The International College of Dentists (ICD) recently named James Phero, D.D.S. Candidate 2013, this year’s recipient of the Richard C. Rice Scholars Award. Phero received the award from school alumna Bettie McKaig, D.D.S. ’78, M.S. ’84.
The Richard C. Rice Scholars award is given annually to a student who has traveled internationally to provide service to those in need within the last year. Applicants must complete an essay about their experience and ICD selects a winner from that pool. The award honors Dr. Richard Rice, past president of ICD, who was integral in starting ICD’s international missions.
Phero traveled to Moldova with three classmates and three school faculty members last March. During the week-long trip, Phero and his companions provided dental care to children from two different orphanages and from a local Jewish community. That trip is part of the school’s Dentistry in Service to the Community (DISC) program, which permits dental students to visit underserved locations across the globe and treat those in need.
“I am honored to receive the Richard C. Rice Scholars Award,” said Phero. “Dr. Rice’s work for the ICD blazed the trail for international mission trips, making trips like the Moldova project possible for students like me. The Moldova Project was an amazing experience; I learned the importance of international mission trips and the partnerships and relationships that are created through the process. This has been an experience that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.”
Phero received his bachelor’s degree in zoology from Miami University of Ohio prior to starting dental school. Following graduation, he will begin his residency in oral and maxillofacial surgery at UNC this July.