Schulich Dentistry alumni honoured
During Homecoming festivities in October, Schulich Medicine & Dentistry presented the Alumni of Distinction Awards, recognizing the tremendous contributions and achievements of our alumni.
Dr. Olaf Plotzke, DDS’77
"That my colleagues have gathered and decided that I should be so honoured, is, dare I say it, the icing on the cake.” —Dr. Olaf Plotzke
Since graduating with the Dentistry Class of 1977, Dr. Olaf Plotzke has served the dental profession and his community with distinction and honour.
Community dentist, faculty member and volunteer, he has a passion for the treatment and care of children who are born with cleft lip and palate problems. In addition to his work as a lecturer, adjunct professor and course director at Schulich Dentistry, he has served as the Dental Director of the Cleft Lip and Palate team at Thames Valley Children’s Centre, and the Chair and Dental Director of Cleft Palate Teams from 2012 to 2016.
“To be recognized by my peers for doing something that I totally, unequivocally and unilaterally enjoyed and gave me supreme personal and professional satisfaction for so many years seems a bit surreal,” he said. “My years as a paediatric dentist were exceptional in the incredible satisfaction that I derived in working with the most delightful and yet potentially challenging of our society, our children, including the most fragile and vulnerable.”
“Now that my colleagues have gathered and decided that I should be so honoured is, dare I say it, the icing on the cake.”
Dr. Karen Campbell, DDS’82
"You have an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of many through your day-to-day work with patients. They can bring great enrichment to your life.” —Dr. Karen Campbell
As the first female graduate from Schulich Dentistry to become a Chief of Dentistry at a university teaching hospital and first female to become the Director of a graduate program in paediatric dentistry, Dr. Karen Campbell is a trailblazer and leader to say the least.
After her husband unexpectedly passed away from cancer in 2009, Dr. Campbell decided to reinvent herself and moved to British Columbia to take on leadership positions and has contributed significantly to the body of dental research and strengthened the ties between medicine and dentistry at BC Children’s Hospital.
“This new start gave me purpose, although it meant going well outside of my comfort zone,” she said. “I had never done anything without my husband there to support me, so this move was the biggest risk I had ever taken.”
When asked what advice she would give this year’s graduating class, she explained the importance of taking time to enjoy working with their patients.
“You have an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of many through your day-to-day work with patients,” she said. “They can bring great enrichment to your life, but in that you need to be genuine and spend time to learn their stories.”