Dr. Saro Atam Wins 2020 Eugene L. Gottlieb JCO Student of the Year Award

Sheboygan, Wisconsin – The Journal of Clinical Orthodontics is proud to name Dr. Saro Atam from Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, N.Y., as the winner of the 2020 Eugene L. Gottlieb JCO Student of the Year Award, presented by American Orthodontics. Dr. Atam was selected over 24 other students from schools around the United States in a two-stage, months-long competition judged by members of the JCO editorial board. His prize includes more than $8,000 worth of products and services from American Orthodontics, JCO, and Dolphin.

"Coming from a war-torn country and being recognized in the United States and specifically by one of the most prestigious orthodontic peer-reviewed journals, it is a great achievement,” said Dr. Atam. "I feel so happy and blessed. I feel lucky."

Dr. Atam grew up in Syria and graduated from dental school there, enduring the civil war and drone strikes, including a bomb dropped inside his dental school campus. He emigrated to the United States as a refugee and attended dental school at the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated at the top of his class. He won the Dentsply Sirona Restorative Global Clinical Case contest in 2017 and was a recipient of the prestigious Earle Banks Teaching award in 2018. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, he was accepted into the orthodontic program at Stony Brook University. A complete profile of Dr. Atam will be published in the April issue of JCO and posted on JCO’s Facebook page.

Dr. Atam is the fifth Student of the Year award winner, joining Dr. Katya Skillestad of Texas A&M University (2019), Dr. Samaneh Mojarrad of the University of Pennsylvania (2018), Dr. Moataz Elmahdy of the University of Rochester (2017), and Dr. Krystian Jarosz of Rutgers University (2016). Stony Brook University is the fifth different school to produce a winner over the five years of the competition.

American Orthodontics has been the title sponsor of the award each year.

"AO is dedicated to supporting orthodontic education and the future of the profession, and we are very proud to sponsor the JCO Student of the Year Award recognizing the best and brightest in orthodontics," said Director of North American Sales, Todd Beaudoin.

The competition was held in two stages. Every school in the United States was allowed to nominate one current student. Each nominee submitted two letters of recommendation and a personal essay.

Nominees were then given the materials from an unpublished case and asked to write a complete treatment plan, including all possible alternatives, within a two-week time frame. Three JCO board members whittled the 25 nominees down to 12 finalists in December.

Each of the finalists then submitted a complete report for a case he or she had worked on. A wider panel of JCO board members voted for the winner.

ABOUT AMERICAN ORTHODONTICS: American Orthodontics is the largest privately held orthodontic manufacturer in the world, proudly based in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Since 1968, American Orthodontics has been manufacturing quality orthodontic products and peripherals for customers in more than 110 countries. More than 98% of American Orthodontics’ products are manufactured at its Sheboygan headquarters using highly automated production equipment and a skilled, dedicated workforce. With 14 wholly owned subsidiaries, a direct sales force in North America, and a global team of exclusive distributors, American Orthodontics is a true orthodontic industry leader, committed to providing customers quality products, personalized service and dependable delivery.

For more information, Michael Terrill, VP of Marketing at mterrill@americanortho.com