Faculty and Staff, Periodontology

Williams Recognized as Periodontology’s Outstanding Educator

Dr. Ray C. Williams has received the American Academy of Periodontology’s Outstanding Educator Award for 2004.  This award, established in 2003, is given annually to an exemplary periodontal faculty member who has been an inspired and dedicated teacher.  Upon learning of the award, Dr Williams commented “This is without doubt one of the nicest honors I have ever received.  For 30 years I have had the privilege of working with extraordinary and talented young women and men who have made every day fun and challenging.  I cannot think of a more rewarding way to have spent 30 years”.

Dr. Williams is Straumann Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Periodontology.  Before coming to Chapel Hill in 1994, Dr. Williams was head of the Department of Periodontology at Harvard School of Dental Medicine.  He also served as associate dean for graduate education at Harvard.  Between 1976 and 2004, Dr. Williams has trained approximately 125 students in the specialty of periodontics who have gone on to assume positions of leadership in private practice, industry and academia.

Dr. William Giannobile, a past student of Dr. Williams who is currently Professor of Periodontology at the University of Michigan wrote: “Dr Williams is fondly known by all of his students as one who demands the best, while also imparting the care and nurturing abilities so critical to the developing clinician and educator.  I best remember Ray for his “fireside chats”, where he could individually motivate students to help them believe that there is nothing they could not do.  As a teacher in the classroom or seminar, he is a captivating and passionate presenter.  Ray was certainly a teacher that students would attempt to emulate in their own development of teaching style…Ray’s track record of converting periodontal residents to faculty members is clearly unmatched…names like Alfano, Cochran, Fiorellini, Howell, Iacono, Jeffcoat, Lamster, Offenbacher, Paquette, Reddy, Ryder and Tonetti to give just a few of his former students…”

Dr. Williams has authored more than 100 papers; he lectures nationally and internationally each year and he serves on the editorial board of several journals.  He is Chair of the Advisory Board of the Journal of Periodontology.  He received his DMD degree (with honors) from the University of Alabama School of Dentistry and his certificate in periodontology and oral medicine from the Harvard School of Dental Medicine.  He was a postdoctoral fellow in microbiology at Forsyth Dental Center.