculty. In addition, he has a very positive attitude and friendly behavior with the rest of the faculty. He is a great team player and has a desire to learn and improve.

–Sillas Duarte, Chair, Division of Restorative Sciences

Division of Biomedical Sciences

Xiao-Mei Cui

The Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry is delighted that Dr. Cui joined the Trojan family in 1993, working with Dr. Charles Shuler on the molecular mechanism of cleft palate. A short leave away from USC allowed her to graduate from Ostrow’s Advanced Standing Program for International Dentists. Dr. Cui returned as a faculty member for the division of biomedical sciences where she facilitated PBL cases and volunteered in several preclinical laboratories.  Recently, she transitioned to include instructing on the clinical floor for the division of periodontology, diagnostic sciences and dental hygiene, as well as PBL case facilitation. Her vision for continuous linkage between biomedical issues arising during clinical care by our students has informed her to promote change to the PBL case content to better address the ways that knowledge shapes how we care for patients.

–Malcolm Snead, Chair, Division of Biomedical Sciences

Rizkalla Zakhary

Dr. Zakhary joined USC in 1967 as an assistant professor of dentistry, a few years after completing his PhD at Tulane University, and he has been a cherished member of our faculty ever since. Dr. Zakhary has been my teaching partner in Head & Neck Anatomy for many years. It has been a delight to teach with him and learn from him. He has so much care for his students, and it’s obvious that they love him. If you ask Dr. Zakhary how he’s managed to stay so youthful and energetic, he’ll tell you it’s from the formalin in the anatomy lab. But I think the truth is that he gets his joy from teaching, and his enthusiasm is infectious. Dr. Zakhary, thank you so much for your incredible dedication to USC and to the field of anatomy. Your students thank you, all of us on the faculty thank you, and I thank you. We wish you many more happy and healthy years

–Yang Chai, Associate Dean, Research

Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

John Jack Lytle

Dr. Jack Lytle has become a dear friend over the years.  Serving on Ostrow’s Board of Councilors and Friends of Dentistry, Jack gives his time, energy and expertise to this school and he is one of the most loyal and hard working members of our community – so hardworking, in fact, that even though he’s a little under the weather, he’s chosen to join us here this evening. I can’t not acknowledge Dr. Lytle without also mentioning his wife, Marcia Lytle. This husband-wife team has been heavily involved with this dental school for several decades.

–Avishai Sadan, Dean

Years of Service Award Winners:

55 Years

Ralph Allman

50 Years

Rizkalla Zakhary

45 Years

James Loos
John Jack Lytle

40 Years

Terry Loeffler

35 Years

Harris Done
Becky Thaler-Tobin

30 Years

Garrett Kawata
Stanley Miyawaki

25 Years

Farshid Ariz
Steve Lee
Roberto Roges
Thomas Tate

20 Years

Robert Jacobs
Richard Mungo
Larry Odono
Lisa Oshiro

15 Years

Stephen Davis
Robert Gerber
Yoshihiro Goto
Mina Habibian
Vanthi Pham
Lucille Rotstein

10 Years

Gary Carr
Terrence Donovan
Maureen Dornan
Seonho Ha
Kevin Hszieh
Pamela Hughes
Sajid Jivraj
Valerie Lee
Eddie Lin
Jafar Naghshbandi
Kamyar Nouri
Dieu Pham
Ursula Reyes Ribon
Guillermo Roman
Dennis Tartakow
Paul Upatham

5 Years

Michael Alfandari
Pearl Ambrosio-Caligiuri
Stephen Asher
Ali Balouch
Joan Beleno Sanchez
Kathryn Bowns
Jason Brady
Mary Chien
Ketty Chiu
Sibel Dincer
Andrea Gamble
Viola Iskarous
Lauren Joe
Sara Khoshbin
Yaejin Kim
Alena Knezevic
Armond Kotikian
Jannet Lara
Andrew Lin
Nasem Mojarrad Dunlop
Sorin Muntean
Jeanne Nguyen
Lindsey O’Farriell
Alexandra Ochi
Jung Seo
Amit Shah
Adrian Silberman
Kyle Stanley
Kristen Wong
Robert Yee

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