Dr. Okeson, a researcher, clinician and long-time faculty member, has served as interim dean since September 2019.
“Dr. Okeson has made invaluable contributions to the profession at the state, regional, national and international levels through continuing education and other scholarly activities,” said University of Kentucky Provost David Blackwell in a news release. “He is passionate about continuing to enhance the college’s strong reputation.”
According to the college of dentistry, Dr. Okeson has been a full-time faculty member at the university for 45 years. He has served in various leadership roles, including as chief of the Division of Orofacial Pain and the director of the UK Orofacial Pain Clinic, which he founded in 1977. Dr. Okeson also served as chair of the Department of Oral Health Science.
Dr. Okeson has received numerous awards including being named as the International Dentist of the Year by the Academy of Dentistry International in recognition of his efforts and research in orofacial pain, and the first-ever Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Dentistry. He received his dental degree from the University of Kentucky in 1972.
“I am very honored to have the opportunity to lead our college through these challenging times and into the future,” Dr. Okeson said in a news release. “We have a very strong and dedicated faculty and staff to support the learning of a bright and enthusiastic group of students, and with this excellent team, I am certain we will continue to be leaders in dental education and the profession.”