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UW faculty member selected as ADEA fellow

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Mark Drangsholt was recently selected for the ADEA Leadership Institute.

Photo by Josh Bessex

24 dental professionals from across the country were selected last month to participate in the 2014 American Dental Education Association (ADEA) Leadership Institute, and among the selections is a UW department chair.

Dr. Mark Drangsholt is a UW professor and has been chair of the Department of Oral Medicine in the UW School of Dentistry for more than two years. Drangsholt’s job is currently split between teaching graduate students in the classroom and the clinic, serving in the alumni association, providing care to patients in the clinic, researching complex medical issues, and now attending the ADEA Leadership Institute.

“I realize that I am probably one of the older people who are in the institute. Some specific leadership training probably could have been valuable before, but I had a unique [career path],” Drangsholt said. “I have been in school for 39 years including kindergarten. I have had lots and lots of formal training, [but] I have never been a manager of people. [I need to] be able to run a department. There is a lot of complexity and leadership [involved].”

Eric Lund, Professional Development Manager at ADEA and liaison for the ADEA Leadership Institute, said the process was competitive, and not everyone that applied was accepted. Lund said the program, co-managed by the ADEA and Aspire Achieve Lead (AAL) — a Georgia-based faculty development group — is designed with leadership in mind.

“The ADEA Leadership Institute is a program to train future leaders at dental schools [and] educational institutes,” Lund said.

The ADEA Leadership Institute provides a yearlong opportunity for dental professionals in higher education to increase knowledge and expand their roles in the field. It consists of four phases of intensive five day training sessions across the country, held throughout the year. The chosen individuals were inducted into the fellowship during the ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition in March 2013.

Dr. Joel Berg, Dean of the UW School of Dentistry, said that the ADEA Leadership Institute provides the kinds of skill sets necessary for UW faculty including team leadership, negotiation skills, and business principles.

“We are very excited he was selected. [The ADEA Leadership Institute] has a history of success,” said Berg. “I think it will bring great rewards to the department and to Dr. Drangsholt.”

Drangsholt said the fellows have already been split into groups of six. The members of his group are from diverse educational backgrounds and specialties, yet they compliment each other to form a cohesive unit. In these groups, the fellows work on assignments and various tasks to accomplish together.

The institute gives fellows in-person instruction, and assignments to work on between meetings. One of their current projects consists of devising a collection of questions to ask leaders in their communities, including university presidents and provosts.

“All of the people in the same group will be interviewing academic leaders from their own institutions and report back how [these leaders] answer questions and how they are leading and managing their sections and compare between the [insights],” said Drangsholt.

Dr. Harinder Sandhu, Director of Dentistry in the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada, was an ADEA Leadership Institute fellow in 2009. Sandhu said the fellowship is beneficial in helping attendees both prepare and tackle problems.

“The depth and knowledge of the ADEA Leadership Institute speakers provide perspective and prepare you for the challenges you will face as a leader in dental education,” Sandhu said in a statement on the ADEA website. “The interaction with mentors, advisers, and fellows creates an essential network for future collaboration and problem solving.”

Since its creation in 1999, the institute has helped the careers of over 200 professionals. Last year, none of the fellows were from Washington state. Drangsholt is the only representative from the Pacific Northwest in 2013.

Drangsholt said it’s important to be able to define his department’s place both within the university and the community as a whole.

“You are in a completely different world when you are in charge of the careers of all the people in your department,” Drangsholt said. “[I need] to know what the bigger picture of what my department is within the department, the university, and the community.”

Reach reporter Laurel Rice at news@dailyuw.com. Twitter: @laurelwrice

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