The AAE is proud to announce the 2021 recipients of its most prestigious awards. Honorees will be recognized in a special ceremony on Saturday, April 24 at 4:30 p.m. CDT.
Edgar D. Coolidge Award: Clara M. Spatafore, D.D.S., M.S.
Dr. Clara Spatafore will receive the Edgar D. Coolidge Award. Named for Edgar D. Coolidge, a pioneer in endodontics, recipients of this award—the AAE’s highest honor—are an elite group of individuals who serve as role models for the entire endodontic community.
Dr. Spatafore is Interim Dean at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry. She is also Chair of the Departments of Endodontics and Oral Diagnostic Sciences at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry. Our winner holds a DDS, MS, and certificate in endodontics from the West Virginia University School of Dentistry. She continues to be active with our Association – having held numerous leadership positions with the AAE.
Louis I. Grossman Award: Anil Kishen, B.D.S., M.D.S., Ph.D.
Dr. Anil Kishen is being honored with the Louis I. Grossman Award. This award recognizes an author for cumulative publication of significant research studies that have made an extraordinary contribution to endodontology.
Dr. Kishen is a professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Dentistry. He has published more than 160 journal publications, 22 book chapters, three books, and co-invented nine patents/invention disclosures.
Ralph F. Sommer Award: Mahmoud Torabinejad, D.M.D., M.S.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Mahmoud Torabinejad receives the Ralph F. Sommer Award. This award is given to the principal author(s) of a publication of specific significance to the science and art of endodontology.
Dr. Torabinejad is a prolific speaker and author and has won numerous awards throughout his career and several AAE honors. He is adjunct professor of Endodontics and past Director of advanced program of Endodontics at Loma Linda University, adjunct professor of Endodontics at Universities of California and Pacific in San Francisco and Affiliate Professor of Endodontics at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Dr. Torabinejad is president and director of the Endodontic Institute of Surgical Education and Research Venues. He is a past president of the California Association of Endodontics and a past president of the AAE and its Foundation. He has authored eight textbooks and more than 350 publications.
I.B. Bender Lifetime Educator Award: Kenneth N. Namerow, D.D.S.
Dr. Kenneth Namerow is winning the I.B. Bender Lifetime Educator Award. This award acknowledges a member whose contributions to endodontics in the area of education have demonstrated excellence through selfless commitment to full-time educational pursuits, and whose valuable contributions have instilled in his/her students the desire to pursue excellence in their careers.
Dr. Namerow is a past department chair of endodontics at Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine. He is a past president of the College of Diplomates and has published dozens of articles.
He served in the U.S. Army, provided donated dental care to underserved communities across the world and secured a $700,000 endowment for a professorship at the NSU College of Dental Medicine which bears his name. Dr. Namerow served on the AAE Board of Directors and is also a past president of the New Jersey Association of Endodontics.
Edward M. Osetek Educator Award: Anibal R. Diogenes, D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D.
Dr. Anibal Diogenes is being bestowed with the Edward M. Osetek Educator Award. This award is given to a member that has been a full-time educator for up to 10 years; has demonstrated status as an outstanding educator by earning the esteem and respect of his/her students and faculty associates; by the quality of former/current students and their impact on endodontics; and by receiving invitations to present endodontic seminars, lectures or workshops at other educational institutions.
Dr. Diogenes is a professor and the vice-chair of the department of Endodontics at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He has contributed to the development of many endodontic programs and served as an advisor and mentor to many students at both graduate and undergraduate levels. He is a director of the American Board of Endodontics and also serves as a member of the AAE’s Editorial Board Committee.
Calvin D. Torneck Part-time Educator Award: Stephen P. Niemczyk, D.M.D.
Dr. Stephen Niemczyk will be presented with the Calvin D. Torneck Part-time Educator Award. This award recognizes a part-time educator in a predoctoral or advanced specialty program in endodontics whose valuable contributions have demonstrated dedication to endodontics and instilled in his/her students the desire to pursue excellence in their careers.
Dr. Niemczyk is an assistant program director at Albert Einstein Medical Center with the Department of Dental Medicine and Post-Graduate Endodontics. He has hundreds of presentations, contributed to or authored six books and 13 manuscripts. He is the recipient of many awards, including consecutively receiving the Earl Banks Hoyt Award for Academic Teaching Excellence.
Spirit of Service Lifetime Award: Alejandro M. Aguirre, M.B.A., D.D.S.
Dr. Alejandro Aguirre is being celebrated with the Spirit of Service Lifetime Award. This award acknowledges a member who has demonstrated the true spirit of leadership either recently or over the years.
Dr. Aguirre’s community service work includes Minnesota Mission of Mercy, where he has been the chair of the state committee since its inception in 2011. He raised over $300,000 in cash and in-kind donations in its initial year and was instrumental in passing a new state law to allow out-of-state dentists to obtain a temporary license to enter Minnesota to treat patients.
Honorary Membership Award: Lynda L. Davenport, R.D.A., FAADOM
Lynda Davenport will receive Honorary Membership which is granted by the Board of Directors in acknowledgment of significant contributions that have furthered the advancement of endodontics.
Ms. Davenport is the practice manager for Endodontic Associates in Nashville. Lynda has contributed to the specialty through efforts aimed at the education, engagement, and development of professional staff. She was a professional track organizer for AAE events, served on the AAE’s Annual Meeting Planning Committee and was Chair of the Special Committee on Professional Staff Development. Lynda currently serves as president of an American Association of Dental Office Management Study Club and volunteers her time to other meaningful charitable causes.