Five UF College of Dentistry faculty received recent UF Faculty Enhancement Opportunity (FEO) awards. Congratulations to Abimbola Adewumi, B.D.S., F.D.S.R.C.S. (Eng), M.Ped., DentRSC (Eng); Sharon Cooper, M.S., M.S.Ed., Ph.D., R.D.H.; Josephine Esquivel-Upshaw, D.M.D., M.S.; Karl Soderholm, D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D.; and Timothy Wheeler, D.M.D., Ph.D.
Abimbola Adewumi, B.D.S., F.D.S.R.C.S. (Eng), M.Ped., DentRSC (Eng), an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry, will attend the Academy for Academic Leaders (AAL) Institute at the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry. The ADEA/AAL Institute for Teaching and Learning (ITL) Program for Dental School Faculty is a professional development program designed to prepare dentists and dental educators for successful academic careers. The two-phase program helps faculty refine their teaching skills, enhance the quality of their interactions with students, and gain competencies in didactic and clinical teaching skills.
Sharon Cooper, M.S., M.S.Ed., Ph.D., R.D.H., is an associate in the Department of Operative Dentistry and the director of the Oral Health Maintenance Clinic. She received a FEO award that will allow her the time and funding for consultation with experts in the field of educational research design, writing, and publication. Her ultimate goal is to expand on her original doctoral research on dental faculty perceptions of workplace environment and develop a more complete analysis of the data for the college and the American Dental Education Association.
The information can be used as a basis for decision-making regarding environmental improvements that would contribute to recruitment and retention of dental faculty in the college, and possibly in other academic dental settings.
Josephine Esquivel-Upshaw, D.M.D., M.S., is a professor in the Department of Prosthodontics and will use the FEO funding to provide an electronics and software system upgrade to a testing machine, the Instron. The Instron simulates fatigue testing of different materials to determine their strength under different conditions. Her FEO will also allow her to attend a series of four training modules so she can master the operations of the machine for her own testing, and be able to provide expert assistance to other users in the college and from other colleges and disciplines within the university.
Karl Soderholm, D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Operative Dentistry, will apply his FEO funding to purchase specialized software, SolidWorks and COMSOL, and receive associated training to generate clinically-relevant 3D models. The computer-generated models are used for analyzing mechanical stresses and allow researchers to simulate different clinical conditions and share information with faculty and students about how different clinical procedures can be improved by changing different design principles.
In addition, the simulations can be combined with laboratory tests to develop a better understanding of clinically relevant parameters such as the ability of a restorative material to bond to tooth surfaces. The preliminary data can then be used for future NIH-NIDCR applications.
Timothy Wheeler, D.M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Orthodontics and the Academy 100 Eminent Scholar Chair, will
use his FEO to attend a week-long course, Orthodontic Treatment based on Occlusal Plane Control: A Key for Successful Treatment of Different Types of Malocclusion with or without Dysfunctional Problems, in San Francisco, Ca., in August. The course teaches techniques that reduce the need for surgery and extractions to treat anterior open-bite and the Class III malocclusion, and reduces the overall treatment time.
Wheeler plans to eventually submit an NIH-NIDCR proposal for a prospective clinical trial to examine the efficacy and the stability of this type of correction over the traditional surgical correction. He believes that the cost savings to the health care system, the patient and the reduction in morbidity would be significant if successful.
FEOs are intended to advance the academic, professional and scholarly abilities of faculty members and replace the previous system of awarding sabbaticals. While similar to sabbaticals they are intended to be more flexible in nature and duration than traditional sabbaticals.