Kelton T. Stewart, M.S., D.D.S.
In 2002, Dr. Stewart
received a B.A. in Biology from Baylor University, a D.D.S. in 2006, an M.S. in
Health Professions Education in 2008 and a certificate in Orthodontics in 2008
from Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry. His immersion in
dentistry began as a youth heavily influenced by a number of compassionate and
influential dentists. For several years, he spent time in different dental
offices, eventually choosing a career in dentistry.
academic career, Dr. Stewart enjoyed tutoring and aiding the educational
achievement of his peers. Once he began his dental education, several mentors
encouraged him to capitalize on his passion and ability to help others strive
for academic excellence by selecting dental education as a career. He
identifies Drs. Ernie Lacy, Claude Williams and Reginald Taylor as both mentors
and major influences.
Mentoring has been
an invaluable constant in his life. It was the mentoring of his childhood
dentist years ago that planted the initial seed. Mentors along his academic
career path helped cultivate his interest in dentistry and in dental education.
The ADEA MDFD program provided him with a unique opportunity to be successful
in dental academia. His participation in the program prepared him well for the
rigors of a life in education. The skills obtained during the program allowed
him to positively impact his institution and to successfully compete for and
secure an educational fellowship and research grant. Furthermore, the financial
contribution alleviated the burden he accumulated after a decade of
postsecondary education. Without such support, accepting a full-time faculty
position immediately out of his residency would not have been possible.
Dr. Stewart is
currently an Associate Professor and Orthodontics Graduate Program Director at
Indiana University School of Dentistry. As a tenured faculty member, Dr.
Stewart is motivated by the perpetual pursuit of personal excellence. He
strives each day to become a better educator, clinician, researcher and herald
for dentistry and orthodontics. Moreover, he feels obligated to the profession
and to the many individuals who supported him to serve as a mentor, a beacon of
motivation and a support to those who helped him. He feels that the
profession’s torch has already been placed in his care. It is now his
opportunity and responsibility to serve as a seed sower, cultivator and
sustainer for the next generation. His biggest motivation is to inspire, guide
and assist the next generation to not only dream great dreams but help make
those dreams realities.
Dr. Stewart has
found dental education to be an excellent decision, one that united his innate
passion to help others with the challenges and rewards of patient care,
research and dental administration. He is proud of his legacy of 63 orthodontic
residents who now practice throughout the world delivering quality and
He continues his
research interests through residents and collaboration with colleagues in
engineering, biomechanics, imaging and cephalometrics. He is also studying
postgraduate dental outcomes assessment, with hopes of influencing the manner
by which postgraduate programs select and assess their students.
His advice to others
seeking academic/leadership careers is to “Be intentional with your efforts;
there are many wonderful opportunities ahead of you and your potential impact
on our profession is limitless.”