ADEA Dr. Jeanne C. Sinkford Faculty Leadership Award


The ADEA Dr. Jeanne C. Sinkford Faculty Leadership Award, recognizes faculty members at U.S. and Canadian dental or allied dental education institutions who are passionately dedicated to academia, diversity and social justice; demonstrate compassion, integrity and humanism in their interactions with one another; and encourage the larger oral health education community to embrace and model these characteristics. The award is intended to inspire and empower the next generation of leaders in oral health education.

This award is supported by a gift from The Leonard and Valachovic Fund.


Application is scheduled to open in July 2024.


Dr. Jeanne C. Sinkford is an icon, trailblazer and visionary in dental education, a lifelong supporter of dental research, and a steadfast advocate for diversity and social justice. As the first woman and African American dean of a U.S. dental school, Dr. Sinkford’s pioneering efforts empowered women and men from all backgrounds to advance to the pinnacle of their careers in dentistry, including deanships, research, service and academia. Dr. Sinkford’s stellar academic, research and service leadership are the hallmarks of her professional career. She is a persistent advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion in dental education and in the dental profession. She is a champion for access to oral health care and health equity. Her long career as a leader for change has had a resounding impact and caused transformation in the dental education community.

Through this award, the faculty recipient who exemplifies Dr. Sinkford’s beliefs and values will influence and encourage others to model Dr. Sinkford’s contributions to oral health education. This annual award and its awardee will support Dr. Sinkford’s belief in lifelong learning and passing the gift of compassion, integrity and the value of service, research, leadership, equity, diversity and inclusiveness to future generations to inspire and empower new leaders in dental education and allied dental education.

The award recipient will receive:

  • A monetary award of $10,000,
  • Free registration to the ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition, where the awardee will be announced,
  • An inscribed crystal award and
  • An announcement in the Bulletin of Dental Education newsletter and on ADEA’s website.

Eligibility Requirements

Self-nominations are accepted. An applicant must:

  • Hold a full-time faculty position for at least five years at an ADEA Member Institution.
  • Be an ADEA individual member.
  • General characteristics:
    • Excellence in teaching, service and research
    • Effectiveness in leadership
    • Demonstration of humanism and integrity
    • Advocacy for diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice
    • A strong proponent for health equity
    • Compassion and a champion for access to oral health care for underserved and disadvantaged populations
    • Community-service oriented
    • Proclivity to emerge as a leader in dental education, allied dental education and/or organized dentistry

Application Process Checklist

The following items must be submitted by November 1, 2023 using the online application process:

  • A one-page narrative, up to 500 words, demonstrating how they exemplify the qualities of Dr. Jeanne Craig Sinkford (see General Characteristics, above).
  • A current curriculum vitae.
  • A letter of support from a supervisor, college dean or department chair.
  • A letter of endorsement from the dental dean or program director.

Notification Date and Award Announcement

Award applicants not receiving the award will be notified by February 1, 2024.

Awards will be announced during the 2024 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition, March 9–12, 2024, in New Orleans, LA.  


Please contact the ADEA Office of Learning at  with any questions.

Past Recipients

Dr. Christophe Bedos McGill, University Faculty of Dental Medicine and Oral Health Sciences

Dr. Carlos Smith, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry