FEATURING Dr. Lonnie Norris, DMD76, MPH77, HSDM Alumnus, Dean Emeritus, and Professor Emeritus at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine
Currently, there are only 70 Dental School Deans in the United States of America. As living the experience of being a first generation college student from a low income family to leadership as the first African American Dean of Tufts University School of Dental Medicine founded in 1868, this presentation will review my pathway and perspectives of challenges, support, and lessons learned to have successful outcomes in promoting inclusion, diversity and belonging.
Dr. Lonnie H. Norris served as the Dean at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine for 16 years. He has been a faculty member at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine since 1980 in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and attained the academic rank of tenured professor. Dr. Norris was appointed Interim Dean in July 1995 and Dean in February 1996. As of September 1, 2011 Dr. Norris was awarded Dean Emeritus, and Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Emeritus. In his professional career devoted to academics, he has served in many leadership positions and received numerous recognitions.
Dr. Norris served as Chair of the Council of Deans on the American Dental Education Association’s administrative board, as an American Dental Education Association (ADEA) Commissioner on the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), and was appointed to the Board of Trustees for the ADEA Gies Foundation. Dr. Norris received the 2012 ADEA Distinguished Service Award for significant contributions to education, research and the American Dental Education Association. In 2013, he was recognized with an American Dental Education Association Leadership Institute Advisor Appreciation Award.
Dr. Norris is a fellow of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, the American College of Dentists, the International College of Dentists, the American Academy of Dental Science, and the Pierre Fauchard Academy. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and has served as a member of its advisory committee as a board examiner. Further, he was a member of the Test Construction Committee of the American Dental Association’s (ADA) Joint Commission of National Dental Examinations. Dr. Norris conducted accreditation site visits for the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and chaired accreditation site visit teams for the Commission on Dental Accreditation.
Dr. Norris received the Pierre Fauchard Academy New England Chapter Dentist of Year Award in 1997. In 1998, he was honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award from Harvard University School of Dental Medicine. In May 2008, Dr. Norris became the first Tufts University faculty member to be awarded the Tufts University Provost’s Medal. Mattapan Community Health Center presented him the Community Health Pinnacle Award in 2007. The Wang YMCA of Chinatown recognized Dr. Norris for his personal commitment to serving the people of the community in November of 2010. Tufts University School of Dental Medicine Alumni Association presented Dr. Norris with an Alumni Achievement Award in 2010. He was also recognized with a National Dental Association President Award, and the International College of Dentists – District I Distinguished Service Award in 2011. As a tenured professor in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Dr. Norris research interest focused on the comparative analgesic efficacy of non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in the management of post operative oral surgery pain. Dr. Norris professional activities have included appointments as an advisor in the American Dental Education Association Leadership Institute, a consultant on the Visiting Committee of Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Board member of the American Dental Partners, Chair of a Data Safety Monitoring Board for a multi centered study of Procter and Gamble Company, a member of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Task Force on Mentoring in Education, and a member of the Tufts Medical School’s Advisory Board. Dr. Norris served as Chair on the Board of the American College of Dentists-New England Section, and was recognized with the Section’s Thomas F. Winkler Leadership Award. He now serves as the Immediate Past President. More recently, at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, he was presented the Legends and Icons Award for his efforts in diversity and inclusion. He has always had a commitment to care of underserved populations and in mentoring in support of careers of others.
Dr. Lonnie H. Norris earned his doctor of dental medicine and master of public health degrees from Harvard University before completing a postgraduate residency in oral and maxillofacial surgery at Tufts University School of Dental. Dr. Norris received his undergraduate degree from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee with Phi Beta Kappa honors.