Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and cancellation of the AAO Annual Session in Atlanta, the four honorees will now be recognized at future ABO gatherings later this year and in 2021.

The American Board of Orthodontics (ABO) has announced the recipients of its 2020 awards for their services in orthodontic practice for 2020.

Rolf G. Behrents, DDS, MS, PhD, of St Louis, was named recipient of the 2020 Albert H. Ketcham Memorial Award, the ABO’s highest honor, while Carla A. Evans, DDS, DMSc, of Chicago, Ill, was named recipient of the 2020 Dale B. Wade Award of Excellence in Orthodontics. In addition, Perry M. Opin, DDS, MScD, of Milford, Conn, will receive the 2020 Earl E. and Wilma S. Shepard Distinguished Service Award, and John S. Kanyusik, DDS, MSD, of Mankato, Minn, the 2020 O.B. Vaughan Special Recognition Award.

Albert H. Ketcham Memorial Award

The Albert H. Ketcham Memorial Award commemorates the achievements of Albert H. Ketcham, DDS, FACD. Created by the ABO in 1936, this award is presented annually to an individual who has made a notable contribution to the science and art of orthodontics.

With a long and distinguished career in orthodontic teaching and research, Behrents currently is professor emeritus of orthodontics at Saint Louis University. He also serves as editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, a position he has held since 2014.

“When President Barone announced that I was to receive the Ketcham Award, I was at first completely stunned and then totally delighted,” says Behrents. “I was stunned as I never really expected to be so honored given the high quality of the previous winners. Then, I was delighted that this announcement was greeted by the enthusiastic applause of so many colleagues, friends and family. A very special moment, indeed.”

An active researcher and editorial contributor to numerous books, Behrents is the author of Growth of the Aging Craniofacial Skeleton. He has published more than 70 articles, and has lectured extensively in the United States and abroad. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Louise Ada Jarabak Memorial International Teaching and Research Award from the AAO Foundation in 2011.

Dale B. Wade Award

The Dale B. Wade Award recognizes an exemplary senior clinician and board-certified orthodontist who demonstrates exceptional dedication to orthodontics through clinical excellence and/or devoted teaching in the image of Dale B. Wade, DDS, an ABO past president.

Now a clinical professor in the Department of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics at Boston University, Evans was professor, department head and orthodontic specialty program director at the University of Illinois at Chicago for 22 years. She also is a well-known lecturer and has been active in various national committees on electronic health records in dentistry.

She has approximately 200 publications covering the topics of normal and abnormal facial growth and development, and application of computer imaging to orthodontic diagnosis and treatment planning. She has been associate editor and editor of journals including the World Journal of Orthodontics, and editorial board member of the Journal of Dental Research and others.

“It has been my good fortune to have many opportunities in life and to have unwavering support from my spouse, Denis, and my parents,” she says. “I truly appreciate being selected by the ABO for the Dale B. Ward Award of Excellence in Orthodontics and being able to join the list of exceptional orthodontists who have worked so hard to elevate the standard of orthodontic practice for the benefit of the public.” 

Earl E. and Wilma S. Shepard Distinguished Service Award

The Earl E. and Wilma S. Shepard Distinguished Service Award was established to perpetuate Earl Shepard’s outstanding accomplishments and to show appreciation for his many contributions as the first executive director of the ABO and those of his wife, Wilma, who was highly involved with her husband’s efforts to fulfill the ABO’s goals. This award recognizes an individual for outstanding dedication and advancement of the ideals and mission of the ABO.

Opin has practiced orthodontics in Milford since 1966; his son, Gary, joined him in the practice in 2002. Opin has a long record of service at the national, regional, state and community levels. A founding member of the College of Diplomates, he served as president in 1992-1993 and was a member of the board of trustees from 1984 to 1993. He has been College of Diplomates of the American Board of Orthodontics (CDABO) parliamentarian and a board member since 2010. CDABO honored Opin for his contributions by awarding him both their Award of Merit and Founders Award.

He served as president of the Connecticut State Society of Orthodontists from 1989 to 1991. For the Connecticut State Dental Association, he was a member of the board of governors from 1994 to 2016 and a delegate or alternate to the House of Delegates from 1976 to 2016. He was parliamentarian from 1997 to 2015 and speaker from 2009 to 2015. The Connecticut Dental Society honored Opin for his contributions with the President’s Award in 2016.

“When I received the phone call from the President of the ABO, informing me that I was selected to receive the Earl and Wilma Shepard Award for 2020, I was completely flabbergasted,” he says. “Above all, how do I deserve this honor?  All that I can say is ‘Thank you. I share this Shepard Achievement Award with all of you, my orthodontic colleagues, with humility and gratitude.’”     

O.B. Vaughan Special Recognition Award

The O.B. Vaughan Special Recognition Award recognizes an individual who has significantly contributed to orthodontic education and furthered the ideals of the American Board of Orthodontics. The award is named in honor of O.B. Vaughan, DDS, an ABO past president.

Kanyusik has a long record of service to the ABO and CDABO. He directed CDABO’s preparation courses for the ABO exam from 1984 to 1990. He served as CDABO president in the 2000-2001 year and was a board member from 1992 to 2001. He has been an ABO clinical examination consultant since 2002, and has co-chaired the ABO/CDABO Resident Advocacy Committee since 2011. He was general chairman of the 1997 CDABO annual meeting.

“It has been a privilege to work with the ABO and CDABO throughout the years to encourage ABO certification,” says Kanyusik. “It is a great honor to receive an award named for one of my professional heroes, Dr. O. B. Vaughan.”

A Fellow of the American College of Dentists, Kanyusik has been a reviewer and synopsis writer for AAO Practical Reviews in Orthodontics since 2013. He also is a member of the World Federation of Orthodontists and the American Dental Association. Since 2002 he has taught part-time at the University of Minnesota’s Department of Orthodontics. He has lectured throughout the United States and internationally. Kanyusik has received numerous awards for his contributions throughout his career, including the Earl E. and Wilma S. Shepard Distinguished Service Award from the ABO in 2009, the Samir E. Bishara Award of Merit from CDABO in 2012, and the Earl E. Shepard Distinguished Service Award from the Midwestern Society of Orthodontists in 2015.

COVID-19 Impact

Due to the cancellation of the on-site AAO 2020 Annual Session where the award is traditionally presented, Behrents will be honored by the ABO at the AAO 2021 Annual Session to be held in Boston, Mass. No additional recipient for the award in 2021 will be identified. Evans, Opin, and Kanyusik will be honored at the March 2021 CDABO annual meeting to be held in Savannah, Ga.