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American Association of Endodontists Announces 2023 Award Winners

Posted on Monday, May 8, 2023

The AAE is announcing the recipients of its prestigious awards, formally presented at the Association’s annual meeting in Chicago on May 6, 2023.

Terryl A. Propper, D.D.S., M.S., is receiving the Association’s highest honor: the Edgar D. Coolidge Award. Dr. Propper is a graduate of Sophie Newcomb Women’s College of Tulane University, University of Tennessee College of Dentistry and UNC Chapel Hill graduate endodontic program, where she received her certificate and M.S.

She began her career as a general dentist before being selected as a 1986 ADA Hillenbrand Fellowship Finalist. She is a former assistant director of marketing for the American Dental Association and former member of the ADA’s speaker bureau. Dr. Propper lectured across the U.S and Canada as part of the Success team and founded and edited the award-winning ADA Marketing newsletter, Dynamic Dental Strategies, for which the ADA won a Golden Apple Award.

Dr. Propper has represented both the TDA (Tennessee Dental Association) and her specialty in a variety of leadership roles in local, state and national associations. She has served in leadership roles with the Nashville Dental Society, and was elected president in 2001, the second female to hold that office in 50 years. She was honored to be named the first female president of the TDA in its 154-year history in 2020.

She is known as a trailblazer, an innovator, a visionary and a change agent. She made positive changes as president to meet the needs of members across the state. Through the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, she worked to advocate for dentists in the state and led the association through its first steps toward recovery.

She initiated and co-chaired the UTHSC college of dentistry fund drive to support the Special Needs Clinic and engaged the alumna to surpass the set goal. In 2019, she was the White Coat speaker at the UTHSC graduation and left the students with the message: “Treat patients well and act in an ethical and professional manner. Success will follow.”

As a TDA life member, Dr. Propper has received numerous awards for leadership and accomplishments in her field. She has been awarded the TDA fellowship and CE award; the Nashville Dental Society Richard Sullivan Award; the Lucy Hobbs Project, Women to Watch award; the Tulane University Bea Fields Alumni award; the Outstanding Alumna award from the University of Tennessee dental school and most recently the coveted Jack Wells Memorial Award presented by the TDA.

In 2016, Dr. Propper served as president of the AAE. She has been an active member of the AAE since she was a resident, chairing more than 15 committees, serving on the strategic planning committee and serving on the AAE Foundation and AAE Board. Her presidency was filled with initiatives to foster participation by younger members and to engage them early in their careers. Dr. Propper has received the AAE’s Spirit of Service Award and the President’s Award. She has left her legacy with the AAE leading the way with energy, humility, candor and the unexpected. Her leadership style is that of consensus and enthusiasm and if she is involved in a project, it will be achieved with class and sass!

Scott B. McClanahan, D.D.S., M.S., is receiving the I.B. Bender Lifetime Educator Award. Dr. McClanahan received his A.B. in 1974 and his D.D.S. in 1981 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Upon graduation from dental school, he entered the U.S. Navy. For specialty training, he was sent to a civilian institution and completed his certificate of residency in endodontics from Northwestern University Dental School and received a M.S. degree from Northwestern University in 1989. After three tours of duty as a clinical endodontist, Dr. McClanahan was assigned to the endodontic faculty at the Naval Postgraduate Dental School, Bethesda, Md., in 1998 and in 2001, he assumed the responsibilities of Chairman of the Endodontics Department and Director of the Advanced Education Program in Endodontics. He retired from active duty in September 2005 and joined the faculty at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry as the director of the Division of Endodontics and director of Graduate Endodontics. He retired from the University of Minnesota in September 2020 at the academic rank of professor and was awarded Professor Emeritus status upon retirement. Dr. McClanahan is a Diplomate of the American Board of Endodontics and served as a director of the board from 2013-2019. He is a Fellow of the International College of Dentists. He remains active in organized endodontics serving as a Trustee for the AAE’s Foundation for Endodontics and on the Endodontic Education Review Committee for the ADA’S Commission on Dental Accreditation. 

Scott R. Makins, D.D.S., M.S., is receiving the Calvin D. Torneck Lifetime Educator Award. Dr. Makins is an associate professor and director of the Predoctoral Endodontics program at the University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston. He graduated from the University of Texas Dental Branch in 1980 and received his certificate in Endodontics from the Baylor College of Dentistry in 1983. After reviewing several options, he decided to establish his practice in the Bryan/College Station area of Texas, becoming the first endodontist in the cities’ and the region's 100-mile radius. He enrolled in the Dental Diagnostic Science program at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Dental School to study oral medicine, dental radiology, and forensic dentistry. Upon completion of the program, Dr. Makins accepted a position at his alma mater in Houston in 1976, teaching radiology and endodontics. After alternating between part-time teaching and the practice of endodontics, he settled on full-time teaching. Then in 2012, he returned to the dental school in San Antonio to obtain his Master of Science degree in oral and maxillofacial radiology as the discipline had become a recognized specialty of dentistry. After graduating, Dr. Makins was invited back to the UT School of Dentistry at Houston in 2016 to serve as the director of the predoctoral endodontics program. Dr. Makins is a fellow of the American College of Dentists and the International College of Dentists. Additionally, he has been actively involved in the American Dental Education Association, the Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, the Texas Dental Association, the Brazos Valley District Dental Society and the Houston Academy of Endodontists.

Adham A. Azim, B.D.S., is receiving the Edward M. Osetek Award. Dr. Azim is an associate professor, chair of the Endodontic Department, and director of the Post-Graduate Program at University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry. He maintains a private practice limited to endodontics and he is also the Founder and CEO of Endolit. Dr. Azim earned his B.D.S. from Cairo University, where he also did his endodontic training. He later completed his endodontic certificate at Columbia University, and since then, he has been a full-time educator and a part-time private practitioner. Before joining the University of the Pacific, he served as the division head and the director of the endodontic post-graduate program at University at Buffalo. Dr. Azim is a Diplomate of the American Board of Endodontics. He has lectured all over the world and has over 35 publications in peer-reviewed journals and several text-book chapters contributions such as “Ingle Endodontics” and “Endodontics: Principles and Practices”. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Journal of Endodontics, and a reviewer for multiple other endodontic journals.

James C. Kulild, D.D.S., M.S., (1947-2022) is receiving the Ralph Sommer Award. Dr. Kulild passed away on January 18, 2022. He is survived by his loving friend, Anita Aminoshariae, D.D.S., M.S., of Cleveland, which was his final resting place. He is also survived by his daughters and their families: Ana K. Crawford, D.D.S.; Emily B. Adams, R.D.H.; and Jamie E. Kirby, M.D. He was born April 6, 1947, in Sioux City, Iowa. His meaningful contributions to the specialty span the breadth of research, education, service and leadership. Throughout his career, Dr. Kulild commanded the respect and admiration of his colleagues and students, who have recognized him for his integrity, compassion, decisive leadership, and genuine spirit. Dr. Kulild graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City dental school in 1973, completed his endodontic training at Madigan Army Medical Center in Ft. Lewis in 1983, and became a Diplomate of the American Board of Endodontics in 1986. He served as a member and chair of numerous AAE committees and served the AAE as its President in 2012-2013. Dr. Kulild was inducted to Omicron Kappa Upsilon, and was a Fellow of the International College of Dentists, the American College of Dentists, and the Pierre Fauchard Academy. Following his remarkable and decorated military career, from which he retired as a Colonel, Dr. Kulild founded the Advanced Specialty Education Program in Endodontics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he served as program director. Following his retirement from UMKC, Dr. Kulild continued to contribute to the specialty by sharing his expertise with others and by co-authoring research papers.

Domenico Ricucci, M.D., D.D.S., is receiving the Louis I. Grossman Award. Dr. Ricucci is a private practitioner from Cetraro, Italy. He received his degree in General Medicine in 1982, and his D.D.S. in 1985. Since then, he has maintained private dental practices limited to endodontics. Dr. Ricucci’s primary research interest relates to pulpal and periapical tissue reactions to caries and treatment procedures, biofilms in endodontic infections, etiology of RTC treatment failure, pulp regeneration/revascularization. Since 1998 he has run his own histology laboratory. Dr. Ricucci authored or co-authored 113 papers, 22 book chapters and the textbook and atlas “Endodontology. An integrated biological and clinical view”, also translated into Russian, Japanese and Chinese. He lectures extensively both nationally and internationally. 

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