Dr. Aldridge “Al” D. Wilder, a professor in the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Dentistry’s Department of Operative Dentistry, has been named the recipient of the 2009 Omicron Kappa Upsilon Stephen H. Leeper Award for Teaching Excellence.
Wilder will receive the award at the OKU Annual Business Meeting on March 15 in Phoenix. This is the first time a UNC-Chapel Hill School of Dentistry faculty member has received the Leeper Award.
This honor recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the advancement of dental education. Heavy consideration is given to individuals who implement innovative techniques and generate enthusiasm within dental education.
Wilder, who will become the School’s assistant dean for admissions and student affairs on July 1, has received certificates of appreciation from eight first-year UNC-Chapel Hill DDS classes, including each class from 2002 through 2008. He also received a 2007-08 Dean’s Excellence in Teaching Award.
In addition, School Dean John N. Williams wrote in his letter of nomination for Wilder, “Dr. Wilder has incorporated video and other advances both creatively and effectively in his courses and publications.”
As one example of this attention to technology, he has developed 11 videos to demonstrate clinical techniques of operative dentistry preparation and restoration.
Wilder joined the School of Dentistry faculty in 1976 and has directed the clinical research program in operative dentistry since 1983. For the past seven years, he has directed the School’s preclinical course in operative dentistry, “Conservative Operative Dentistry.”
At a national level, Wilder also has made significant contributions to dental education by authoring multiple chapters in four editions of “Sturdevant’s Art and Science of Operative Dentistry” and publishing numerous journal articles and research abstracts.
“Dr. Wilder has invested most of his dental career to advancing the educational mission of UNC School of Dentistry and adding to the knowledge base within dental education so students worldwide can benefit from this knowledge,” Williams said in his nomination letter.
Omicron Kappa Upsilon was founded in 1914 to promote and recognize scholarship and character among students of dentistry.