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  1. Drs. Dennis A. Burns and Carole Kelley received the ODA's 2008 Distinguished Dentist Award and the Marvin Fisk Humanitarian Award, respectively.

  2. College of Dentistry professor and former ODA president Dr. Henry Fields (right) presents Dr. Joel Weaver with the ODA's Achievement Award.

Ohio Dental Association Gives Top Awards to Dentistry Alumni

November, 2008

The College of Dentistry’s alumni have a history of dedication to the art and science of dentistry that was recognized in September at the 142nd annual session of the Ohio Dental Association (ODA). At the meeting and the reception that followed it, three College of Dentistry alumni were presented with top awards.

Dr. Dennis A. Burns, a Columbus dentist whose undergraduate and D.D.S. degrees are from Ohio State, received the ODA’s 2008 Distinguished Dentist Award, which is the highest honor bestowed by the association. A former president of the Columbus Dental Society, Dr. Burns has also served as a liaison to the Ohio State Dental Board, and he has been a chairman of the Ohio Dental Association Political Action Committee for the last ten years.

Expressing his gratitude for the Distinguished Dentist Award, Burns said, “To be able to join this list of really esteemed colleagues is a profound honor for me. I see this as a proud moment in my career.”

Another outstanding College of Dentistry graduate who was recognized with an ODA award is Dr. Carole Kelley, the founder and president of the Heart of Gold Foundation, and the 2008 recipient of the ODA’s Marvin Fisk Humanitarian Award. As a 1980 graduate of the College of Dentistry, Kelley’s lifelong commitment to philanthropic endeavors inspired her to create the Heart of Gold Foundation, a charitable organization that receives local dentists’ scrap metal donations that can be turned into cash to support clinics and other organizations that offer dental care for underserved populations. Since its inception, the Heart of Gold Foundation has raised more than $50,000 for various charities, including the Cincinnati Center for Children’s Dentistry, the Caring Doctors Foundation and Operation Blessing.

As this year’s recipient of the Marvin Fisk Humanitarian Award, Dr. Kelley expressed the hope that the award and the publicity surrounding it would call attention to the need for basic dental health care that organizations like the Heart of Gold Foundation help to provide.

The third Ohio State alumnus who received an award from the ODA this year was Dr. Joel Weaver II, a graduate of the College of Dentistry’s class of 1972. Honored with the ODA’s Achievement Award that recognizes outstanding contributions to the dental profession, Weaver began his academic career when he earned his Bachelor of Pharmacy degree at Ohio Northern University. He continued his education by completing two advanced degrees from Ohio State--a D.D.S. degree in 1972, and a Ph.D. in pharmacology, which he received in 1976.

Dr. Weaver began his teaching career at OSU the same year he received his Ph.D., and he spent the next 31 years as the head of pharmacology and anesthesiology in the College of Dentistry, and as an anesthesiologist in the College of Medicine. A recipient of the ODA’s Achievement Award and a lifelong educator, Weaver says, “To have made a difference is ultimately the highest reward that anyone can receive.”