Ann Arbor, MI — March 17, 2014 — “I enjoy innovating and creating new paths for learning. It’s rewarding to teach here at the School of Dentistry — because the search to do things better and to find ways to improve is constant,” said Dr. Mark Fitzgerald as he recently discussed his 33-year career at Michigan.
An associate professor of dentistry in the Department of Cariology, Restorative Sciences and Endodontics, Fitzgerald received the American Dental Education Association/Colgate-Palmolive Excellence in Teaching Award during the ADEA’s annual session in San Antonio, Texas.
ADEA dental educators annually select a winner for the award which is now in its 15th year.
Nominated by Dean Laurie McCauley, U-M ADEA representative Dr. Stephen Bayne, faculty peer Dr. Bill Piskorowski, and ADEA student representative Rachel Sheridan, Fitzgerald was described as “an outstanding educator who has shown incredible innovation over a long period of time and for his special efforts leading major changes in dental education.”
Citing Fitzgerald’s computer and technology prowess, they noted his development of the first electronic syllabi at the School of Dentistry, creating online quiz and exam software for dental students, co-directing a new model for evidence-based dentistry, use of digital technology found in dental offices, and many other achievements.
Fitzgerald is also playing a major role in shaping interprofessional education (IPE) at the School of Dentistry. This team-based approach encourages administrators, faculty and students to re-think what some call the traditional “silo” approach to patient care. IPE engages multiple health care disciplines – dentistry, medicine, public health, nursing, pharmacy and social work – to work together to improve patient care.