Dr. André Ritter, chair of the Department of Operative Dentistry, has been named the Thomas P. Hinman Distinguished Professor in Restorative Dentistry. Ritter is the second faculty member to hold this professorship.
“I am very grateful to the UNC School of Dentistry administration for honoring me with this Distinguished Professorship,” said Ritter. “I am also thankful to the UNC Board of Trustees for approving this appointment. But I am especially grateful to the Thomas P. Hinman Dental Society for establishing this Distinguished Professorship in Restorative Dentistry to provide much needed faculty support in our discipline.”
The professorship was established in the spring of 2014 and was first awarded to Dr. Harald Heymann, a longtime faculty member and former chair of the Department of Operative Dentistry, in the fall of 2014. Ritter assumes this distinction following Heymann entering phased retirement.
Ritter, born and raised in southern Brazil, went to dental school in Florianópolis in the state of Santa Catarina. There, he practiced and taught part-time for 10 years, before moving to Chapel Hill in 1997 to enroll in the UNC School of Dentistry’s Operative Dentistry Graduate Program. He completed the graduate program in 2000 and joined the faculty as an assistant professor in the Department of Operative Dentistry. During his time with the school, he rose to the rank of full professor with tenure and has also served as program director of the Operative Dentistry Graduate Program. In 2014, Ritter began his appointment as chair of the department.
“It has been quite a journey, and I cherish the time I have spent here at UNC, the relationships I have developed with colleagues and friends, and the interactions with students, researchers, staff and patients,” said Ritter. “To be the recipient of the Thomas P. Hinman Distinguished Professorship in Restorative Dentistry is certainly a most significant recognition of my professional career.”
The Hinman Professorship is the latest addition to the long-standing support that the school has received from the Hinman Dental Society. The society earlier established the Thomas P. Hinman Continuing Education Scholarship Fund and sponsored the Thomas P. Hinman Distinguished Lecture for several years. The Hinman Lecture, hosted annually by the Department of Operative Dentistry, has been in existence nine years and has included notable speakers such as Drs. Frank Spear, John Kois, Gordon Christensen and others. In sum, the Hinman Dental Society has contributed more than $600,000 to the school.