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2021 Gies Awards @Home

Thank you

Thank you for joining us for the 2021 Gies Awards @Home virtual program!

For information on the 2022 Gies Awards nominations and event, visit the ADEAGies Foundation website

We look forward to seeing you next year!


  • Mert Aksu, D.D.S., J.D., MHSA

    Gies Award for Vision – Dental Educator

  • California Dental Association

    Gies Award for Achievement – Public or Private Partner

  • M. Franklin Dolwick, D.M.D., Ph.D.

    Gies Award for Innovation – Dental Educator

  • Paul Gates, D.D.S., M.B.A.

    Gies Award for Achievement – Dental Educator

  • Irvin Silverstein, D.D.S., M.Sc. Ed.

    Gies Award for Achievement – Dental Educator

  • Texas A&M College of Dentistry

    Gies Award for Vision – Academic Dental Institution

  • University of Toronto Faculty of Dentistry

    Gies Award for Achievement – Academic Dental Institution

  • Mary E. Williard, D.D.S.

    Gies Award for Achievement – Dental Educator

The 2021 honorees represent the spirit of service and excellence that embodies the ADEAGies Foundation and the Gies Awards. They exemplify the best in dental education and oral health. The quotes below are from leaders in our community and demonstrate the indelible impact that the awardees have made. 

Mert Aksu, D.D.S., J.D., MHSA
Gies Award for Vision – Dental Educator

"Dean Mert N. Aksu is deserving of the Dental Educator award for Vision evident of his transformational leadership approach, which has resulted in substantial contributions to dental education, the advancement of oral health and access to care. Dean Aksu can predict areas of concern and untoward events while quickly conceptualizing and implementing solutions. His forward-thinking and outcome- based solutions may initially seem unconventional. However, the outcome results in educating evidence- based, practice-ready oral health care professionals who distinguish themselves by their ability to lead in the successful delivery of care today and meet tomorrow’s changing needs."

"The hallmark of a visionary leader is the talent to mobilize people towards a goal. The leadership style includes the ability to articulate, educate, and persuade stakeholders to follow. Dean Aksu embodies those qualities. Dean Aksu has been associated with the Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry since 1993. Throughout his career, he addressed challenges in a forward-looking manner. His impact on the School of Dentistry began with initiatives that contributed to the School’s clinical and business model successes to his most recent management of the effect of COVID-19 on patient care and student educational experiences."

Pamela Zarkowski, J.D., M.P.H.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Kathi Shepherd, RDH, M.S.
Assistant Dean, Educational Development

Kimberly Raleigh, RDH, M.H.S.A.
Director of Alumni Relations

California Dental Association
Gies Award for Achievement – Public or Private Partner

"For more than 150 years, the CDA has been an effective advocate for oral health across the state of California and beyond, working to support dental education, access to oral health care and the profession as a whole. Their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic to advocate for a new pathway to timely licensure for dental students is the latest example of how the CDA – through its enduring partnership and collaboration – has kept oral health and the practice of dentistry moving forward."

"By licensing hundreds of newly trained dentists into the workforce, the CDA and its partners not only ensured that millions of Californians would continue to receive the oral health care they need, but that our dental students could continue with their post-graduation plans with the confidence they could obtain a license to practice. Their achievement has also ensured that future graduating dental students will be able to use the newly adopted manikin-based exam for licensure. Ultimately, this has improved our state licensure process by permanently eliminating the ethically questionable patient-based licensure exam – a longstanding goal of UCSF, the CDA and other dental schools."

Michael S. Reddy, D.M.D., D.M.Sc.
University of California, San Francisco, School of Dentistry

M. Franklin Dolwick, D.M.D., Ph.D.
Gies Award for Innovation – Dental Educator

"Dr. Dolwick’s career, which spans over 40 years of creating new knowledge, facilitating the translation of science to practice, teaching and applying lessons learned from decades caring for patients has enhanced and brought value to dental education, to the dental profession, to the specialty of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, and to scores of dentists, surgeons and leaders."

"Dr. Dolwick is known nationally and internationally as an innovator in the development of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) arthography and surgical procedures for TMJ internal derangement. He has served the specialty of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMFS) extensively, as well as the college, university and the nation."

"He is often the 'last hope' for patients from all over the U.S. seeking his help for intractable pain or failed TMJ treatment. Many of these patients are debilitated, hopeless, and unable to work or function normally. Under his leadership, his department is known as a place that will provide top-quality care to everyone regardless of their ability to pay. Indeed, the culture of compassion and caring Dr. Dolwick has created is known across his specialty and attracts an exemplary cohort of young men and women that we consider 'Dolwick’s academic children.'"

A. Isabel Garcia, D.D.S., M.P.H.
University of Florida College of Dentistry

Paul Gates, D.D.S., M.B.A.

Gies Award for Achievement – Dental Educator

“For decades, Dr. Gates has led dental and advanced dental education with passion for ensuring a diverse workforce and commitment to the underserved.”

“BronxCare Health System’s identity is built on a tradition of community service and accomplishments in 'caring for the Bronx.' Nearly 100,000 patients will receive dental care at BronxCare’s six different sites. In addition to providing oral health care, Dr. Gates led the development of programs to improve nutrition, educate mothers on the relationship of oral health to pregnancy, and combat the growing problem of opioid abuse and addiction.”

"At BronxCare Health System, Dr. Gate’s commitments have aligned with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) goal to improve health outcomes and address health disparities through access to quality services, a skilled health workforce, and innovative, high-value programs. Since 1990, this alignment resulted in a series of funded initiatives totaling well over $11,000,000. Dr. Gates used this funding to expand residency programs, provide faculty loan repayment, improve the Department of Dentistry’s facilities and services, and, beginning in 2010, launch oral health leadership development programs for residents and faculty that continued until this year."

“Dr. Gates has made a substantial and lasting impact on oral health and dental education. He also enjoys the respect of countless patients, residents, faculty, and colleagues he has influenced and mentored over his career.”

N. Karl Haden, Ph.D.

Irvin Silverstein, D.D.S., M.Sc. Ed.
Gies Award for Achievement – Dental Educator

“Dr. Irvin Silverstein is a true educator and humanitarian who embodies the highest principles of commitment to humanity and alleviation of human suffering.”

“Dr. Silverstein’s efforts are innovative, creative and unique. In a city where there is no dental school, he developed a sustainable model where the underserved could obtain comprehensive dental care at no cost, where dentists can give back to their community, and where students could learn first-hand about dentistry, the lack of access to care and the importance of volunteerism. He has had a direct impact on patients who receive care, dental professionals, and pre-dental students. His over-riding purpose is to positively impact everyone around him locally and globally. These clinics have been visited by 4 ADA past presidents who have called them a model for outreach.”

“It was his vision that enabled these clinics to grow from two free clinics that operated intermittently to the four free clinics that they are today. With over 37,212 patient visits, these clinics have provided more than $10.7 million dollars of free care to the working poor, homeless, and veterans who would otherwise, lack access to care.”

Ellen Beck, M.D.
Clinical Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Public Health
Founding Director, UCSD Student-Run Free Dental Clinic Project
University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine

Texas A&M College of Dentistry
Gies Award for Vision – Academic Dental Institution

“Visionary leadership has led Texas A&M College of Dentistry’s success as a model for diversity and inclusion. Nearly 25 years before cultural competency and diversity were addressed in the accreditation standards, the College of Dentistry initiated programs to encourage and support diversity in student enrollment, retention and graduation; and foster an inclusive institutional climate.”

“Visionary leaders are changemakers because their success is fostered by a participatory process. We listened to our students, faculty and staff, and learned that to actuate our vision for a thriving, diverse environment, we needed to do more than simply meet matriculation and recruitment goals. We had to ensure that all our students, staff and faculty believed they belonged. We needed to have support systems in place to facilitate their success. We needed to offer all members of our campus community the opportunity to increase their cultural competence and expand their capacity to engage with people who have backgrounds and life experiences different from their own. Hearing, affirming and responding continue to be paramount to our success.”

Lawrence E. Wolinsky, Ph.D., D.M.D., FACD, FICD
Texas A&M University College of Dentistry

University of Toronto Faculty of Dentistry
Gies Award for Achievement – Academic Dental Institution

“The bedrock of the UTFoD research excellence is its everlasting microculture that fosters multi- disciplinary research borne out of the vision and commitment of its leadership who sought to continually advance the profession through the creation of knowledge. UTFoD has, and continues to, recruit and train talent across oral and non-oral health disciplines and encourages the idiosyncratic ideas of its scholars, often necessary to achieve great leaps. Through these actions, UTFoD has built a disruptive runway to lead to its achievement in research excellence that spans beyond oral health and opened new avenues to explore the mechanistic basis of health and diseases to lead to their improved diagnosis and management.”

“The continuity of the UTFoD’s success lies in its ability to maintain the momentum going forward. To this end, it continues to empower its next generation of scholars to achieve future successes for instance, through the establishment of numerous government-funded training initiatives. Under the perceptive direction and dogged efforts of the dental school leadership, the UTFoD won an unprecedented award from the Canadian government in 2016 to transform its entire research space into a modern state-of-the-art facility to infuse new possibilities into its research enterprise.”

Daniel Haas, D.D.S., Ph.D., FRCD(C)
University of Toronto Faculty of Dentistry

Mary E. Williard, D.D.S.
Gies Award for Achievement – Dental Educator

"Dr. Williard is a commissioned dental officer in Indian Health Service (IHS). About 20 years ago, while stationed in Bethel, Alaska, she and a small group of other forward-thinking individuals were introduced to the dental therapy provider and immediately saw its potential in addressing the acute dental health needs in Alaska. ... [H]er innovation, perseverance and bravery while coalescing members of the community [brought] an evidence based, high quality, cost effective, efficient and culturally appropriate model of providing oral disease prevention, education and treatment to underserved populations. Most importantly, the program’s focus is not on recruiting external providers to communities but training culturally and linguistically fluent community members to meet their community’s oral health needs."

"In August of 2020, the Commission on Dental Accreditation awarded full accreditation status to the Iḷisaġvik College’s Alaska Dental Therapy Educational Program, under Dr. Williard’s continuing leadership, becoming the first dental therapy educational program to receive full accreditation from CODA. This is an incredibly powerful achievement that will have a long-term impact on the oral health of so many underserved individuals across the country but also on dental education in general."

"Because of Dr Willard’s efforts in Alaska, but also because of the consultation and inspiration she has provided to others, 12 states now have passed legislation incorporating the dental therapist model into their dental practice statutes and rules. Her persistence and her insistence on quality driven education of dental therapists as well as her work on behalf of dental therapist education standards adopted by the Commission on Dental Accreditation is paving the way for the expansion and extension of community health centers and other nonprofit and government dental programs into communities and populations heretofore previously underserved."

Larry Hill, D.D.S., M.P.H.
Caswell Evans, D.D.S., M.P.H.
Frank Catalanotto, D.M.D.
National Coalition of Dentists for Health Equity

March 12, 2021
Fri 4:30 PM EST

Duration 1H 15M

This live web event has ended.