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Dr. Bruce Riggs, center, was presented the Teaching Excellence Award from the Dental College of Georgia by Dr. Carol Lefebvre, left, dean of the college, and Dr. Kevin Frazier, vice dean of the college.

Pediatric dentistry professor honored with Teaching Excellence Award

The Dental College of Georgia recently named Dr. Bruce Riggs (MPH ’17) the 2021 recipient of the Teaching Excellence Award. This award is the DCG’s highest teaching recognition.

Riggs was praised by nominees for his positivity and preparedness. “He creates the perfect amalgamation of ‘real-world’ and ‘academic’ dentistry, made possible by his many years of successful clinical practice,” said Dr. Luke Robert (DMD ’20), a pediatric dentistry resident.

“He is sure to hammer down the take-home points of what can sometimes be an overwhelming amount of material, guaranteeing we will be ready for the world of private practice.”

His students praise his friendly, approachable teaching style.

“He is always prepared for class and truly advocates for students and their success. He knows students by name and he remembers things such as where you are from and hobbies you may have, and he tries to make those connections with students,” said one dental student. “His encouragement is boundless and his reputation is awesome.”

Dr. Tara Schafer, chair of the Department of Pediatric Dentistry, said Riggs provides significant lecture and clinical support.

“He has introduced numerous innovative methods of teaching and has substantially invigorated all of the courses of our program,” Schafer said.

Riggs is an associate professor of pediatric dentistry in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry and holds a master’s degree in public health, which he received from Augusta University in 2017. He serves as co-coordinator of Give Kids a Smile Day, which involves coordination of screening exams; transportation to and from the DCG; and scheduling of students, residents, faculty and private practitioners to provide treatment. He is also an aficionado of classic cars, vintage clocks and guitars.

Riggs was recognized at the DCG faculty’s annual retreat.

The DCG’s Teaching Excellence Award was established more than 25 years ago to recognize full-time faculty for outstanding teaching efforts. The awardee receives a one-time salary supplement and a grant to support their teaching efforts within the college.

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Written by
Stacey Hudson

Stacey Hudson is communications coordinator for the Dental College of Georgia.

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Written by Stacey Hudson

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