» Go to news main

Dr. Rob Roda receives 2022 Outstanding Alumni Award

Posted by Cheryl Bell on June 17, 2023 in News
(Photos: Bruce Bottomley) Dr. Ben Davis presents Dr. Rob Roda with his Outstanding Alumni Award


Dr. Rob Roda (BSc’77, DDS’81) was finally presented with his Outstanding Alumni Award (OAA), 10 months after post-tropical storm Fiona scuppered the Faculty of Dentistry’s plans for Homecoming Weekend last September.

Instead, Dr. Ben Davis, dean of the Faculty, presented Roda with his award on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the East Coast Endodontic Study Club, which he co-founded in 2003.

In his presentation, Dean Davis reminded Roda of his keen interest in NASA as a dentistry student, including his conviction that he should be NASA’s first official dentist, if not the first dentist in space.

Roda was not the first dentist in space, but he practised dentistry in Dartmouth for 10 years before going to the Baylor College of Dentistry in Austin, Texas, to specialize in endodontics. Since then, he has worked as an endodontist in private practice in Scottsdale, Arizona. He has also researched and published extensively and lectured at conferences around the world. He is an associate editor of the Journal of Endodontics and has served as the president of both the Arizona Dental Association and the American Association of Endodontics. He has also returned to the Faculty of Dentistry to present continuing education courses.

From left: Dr. Mike Roda, Emily (Rob Roda's fiancee), Dr. Rob Roda, Dr. Ben Davis

"Dr. Rob Roda certainly deserves this recognition," said Davis, explaining that the Faculty’s OAAs are presented to dentistry and dental hygiene alumni who have made special or distinctive contributions to their community, the profession, and to our Faculty. Dr. Mike Roda (DDS’77) was on hand to see his brother receive the award.

After receiving his award, Roda said that he has taught, lectured, and worked with dentistry graduates from many different places. "Dal grads are as good or better than any I’ve ever seen," he said, attributing the quality of the program to the Faculty’s dedication to education.

"When I graduated in 1981, the amount of knowledge you needed to be a dentist was the size of a volleyball," said Roda. Now, it’s the size of a beach ball – and growing. Yet, we still only have four years in which to teach it all."

It’s why he believes in study clubs, he says. "They can give general dentists the knowledge and confidence to do the cases they are good at and to refer the ones they aren’t good at – and to know the difference."

Roda calls East Coast Endodontics Study Club "one of my outreaches – it’s how I help people".

See the Facebook album of photos.