Each year, the Medical University hosts a Faculty Convocation as a way of reflecting on the success of the past year and ushering in a new year filled with opportunity. Faculty members are recognized for their accomplishments in the areas of education, clinical practice, and research. This year, the University presented its Distinguished Faculty Service Award to the James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine’s very own Dr. Elizabeth Pilcher in recognition of her leadership and contributions to not only the College of Dental Medicine but also to the entire MUSC enterprise. This is the highest honor a faculty member can receive for service at MUSC.
Dr. Pilcher, known as “Betsy” by many, has been a familiar face around the College for many years, starting with her time as a student. Her beginning at the University set the tone for the rest of her career, and she has continued to be a pioneer for change.
Throughout her career with the College, she has always been devoted to her work, both as a clinician and as an academic professor. She has been an advocate for special needs, gender equality, and college development. She has been a leader in interprofessional programs, developed the student teaching assistant program and has mentored both student and faculty members. At the University level, Dr. Pilcher directed the development of the 2010-2015 strategic plan, worked to implement it, and helped ensured its success. At a state level, she has served as a member of the S.C. Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities, while also serving at the county level on the Disabilities Board of Charleston County. At a federal level, she has mentored faculty through the American Dental Education Association’s merging leaders program. The impact she has made is monumental.
Throughout her career, many have considered her a mentor, a colleague, and a friend. She quoted the great Winston Churchill in her acceptance speech: “You make a living out of what you get, but a life out of what you give.” Her career shows that there is no limit to what she is willing to give.