Dr. James Swift Awarded American Dental Association Distinguished Service Award
Dr. James Swift, director of the Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, was awarded the ADEA Distinguished Service Award from the American Dental Education Association's (ADEA) Annual Session. Awarded only occasionally, the honor recognizes significant contributions to education, research, and the American Dental Educational Association. ADEA is the professional organization representing academic dentistry.
Calling him a "true pioneer with a gift for bringing together diverse groups and interests," ADEA president Ronald J. Hunt wrote that "many believe that Jim's most significant contribution to ADEA and to dental education was his work in promoting the presence of the advanced dental education community in our work."
Dr. Swift's past involvement with the ADEA dates back to his second year of dental school, and has included being the ADEA Vice President for Students, the ADEA Vice President for Hospitals and Advanced Education Programs.
He also served as the ADEA President in 2007, and was a catalyst for bridging the differences between allied, pre-dental and postdoctoral dental education, and for fostering awareness of dental education as a united community. He's been instrumental in ADEA's advocacy work, testifying before both houses of Congress about advances in oral health sciences and describing the ways to support and extend oral health of the public through research and education.
Dr. Swift joined the faculty of the University of Minnesota's School of Dentistry in 1989, where he serves as Professor and Division Director of the Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.
Dr. Swift accepted the award on March 15 at the ADEA annual session and Exhibition in Phoenix, Ariz.
"I was elated," says Swift. "I was completely surprised when I learned of this award. This was a team effort. The real heroes are those in the trenches, doing the day to day tasks in assuring excellence in dental education. My colleagues at the School of Dentistry who carried the ball for me when I was away are tremendous. I am still walking on air. It was the greatest professional achievement that I could have ever hoped for."