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ASDA honors former ADA President Jeffrey M. Cole with 2020 Paragon Award

March 13, 2020

By Kimber Solana

Photo of Dr. Cole
Honor: Dr. Jeffrey M. Cole, who served as ADA president 2018-19, accepts the 2020 Paragon Award during ASDA's March 7 annual session in St. Louis.
St. Louis — The American Student Dental Association awarded Dr. Jeffrey M. Cole, who served as ADA president 2018-19, with the 2020 Paragon Award during its March 7 annual session in St. Louis.
   
Considered the highest and most notable award given by ASDA, the organization says it recognizes an individual who has significantly contributed to the advancement of the rights, interests and welfare of dental students throughout his or her career.
   
“Countless dental students have benefitted from Dr. Cole’s guidance and friendship,” said ASDA president Craig McKenzie. “He ensures students are prepared and excited for lifelong involvement in organized dentistry.”
   
Dr. Cole has served as a mentor for many dental students over the years, according to ASDA in a news release. Recently, he spearheaded a joint meeting between ASDA and the American Dental Association leadership at the 2019 ADA Dentist and Student Lobby Day.
   
“This award has even more significance because I am not a dean, nor on faculty of a dental school, but in private practice,” Dr. Cole said in a news release. “There is an important message here for dental students as they grow professionally. It is not necessarily a position they may hold, but instead their passion, their commitment and their desire to help others that is most important and that results in making the biggest difference in a person’s life.”

Dr. Cole is the immediate past president of the American Dental Association. He is past trustee of the ADA 4th District, former chair of the ADA Budget and Finance Committee, former member of the ADA Council on Dental Practice, former chair of the ADA Strategic Planning Committee and the ADA Business Model Project Oversight. He is also the past president of the Academy of General Dentistry, past president of the Delaware State Dental Society, and a member of the American College of Dentists, Delta Sigma Delta International Dental Fraternity, and the International College of Dentists.