Dental Assisting instructor honored as top adjunct in Kokomo Region
KOKOMO, Ind. — During commencement ceremonies May 12, Dr. David Sturgeon, adjunct instructor in Dental Assisting, will be honored as the recipient of Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Region’s 2016-17 Adjunct Faculty Award for Excellence in Instruction. As such, he is this year’s regional nominee for Ivy Tech’s statewide Gerald I. Lamkin Award for Excellence in Instruction.
The Adjunct Faculty Award for Excellence in Instruction is presented annually to an adjunct faculty member from each of the 14 regions of the College and is an effort to recognize adjunct faculty who typify excellence in instruction and in representing the mission of Ivy Tech. Nominations are presented from each of Ivy Tech Community College’s regions and a single recipient is chosen for the statewide system.
In honoring Sturgeon, Ivy Tech leaders called him a remarkable asset as an adjunct faculty member in Ivy Tech’s Kokomo Region. In nomination materials, he was described as a generous, kind, caring instructor who puts his more than 40 years of experience in the practice of family dentistry to use in successfully preparing his students to meet the requirements of licensure and the challenges of their chosen profession.
“Dr. Sturgeon is an extraordinary example of an adjunct who goes well above and beyond,” said Connie Morgan, dean of the School of Health Sciences for Ivy Tech’s Kokomo Region. “Students love his teaching methods, and they benefit from the extracurricular endeavors he encourages such as annual participation, for over 10 years, in the community volunteer activities Dentistry from the Heart and the Happy Teeth Sealant Clinic.”
From the very first course he taught, Sturgeon has created an environment that both inspires and motivates students, according to Ivy Tech administrators and faculty members. They said he emphasizes real-world application of dentistry so that students see a clear correlation of professional relevance between skills development and increased confidence that will aid in the success of their dental assisting career. He also serves as an eager and willing resource for other adjunct faculty within the dental assisting program.
A 1959 graduate of Kokomo High School, Sturgeon earned a Bachelor of Science in Zoology from Indiana University in 1964 and a Doctor of Dental Surgery from the IU College of Dentistry in 1971. He gained a wealth of life experience from service with the Army, both on active and reserve status. While on active duty from 1965 to 1967, he worked as a research assistant in a microbiology lab at Walter Reed Army Medical Center developing a malarial drug used in Vietnam.
Since 1971, Sturgeon has served the Kokomo area through Dr. Sturgeon Family Dentistry. He joined the faculty of Ivy Tech’s Dental Assisting Program as an adjunct instructor in 2012. He is past president of the Wabash Valley Dental Society and recognized for his distinguished service to the Metro Kokomo Kiwanis Club.
In recommending Sturgeon for the award, Ivy Tech Kokomo Campus President Michelle Simmons acknowledged his value to the program, college, and community.
“Dr. Sturgeon’s commitment to his students and their education was exemplified by his immediate contribution of time and resources following the devastating August tornado which destroyed the facility housing our health programs,” Simmons said. ”Without hesitation, he offered the use of his dental office so that students could continue in their program without interruption. His beneficence and commitment to his students and our community has always been recognized, but his generosity at a time of greatest need cannot be overstated.”