Category: News

Revere Scholars Named

Glass and Jain named Revere Scholars

Recognizing outstanding achievements of junior faculty

RICHMOND, Va. – June 25, 2019Sarah H. Glass (D.D.S ‘14), assistant professor, Oral Diagnostic Sciences, and Sameer D. Jain, B.D.S., M.S., M.S.D., assistant professor and Urgent Care Clinic director, were named Revere Scholars at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry.

The Revere Scholars Program recognizes outstanding achievements of junior faculty members at the rank of assistant professor and provides funding for their research, scholarship and professional development efforts. Recipients receive $5,000 per year for four years allowing them to nurture their interests in pursuit of becoming career academic faculty.

The program is funded by the Dr. James H. Revere Jr. Professorship for Faculty Excellence, an endowment fund, named for James H. Revere (D.D.S. ’65), MCV Foundation board member, former instructor, interim dean, fundraiser, friend and mentor at the VCU School of Dentistry.

Opportunities for growth

Both Glass and Jain have specific plans to further develop their professional growth as Revere Scholars.

“I am incredibly grateful to be faculty at VCU and I strive every day to cultivate and fine tune my role,” Glass explains. “My research, clinical aims and service all involve oral cancer. I plan to pursue research projects related to cancer and to educate the community about oral cancer.”

Jain’s professional development path also includes research.

“As a Revere Scholar, I can continue work to establish the country’s first dynamic navigation model for minimally invasive endodontics,” he said. “The long-term goal is to develop a lab dedicated to guided endodontic research and clinical procedures.”

Both newly-named scholars were nominated by Dr. Clara Spatafore, endodontics department chair and interim chair of the Department of Oral Diagnostics Sciences.

“Both Dr. Glass and Dr. Jain represent the best of our future oral health care leaders,” Spatafore says. “These rising stars have proven clinical track records and have dedicated themselves to academics in dentistry. I couldn’t be more pleased with this well-deserved recognition for Sarah and Sameer.”

Made possible by alumni and former students

The Revere Professorship was made possible by alumni and former students of Dr. Revere, James C. Burns (D.D.S. ’72; Ph.D. ’80) and John A. Svirsky (D.D.S. ’73; M.Ed. ’79). In 2009 Drs. Burns and Svirsky gave $200,000 over several years to honor Dr. Revere and create a lectureship. The fund has grown to more than $1 million and now provides funding for the Revere Scholars Program.

Previous Revere Scholars include Tiffany Williams, D.D.S., (M.S.D. 2014); Sonali Rathore, D.D.S., M.S.; Harmeet Chiang, B.D.S., D.D.S., M.S., F.A.G.D.; Aderonke Akinkugbe, B.D.S., M.P.H., Ph.D. and Erica Brecher, D.M.D., M.S.


About the School

Founded in 1893, the VCU School of Dentistry educates practitioners to meet the oral health care needs of the communities they serve. The school provides opportunities for selected qualified individuals to study dentistry, advanced dental specialties, and dental hygiene in accordance with the standards established by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association. Consistent with the mission of Virginia Commonwealth University, the School of Dentistry’s programs are guided by the education of highly qualified dental professionals, research that advances the understanding of oral health, disease and effective treatment, service to the community and improved oral and health general health of our patients and the general population.

To learn more, please visit


Media Contact

Nan Johnson, director of communications


Celebrating the First 100

Celebrating the First 100

The “First 100 Dentists of Color” Celebration Brunch on Saturday, April 27, at Richmond’s Black History Museum and Cultural Center was a celebration of accomplishments, achievements and trailblazing where Erma Freeman (D.D.S.’77/D) was recognized as the school’s first black female graduate.

The “First 100” initiative paves the way for the “Next 100” through scholarships for students who are members of the VCU Chapter of the Student National Dental Association. Donors and friends involved with the initiative were celebrated at the event for their generous support of students and the school.

Darriel Cannon (D.D.S. ’19/D), the school’s first African American class president, shared his experiences and vision for the future of African Americans in the oral health profession.

The First 100 initiative is the major driver in the school’s efforts to provide scholarships, mentorship and fellowship for the “Next 100 Dentists of Color” and beyond.

The event was generously underwritten by DentaQuest, an oral health care company dedicated to advancing oral health for all.

To learn more about the First 100 initiative, contact Barbara Payton (B.S. ‘83/MC), director of development for leadership annual giving, at (804) 827-1537 or

Media Contact: Nan Johnson, director of communications, (804) 828-0324 or


  [View Image]Erma Freeman (D.D.S. ’77), center, accepts the First 100 Trailblazer Award from Dr. Olivia Croom (left) chief dental officer, DentaQuest, and David C. Sarrett, D.M.D., M.S., (right) dean of the VCU School of Dentistry.

  [View Image]Erma Freeman paved the way for other black female dentists who followed in her path. Left to right: Dr. Jacqueline Curl, Renita Randolph (D.D.S.’91/D), Dr. Shanail Allen, Dr. Audra Jones, Erma Freeman (D.D.S.’77/D), Tiffany Williams (M.S.D.’14/D), Dr. Sheilandice Holmes, Tonya Parris-Wilkins (D.D.S.’03/D), Dr. Lori Wilson.

  [View Image]Dr. Freeman and Darriel Cannon (D.D.S.’19/D). Cannon, four-time president of his D.D.S. class at VCU, is now preparing for his oral surgery residency at U.C.L.A.

  [View Image]William Nelson (D.D.S.’75/D), Mrs. Hardenia and Jim Watkins (D.D.S.’75/D) and Charles Johnson (D.D.S.’76/D) enjoy Richmond’s Black History Museum and Cultural Center in the city’s Jackson Ward neighborhood. Dr. Watkins was named the dental school’s Alumni Star in 2003 and received the Dr. Harry Lyons Outstanding Dental Alumnus award in 2009.

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