Rising Star Award

2023 Rising Star Faculty Award


Sumitha Ahmed, BDS, MS
Assistant Professor
Assistant Dean for Student Life
Adams School of Dentistry
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill 

2021 Rising Star Faculty Award


Silvia Amaya-Pajares, D.D.S, M.S
Associate Professor
Department of Restorative Dentistry
Oregon Health & Science University School of Dentistry

2019 Rising Star Faculty Award


Alex J. Delgado, DDS, MS

Director, Division of Operative Dentistry
Department of Restorative Dental Sciences
University of Florida College of Dentistry


2017 – Inaugural RSFA Awardee:


Gustavo Oliveira, DDS, MS

Clinical Assistant Professor
Department of Operative Dentistry
UNC School of Dentistry


Next Nomination Cycle: Nov 6, 2023  – Feb 9 , 2024

BACKGROUND:   The Rising Star Faculty Award (RSFA) has been established by the Academy of Operative Dentistry (AOD) with the intent to embrace the younger generation of dental faculty members and to strengthen the future AOD-membership.  This biennial faculty award (funded by the AOD Founders Fund) aims to encourage, stimulate and support early-career faculty clinicians in their chosen professional path and highlight their activities.

OBJECTIVE:  This award will recognize and promote excellence in the pursuit of teaching clinical dentistry by early-career faculty.

REQUIREMENTS:  Nominee: being an early-career clinical faculty* and member of the AOD.  The Nominator should also be an AOD member.

*Early-career faculty is defined as a faculty member holding an assistant clinical professor position (at least 60% appointment) and be within 10 years from the end of their last degree or training program. 

AWARD:  The Awardee will receive $4,000 as an undesignated gift for the purpose of augmenting and fostering their scholarship and faculty career. In addition to the monetary gift, the award consists of a plaque and other formal recognition.  It also includes the provision of a free meeting registration and $1,500 towards travel expenses to attend the AOD Annual Meeting, accept the award and present a Table Clinic to showcase their clinical- or educational-oriented activities.

SELECTION:  Nominations will be reviewed and ranked by the RSFA-Committee. The RSFA Committee members will elect the Awardee. The Awardee will be notified in March of the year the award is given.

NOMINATION MATERIALS to be submitted: 

  1. Cover Page (1 page) including Name, address, phone number and email address of both the Nominator and the Nominee. Cover letter should include a sentence that confirms that nominee meets the requirement as well as the nominator.
  2. Narrative Statement (max. 1 page) including reason for nomination by the Nominator (AOD-member).
  3. Nominee’s Short CV to specification set below (max. 2 pages):
    Items to include as appropriate to the Nominee’s field of interest including: Affiliations, Education, List of relevant publications (within the past 10 years); List of completed, current and pending funding support with a one sentence description and the nominee’s role in the project; Presentation activities in professional settings such as conference speaker, CE-course provider, external lecturer (keynote, plenary, or invited).
  4. Two letters of support (max. 1 page each). At least one must be from an AOD-member (not-nominator).                                                                                                         

Recurring nominations will be accepted.

SUBMISSION:  Preferably, all materials are collated into one single pdf.  The complete nomination packet should be sent by February 7, 2024 to Dr. Ana Bedran-Russo (ana.bedran-russo@marquette.edu), Chair of the RSFA Committee.

Incomplete packages will not be considered.