The Stephen H. Leeper Award for Teaching Excellence recognizes dental educators who have displayed exemplary standards in dental pedagogy while demonstrating vision and advancement in dental education.  This award honors individuals who have implemented innovative techniques or displayed excellence in dental education, and who have instituted creative and unique methods of educating and engaging students, faculty and administrators.  The Stephen H. Leeper Award for Teaching Excellence acknowledges dental educators, thus challenging others to strive for excellence and innovation in dental education.

The Supreme Chapter of Omicron Kappa Upsilon established the Stephen H. Leeper Award for Teaching Excellence at its annual business meeting in Orlando, FL on March 18, 1997 to honor a man who served the Supreme Chapter from 1969 to 1996.  Dr. Stephen H. Leeper began his career in dental education in 1967 teaching removable prosthodontics at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry and retired after serving as dean of UNMC College of Dentistry from 1989-2000. He is a Fellow of the American College of Dentists and the International College of Dentists, an honorary member of the American College of Prosthodontists and a member of the Nebraska Dental Association’s Hall of Fame.


Eligible applicants who are full-time dental educators at American Dental Association's CODA accredited institutions. Applicants are to be OKU members with at least seven years of teaching experience.    


Application Process

  • Letters of solicitation will be sent to chapter liaisons in September, along with other annual reminders.
  • Each school will develop its own nominating process. A nominee must be approved by both the dean (or associate dean) of the dental school and the president of the school’s OKU chapter.
  • A single letter of recommendation and support should include:
    1. Specific activities that the nominee has implemented that demonstrate innovation in teaching,
    2. how this teaching has impacted dental education at their institution,
    3. contributions made to the dental education community through presentations, exhibits, and publications demonstrating teaching/curricula innovations, and
    4. a list of accomplishments detailing the significance of the contributions.
    5. two signatures, one from the school's dean (including an associate dean), and one from the component chapter president.
  • A two (2) page curriculum vitae.
  • Please email nomination in pdf format to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by December 1.  Award is then presented 4 months later at the Annual Business Meeting.
  • Travel expenses are NO LONGER paid for recipient.  



2019 - Andrew Schwartz, Stony Brook University 

2020 - Laura Barritt, Creighton University

2021 - Ann Nasti, Stony Brook University

2022 - Hiroe Ohyama, Harvard University

2023 - Andrew Spielman, New York University