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November 21, 2001

OBITUARY: Herman H. Langkamp III

Herman H. Langkamp III, described as "the ultimate teacher" by one of his Pitt dental school colleagues, died Nov. 1, 2001, after a brief illness. He was 73.

A Heinz Chapel memorial service for Langkamp is scheduled for Dec. 17 at 3 p.m.

Langkamp taught microbiology courses to Pitt dental, dental hygiene and nursing students for more than 30 years before retiring in 1998.

"He was consistently trying to enhance his teaching for his students," said former student JoAnne Nicoll. "If there was something a student needed, he would give 110 percent to meet the student's needs."

But Langkamp was no pushover in the classroom, colleagues and students agreed. He challenged students — something they didn't always appreciate at the time, although they would later hold him in high regard, said Angelina Riccelli, director of Pitt's dental hygiene program.

Langkamp was known to write letters to parents of dental hygiene students who had earned "A"s in his courses, telling them what excellent students their children were.

"He cared for his students and was always there to help," according to Riccelli. She called Langkamp "the ultimate teacher."

Langkamp co-authored laboratory manuals on microbiology and instructional tapes on infection control. He chaired Pitt's biohazard committee and developed the Sterilization Equipment Evaluation Service Program, an infection control procedure used by the American Dental Association, OSHA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In keeping with Langkamp's wishes, profits from the program will support a new fund, named in his honor, focusing on student research and awards.

A Wilkinsburg native, Langkamp earned both of his degrees from Pitt: a B.S. degree in bacteriology in 1955 and an M.S. in pharmacognosy in 1966. When he retired, he was an associate professor in the School of Dental Medicine with a secondary appointment in the nursing school.

Langkamp was elected to honorary societies in dentistry (Omicron Kappa Upsilon) and dental hygiene (Sigma Phi Alpha).

Despite his accomplishments, Langkamp was an unassuming man who didn't seek the limelight, colleagues said. "He was a gentle, caring person. I think that is the way he would want to be remembered," said Nicoll. "He thought of everyone before himself."

Memorial contributions, payable to the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine, may be sent to the attention of Karen Crenshaw, 440 Salk Hall. Indicate that the contribution is in memory of Herman Langkamp. Contributions will support the Herman Langkamp Student Research Fund.

Filed under: Feature,Volume 34 Issue 7

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