The year-long program develops future leaders in dental and higher education
Tuesday, February 6, 2024

University of Iowa College of Dentistry faculty members Kecia Leary and Aaron Cho were named 2024-25 American Dental Education Association (ADEA) Leadership Institute Fellows. They join a group comprised of the nation's most promising dental educators who will partake in this career development program to become future leaders in dental education.

The ADEA Leadership Institute is a year-long program designed to develop individuals to become future leaders in dental and higher education. The Institute is a flagship program for exceptional mid-career faculty and administrators. Graduates from the institute go on to positions ranging from department chairs to deans of dental schools.

Kecia Leary headshot
Kecia Leary

Leary currently serves as the Associate Dean of Clinics and Professor of Pediatric Dentistry. She joined the college in 2015 and received her DDS and MS from the University of Iowa. She is the Director, Division of Pediatric Dentistry at UIHC.  She is dual boarded from the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry (since 2008) and the American Board of Dental Public Health (since 2011).  She is the recipient of multiple teaching awards and an alumnus of the Leadership in Education and Administration and Chairs and Academic Administrative Management Program of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.  She currently serves on the board of directors of the National Network for Oral Health Access.  

Prior to returning to the College in 2015, she was the Director of Pediatric Dentistry at the Jordan Valley Community Health Center (Missouri) from 2007-2015.  

Headshot of Dr. Aaron Cho
Aaron Cho

Cho began as the head of the Department of Prosthodontics in August 2022. He earned his DDS and MS in Dental Biomaterials at Seoul National University in South Korea in 2000 and 2005, respectively. He earned his MS in Oral Biology and Certification in Prosthodontics from Baylor College of Dentistry in 2010. Prior to coming to Iowa, Cho was the Associate Professor and Program Director of Graduate Prosthodontics and Director of Post-doctoral Implant Placement Program (PDIPP) at Texas A&M University College of Dentistry, Dallas Texas. Cho is a board-certified prosthodontist as well as a certified master ceramist.

In addition, Cho was selected as one of the 2024 ADEA/American College of Dentists Dr. Jerome Bright Miller Scholars and will receive financial support to use for the program.

ADEA is the sole national organization representing academic dentistry. It's mission is the lead and support the health professions community in preparing future-ready oral health professionals. ADEA pushes dental education forward and includes all U.S. and Canadian dental schools and represents more than 15,000 individuals.