Celebrate 50 Years of Dental Medicine
The James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the matriculation of our first dental class. The golden anniversary traditionally marks a half-century of togetherness, commitment and strength, and this certainly is true for our college.
Our anniversary celebration and our accreditation review both occur in 2017- a monumental year by all accounts. We are ready for both. Under the stewardship of Dr. Tariq Javed ’83, professor and associate dean for academic and student affairs, the accreditation self-study process is fully under way, and an enhanced curriculum review is ongoing. I consider it my good fortune to have the opportunity to serve as your interim dean during such a significant time in our college’s history.
As many of you know, I began my relationship with the college as a volunteer professor in the Department of Stomatology in 2014. I was new to South Carolina and to MUSC, as the vast majority of my academic career was spent at Baylor College of Dentistry and the Baylor University Graduate School. My primary fields of academic and clinical interest are periodontics, oral medicine and anatomy. My passions have always been academic dentistry and community leadership. These passions led me to leadership roles, including president of the Dallas County Dental Society, president of the Texas Dental Association, vice president of the American Dental Association and president of the American College of Dentists.
Informed by these leadership opportunities, I’ve made it my expressed wish to lead the college from its laudable past to its limitless future, as we comprehensively educate successive generations of clinician-scholars to serve the citizens of the South Carolina and beyond. There is so much to celebrate: a state-of-the-art clinical education center, a renovated Basic Sciences Building, a world-class research department and recruitment of the most accomplished undergraduate and graduate student cohorts in our college’s distinguished history. Our newly hired chief financial officer, Monica Gardner, brings with her more than 20 years of financial discipline and fiduciary responsibility in the areas of academic, clinical and research affairs on the MUSC campus.
For nearly 50 years, the James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine’s reputation has commanded respect in every aspect of our profession, and we remain highly sought-after by aspiring dental students and thought leaders of our profession.
I look forward to meeting you in person and welcome your ideas, thoughts and opinions, as we continue to take our college to the next level of academic and clinical excellence.
Patricia L. Blanton, D.D.S., Ph.D.
Interim Dean, James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine
Professor emeritus, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Baylor College of Dentistry