In Memorium – Dr. Vince Kokich

Dr. Vincent G Kokich

The passing of Dr. Vince Kokich this past July has left us stunned and bereft.  Vince had a way of making each and every interaction a meaningful one, and thus his loss is extremely personal and poignant for all of us; especially here at ‘his’ orthodontics department at the UW.

Vince_Kokich_2012Vince gave us the tools to eulogize him and to honor his memory by providing the example of relentless pursuit of excellence, unquenchable curiosity, and adherence to the highest levels of research principles, while everyone who dealt with Vince in any capacity benefited from his kindness, warmth, generosity of spirit, sense of humor, and keen intelligence.

Words alone are inadequate to encompass the scope and to ease the pain of this loss, but deeds – as Vince set us the example to perform them – will help us to carry on his legacy and provide us comfort in their execution; to honor his memory and contributions to dentistry in perpetuity.  The following letter from Dr. Greg Huang, UW Department of Orthodontics Chair, outlines our plan to begin doing this right away :

Dear Alums,

It has been five months since Vince’s passing, and he is missed dearly by his family, his colleagues, and the entire orthodontic profession.  Here in the Department, we are slowly getting used to the fact that we can no longer walk down the hall for a chat with Vince. He was a very special individual – above all, a devoted family man; and to the orthodontic profession, an inspirational clinician, educator, and leader.

As you know, Vince’s family asked that remembrances be directed towards the Kokich-Shapiro Endowed Scholar Fund, which supports a 2-day lectureship from a prominent orthodontist every year.  Our students always comment that these visits are very special events that allow them to make a personal connection with the giants in our field.  Many of you have generously donated to this fund over the past few months, and it became clear that some additional purpose for the funds should be considered.

At the University, one of the highest honors is having an Endowed Professorship in your name, and no one would be more deserving of this honor than Vince.  After discussions with Vince’s family, as well as with Peter Shapiro, the decision was made to modify the Kokich-Shapiro Endowed Scholar Fund to the Kokich-Shapiro Endowed Fund for Excellence in Orthodontics. This new fund will continue to support the annual Kokich-Shapiro Visiting Scholar, but importantly, once sufficient funds are reached, it will also provide funding for a part or full time faculty member who will hold the title of the Kokich-Shapiro Endowed Professor.

I can think of no better way to honor Vince, and I hope each of you will assist with the establishment of this prestigious new position.  Each of us has benefitted tremendously from our association with Vince, both personally and professionally.  Vince taught us to dream big, and this case, the dream is considerable – we need a minimum of $500,000, with an ultimate goal of about 3 million. However, I am a strong believer in our orthodontic family, and if each of us donates the fees from just one case, we could easily raise $1.5 million this year.  That would allow us to initiate a search for the first Kokich-Shapiro Endowed Professor in 2014.

I just made my donation, and I ask each of you to donate “A Case for Vince.”  He has contributed so much to our Department and to the Profession, and the establishment of this Endowed Chair would be a fitting tribute to his legacy.


Greg J. Huang, DMD, MSD, MPH

Professor and Chair

*Donations can be made online at:

(Select the Kokich-Shapiro Endowed Fund)

Peter Shapiro honored by Dean’s Club

DR. PETER A. SHAPIRO, former head of the UW Department of Orthodontics, has given more than 30 years of distinguished service to the School of Dentistry as a researcher, faculty member and department chair. Beyond this, he has established an outstanding record of leadership and commitment in generating support for the department and the School, a record that has earned him formal recognition as a University of Washington Benefactor.

Dr. Shapiro personally raised more than $1 million to establish the prestigious MoorelRiedel Professorship in Orthodontics, with an endownment created in 1999. More recently, he worked with the UW Orthodontic Alumni Association to raise funds for a $1.3 million clinical renovation that was unveiled late last summer. Along with Dr. Vincent Kokich, he established the Kokich/Shapiro Endowed Scholar Fund, which supports an annual visit by scholars in the field of orthodontics or related disciplines.

Dr. Shapiro, who is now Clinical Professor Emeritus in Orthodontics , joined the faculty in 1973. He was chair of the Department of Orthodontics from 1984 to 1995. He earned a BA from Brown University in 1966, his DDS from Howard University in 1970 and his master’s degree and Certificate of Orthodontics from the UW in 1973. He also completed a three-year NIH Fellowship in Craniofacial Biology at the UW. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics and has published several book chapters and more than three dozen journal articles, and he has given nearly 100 presentations. He is a member of organizations including the American Dental Association, American Association of Orthodontists, Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists, Seattle King County Dental Society, Angle Society and the Seattle Crown and Bridge Study Club. His honors include membership in the Omicron Kappa Upsilon dental honorary society, the R.R. McIntyre Memorial Lectureship of the Canadian Foundation for the Advancement of Orthodontics, the Arthur ThomtonTaylor Memorial Lectureship of the Australian Society of Orthodontists, and Fellowship in the American College of Dentists. In 2010 he was presented with the Dale B. Wade Award of Excellence in Orthodontics from the American Board of Orthodontics.

In addition to his regular duties at the School of Dentistry, he has played an active role on School committees throughout his tenure, most recently on the oversight committee of The Center for Pediatric Dentistry. He has also been active in the Seattle community, including serving as President of the Jewish Family Service.

The Riedel Arch Former

In the old days, the ’60s and ’70s, before bonded, ‘straight wire’ brackets and preformed arch wires, the brackets were cut with zero torque, no angula-tion and no offsets. We had preformed bands with brackets welded, but it was long before bonded brackets. The stainless steel wire came in straight lengths, literally straight wire.

Riedel ThumbFirst, second and third order bends needed to be placed in the arch wire. It wasn’t in the brackets! Dr. Richard A. Riedel was the Chairman of Orthodontic Department during this time and supervised the seminar and clinic on Friday mornings. Dick had his own unique mechanics, which required some intricate wire bending. He always had two pliers in the right pocket of his white clinic coat, a 139 bird beak and a 325, manufactured by Henry General, a one man plier factory. According to Dick Riedel, there was no better plier. Many UW alumni agree and are still using their Henry Generals, purchased during or shortly after their residencies. Dick needed no other pliers to form an archwire, not even cutters. However, he did use his thumb. We would marvel at his ability to take a seven inch piece of .019 x .026 stainless steel wire and wrap it around his thumb to achieve his initial torqued arch form. His wire bending ability would mesmerize us and his thumbs seemed bigger than life. Not because his thumbs were large, only because of what he could do with them.

The Class of 1968 decided to memorialize Richard Riedel’s thumb. One day Barry Cutler went into Dick’s office with a small paper cup filled with freshly mixed alginate and asked him to insert his thumb. Each member of the class then had a plaster ‘Riedel Arch Former’ to remem- ber Dick and their residency.

There are not many plaster thumbs remaining, but Dr. Bill Sproule, of Vancouver, BC, still has his, which he loaned to me for duplication. I cannot remember exactly when, but sometime in the ’90s, I contacted Dr. Don Gardner, Class of 1979, Littleton Colorado, whose avocation is bronze sculpture. He volunteered to have some sample bronze castings made mounted on a base, a paper weight remembrance of the most memorable of our residency mentors. With samples in hand, I went to the UW Ortho Alumni Board and proposed that we have additional castings made. They agreed, thinking any alumni who benefited from Dick Riedel’s tutorage would want one. Don Gardner, when asked what the charge was for the two boxes of arch formers, said “nothing, it’s my contribution to the alumni”. Thank you Don.

While the original goal was to sell the thumbs as a memento of UW Orthodontic residency, they have been used over the years as special gifts to various people. Five or six per year have been presented to graduating residents on Thesis Day. Unfortunately, each year, fewer and fewer of our alumni have had the benefit of the wisdom of Dr. Richard A. Riedel in our training. Those of us who did, freely share the orthodontic pearls communicated by Dick. Comments like “The biggest benefit of a positioner occurs while you are waiting for it to come back from the lab.” and “If you have lower incisors, you will eventually have lower incisor crowding.” Or instead of making a critical comment about a presentation, he would just respond “Interesting”. The bronze thumbs are a reminder of the relationship we had with Dr. Richard A. Riedel and what we fondly called “Riedel wonder wires”. Thank you Dick.

Allan L. Van Ness, Class of 1972

UW grads win presteigious research awards

The Council on Scientific Affairs (COSA) reviewed 22 applications for the Hellman, Sicher, and Graber Awards and the winners will present their lectures during Annual Session. Of the 6 winners, 2 were recent graduates from the University of Washington.

The Harry Sicher Research Award was awarded to Brienne Roloff-Chiang (Class of 2010) for her research titled The Effectiveness of Mi Paste PlusTM and Prevident® Fluoride Varnish for Treatment of White Spot Lesions: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Her research advisor was Dr. Greg Huang.

Alfonso Navarrete (Class of 2010) was awarded a Thomas M. Graber Award of Special Merit for his research titled Botulinum Neurotoxin Type A: Effects on Bite Force, Masticatory Function and Incisor Eruption in Rabbits. His research advisor was Dr. Sue Herring.


Brie AlCOSA accepted 24 Oral Research applications, 442 E-Poster applications and 42 Table Clinic applications to be presented at the 2012 AAO Annual Session. E-Posters will be available for viewing during the Annual Session and for two months after Annual Session on the AAO Web site.

COSA monitors research on orthodontic appliances and processes that could potentially change the doctor/patient relationship through “direct-to-consumer” products for orthodontic treatment, for the potential impact on the well-being of the patient. COSA members will review this directive at their meetings. COSA continues to be involved with evidence based orthodontic research. Article citations are being added to the evidence based orthodontic research Web site on a regular basis. The Web site is found on the AAO Web site.
Please join us in congratulating our UW graduates. For more information visit the AAO website

Jim Clark Dedication Pictures

Thanks to everyone who were able to attend the Dedication Cermony for the Jim Clark Imaging Center that was held on Friday, December 9, 2011 at the  Department Open House. You can find some of the pictures from this event below.

Jim’s contributions to dental photography are priceless. His years of guiding orthodontic students through the complicated maze of imaging have turned him into a hero for our many Department graduates and faculty. Along the way, he has also become a noted speaker worldwide. His dedication to detail and nuance are matched with his great sense of humor; those listening to Jim leave the lecture hall enlightened and smiling. Read more about Jim Clark…

Jim Clark Imaging Center Dedication

UWOAA-Invitation-to-Jim-ClaYou are Cordially Invited to Attend the Dedication of the Jim Clark Imaging Center
Friday, December 9, 2011
Department Open House 4:00 – 6:00pm
Dedication 5:15pm

University of Washington
Department of Orthodontics
Orthodontic Clinic
Room B338 Health Sciences Center
Seattle, WA

Champagne & Light Hors d’oeuvres

We look forward to seeing you! Contact Joni if you have any questions.

Jim’s contributions to dental photography are priceless. His years of guiding orthodontic students through the complicated maze of imaging have turned him into a hero for our many Department graduates and faculty. Along the way, he has also become a noted speaker worldwide. His dedication to detail and nuance are matched with his great sense of humor; those listening to Jim leave the lecture hall enlightened and smiling. Read more about Jim Clark…

Reunion 2011

UWOAA Reunion 2011 in Seattle

Thanks to everyone who was able to attend the 2011 UWOAA reunion in Seattle. It was great to see you!

Clinic Remodel Tour

Take a tour through the newly remodelled clinic. Narrated by our Chairman and tour guide, Dr. Greg Huang.


Thank you University of Washington Orthodontic Alumni for your generous support in making this dream a reality.


A Message From the Chairman


Dr. Greg J. Huang, Chair

Dear Alums,

The economic challenges facing the nation have been felt here in the state of Washington, where state revenues from sales taxes have decreased dramatically over the past several years. The state has found itself struggling to fund its many commitments, and higher education has taken tremendous cuts in state support.  


The UW, incredibly, has lost about 50% of its state funding in the past four years.While everyone expects the University of Washington to weather these cuts, all units have been affected, and everyone is being asked to do more with less. The reality, though, if the economic condition does not turn around, is we will have to do less with less. Not an attractive thought, as who wants to have half of their teeth cleaned, or only one arch straightened?


The School of Dentistry has been challenged to change its operating model. With state dollars dwindling, we must consider functioning more like a privately run dental school, and tuition is likely to rise accordingly. Although no one wants dental or orthodontic education to become elitist, neither do we wish for the dental school to become financially insolvent. We all witnessed the round of dental school closures that occurred in the 80‘s and 90‘s, and because we do not wish that to occur, we will need to change the way we do business in our Dental School and in our Department of Orthodontics.


UW officials urge us to be creative, to find ways to weather this downturn, and to poise ourselves for recovery and re-emergence as stronger units in the next 10 – 20 years. All over the dental school, reorganization (to increase efficiency) is the buzzword. In our Department, all the faculty are teaching more. Our students will have to shoulder increased tuition. Administrative and clinical staffs are shrinking, and greater demands are being placed on those remaining. In the midst of all this change, I believe it is imperative that we continue to provide the highest quality education and patient care. That is our mission and our tradition, and I am not willing to compromise on these issues. But some things will not receive the attention that they have in the past. Research time may become limited for faculty and students. This is a serious problem, as scholarship and discovery have also been a tradition of our departent. Service to the dental school and to the profession will suffer too, as faculty have less time to volunteer their talents to local, regional, and national committees, councils, and organizations.


We are fortunate that the alums have previously created and funded the Moore-Riedel Professorship, allowing us to add another faculty member to assist with the mission of the department. Currently, David Turpin is our Moore-Riedel Professor, and he has already begun directing courses and applying for grants. Additionally, he also serves on departmental, School of Dentistry, and other various committees (some internationally, like the World Federation of Orthodontists). Kudos to the UWOAA for their foresight, as well as to David, for his commitment to the Department and profession.


Despite the challenges I mentioned above, I am optimistic that the changes we face in the next few years will indeed allow us to transform our dental school into a stronger institution. One that is financially self-sustaining, and therefore, more immune to the fluctuations in the economy and spending habits of the state residents. Our Department is making a significant investment in our future– the remodeling of our clinic. Through the generosity of all of you, we are planning to start the renovation in March, 2011. This $1.3 million project will modernize our clinic, creating an envi- ronment for patient care that matches the world-class reputation our Department has held for decades. The new clinic will transform our patients’ experience. The reception area will be completely redesigned, creating a more inviting and welcoming atmosphere. The clinic will have two dedicated consultation rooms, so that treatment can be described thoroughly with the aid of digital records and other diagnostic and educational programs. The Jim Clark Imaging Center is being created to allow the transition to completely digital records. All the operatories will be completely renovated with new dental equipment, cabinets, and computers. Our clinic conference room will be expanded, becoming the primary meeting space for departmental seminars and courses. It will house updated audiovisual equipment, including computers that will be networked to the School of Dentistry servers, thus allowing instant access to all patient records for clinical conferences.

It is impressive that the funding for this project has not been accomplished by huge gifts from only a few individuals. Rather, this has been a grass-roots effort, spearheaded by Tim Shields. Here are a few facts about our clinic fundraising:


Almost 200 of our UW alums have donated (about half our graduates) – The largest single gift has been $50,000 – Eight individuals have pledged over $25,000 – The Class of 1983 has contributed the most ($90,000), with the classes of 1995 ($69,000) and 2000 ($63,000) close behind – Total pledged amount to date is about 1.2 million




What a great fundraising campaign Tim has led, and we thank him for all his efforts! As we approach the start date for the renovation, I would like to reach out to each and every one of our graduates, thanking you for your tremendous support, and asking for just a little more so that the clinic fundraising effort can reach a successful conclusion. Our UW educations have allowed us to have wonderful careers. In that spirit, we should all consider giving back so that the next generation of UW orthodontists can be educated in a modern, well-equipped clinic that conveys the sense of excellence that is the hallmark of our Department.


With my best wishes for 2011,


Jim Clark Honored as Kokich Shapiro Lecturer


Two of Jim‘s favorite places: in the cockpit of a plane (above) and on the beach at Playa del Carmen with adorable main squeeze Denise (below)

Jim’s contributions to dental photography are priceless.

His years of guiding orthodontic students through the complicated maze of imaging have turned him into a hero for our many Department graduates and faculty. Along the way, he has also become a noted speaker worldwide. His dedication to detail and nuance are matched with his great sense of humor; those listening to Jim leave the lecture hall enlightened and smiling.


Sharing What He Loves

Jim_Clarke_photo2And so it was with the 2009 Kokich Shapiro Lectureship, where Jim presented “Dental Photography: From Diazos to Terabytes” on October 2nd. His lecture covered the evolution of dental photography and his personal perspective of 37 years in the field. He led the attendees through the “early days” of slide photography (and waiting for the images to return from processing—remember?) to current creative use of imaging software and equipment. Jim interspersed his lecture with humorous anecdotes, and let the audience in on some of his personal loves, such as flying, and restoring classic cars. Nothing, however, matched his acknowledgement of the love of his life, wife Denise.

Giving Back

It especially hurts to see someone so loved battle a debilitating disease. Jim was diagnosed with ALS this past spring and, although his spirit and attitude are incredible, he must fight to use his increasingly weakened muscles. The UWOAA Board agreed that, while we can’t possibly thank Jim enough for his years of guidance, we can share our gratefulness to him through a dedicated area for dental imagery: The Jim Clarke Imaging Center. This Center will someday house state-of-the-art imaging equipment to help our orthodontic students and faculty move forward with those skills shared by Jim for so many years.

The outpouring of support for Jim‘s Center has been immediate and strong. With over $167,000 pledged and $80,000 paid thus far, the Center is on its way to reality. Should you wish to join your colleagues and help the Jim Clarke Imaging Center move forward, your donations are most appreciated.