Dr. Frederick Rueggeberg, a professor at The Dental College of Georgia, received the Omicron Kappa Upsilon Stephen H. Leeper Award for Teaching Excellence at the OKU annual meeting held during the American Dental Education Association meeting in March. This annual national award recognizes dental educators who have displayed exemplary standards in dental teaching and who have contributed significantly to the advancement of dental education. It honors individuals who have established original and creative methods of educating and engaging students, faculty and administrators.
“The value Dr. Rueggeberg has provided to our institution, his profession, and the public we serve is significant and enduring through the many lives he has touched as a researcher, teacher, mentor and colleague,” said Dr. Carol Lefebvre, dean of The Dental College of Georgia. “We are so proud that Dr. Rueggeberg was selected for this honor.”
Rueggeberg is a professor in the departments of Oral Rehabilitation and Oral Biology at DCG and The Graduate School at Augusta University. He is responsible for all of the dental materials content in the predoctoral curriculum and has served as a research mentor and collaborator for over 100 students, residents, faculty and international residents and faculty since he joined the staff at DCG in 1987.
His main predoctoral teaching responsibility is as director of the dental materials course that includes instruction and innovative, hands-on laboratory sessions. He presents complex and tedious information in such a way that he is able to make teaching dental materials interesting, engaging and memorable. Student feedback of Rueggeberg’s classes has always been positive, and his students say the hands-on lab activities helps them to better retain information and has made them strive to improve their clinical techniques.
Rueggeberg is a past-president of the DCG chapter of OKU and has served on many college, institutional and professional committees and organizations. Most recently, he has been tasked with developing a more robust faculty research development program that will help guide junior faculty through a structured research project process.
He has made significant contributions to the advancement of the science of dental materials regarding polymerization of light-cured resin-based restorative materials. As an expert in the subject, he has given presentations, published articles, been awarded patents and provided consultations to dental manufacturers. Rueggeberg regularly hosts international dentists and students in his laboratory to work on research projects, and he is frequently invited to present his research in national and international venues.
The Supreme Chapter of Omicron Kappa Upsilon established the Stephen H. Leeper Award for Teaching Excellence in 1997 to honor a man who served the Supreme Chapter from 1969 to 1996. Dr. Leeper began his career in dental education in 1967 teaching removable prosthodontics at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry and retired after serving as dean of the UNMC College of Dentistry from 1989-2000.