The awards honor individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the specialty of orthodontics.

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) announced its 2020 Excellence in Orthodontics Awards honorees. The awards recognize outstanding contributions to the specialty and will be presented on May 3 in Atlanta as part of the AAO Annual Session, scheduled for May 1 to 4, 2020.

Jon Meacham, a Pulitzer-prize winning author and presidential historian, has been invited to deliver the keynote address for the luncheon event.

Robert Williams, DDS, will receive the James E. Brophy AAO Distinguished Service Award (posthumous). Williams, who passed away on May 3, 2019, served as a delegate from the Middle Atlantic Society of Orthodontists to the AAO House of Delegates and as president of the Maryland State Society of Orthodontists (MASO). He was a director of MASO for 6 years, edited MASO’s awarding winning Journal, served as co-general chair of the 2018 AAO Annual Session and was MASO’s representative to the AAO global strategic planning committee.

Gary Baughman, DDS, MS, will also receive the James E. Brophy AAO Distinguished Service Award. Baughman, of Stockton, Calif, devoted decades of service to the specialty culminating with his role as speaker of the AAO House of Delegates from 2013 to 2015. He had previously spent nearly 20 years as a delegate to the HOD from the Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists. He is a past president of the PCSO and of the International Edward H. Angle Society.

The association will also honor Karin Vargervik, DDS, with the Humanitarian Award. After completing her orthodontic education in her native Norway, Vargervik came to Harvard University on a Fulbright Scholarship. She then accepted a research appointment at the University of California at San Francisco, also teaching and providing patient care to children with craniofacial birth defects.

In 2006, Vargervik began volunteering with Alliance for Smiles, which provides treatment for children with cleft lip in countries where low-income families have no access to craniofacial care. Vargervik spearheaded the establishment of cleft lip and palate treatment centers by training local providers in countries where Alliance for Smiles has surgical teams, in the process completing 30-plus visits to China, Nigeria, Bangladesh and Myanmar. Five treatment centers have been established in China and centers are in various stages of completion in Lagos, Nigeria; Gazipur, Bangladesh; and Yangon, Myanmar.

Anne Marie Kuijpers-Jagtman, DDS, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award in Orthodontic Research. Now a senior scientist at the orthodontic department of the University Medical Center Groningen (The Netherlands), Kuijpers-Jagtman spent 30 years as an orthodontic faculty member at the Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. She has undertaken extensive research on cleft lip and palate and the biology of orthodontic tooth movement. In recent years, her major interests have been in 3D-imaging and evidence-based orthodontic treatment.

Kuijpers-Jagtman’s research award lecture, “Reflections on 35 Years of Research: Do We Understand What We Are Doing?” will address questions about orthodontic force and concepts such as knowledge bypass and technology bypass, and their impact on clinical orthodontics.

The AAO will recognize Sharon Hunt with the AAO Outstanding Contribution Award (posthumous). This award honors non-orthodontists with exceptional records of service to the specialty. Hunt, who passed away on February 16, 2019, served from 1996 to 2014 as executive director of the Southern Association of Orthodontists (SAO). She advised SAO leaders in modernizing the organization’s financial management and restructuring Board meetings to emphasize strategy and efficiency. In addition, Hunt impacted the entire AAO by developing a high-level leadership training program for the SAO that became a model for training by other constituent groups and the AAO.

Additional honorees at the 2020 Excellence in Orthodontics Awards Program in Atlanta, include Rolf Behrents, DDS, and Greg Huang, DMD, MSD, MPH.

Behrents will receive the American Board of Orthodontics Albert H. Ketcham Memorial Award. The editor-in-chief of the AJO-DO since 2014, Behrents retired recently as the Lysle E. Johnston, Jr. professor of orthodontics and director of the orthodontic program at the Saint Louis University Center for Advanced Dental Education (CADE). Behrents’ career as an orthodontic educator and administrator also included positions at Baylor College of Dentistry in Texas, the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He has published more than 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals and is the author of “Growth of the Aging Craniofacial Skeleton.” Material from this monograph is included in the textbook Contemporary Orthodontics by William Proffit, DDS.

Huang will be presented with the AAO Foundation Louise Ada Jarabak Memorial International Teaching and Research Award. Huang is professor and chair of the Orthodontic Department at the University of Washington School of Dentistry. He led the AAO Practice Based Research Network Committee (AAO-PBRN), formed in 2013 to encourage orthodontic research in network settings. The adult anterior open bite study was the first project to be approved and funded by the National Dental Practice Based Research Network. In addition, Huang led recruitment of AAO member research participants in 2015 and later presented information about the study at the 2018 and 2019 Annual Sessions. He is the doctors co-chair for the 2020 AAO Winter Conference in Austin, Texas, focusing on treatment of open bite.

Tickets to the 2020 Excellence in Orthodontics luncheon are available through the Annual Session registration page.