The late Abram and Sylvia Chasens have left an indelible mark on the American Academy of Periodontology Foundation — and on the lives of those who received the award in their name. Through an annual gift and a charitable gift annuity, the Chasens supported excellence in periodontal education. Both Abram and Sylvia passed away in 2011 within months of each other. The rest of their annuity will fund the Abram and Sylvia Chasens Teaching and Research Fellowship in 2012.
Although he had a lengthy career in the private practice of periodontology, Dr. Chasens taught for more than 30 years.
"I enjoyed every moment that I practiced, but I wouldn't trade it for the experience that I had as a teacher and doing my research," he said during a 2002 interview. "Teaching is very rewarding, and if you are doing teaching and research there are so many wonderful people with whom you work."
Sylvia Chasens strongly supported the path her husband chose in pursuing a career in periodontology. Although trained as a teacher, she became one of the first New York City policewomen. Years later she graduated from the New York School of Interior Design and started her design business. At the same time she returned to Douglass College for a BA degree and then went onto Rutgers University, receiving her master's degree in education at age 50.
"Without this award, I would have to work in a private practice to pay back my student loans," says Thiago Morelli, DDS, MS, 2010 Chasens Scholar. "I'm so grateful to the Chasens family for this gift, and I hope to help others as the Chasens have helped me."
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