5 Questions With ... Dr. Cameron Jeter

Cameron B. Jeter, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Diagnostic and Biomedical Sciences
University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston

1. What drew you to dental education?

As a Ph.D. graduate student, I served as a teaching assistant to dental students in neuroanatomy lab. Prompted by one of the dental students, the course director invited me to give a lecture, which to my delight concluded with applause from the class. Thus, I was primed for years later when the retiring course director asked me to apply for his open position. I was hired.

2. What makes you excited to go to work each day?

Academic freedom ... freedom for scholars in teaching, learning, research, publication and service. I value the rights and responsibilities that accompany my freedom to discover and teach truth. I encourage everyone to read the very short Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure by the American Association of University Professors.

3. What's the best career advice you ever received?

“Are you disappointing the right people?” by Allison Vaillancourt in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Sept. 20, 2013, which encourages you to ask the following questions before saying “yes”:

  • Will this activity move me toward my long-term goals?
  • Will this activity be energizing, or will it suck the life out of me?
  • Will anyone notice or care if I am missing?
  • Will this choice disappoint the right people? (Answer of yes or no will impact someone, family included.)

4. What’s something you think you’ll never understand?

God’s goodness and His sacrifice for me. Importantly, not understanding something doesn't make it untrue. As a basic scientist, I view faith not unlike scientific inquiry. I discover a fact through valid sources and/or experiments and spend years learning more about its innerworkings.

5. What's your favorite TV show—and why?

Home Town on HGTV. As a busy professor and mom, any show I watch must be standalone episodes in which the plot doesn't continue in the next episode, because it may be weeks before I can watch again. Hosts Ben and Erin Napier love their hometown of Laurel, MS, and remodel old homes for new residents. Always funny, uplifting and beautiful, this show leaves me carefree and happy.