Shivani Ruparel named a Distinguished Research Mentor
April 14, 2021
The San Antonio Chapter of the American Association of Dental Research (SA-AADR) in collaboration with the School of Dentistry, announced Shivani B. Ruparel, MS, PhD as the inaugural awardee of the Distinguished Research Mentor Award.
Dr. Ruparel, an associate professor and director of research in the Department of Endodontics, received this student nominated award for her outstanding dedication and enthusiasm in mentoring the next generation of leaders in oral health research, according to Georgios Kotsakis, DDS, MS, president-elect of the SA-AADR and associate professor in the Department of Periodontics.
“This was a highly competitive award with multiple worthy nominations,” Dr. Kotsakis emphasized. “Three graduate students nominated Dr. Ruparel and highlighted her ‘beyond the call of duty’ approach to education and mentorship.”
Learning of her nomination and subsequent selection meant a great deal to Dr. Ruparel who says she felt extremely rewarded and reassured that she was doing something right in promoting her students’ achievements.
“I have always taken mentoring very seriously,” she stressed. “I try to give my best in training my students to become successful scientists. Ultimately, I think it is effective teamwork that determines the student’s success and I am very grateful for having such trainees who routinely demonstrate drive and perseverance. That makes my job as a mentor easy and enjoyable.”
As for her students, Dr. Kotsakis shared a line from one nomination letter that stood out to him. The student wrote, “A standard interaction with [Dr. Ruparel] ends with a digestible, plethora of knowledge followed by supporting conversations she thoughtfully designed for your specific learning style.”
In sharing that line, Dr. Kotsakis stated that, “Dr. Ruparel embodies the highest standard any mentor should be held to, and thus was a natural recipient of this award. We should all be San Antonio proud and confident that our UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry will continue to be a leader in oral health research nationally and internationally, supported by the next generation of scholars who receive the finest mentoring by dedicated faculty, such as Dr. Shivani Ruparel.”
The School of Dentistry and the SA-AADR has announced that the Distinguished Research Mentor Award will be an annual award that will coincide with the Annual Research and Clinical Symposium.