The American Student Dental Association announced the second recipient of the ASDA Paragon Award. Dr. Roger Triftshauser of Batavia, NY, was presented the association's highest honor at ASDA's 42nd Annual Session on March 3 in Minneapolis, Minn. The ASDA Paragon Award recognizes excellence in advocacy on behalf of students, clinical practice, contributions to the lives of dental students, innovations in progressing dental education and dedication to organized dentistry.
As a guest speaker at many ASDA national meetings and continuous supporter of building the next generation of leaders within organized dentistry, many students have experienced first-hand Triftshauser's passion and mentorship.
"He has spent his life forging his own path through hard work, professionalism and dedication to his family, his community and the profession of dentistry," said Rick Andolina, University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine '13, 2011-12 ASDA member at large. "We are very lucky to have Dr. Triftshauser not only as a mentor, but also as a great friend who through his life's journey has shown us the importance of giving back. I cannot think of anyone that is more deserving of ASDA's highest honor."
Triftshauser received his degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery in 1961 from the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine. He then served in the U.S. Navy Dental Corps and eventually reached the rank of two-star rear admiral, the highest rank in the Navy Dental Corps. Upon release from active duty in 1967, he received a Master of Orthodontics degree from Loma Linda School of Dentistry. Triftshauser's total service with the U.S. Naval Reserve Dental Corps spanned 33 years. He was selected for Flag rank in 1990, was promoted to the permanent grade of Rear Admiral on March 1, 1994, and retired from the Naval Reserve on Oct. 1, 1995.
Triftshauser is a member of the American Dental Association, in which he served as a delegate and as a board member to the New York State Dental Association. He is the immediate past chair of the American Dental Political Action Committee. He is a past president of the New York State Dental Association's Eighth District Dental Society, past president of the American College of Dentists, a Diplomat of the American Board of Orthodontics and a Fellow of the International College of Dentists. He has also held leadership positions in The New York State Association of Counties, The Rotary Club of America and the Batavia City School Board of Education.
When asked about his career, Triftshauser said, "As long as you have something left to offer, you can always do more. I have never really considered myself an extremely successful or motivational person, but I am happy if I have had a positive impact on others. I have had mentors in the past, I have mentors now, and I see the students in ASDA as being excellent mentors in the future."