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Alumni Awards Highlight Distinguished Dentist Reception

The highlight of the 2016 Alumni Weekend Distinguished Dentist Reception is the presentation of the School of Dentistry’s outstanding alumni awards. An awards committee comprised of members of the UAB Dentistry Leadership Council make the selections. The 2015 recipients stand out professionally and personally.

Lyldon StricklandDr. Lyldon Strickland, recipient of the 2015 Distinguished Alumnus Award, brought smiles to thousands of patients through six decades. The 1958 School of Dentistry graduate retired from his Huntsville, Ala general dentistry practice last year, but is still involved in organized dentistry. He also has more time to spend with his wife, Martha Jean, and their large family.

After serving as an Air Force Dentist, Strickland and Martha Jean settled in Huntsville, where they started one of Alabama’s legendary dental pipelines. Their son, Greg, now owns the Whitesburg Drive office where he practiced with Strickland. Their daughter, Stacey Gardner and son-in-law, Steve Gardner, also practice in the Rocket City. Strickland's brother, Joe is an orthodontist, and everyone remembers his other brother, the late Dr. Chalmus Strickland. Strickland's nephew, Scott, is another North Alabama protégé.

Strickland was a pioneer of the Alabama Dental Alumni Association, serving as President in 1964. He was one of the first members of the UAB Dentistry Leadership Council, and also served as President of the Alabama Dental Association and the Alabama Academy of General Dentistry. He’s a member of the International College of Dentists, the American College of Dentists, and the Pierre Fauchard Academy.

Day GatesDr. Day Gates III was named the 2015 Outstanding Young Alumnus. Gates graduated with his D.M.D. from the UAB School of Dentistry in 2007. He then went on to the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry to earn a master’s in prosthodontics, a certificate in the advanced study of prosthodontics, and the surgical implant fellow in prosthodontics.

Gates grew up in Mobile, where he lives with his wife, Andrea, and their two young sons. He practices with his father, W. Day Gates II, but credited his mother, Linda, for much of his success. As a student at UAB, the younger Gates won the William Lionel McCraken Award. At UNC, he was a prosthodontics teaching assistant and clinical instructor. He has published several papers and lectured throughout the south. He is active in several organizations and currently serves as treasurer of the Mobile District Dental Society. He also coordinates a Mobile study club and maintains adjunct faculty status at UNC Chapel Hill. Gates has been very active in the Alumni Association, attending and helping with various events.

Davis appointed to newly-established Health Literacy Partnership of Alabama

Conan DavisGov. Robert Bentley announced April 26 that he had signed an executive order establishing the Health Literacy Partnership of Alabama. The Partnership comprises members from health care-focused agencies and organizations across Alabama. Conan Davis, DMD, UAB Dentistry assistant dean for Community Collaborations and Public Health, was appointed as an inaugural member.

The Health Literacy Partnership of Alabama, created by Executive Order 18, will recommend to the governor ways to improve the health literacy of Alabamians. Recommendations may take the form of regulatory or statutory changes, with initial recommendations due before the start of the 2017 regular session of the Alabama Legislature.

Read more HERE.

School of Dentistry Ranks First in NIDCR Funding for Fourth Straight Year

The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Dentistry is ranked first again in research funding from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. The School has been ranked first since 2012. UAB received more than $13 million in research funding from NIDCR in 2015.

“Four years ago, the School of Dentistry moved from a top 15 position among U.S. dental schools to No. 1,” said Michael S. Reddy, DMD, Dean of the UAB School of Dentistry.

Read more HERE.

Geurs Honored with Weatherford/Palcanis Endowed Professorship

Nico GeursNicolaas (Nico) Geurs, DDS, MS, Professor and Chair of the Department of Periodontology, has been named the First Holder of the Dr. Tommy Weatherford/Dr. Kent Palcanis Endowed Professorship in Dentistry.  The appointment was approved by the Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama at its meeting held this month.  As one of only four endowed professorships established at the UAB School of Dentistry, this is one of our highest honors.

The endowed professorship acknowledges the notable careers of Dr. Weatherford and Dr. Palcanis, two outstanding educators and terrific people who have made a difference in our profession.  It is given in recognition of a full-time periodontist who has a distinguished career in academics and has demonstrated a commitment to and excellence in the areas of teaching, research, and service.

As an oral health leader, Nico embodies the Weatherford/Palcanis commitment to mentorship and has raised the concept of being a professor, leader, and colleague to an art form. 

Read more HERE.

Lawson Earns ADA Investigator Award

Nate LawsonNathaniel (Nate) Lawson, DMD, Assistant Professor in the Division of Biomaterials, received the 2015 John W. Stanford New Investigator Award by the American Dental Association for his research project examining methods used to measure effectiveness of new dental composite materials used in crowns, cavities and other dental repairs.  The prestigious ADA award acknowledges the original research that dental students and new dentists produce in the area of dental standards.  Before becoming an assistant professor, Lawson earned both his DMD in 2011 and his Ph.D. in biomedical engineering in 2012 at UAB.

Read more HERE.

UAB School of Dentistry Student Named Inaugural Alabama Schweitzer Fellow

Aissatou Barry BlockerPhoto credit:
Kenzie Greer
UAB Digital Media
First year dental student Aissatou Barry-Blocker will teach simple steps in personal nutrition that can improve the oral health, and potentially reduce heart disease and diabetes, in the Hispanic and Latin communities. Barry-Blocker, recently selected as part of the inaugural class of the Alabama Schweitzer Fellows, will spend the next year improving community health and developing lifelong leadership skills critical to affecting larger-scale change among vulnerable populations. In doing so, she will follow the example set by famed physician-humanitarian Albert Schweitzer, for whom the Fellowship is named. Barry-Blocker’s project, nutrition education sessions, will coincide with the regularly scheduled health screenings Cahaba Valley Health Care (CVHC) conducts in target Hispanic and Latin communities.

“We are so pleased to bring The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship to Alabama. Our program has a ripple effect in communities as Schweitzer Fellows improve the lives not only of those they are directly serving, but their circle of family and friends as well. So there is a lasting community impact,” said Sylvia Stevens-Edouard, Executive Director of The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship.

The Alabama Schweitzer program is housed in the School of Medicine, in partnership with The University of Alabama at Birmingham Schools of Dentistry, Health Professions, Nursing, and Public Health. The Alabama chapter is ASF’s 14th U.S.-based program. In total, sixteen graduate students from universities throughout Alabama were selected as 2016-17 fellows. “We are extremely proud of our inaugural class of Schweitzer Fellows. There was great interest in the program, and we are excited to see what our talented students accomplish over the next 12 months,” said Kristin Boggs, Director of the Alabama chapter of The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship.

Barry-Blocker will join approximately 240 other 2016-17 Schweitzer Fellows working at program sites around the United States, as well as one in Lambaréné, Gabon at the site of The Albert Schweitzer Hospital, founded by Dr. Schweitzer in 1913. Upon completion of the Fellowship year, Barry-Blocker and her class of 2016-17 Alabama Schweitzer Fellows will become Schweitzer Fellows for Life and join a vibrant network of more than 3,200 Schweitzer alumni who are skilled in, and committed to, addressing the health needs of underserved people throughout their careers.

Read more HERE.