UM Currently | Rady College of Wellness Sciences

August 31, 2023 — 

Two distinguished UM alumni – a dental hygienist who has worked tirelessly to advance the occupation and a dentistry professor who potential customers humanitarian dental missions – will be honoured by their peers at a gala on Homecoming weekend.

At the yearly Alumni of Distinction Awards Evening at the Fort Garry Hotel on Sept. 22, Kellie Watson will obtain the Alumni of Difference Award from the UM College of Dental Cleanliness Alumni Affiliation.

Dr. Aaron Kim will be identified with the Alumni of Difference Award from the UM Dental Alumni Affiliation.


Kim, affiliate professor of restorative dentistry at the Dr. Gerald Niznick Higher education of Dentistry and practising dentist at Sturgeon Creek Dental, immigrated to Canada from South Korea as a teenager.

After earning a bachelor of science at UM in 1982, he accomplished his health practitioner of dental medicine diploma at UM in 1987 and soon returned to the dental college or university as a section-time instructor. He joined the total-time school in 2011 and is the former associate dean (clinics) at the school. He is a fellow of the Intercontinental University of Dentists (ICD), recognizing that he has introduced honour to the occupation.

In 2002, Kim arranged a humanitarian dental mission to Zambia. He has returned to Africa a few periods, screening and dealing with more than 1,000 kids per trip, and has extended his philanthropic dental treatment and training work to Zimbabwe.

On his excursions, he will take together a crew of about 10 Winnipeg dentists and non-dental volunteers who pay back their very own way. In addition, he has created 8 solo excursions to provide care in Guatemala. He has led the institution of dental clinics in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Guatemala, supported by funding from the ICD and his Winnipeg church.

In Winnipeg, he not too long ago structured a partnership amongst 40 nearby dentists, guidance personnel and dental students and the Entry NorWest Co-op Local community Health Clinic to give absolutely free treatment for individuals in require.

Previous year, Kim was honoured with the Manitoba Dental Association’s inaugural Lyle Finest Humanitarian Award.

“Dr. Kim carries on to give the very best of himself,” wrote one of his nominators for the Alumni of Difference Award, contacting him “a visionary with a identified spirit.”


Watson, who grew up in Winnipeg, acquired her diploma from the UM Faculty of Dental Hygiene in 1995. 10 a long time later, she concluded her master’s of business enterprise administration at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) and went on to keep a administration function with the Saskatoon Health and fitness Area.

In 2007, Watson returned to Winnipeg and became the inaugural registrar and govt director of the College of Dental Hygienists of Manitoba. With dental hygiene then a freshly self-regulating occupation, she crafted the school from the floor up, establishing insurance policies, techniques and programs. She also joined the training college at the University of Dental Hygiene.

In 2011, Watson was hired as registrar and CEO of the Saskatchewan Dental Hygienists Affiliation, a position she held for eight yrs. Her accomplishments there bundled advocating to improve accessibility to oral health care and doing the job with the province to revise out-of-date oral health professions laws.

Her many other management roles have incorporated chairing the Saskatchewan Oral Wellness Coalition and serving as president of the National Dental Cleanliness Certification Board.

Right after training as a clinical instructor at USask, Watson joined the college whole time in 2020 as assistant dean of the dental assisting application. The upcoming phase in her occupation will see her performing for the Saskatchewan Wellness Authority to make improvements to oral treatment for residents of long-phrase care homes.

Watson’s award nominators wrote about her, “Her track record in clinical consumer care, coupled with her working experience as an administrator, chief and educator, demonstrates the breadth of her know-how and knowledge.… [She] has introduced distinction and honour to the job of dental hygiene.”

Tickets for the Sept. 22 Alumni of Distinction Awards Night at the Fort Garry Hotel, honouring Kim and Watson, can be ordered via the UM Dental Alumni Association internet site. The function will also spend tribute to the Lessons of 1973 and 1971.