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Paragon Award

A paragon is someone of exceptional merit and who exhibits unparalleled excellence. ASDA’s Paragon Award recognizes an individual who has significantly contributed to the advancement of the rights, interests and welfare of dental students throughout his or her career. It is the highest and most prestigious award given by the American Student Dental Association. Past recipients include Dr. Roger Triftshauser (2012) and Dr. Arthur A. Dugoni (2011).

2012 Recipient: Dr. Roger Triftshauser  Dr. Triftshauser accepting the 2012 Paragon Award 

“[Dr. Triftshauser] has spent his life forging his own path through hard work, professionalism and dedication to his family, his community and the profession of dentistry,” said Rick Andolina, University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine ’13. “We are very lucky to have [him] not only as a mentor, but also as a great friend who through his life’s journey has shown us the importance of giving back. I cannot think of anyone that is more deserving of ASDA’s highest honor.”

Triftshauser received his degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery in 1961 from the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine. He then served in the U.S. Navy Dental Corps and eventually reached the rank of two-star rear admiral, the highest rank in the Navy Dental Corps. Upon release from active duty in 1967, he received a Master of Orthodontics degree from Loma Linda School of Dentistry. Triftshauser’s total service with the U.S. Naval Reserve Dental Corps spanned 33 years. He was selected for Flag rank in 1990, was promoted to the permanent grade of Rear Admiral on March 1, 1994, and retired from the Naval Reserve on Oct. 1, 1995.

Triftshauser is a member of the American Dental Association, in which he served as a delegate and as a board member to the New York State Dental Association. He is the immediate past chair of the American Dental Political Action Committee. He is a past president of the New York State Dental Association’s Eighth District Dental Society, past president of the American College of Dentists, a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics and a Fellow of the International College of Dentists. He has also held leadership positions in The New York State Association of Counties, The Rotary Club of America and the Batavia City School Board of Education.

When asked about his career, Triftshauser said, “As long as you have something left to offer, you can always do more. I have never really considered myself an extremely successful or motivational person, but I am happy if I have had a positive impact on others. I have had mentors in the past, I have mentors now, and I see the students in ASDA as being excellent mentors in the future.”

2011 Recipient: Dr. Arthur A. Dugoni 

Dr. Dugoni accepting the 2011 Paragon AwardAs a guest speaker at many ASDA national meetings and continuous supporter of programs that build future leaders within organized dentistry, many students have experienced first-hand Dr. Dugoni’s passion.

“One of his famous quotes is ‘at Pacific we build people, and along the way they become doctors,’” said Naomi Sever, San Antonio ’11, 2010-11 vice president. “He’s a model of excellence and wonderful mentor … the type of person we aspire to become.”

The Paragon Award is not his first professional citation. Dugoni was elected to the prestigious FDI World Dental Federation List of Honour in 1998, which is limited to 30 individuals worldwide, and has been named Dental Alumnus of the Year by four universities: Gonzaga University, University of Washington, University of San Francisco and University of the Pacific. In 2004, he became the first and only person in the United States or Canada to have a dental school named in his honor while holding the position of dean.

Dugoni has held leadership positions in the American Dental Association, the American Dental Education Association, the American Association of Dental Schools, the World Dental Federation, the American Board of Orthodontics and the California Dental Association.

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