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U of IL College of Dentistry's Dr. Ales Obrez Wins Award
Dr. Ales Obrez, Associate Professor, Restorative Dentistry, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry, has been conferred the College’s 2015 Dr. Jon Daniel Teaching Award.
By: University of Illinois at Chicago
Dr. Obrez received the award from Dean Clark Stanford and two previous Daniel Award winners, Dr. Blasé Brown, Clinical Assistant Professor, Oral Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, and Dr. Alison Doubleday, Assistant Professor, Oral Biology,at a recent faculty meeting.
The Daniel Award was established in 2010 in memory of longtime Oral Biology faculty member Dr. Jon Daniel, to honor instructors who have made exemplary contributions to UIC dental students’ learning. Dr. Daniel passed away in 2009.
Dr. Daniels’ qualities cited in the award are the ability to engage students’ interest, curiosity, the ability to motivate students, to challenge them, and to respond to their needs.
Dr. Obrez noted one of the ways he tries to go above and beyond his job description as an educator.
“I think it’s important that we as educators give students what they in some cases may not even be getting from their families, such as advice on professional decisions that may impact their lives,” Dr. Obrez explained. “That’s what Dr. Daniel was very good at, namely giving the students advice on how to handle the highs and lows of life and on what to do in the future, using examples from his own life experiences.”
A highlight of being in education, Dr. Obrez noted, is “when your student, whom you guided and mentored, becomes successful.”
Dr. Obrez noted that he was honored to receive an award named for Dr. Daniel, whom Dr. Obrez knew, and also because it is a peer award. Faculty members and students nominate faculty for the award. The Daniel Award Selection Committee this year was composed of Drs. Brown and Doubleday; Dr. Priscilla Chang, Clinical Associate Professor, Restorative Dentistry, another previous Daniel Award recipient; and student Jihan Doss.
Dr. Lin Tao, Professor, Oral Biology, had nominated Dr. Obrez for the Daniel Award.
“I feel very honored that the approach of education I provide is validated as being similar to Dr. Daniel’s,”
“I am proud to be teaching in a dental school that has been home to some great educators whom I really admire,” Dr. Obrez added, citing Dr. Daniel; the late Dr. E. Lloyd Du Brul; Dr. Susan Herring; Dr. Robert Scapino; Dr. Sam Flores; and the late Dr. James Fuller. “They taught me and they guided me,” Dr. Obrez said.
Dr. Daniel’s wife, Jayne, as well as their daughter, Lauren Daniel, attended the presentation. Dr. Stanford presented them with a Golden Apple Award that the students had honored Dr. Daniel with in 1999. The award had been on display at the College since then.
“Jon was very connected to the students and their achievements and their struggles,” Jayne Daniel said. “He felt it was important for them to have a port in a storm, and that’s what the Daniel Award winner is about.
“The years Jon was here were some of the happiest of his life,” she concluded.
William S. Bike