Friday, October 22, 2021

On October 7, Interim Dean Galen Schneider presented Kecia Leary, clinical associate professor and graduate program director for the Department of Pediatric Dentistry, with the 2021 Collegiate Teaching Award. This award recognizes a faculty member who exhibits an “outstanding contribution to dental students’, graduate students’ or residents’ intellectual and professional development.”

Leary has taught in Department of Pediatric Dentistry since 2017, and she became the director of the graduate program in 2019. She is active in teaching dental students and pediatric dental residents, managing outreach clinics, and mentoring research projects for dental students and graduate students.

In 2019, Leary was identified as Mentor of the Year by the University of Iowa Dental Student Research Group.

Karin Weber-Gasparoni, professor and head of the Department of Pediatric Dentistry, spoke glowingly of Leary saying that she “is an invaluable member of the Department of Pediatric Dentistry, and the College of Dentistry, whose work ethic and dedication to teaching excellence serve as a role model for students and faculty.”

"I'm honored and humbled by this award," Leary said.  She added, "I am so lucky to have so many great teachers and mentors in my life, they are why I do what I do. I looked to them to provide guidance and this experience inspired me to choose a career in academics. I knew when I finished my residency that it wasn’t a question of if I would teach it was only when. I am lucky that I now get to teach at the same place that I fell in love with dentistry and teaching (my two favorite topics)."