Kelton T. Stewart, M.S., D.D.S.

Kelton T. Stewart, MS, 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.

Throughout his 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 compassionate care.

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.”