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Release: Oct. 8, 2002

UI dental alumni honor Leary, Boyer at annual meeting

The University of Iowa College of Dentistry and the UI Dental Alumni Association will present top honors to Mike Leary, D.D.S., and Dan Boyer, D.D.S., at the alumni association's annual meeting on the UI campus.

Leary, a 1968 graduate of the College and UI professor of family dentistry, will receive the Alumnus of the Year Award. Boyer, a 1970 alumnus and UI professor emeritus of operative dentistry, will be honored as Educator of the Year. The awards will be presented during an alumni banquet Oct. 11.

Born and raised in Keota, Iowa, Leary taught high school math and science before deciding to pursue dentistry. After graduating from dental school at the UI, he completed a general practice residency with the U.S. Army at William Beaumont General Hospital in El Paso, Texas. He remained a reservist upon completing his Army duty and also would go on to serve 25 years with the Iowa Army National Guard.

Leary practiced in Washington, Iowa and in 1975 joined his alma mater as an adjunct faculty member. He entered specialty training in prosthodontics at the UI and received a full-time faculty appointment upon completing the program. Next year he begins phased retirement from the UI.

Students and colleagues have recognized Leary's enthusiasm for teaching and practice with awards that include Instructor of the Year from the UI dental class of 1992 and the Outstanding Service Award from the Iowa Dental Association. He also has twice received the Army Meritorious Service Medal.

Leary and his wife, Karolyn, have two children, James Paul and Kecia, both currently students at the UI.

Boyer, originally from Hartley, Iowa, discovered an interest in research while in dental school at the UI and decided to pursue an academic career. After finishing his dental degree, he earned a doctorate in polymer chemistry at the Polytechnic Institute of New York. His scientific work would focus on dental materials.

In 1974, Boyer and his wife, Marcia, returned to Iowa when he accepted a faculty position with the College of Dentistry's operative dentistry department. He became a respected teacher who helped develop the College's educational facilities, including the Simulation Clinic that today lets beginning dental students learn procedures in a realistic clinical environment.

During his career, Boyer served as acting head of operative dentistry at the UI and a consultant to the American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs and Joint Commission on National Board Examinations. He also was a reviewer for the Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics; the Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry; Dental Materials; and the Journal of Dental Research.

Now retired, he and his wife live in Santa Barbara, Calif.