Makani Dollinger receives Colgate award from the American Association of Women Dentists

Makani Dollinger, doctor of dental medicine candidate 2016 has received a 2015 Colgate Research Scholarship Award in the amount of $500 from The American Association of Women Dentists (AAWD).

The scholarship is awarded nationally each year to 10 junior and/or senior dental students, who have shown academic distinction and demonstration of excellence in research.

Ms. Dollinger most recently participated in a study entitled the “Effect of Antiseptic Solutions on Soft Denture Relining Materials” with ECU dental faculty research mentors Bobby Collins, DDS, MS, division director of oral and maxillofacial pathology, and Waldemar de Rijk, PhD, DDS, MS, unit chief of biomedical materials sciences. The study measured the changes in color, indentation hardness, and strain in compression of denture soft relining materials due to exposure of the materials to antiseptic solutions.

Ms. Dollinger presented the study to the ECU School of Dental Medicine Student Research Group in January, at the International Association of Dental Research (IADR) 2015 General Session in Boston, MA, in April and at the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) Annual Session in San Francisco, CA, in June.

As an undergraduate at UNC-Chapel Hill, Ms. Dollinger’s research included “Investigating the Role of Symbiotic Bacteria in Mediating GI Toxicity” and the “Characterization of the Fluid Motion Generated by Upside-Down Jellyfish Cassiopea.”

Dr. Sharon Gordon, associate dean for research at the School of Dental Medicine, said, “Ms. Dollinger demonstrates sustained interest in research even while succeeding academically with the time demands of dental school. We are proud to have her represent our school and congratulate her on her well earned recognition for research.”

Dr. Nisha Ganesh, division director of predoctoral clinical education and faculty advisor for ECU’s AAWD chapter, said, “Congratulations to Makani for her award, and congratulations to the AAWD for recognizing and supporting women researchers like Makani. The award underscores the importance of women supporting women for the overall advancement of dental medicine.”

Ms. Dollinger, who is originally from Avon in Dare County, North Carolina, said “I am honored to be supported by the AAWD Colgate scholarship during my final year of dental school. After I graduate, I hope to attend a residency program and eventually return to the Outer Banks to open my own practice in Avon.”

According to the website of the American Association of Women Dentists (AAWD) at, the organization provides support and education to women dentists. The AAWD is the leading resource for advancing, connecting, and enriching the lives of women dentists.