AAE Hands Out Prestigious Awards at Annual Meeting in LA


AAE Hands Out Prestigious Awards at Annual Meeting in LA | Image Credit: © American Association of Endodontists

As part of the American Association of Endodontists’ (AAE) annual meeting, AAE24, last week in Los Angeles, the association formally presented its prestigious awards to recipients on April 20.

Six clinicians were honored at the event as part of the annual meeting that took place from April 17-20. Also, the AAE announced Natasha M. Flake, DDS, PhD, MSD, as its new president during the meeting.

The award winners, along with background provided by the AAE, are as follows:

The Edgar D. Coolidge Award for 2024 is awarded to Gerald N. Glickman, DDS, MS, MBA, JD.
After earning degrees in microbiology and being awarded a 3-year Teaching Assistantship, Dr Glickman received a DDS from the Ohio State University in 1978 and went on to receive a G.P.R. Certificate from the University of Florida College of Dentistry in 1979. After a couple of years of teaching and clinical practice, he attended Northwestern University School of Dentistry and received a Certificate and MS in Endodontics in 1984. After receiving an American Fund for Dental Health Teaching Training Fellowship, it was Dr. Edward Osetek, his program director at Northwestern, who mentored and inspired him to pursue a career in academic endodontics and to “get involved in the AAE.”

He took that advice and from 1984 through 1993, Dr Glickman was appointed Director of Predoctoral Endodontics at Baylor College of Dentistry. In 1993, he was then appointed Director of Endodontics at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. In 1998, he moved back to Texas and became Chairman of the Department of Stomatology (which included Endodontics, Periodontics, Oral Radiology, Oral Pathology, and Emergency Care) and Director of Graduate Endodontics at the University of Texas Dental School at Houston. In 2001, Dr Glickman moved west and was appointed Chairman of the Department of Endodontics at the University of Washington School of Dentistry. After only 2 years, the lure of Texas brought him back to Chair the Department of Endodontics at Texas A & M School of Dentistry. After 18 years as Chair, he stepped down and then retired as Full Professor in early 2023.

Throughout these 40 years in full-time academia, Dr Glickman provided extensive service within the AAE and beyond. Within the association, he served on the Educational Affairs Committee including Chair, Research and Scientific Affairs Committee including Chair, Continuing Education Committee, Glossary Committee including Chair, Strategic Planning, as well as numerous Ad Hoc committees. He served 6 years as a Director of the American Board of Endodontics, serving as its President in 2003. Dr Glickman organized and facilitated the first ever Symposium on Endodontic Diagnosis in 2008 and became President of the AAE the following year where his theme on access to care generated a major event using AAE faculty and residents who provided over $100K free endodontic care to patients in need. Dr. Alan Gluskin, program chair for Dr Glickman’s year as president, was instrumental in working with USC who provided dental vans and equipment for the access to care event that was held during the annual session in San Diego.

In addition to service to the AAE, Dr Glickman is a graduate of the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) Leadership Institute and was elected president of ADEA in 2012 where his theme was “life-long learning.” Over the next few years, he led the national task force that developed contemporary competencies for the new general dentist, a document that is now used by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and dental schools for developing their own set of competencies. From 2016 to 2018, he was selected to be on ADA’s Council on Dental Education and Licensure (CDEL) and became Chair in 2018. Within the realm of all of these aforementioned leadership roles and still working full-time, Dr Glickman was still able to “emulate” his life-long learning by earning an MBA from SMU Cox School of Business in 1988 followed by a JD from Texas Wesleyan University School of Law (now Texas A & M) in 1994.

He has lectured extensively throughout the world on endodontics and risk management including in Taiwan, Chile, Spain, Brazil, Holland, Turkey, Canada, Thailand, Jordan, Iran, and Saudi Arabia; in addition, he has authored/co-authored over 75 manuscripts as well as 25 book chapters including Surgical Endodontics in the last edition of Ingle’s Endodontics. Dr Glickman was an invited contributor to the 2022 Surgeon’s General Report on Oral Health. He holds fellowships in the American College of Dentists, International College of Dentists, and the American College of Legal Medicine. Although retired from full-time teaching, he remains very active: he is currently involved with the AAPD Workgroup in collaboration with the AAE for developing guidelines for vital pulp therapy on young permanent teeth, is a member of the CODA review committee for graduate endodontic education, will be first author for the Endo-Perio chapter for the next edition of Pathways of the Pulp, is a member of the test construction committee for the Integrated National Dental Boards, is an examiner for oral portion of the ABE, is an Associate Editor of the JOE, and is currently President of the College of Diplomates of the ABE. For this honoree, the learning and the giving continues on.

The Ralph F. Sommer Award for 2024 is awarded to James L. Gutmann, DDS, PhD
Dr Gutmann is Professor Emeritus in Endodontics/Restorative Sciences, Texas A&M University College of Dentistry, Dallas, Texas. He received his DDS from Marquette University School of Dentistry in 1970 and his Endodontic Certificate of Advanced Specialty Education from the University of Illinois (UIC) in 1972. In 2023 he received the UIC Alumni Achievement Award.

Dr Gutmann is a Diplomate of the American Board of Endodontics, Honorary Diplomate of the Indian Diplomate Board of Endodontics, Past President of the American Association of Endodontists and Past President of the American Academy of the History of Dentistry. He presently serves as the editor of the Journal of the History of Dentistry. He is the recipient of both the IB Bender Lifetime Educator Award and the Edgar D. Coolidge Award, the highest honor bestowed by the AAE. He has presented over 850 lectures, papers, and continuing education courses in the United States and 54 foreign countries. Additionally, he has authored or co-authored over 400 articles in dental journals that address scientific, research, educational, historical, and clinical topics and 3 textbooks. He has taught full time for over 30 years at 4 major universities.

The Edward M. Osetek Educator Award for 2024 is awarded to Nikita B. Ruparel, DDS, MS, PhD
Dr Ruparel is a Board-Certified endodontist who holds multiple roles at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. She serves as the director of the Advanced Education Program in Endodontics, as well as the clinical director of Endodontics. Additionally, she runs an Orofacial Pain Research Program. Having earned her doctoral (PhD) and DDS degrees at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Dr Ruparel received her Endodontics certificate in 2013.

She has been recognized for her outstanding commitment to academics, being a recipient of the Foundation for Endodontics Educator Fellowship in 2018. Moreover, she was awarded the 2024 Presidential Award for Sustained Teaching Excellence, and nominated for the 2022 Regent’s Outstanding Teaching Award by the Dean of the School of Dentistry. Dr Ruparel plays a vital role in training future dental professionals, engaging in both didactic and clinical training for graduate endodontic, prosthodontic, and pediatric residents, and delivering lectures to predoctoral dental students. Her dedication to research mentorship extends to dental students and residents, as well as master’s and PhD students. She was the recipient of The Distinguished Research Mentor award in 2019 by the School of Dentistry at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Dr Ruparel’s research endeavors focus on stem cell applications for dental pain management and the differential regulation of the trigeminal system in patients suffering from dental pain, utilizing basic science, molecular, and bioinformatics approaches. For her contributions, she has received $2.3M in funding from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, publications in high-impact peer-reviewed journals, and was honored with the 2020 Women in Science award from the International Association of Dental Research. Dr Ruparel is committed to a long-term career in education and academics. Alongside her academic pursuits, she maintains an active clinical practice in endodontics. She also holds editorial roles, serving as the associate editor for Scientific Reports and Frontiers in Dental Medicine. Dr Ruparel has served as a Track Organizer, Program-vice Chair, Program Chair, and General Chair of the AAE from 2017-2020.

The I. B. Bender Lifetime Educator Award for 2024 is awarded to William T. Johnson, DDS, MS
Following graduation with a BA degree from Drake University, Dr Johnson received his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Iowa College of Dentistry in 1975. From 1975 to 1977 he served in the United States Army as a General Dental Officer in Reynolds Army Hospital at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Dr Johnson received his Certificate of Specialization in Endodontics and Master of Science Degree from the University of Iowa in 1981.

As a dental specialist, he has made a 45-year career in teaching, research and service in dental education. His initial faculty appointment was at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry (1983) where he taught for 8 years and was Program Director and Chair of the Department of Endodontics from 1988 to 1991. In 1991 he returned to the University of Iowa to Direct the Advanced Education Program in Endodontics. In 2003 he was appointed Departmental Executive Officer (Chair) for the Department of Endodontics at Iowa.

In 2006 Dr Johnson was awarded the Richard E. Walton Endodontic Professorship by the University of Iowa Provost, the seventh endowed professorship in the 125-year history of the University of Iowa College of Dentistry. From 2000 to 2004 he represented the College of Dentistry on the University of Iowa Faculty Senate. For over 20 years he maintained an appointment at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and served as a consultant to the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Iowa City. Upon retiring in 2018 he was granted the rank of Professor Emeriti by the Provost’s Office. Dr Johnson has published over 40 manuscripts in referred journals and numerous book chapters. In 2002 his textbook, Color Atlas of Endodontics was published by W.B. Saunders Company and was translated into Italian (Verduci Editore, Rome, Italy) and Korean (Daehan Publishing, Seoul, Korea). He has authored chapters in Pathways of the Pulp (9th – 12th editions) as well as Principles and Practice of Endodontics (4th Edition). Dr Johnson has lectured extensively on the local, state, national, and international levels, and is a reviewer for Special Care Dentistry, the Journal of Endodontics, and Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Radiology and Endodontics.

Dr Johnson served as Secretary, Program Chair, Chair of the Endodontic Section of the American Dental Education Association (American Association of Dental Schools) from 1989-1992 and was Councilor for the section from 2000-2003. He has also served 4 years (2003-2007) on the ADEA Council of Hospitals and Advanced Education Programs representing the American Association of Endodontists. Dr Johnson has 24 years of military service and served as an endodontic consultant to the Army programs at Fort Gordon and Fort Bragg. In 1993 he was awarded the “A” Proficiency Designator, the highest award for professional achievement given by the Office of the Surgeon General, United States Army. He has received the Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf cluster, the Army Achievement Medal, an Overseas Service Medal, a National Defense Medal, an Army Service Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, and State Service Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters. In 1995 Dr Johnson retired from the Iowa Army National Guard with the rank of Brigadier General.

Dr Johnson has served on numerous committees within the AAE, with responsibilities ranging from educational affairs to annual meeting planning, to developing proposed revisions to standards for advanced education programs in endodontics, to defining competency standards for endodontic care, and much more. He has served as AAE Annual Meeting general chair, District Director, and President (2011-2012). He has served as a Trustee for the Foundation for Endodontics, and served 2 terms as President of the American Board of Endodontics.

The Spirit of Service Career Dental Community Volunteer Award for 2024 is awarded to Maria C. Maranga, D.D.S.
Dr Maranga received her DDS degree and her endodontic specialty degree from NYU College of Dentistry. Besides private practice, she has served as a consultant to the V.A.M.C. and is an attending to 4 GPR residency programs, post grad endodontic program and has been on the dental faculty of both NYU and Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine and on the medical staff at NYU Langone. She is a past president of the Suffolk County Dental Society, A twice past President of the AAE-NYS Association, and a past vice president of the American Dental Association.

She also held a 3-year term as a board trustee of the AAE and a 4-year term as a board trustee for the AAE Foundation. She is a past chair of the ADA’s Council on Membership. She is a current board member of EDPAC, ADPAC, ADA’s Give Vets A Smile Committee, NYSDA Council on Dental Health Planning and Hospital Dentistry and the current Chairperson of the NYS Dental Foundation. She was twice honored as “Top 50 Businesswomen on Long Island”, the Mentorship Award by the Lucy Hobbs Project and Dental Products Report magazine’s Top 25 Women in Dentistry. She has also been the recipient of the Bernard Tillis Literary Excellence Award in the NYS Dental Journal. She is a graduate of the ADA’s Institute on Diversity and Inclusion and then Academic Affairs Director and the Membership Director of the American Association of Women Dentists. Most notably, she is the co-founder of the double award-winning SCRUBS AND STILETTOS, a 15-year annual women’s C.E. and networking event.

The Spirit of Service New Practitioner Dental Community Volunteer Award for 2024 is awarded to Katherine A. Divine, DDS, MS
Dr Divine is a board-certified endodontist in Rochester, Minn., working full-time in private practice. She also teaches clinical endodontics monthly at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry for graduate endodontic residents. Dr Divine continues to serve as the New Practitioner Trustee on the Foundation for Endodontics Board since 2021 and after completing a 3-year term as a member on the Membership Engagement Committee she is now serving as the Committee Chair. Dr Divine completed her dental school and endodontics residency at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. She practiced endodontics for 4 years in Boise, Idaho following completion of her endodontics residency in 2018. While there, she volunteered with the Idaho State Dental Association and founded the Idaho Association of Endodontics, an AAE-affiliate chapter.

After returning to Minnesota, she was asked to serve on the Executive Council of her local dental society and as a member on the Minnesota Dental Association’s Membership Committee, partake in the inaugural Leadership Academy, and serve as the Endo Lead for the upcoming Mission of Mercy. Beyond 2 publications in the Journal of Endodontics, Dr Divine is also a contributing author to the upcoming 3rd Edition of the Dental Pulp textbook.



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