School of Dentistry alums shine in their community and profession
Published on Monday, February 7, 2022
By: Ruth Cummins, email@example.comOne is a veteran orthodontics provider, served as a U.S. Air Force dental officer, and is an advocate for dentistry on the state and national levels.
The other is just hitting his stride in a career in general dentistry, serving two small communities as part of a family practice and giving of his time to be a role model to current dental students.
The two graduates of the School of Dentistry on the University of Mississippi Medical Center campus are being honored for their achievements and contributions by the school’s Dental Alumni Board. Dr. J. Kevin Holman (’90), an orthodontist practicing with North Mississippi Orthodontic Associates, is the 2022 Dental Alumnus of the Year. Dr. Andrew “Drew” Dulaney (’14), a general dentist with Dulaney Dental, is winner of the 2022 Early Career Achievement Award.
Holman and Dulaney were honored by the board and dental community Feb. 4 during the annual Dental Alumni and Friends dinner. Because the event wasn’t held last year due to the pandemic, the 2021 winners also were recognized: Dr. Stephen Gandy (’88), Dental Alumnus of the Year, and Dr. Curtis Caskey (’10), Early Career Achievement Award.
“It’s important for us to let everyone know that we have some excellent dentists who rise to the top,” said Dr. Fanasy Jefcoat (’03), Dental Alumni Board president. Her practice, Madison Periodontics and Implantology, is located in Madison.
“We want to honor those who are giving back to the profession, and specifically to the School of Dentistry,” said Jefcoat, who was honored in 2017 as the Dental Alumnus of the Year.
Holman has practiced for 26 years with North Mississippi Orthodontic Associates in Tupelo, which has satellite offices in Oxford, New Albany, Booneville and Hamilton, Ala. His many honors include serving as the Mississippi Dental Association’s president from 2011-12. He is a fellow of the American College of Dentists, the International College of Dentists, the Pierre Fauchard Academy and the World Federation of Orthodontists.
The Belden resident’s son, Lee, is a second-year dental student, and his daughter, the late Catherine Holman Thornton, graduated from the School of Dentistry in 2020.
“I’m very surprised and humbled by the award,” Holman said. “You never put yourself in that echelon. I know the people before me who have gotten this honor, and it’s pretty good company to be in.”
He received a master of science in dentistry and orthodontics from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and his bachelor of arts from the University of Mississippi. Holman served as a dental officer in support of Operation Desert Shield, Desert Storm and Desert Calm from 1990-93.
Jefcoat nominated Holman for the honor. “He’s an outstanding example of what our graduates exemplify in the field of dentistry,” she said. “He’s an excellent clinician and a superior leader.”
Dulaney and his father, Dr. Andy K. Dulaney (’86), have dental offices in Byram and in Crystal Springs, where Drew Dulaney resides.
When he received word of his Dental Alumni Board honor, the younger Dulaney said, “I was at a loss for words. I was certainly humbled, to say the least.”
He earned his bachelor’s degree at Freed Hardeman University and joined his father in practice immediately after graduating from the School of Dentistry. That decision “ultimately boiled down to seeing the time that my dad had for me and my family when I was growing up.
“I wanted to provide that for my wife and children,” Dulaney said.
He was nominated by third-year dental student Landon Wilson. By job-shadowing Dulaney, Wilson has gained valuable insight into a career in dentistry.
“He was instrumental in my decision to go to dental school,” Wilson said. He met Dulaney through a friend of a friend, “and he was very open in allowing me to shadow and to show me the ropes, not just in dental care, but about working with patients and running a successful practice.”
Dulaney has helped other students by being a guest presenter at some of their classes, Wilson said. “He’s always willing to help. If I have clinical questions, he’s a good source to go to.”
Holman and Dulaney are worthy of recognition for “their extraordinary contributions befitting of their integrity and their pride in the School of Dentistry,” said Dr. Sreenivas Koka, dean of the School of Dentistry.
“Our alumni bring tremendous recognition to our school through their words, deeds and service,” Koka said. “We are fortunate to have them both as alumni of our school, and we congratulate them wholeheartedly.”