The National Dental Association Foundation (NDAF), in collaboration with the Colgate-Palmolive Company, sponsored the 15th Annual Faculty Recognition Awards Luncheon and Minority Faculty, Administrators & Practitioners Forum (formerly named the Minority Faculty & Administrators’ Forum) at the 98th Annual National Dental Association (NDA) Convention in Baltimore, Maryland. The NDA Minority Faculty, Administrators and Practitioners Forum, a joint NDA/ADEA educational program, preceded the luncheon. The theme of this year’s forum was “Building the Gateway for Recruitment in Dentistry.” The program emphasized initiatives and strategies that support the profession’s growth and sustainability. Drs. Sheila R. Brown, NDA President; Christian S. Stohler, Dean of University of Maryland Baltimore College of Dental Surgery; and Jay Perman, President of University of Maryland, Baltimore, opened the program with welcoming salutations.
The NDA Committee on Dental Education, Research and Professional Advancement, comprised of NDA and ADEA members, serves as the planning committee for the NDAF/Colgate-Palmolive Faculty Recognition Awards. In recent years, the committee has elevated the topic of research. By creating a Subcommittee on Research, chaired by Dr. Keith A. Mays, the committee plans to heighten awareness of research opportunities among dental educators and practitioners. Drs. Keith A. Mays from East Carolina University, Kim B. Perry from Baylor College of Dentistry, and Jennifer Cyriaque-Webster of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill led the discussion of the NDA’s Research Initiative and plans for recruiting future researchers to dentistry.
Dr. Andre A. Farquharson, Chair of the NDA Committee on Dental Education, Research and Professional Advancement, informed participants of the new accreditation standard for research, Standard 6. The plans of the subcommittee contributed to implementation of Standard 6 and increased research involvement for both faculty and students in the future.
The forum content focused on aspects of successful recruitment strategies and models. Dr. Leslie Grant, NDA Past-President and Dental Compliance Officer for the Maryland State Board of Dental Examiners, presented the importance of ethics in the profession and apprised the audience on the impact of ethics in the recruitment of dental students. Captain Demarcio Reed, a dentist with the U.S. Army Corps, extolled the program’s value to his personal career and service obligation. Ms. Adele Newell (Columbia University), President of the Student National Dental Association, and Professor T. Carla Newbern (Tennessee State University), President-Elect of the National Dental Hygienists’ Association, presented aspects of recruitment using peer-to-peer interaction. All of these presentations by the forum served to heighten awareness of the need for dental hygiene and allied health professionals.
Enhancing this year’s program were presentations by Dr. David Krol and Ms. Nina Ardery from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). Dr. Krol, Senior Program Officer, gave an overview of the RWJF Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program. Ms. Ardery, Deputy Director, highlighted the program’s strategies for success and value to minority faculty recruitment and development. The RWJF Minority Faculty Development Program will accept one dental faculty member in 2012. The program’s official announcement is expected to be made in September 2011.
The NDA Foundation/Colgate-Palmolive Faculty Awards luncheon program followed the Faculty Forum. The awards program honors dental faculty who have demonstrated excellence in professional development and a willingness to support and to help others in their quest for knowledge and advancement. The ADEA Center for Equity and Diversity participates in the nomination and selection process for the NDAF Faculty Awards. These awards provide recognition of full-time dental faculty whose actions produce a balance between dental educators and dental practitioners through joint efforts of the NDA and the ADEA. This year’s awards were presented in three award categories: Teaching, Administration/Service, and Research. The awardees received commemorative plaques and $750 cash awards presented by Dr. Marsha Butler, Vice President of Global Professional Relations and Marketing, Colgate-Palmolive Company. The awards program has been in existence for 15 years.
Kim B. Perry, D.D.S., M.S., is Associate Professor, Course Director for Dental Materials, and Clinical Researcher at the Baylor College of Dentistry, where she has been a member of the faculty since 2003. Dr. Perry is a member of the Department of Restorative Sciences, the largest department in the college, where she has taught and directed numerous courses and served as a Comprehensive Care Group Leader for third-year dental students. Prior to entering academia, Dr. Perry served in the U.S. Army, gaining a wealth of clinical and leadership experience.
In addition to having taught courses in Operative Dentistry, Occlusion, Application of Evidence-Based Dentistry, Dental Anatomy, Fixed Prosthodontics, Comprehensive Care (for which she was Group Leader), and Dental Materials (for which she served as Course Director), Dr. Perry has developed an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). The exam and the methodology associated with it have provided course directors and faculty with a valuable assessment tool. In addition to her extensive teaching responsibilities, Dr. Perry also provides remedial sessions for groups of struggling students and has individually mentored, encouraged, and championed many more students. In 2006, Dr. Perry was selected to participate in the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Clinical Research Scholars Program, a three-year program designed to develop her skills as a clinical researcher. During the intense three-year program, she continued to excel as Course Director for Dental Materials at the dental school. In June 2010, Dr. Perry graduated from the program with a Master’s with Distinction in Clinical Science. The valuable education and training that she gained has enabled her to be a leader in the development of the college’s clinical research infrastructure and in the development and teaching of the Clinical Evidence-Based Research curriculum.
David A. Anderson, D.D.S., M.A., M.D.S., is Clinical Assistant Professor of Prosthodontics and Director of Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Anderson received his Doctor of Dental Surgery in 1980 from Howard University, a Master of Arts degree in Bioethics and Health Policy from Loyola University, and a certificate in Health Care Ethics. He also participated in a General Practice Residency and subsequently a prosthodontics residency program, receiving his Master of Dental Science in Prosthodontics. He subsequently received certificates in Conflict Resolution and Mediation, Medical Ethics, Introduction to Dental Ethics, and Intensive Bioethics courses, as well as serving as a clerk for the American Cancer Society at Memorial Sloane Kettering Medical Center in New York. Dr. Anderson is an invaluable member of the faculty and an outstanding member of the dental school community. In addition to maintaining a teaching schedule, he has been instrumental in putting forward diversity and inclusion initiatives in the School of Dental Medicine. He has contributed to or been principally responsible for establishing lectureships and courses surrounding diversity and inclusion. Dr. Anderson has collaborated with the School of Medicine, the Graduate School of Public Health, the School of Social Work, and the other University of Pittsburgh Health Sciences schools—in addition to ADEA and other potential resources—in an effort to enhance diversity initiatives at the dental school. In 2009, Dr. Anderson’s commitment and diligence resulted in the School of Dental Medicine receiving the first University of Pittsburgh Senior Vice Chancellor for the Health Sciences Award for the Diversity and Inclusion. Since that time, Dr. Anderson has been an integral part of diversity and inclusion initiatives for all of the health sciences schools. He is considered the conduit for rapidly advancing the health sciences toward achieving goals established by Louis Sullivan and the University of Pittsburgh Sullivan Commission.
Francisco Ramos-Gomez, D.D.S., M.S., M.P.H., is Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Dentistry. Dr. Ramos-Gomez has been a pediatric dentist for more than 20 years and has focused his research on the areas of early childhood caries prevention and community health with an emphasis on serving underserved populations. Dr. Ramos-Gomez currently serves as the Principal Investigator on two grants at UCLA. The first project is a randomized seven-year clinical trial that examines the relative efficacy of two caries-prevention protocols—fluoride varnish semi-annually for three years or fluoride varnish semi-annually for three years in addition to glass ionomer sealants applied annually. The subject population includes 3- to 6-year-old children from low-income families. The second grant seeks to effect substantial improvements in the oral health of vulnerable, underserved, and culturally diverse populations through the transformation of delivery care systems and by advancing new roles and working relationships for dental and other health professionals within communities and policy environments. Based on a belief that systematic research is vital to reduce the high burden of oral disease faced by Hispanics and other minorities, Dr. Ramos-Gomez emphasizes research at every level and provides research mentoring to undergraduates, post-baccalaureate, graduate, predoctoral, and doctoral candidates, as well as international preceptors. He is also a grant reviewer for the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). At UCLA, Dr. Ramos-Gomez initiated the development of the research methodology curriculum for pediatric dental students. He is nationally recognized for providing advocacy, leadership, and community service for the underserved children of Los Angeles and throughout California. Dr. Ramos-Gomez has been committed to advancing the education of Hispanic students and faculty at the university by serving on the Faculty Advisory Committee of the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center and as co-Chair of the Academic Senate Committee on Diversity and Equal Opportunity.