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Dental epidemiologist, student receive Whiston awards

October 01, 2018

By Kelly Ganski

Dr. Fleming
Dr. Fleming
An Indiana University dental student and a public health resident at Boston University are the 2018 recipients of the ADA Foundation Dr. David Whiston Leadership awards from the ADA Foundation.

Dr. Eleanor Fleming, a dentist with a Ph.D., received the ADAF Henry Schein Cares Dr. David Whiston Leadership Award, and dental student Mary (Aly) Ricker received the ADAF Dr. David Whiston Leadership Award. Each will receive $5,000 for demonstrating leadership skills in efforts aimed at improving the oral health of the public. The award funds are designed to cover the costs associated with attending a leadership development program offered by the American Management Association.

Ms. Ricker
Ms. Ricker
Ms. Ricker, who will graduate with her dental degree in 2019, is active in a variety of Indiana University School of Dentistry efforts including the school’s Student Outreach Clinic and serves in a variety of roles with the school’s American Dental Education Association chapter.

“I hope to use this award to strengthen my leadership skills during my final year of dental school and take those skills into a residency program,” said Ms. Ricker, who will graduate in 2019 then pursue a residency in periodontics. “The wide variety of leadership programs that are available through this scholarship will help me to hone my leadership abilities and learn to effectively communicate and positively influence my peers, patients, and any others that view me as a leader currently or may view me as a leader in the future.”

Dr. Fleming is an adjunct assistant professor in the department of dental public health at Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry and a dental epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She said she’s focused the past few years on leadership development.

“The award will certainly help me to fine-tune my leadership style and learn new tools that I can apply in my work,” Dr. Fleming said. “I am confident that thanks to the Whiston Award, I will be a better public health dentist and a more empowered leader.”

The Foundation created the awards in 2014 to honor Dr. Whiston, who served as ADA president from 1997-98, ADA trustee from 1992-96 and president of the Foundation from 2010-14. Individuals must be a dental student, graduate student, resident enrolled in an accredited dental school education program or an early career dentist under 40 in his or her first five years of professional work following a residency; and have held a position within dentistry where he or she has demonstrated leadership skills.

For more information or to make a donation, visit ADAFoundation.org.