Second year dental student Hamilton Behlen is educating students on nutrition and health -- and she is doing it as a member of The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF) global corps of leaders who promote positive change. Read about Behlen’s exciting and innovative “edible education” project in the ASF blog post, From garden to table.


Dr. CumbusOn a beautiful summer day earlier this month, a total solar eclipse darkened the skies from Oregon to South Carolina. At the same time, the UAB School of Dentistry experienced its own eclipse of sorts. The Campaign for UAB Dentistry surpassed the $20 million mark thanks to the generosity of so many donors. That doesn’t mean the campaign and its leadership are ready to ride off into the sunset, though. With more than one year remaining, we still have several needs to address including facility upgrades and endowments for our faculty and students.

In this letter to UAB Dentistry alumni and friends, Campaign Chair Dr. Ben Cumbus highlights some of the campaign’s achievements, but explains there is much more to be accomplish. 


Dr. Hugh B. Harmon (‘58) and his wife, Dr. Maryhelen C. Harmon have endowed a scholarship within the UAB School of Dentistry with a gift of approximately $104,000. The Harmon-Cleverly Endowed Scholarship will be awarded to a UAB School of Dentistry student who shows solid academic promise and achievement. The Harmons made the gift in memory of Dr. Paul Hammons, who taught and mentored Hugh Harmon and other dental students.

Dr. Harmon said he and Dr. Hammons had a great relationship in dental school and beyond. “He was a great professor and teacher. We became the greatest friends. He was a stickler for perfection. He was a great mentor and friend,” he said.

Both Dr. Harmons earned bachelor’s degrees from the University of Alabama in 1952. After graduating from the School of Dentistry, Dr. Hugh Harmon served on the faculty as a clinical instructor from 1958 to 1960. However, having his own practice in the warmth of the Florida sunshine soon called them to Dunedin where they still reside. Hugh served his patients from 1960 to 2005. All the while, Maryhelen had an accomplished career in academia. She earned a master’s degree from the University of Florida in 1962 and was awarded her Ph.D. from Florida State University in 1981. She served on the faculty at the University of South Florida as professor of English. In recognition of her achievements, Maryhelen was named the USF Outstanding Teacher of the Year in 1987.

“She supported me while I was in dental school and I supported her when she was in school,” said Dr. Harmon. They both enjoyed their time associated with the UAB School of Dentistry. Maryhelen was president of the dental auxiliary and Hugh was making his mark in the clinics.

Both Drs. Harmon are now retired and relish the quiet life of Dunedin, a small community near Tampa, Florida. They enjoy gardening and spending time with one another. Hugh Harmon said they sought to endow a scholarship because they wanted to “carry on the tradition of excellent dental care.”


diy braces

Do-it-yourself dental care is often touted as a simple fix: Straighten your own teeth without seeing an orthodontist, and save money. But something as simple as placing a small rubber band around teeth to correct imperfections can carry real consequences.

The American Association of Orthodontists is now reporting a 13 percent spike in patients’ trying DIY braces. The organization recently released a public service announcement warning about the dangers, stating “Do-it-yourself treatments can cause lasting damage.”

“It’s a very dangerous procedure if left unsupervised,” said Chung H. Kau, Ph.D., chair and professor of orthodontics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry. “It’s not just about straightening teeth; it’s about function, how you bite and how you put your teeth together, and also the disease pattern in your teeth.”
Read more in the UAB News.

by Adam Pope


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