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Annual Session Awards and Named Lectures

INNOVATION AWARDS | RESEARCH AWARDS | SERVICE AWARDS | NAMED LECTURES

Research Awards


AAO Initiatives Supporting Orthodontic Education

The AAO and the AAOF have collaborated to support fellowship awards and grant programs for orthodontic residents, students and junior faculty at accredited graduate orthodontic residency programs.

Click here to learn more and to apply for Research Awards and Fellowships.

Milo Hellman Research Award

The Milo Hellman Research Award was established by the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) in 1958. Prior to 1958, the award was referred to as the Research Essay Contest. The Milo Hellman Research Award is open to any United States AAO member, Canadian AAO member or any person affiliated with an ADA or CDA accredited orthodontic program serving as a teacher, researcher or graduate student/resident. The award is for an original investigation that gives some new and significant material of value to the art and science of orthodontics. This award is presented during the AAO Excellence in Orthodontics Awards Luncheon at Annual Session.

The application for this award is available in March. The deadline to apply is October 1.

Information for the 2020 Milo Hellman Research Award

View past winners of the Milo Hellman Research Award.

Harry Sicher Research Award

The Harry Sicher Research Award was established by the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) in 1976. The Harry Sicher Research Award is open to any graduate student/resident affiliated with an ADA or CDA accredited orthodontic program. These awards are for research efforts performed during graduate orthodontic education at the Certificate, Masters or PhD levels. The award is for an original investigation of significance and value to the art and science of orthodontics. This award is presented during the AAO Excellence in Orthodontics Awards Luncheon at Annual Session.

The application for this award is available in March. The deadline to apply is October 1.

Information for the 2020 Harry Sicher Research Award

View past winners of the Harry Sicher Research Award.

Thomas M. Graber Awards of Special Merit

The Thomas M. Graber Awards of Special Merit was established by the AAO in 2002. Applicants for the Harry Sicher Research Award will be considered for the Thomas M. Graber Awards of Special Merit. This award is presented during the AAO Excellence in Orthodontics Awards Luncheon at Annual Session.

The application for this award is available in March. The deadline to apply is October 1.

Information for the 2020 Thomas M. Graber Awards of Special Merit

View past winners of the Thomas M. Graber Awards of Special Merit.

Lifetime Achievement Award in Orthodontic Research

The Lifetime Achievement Award in Orthodontic Research was established by the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) in 2015. The award recognizes those individuals who have made significant contributions to the science related to the specialty of orthodontics over the course of their lifetime. This award is presented during the AAO Excellence in Orthodontics Awards Luncheon at Annual Session.

Click here to begin the nomination process for the Lifetime Achievement Award in Orthodontic Research.

AAO Resident Scholar Award

The AAO Resident Scholar Award program was established by the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) in 2004. The AAO Resident Scholar Award offers an opportunity to graduate students/residents to present clinical science and basic science research using narrative material and a Posterboard. This award is presented during the AAO Excellence in Orthodontics Awards Luncheon at Annual Session.

The online application will be available the first week of December 2019. The deadline to apply is February 1, 2020.

Information and online application for 2020 AAO Resident Scholar Award 

View past winners of the AAO Resident Scholar Award.

Louise Ada Jarabak Memorial International Teachers and Research Award

Annually, the AAOF BOD selects the recipient of the Jarabak Award from nominations received from AAO Constituent Societies. This award is presented during the AAO Excellence in Orthodontics Awards Luncheon at Annual Session.

Learn more about the Louis Ada Jarabak Memorial International Teachers and Research Award.

Service Awards


James E. Brophy Distinguished Service Award

The Distinguished Service Award was established by the Board of Directors of the American Association of Orthodontists in 1963 and was renamed the James E. Brophy AAO Distinguished Service Award by the House of Delegates in 1986. The award is presented to those who, in the judgment of the Award Committee, have made contributions to orthodontics in addition to other valuable and devoted services to the Association and to its membership. This award is presented during the AAO Excellence in Orthodontics Awards Luncheon at Annual Session.

Eugene and Pauline Blair AAOF Distinguished Service Award

The Eugene and Pauline Blair, American Association of Orthodontists Foundation, Distinguished Service
Award recognizes to a person, group of persons or an organization who, in the judgment of the members of the Board of Directors of the American Association of Orthodontists Foundation, has/have made exceptional contributions to the furtherance of the mission and goals of the Foundation.

View past winners of the Eugene and Pauline Blair AAOF Distinguished Service Award.

Humanitarian Award

The Humanitarian Award was established by the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) in 2011. The award recognizes significant contributions to improve the quality of human life that extend beyond the usual scope of private practice, academic functions or organized dentistry. This award is presented during the AAO Excellence in Orthodontics Awards Luncheon at Annual Session.

Outstanding Contribution Award by a Non-Orthodontist

The AAO Distinguished Service Award Committee is requesting nominations for the AAO Outstanding Contribution Award by a Non-Orthodontist for 2021. The Committee is composed of the eight most recent past presidents, each representing one of the eight constituent organizations. This award is presented during the AAO Excellence in Orthodontics Awards Luncheon at Annual Session.

Click here to begin the nomination process for the Outstanding Contribution Award by a Non-Orthodontist.

Orthodontic Staff Achievement Award

 The Orthodontic Staff Achievement Award was established to recognize the contributions of orthodontic staff members. This award is intended to formally acknowledge the valuable contributions of the non-orthodontist team member to the dental specialty with quality patient care.

 Click here for information about the nomination criteria and process for the Orthodontic Staff Achievement Award

Albert H. Ketcham Memorial Award

The memorial is awarded annually to the orthodontist or some other person who, in the judgment of the award committee, has made a notable contribution to the science and art of orthodontics. This award is presented during the AAO Excellence in Orthodontics Awards Luncheon at Annual Session.

View past winners of the Albert H. Ketcham Memorial Award.

Joseph E. Johnson Clinical Award

The Joseph E. Johnson Clinical Award recognizes a clinician(s) judged most deserving of those presenting Table Clinics at the AAO Annual Session.

View past winners of the Joseph E. Johnson Clinical Award.

Innovation Awards


OrthoInnovator Award

Introduced in 2018, the Ortho Innovator Award recognizes ideas that could revolutionize orthodontic treatment or practice management. This award is presented during the AAO Excellence in Orthodontics Awards Luncheon at Annual Session.

Named Lectures


Sharon Hunt Memorial Lecture

  • Speaker: Dr. David Sarver
  • 2019 Orthodontic Staff Achievement Award Recipient: Mrs. Judy Coltman
  • Date: Saturday, May 2 | Time: 1pm-2pm
  • Location: GWCC, A404-405

This memorial lecture was established to honor the contributions and accomplishments of Sharon Hunt, former executive director of the Southern Association of Orthodontists. This lecture will include presentation of the Orthodontic Staff Achievement Award, which honors a clinical or administrative team member for exceptional contributions to patient care and the orthodontic specialty.

Lifetime Achievement Lecture

  • Speaker: Prof. Anne Marie Kuijpers-Jagtman
  • Date: Sunday, May 3 | Time: 8:00am-8:45am
  • Location: GWCC, B405-407

The Lifetime Achievement Award in Orthodontic Research was established by the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) in 2015. The award recognizes those individuals who have made significant contributions to the science related to the specialty of orthodontics over the course of their lifetime. This award is presented during the AAO Excellence in Orthodontics Awards Luncheon at Annual Session.

Edward H. Angle Lecture

  • Speaker: Dr. Steven Dugoni
  • Date: Sunday, May 3 | Time: 8:45am-9:30am
  • Location: GWCC, B405-407

The Heritage Lecture, sponsored by the University of Tennessee, is an honorary lecture sponsored by annual and/or perpetual donors. It is a way to memorialize and honor individuals who have contributed to the rich heritage of the orthodontic specialty. This lecture features a specific aspect or issue of current clinical, academic or research interest that has its roots in the history of orthodontics and is significant to the contemporary practice of orthodontics or future direction of the orthodontic specialty. This lecture has been part of the AAO Annual Session since 1998.

John Valentine Mershon Memorial Lecture

  • Speaker: Dr. David Musich
  • Date: Sunday, May 3 | Time: 10:00am-10:45am
  • Location: GWCC, B405-407

Mrs. Harriett Worrall Mershon established the John Valentine Mershon Memorial Lecture in honor of her husband Dr. John V. Mershon. This lecture has been part of the AAO Annual Session program since 1960. Dr. Mershon was a professor of orthodontics at the University of Pennsylvania and developed the removable lingual arch appliance. He was also a pioneer in the application of biological principles in orthodontics. The lecture is administered by the AAO.

Jacob A. Salzmann Lecture

  • Speaker: Dr. Kevin O’Brien
  • Date: Sunday, May 3 | Time: 10:45am-11:30am
  • Location: GWCC, B405-407

The family of Dr. Jacob A. Salzmann and his wife, Leah Wishoff Salzmann, established the Jacob A. Salzmann Lecture. This lecture has been part of the AAO Annual Session program since 1986. The lecture is administered by the AAO Foundation.