Dr. Karabin received the Irwin Scopp Fellowship Award for Service at the Northeastern Society of Periodontists meeting on November 4, 2011 at the New York Marriott Marquis. The program is available here and the transcript is available below.
Introduction: Susan is a lecturer nationally and internationally on the interrelationship between periodontal health, pregnancy including pre-termed low birth weight and she’s considered an opinion leader on the effects of osteoporosis, bisphosphonates, hormone replacement therapy and so on. I’ve known Susan for over 20 years, and she tirelessly is dedicated to her profession. However, her first priority is her family, her husband and two wonderful children.
Many of you may not know or may not be aware of, but Susan has numerous other talents. She is a fabulous cook, has written her own blog, which I subscribe to. It’s called “Sunday is My Happy Day”. It’s fantastic. You all should check it out. Susan, I debated about bestowing another award to you today for the best blog, but we’ll get to it another time. With no further ado, I’d like to introduce the recipient of the 2012 Scopp Fellowship Award, Susan Karabin.
Dr. Karabin: Hi everyone. Okay, I want to thank the NESP for bestowing this great honor on me, and especially for the Board of Trustees for selecting me as this year’s recipient. This award is a service award. I’ve spent almost 30 years sitting on committees and boards, teaching and lecturing, and had the privilege of leadership positions in several dental organizations. Frankly, I’m not the type of person who does things for adulations or awards. I actually don’t care very much about awards. I did all of these jobs because I love sitting at the table and matching wits with decision makers. I love being in a position where I’m able to give back to my profession in a meaningful way.
I love being able to help someone who is just starting out in their career, so it really is I who should be thanking you for all the opportunities that you have given me. There is a Chinese proverb that says “If you want happiness for one hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for one day, go fishing. If you want happiness for one month, get married. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, volunteer to help others”.
I went to dental school knowing that I wanted to be a periodontist. It was after seven years of working as a dental assistant and going to college at night, that I began working at the periodontal office of doctors Bob Goldman and Ken Seco. They are the ones who convinced me to go to dental school. I like the science of what they did. I like caring for people. It seemed a good match for me. After graduating from dental school, Bob then mentored me and told me to go into a general practice residency and then come back and then come back for perio training.
Upon graduating from the perio program, Bob and Paul Tannenbaum gave me the opportunity of a lifetime by asking me to join the practice. It was really at Bob’s insistence that I became board certified and then became involved with the AAP, the NYAD and the NESP. It would have been so easy just to sit in my office, and see patients, and concentrate on building my practice, but Bob saw more in me. He taught me that volunteering in these organizations would not only help build my practice, but I would be exposed to the greatest leaders in our profession. He was absolutely right. As I rose through the ranks of these organizations in the profession, I have met and befriended some of the most extraordinary, intelligent, passionate people that I’ve ever known.
Now that I’ve reached a certain point in my career, it’s time for me to look inward and explore my passions and find new and different ways for me to give back. I have recently taken on the presidency of another organization. It’s a nonprofit called En Foco. En Foco is an organization that has been around for 37 years and supports diversity in photography. Our mission is to support the dialogue and creation of work like photographers of diverse cultures, primarily US residents of Latino, Africian-American, Asian and Native American heritage. En Foco makes their work visible to the world, yet remains successful to the other observed communities through its exhibitions, workshops, events and publications.
You see, once I ran out of dental organizations to be president of, I took on one of the arts. It is with great humility that I say thank you for all the opportunities you have given me over the years. I have always found that when you open your heart and you open your mind, extraordinary people and opportunities come rushing in. I want to close by saying that if it weren’t for Bob and Paul taking me under their wings, I would not be standing here the better person that I am for having them. I know that they are with me right now. Thank you, you have given me happiness for a lifetime.