Ann Arbor, MI — December 19, 2014 — “It was a very special moment for me. Of all the honors and awards I have received during my career, this was the most special because I received it from my first mentors, a group of professors who were both my instructors and role models when I was a dental student,” says Dr. Jacques Nör.
Nör, a professor in the Department of Cariology, Restorative Sciences and Endodontics, was recently inducted as the first honorary member of the Rio Grande do Sul Academy of Dentistry in Porto Alegre, Brazil. He earned his dental degree there in 1985. Five years later, he received a certificate in pediatric dentistry from the Brazilian Federal University. In 1992, Nör arrived at the U-M School of Dentistry to continue his education. He was one of the first two dental students to receive a doctoral degree in Oral Health Sciences from the School of Dentistry in 1999.
The academy is made up of 41 lifetime members who have demonstrated distinguished service to dentistry through scientific excellence and academic leadership. New members are inducted only after one of its members passes away.
In his remarks to the group, Nör expressed his gratitude for the honor. “Many members of this academy were the pillars of my academic formation, and they serve, to this day, as examples for who I am as a person and a professional,” he said.
Nör expressed gratitude to his cousin and roommate, Duarte Matzenbacker, “who was most responsible for becoming a dentist.” Matzenbacker asked Nör to help him in his dental clinic, and Nör enjoyed it so much that he chose dentistry instead of studying chemistry at the university.
Nör paid tribute to his late parents, Claudino and Ilse, who were married for 65 years. “Who I am as a person I owe to my mother and father,” he said.
“My father worked all his life from seven o’clock in the morning until ten o’clock at night. He had only a primary education, but had the curiosity and the creativity of an inventor who knew how to improvise and adapt. My mother was a mother 24 hours a day who devoted herself to us and encouraged us, even when she did not understand my decisions, especially my decision to stay in the U.S. after leaving Brazil,” Nör added.
Because of his upbringing and the dental education he received, Nör said he “was very proud” to have encouraged more than 50 Brazilians to come to the University of Michigan School of Dentistry to further their classroom, clinical and research education. He expressed his appreciation to Dr. Peter Polverini, dean of the School of Dentistry from 2003 to 2013, for signing an agreement of collaboration in 2005 between Brazilian universities and U-M that has fostered exchanges of students and faculty.
Several School of Dentistry faculty members and a dental student were present for Nör’s induction: Dr. Stephen Bayne, chair of the Department of Cariology, Restorative Sciences and Endodontics; Dr. Gisele Neiva, a clinical associate professor in the same department; Dr. Cristiane Squarize, an assistant professor in the Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine; and Jacob Williams, a fourth-year dental student whom Nör has mentored.