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Release: Oct. 24, 2000

UI College of Dentistry alumni name adjunct faculty Educators of the Year

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Dental Alumni Association has named all past and present UI College of Dentistry adjunct faculty members Educators of the Year. The association will recognize adjunct faculty -- including nearly 80 Iowa dentists who currently teach part time for the college -- at its annual meeting on Oct. 27.

Usually, the Educator of the Year Award goes to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to dental education. This year, however, UI dental alumni and College of Dentistry administrators chose to honor all the practicing dentists who provide students with lessons no textbook could deliver.

"Adjunct faculty offer a wealth of knowledge and experience to the College of Dentistry," said David Johnsen, D.D.S., dean of the college. "As professionals with firsthand knowledge of the challenges of establishing and maintaining practices, they provide opportunities to discuss wide-ranging topics, such as how to choose a dental lab and how to hire staff."

Service rather than money motivates adjunct faculty members. The modest compensation they receive for teaching does not compare to what they could earn seeing patients in their offices. Some also travel long distances to teach on the UI campus.

But being involved in education brings rewards as well. Adjunct faculty members have opportunities to discuss cases and ideas with colleagues and to develop a sense of camaraderie. They often discover cutting-edge technology and procedures before they become commonplace in dental offices.

"In reading student comments, I am continually struck by the appreciation of our students for the fine work of our adjunct faculty," Johnsen said. "It also is heartwarming to hear how much satisfaction our adjunct faculty receive from their involvement. They make an enormous positive difference."