Alumni Awards

UNMC College of Dentistry Alumni Association (CODAA)

Distinguished Service Award: Dr. Paul Swanson, DDS, 1958

Dr. Paul SwansonDr. Paul Swanson was born and reared on a farm near Wausa, Nebraska, where he attended a one-room country school. He received a BA from Wayne State Teacher’s College. Following graduation from dental school, he was assigned to the Norton Air Force Base in San Bernardino, California. He began his own private dental practice in 1961 in Redlands, California, where he practiced for 33 years until retirement.

He was chair of the Peer Review Committee for Redlands-Yucaipa area and was a volunteer dentist for the Assistance League of Redlands. A past president of Californians for Nebraska, he was a member of the UNL Alumni Board and regional director of the Far Western States. He received the Distinguished Service Award from the UNL Alumni Association in 2001.

Dr. Swanson and his wife, Marcia, are members of the President’s Club, the Chancellor’s Club, and the Dean’s Club. They have established an endowed scholarship for pre-dental students at Wayne State College and an endowed scholarship for dental students at UNMC. Their two children have University of Nebraska degrees, and their grandson, Seth, is a third-year dental student at the College of Dentistry. Their son, Dr. Randel Swanson, is a 1990 College of Dentistry graduate.

Alumni Achievement Award: Dr. David Neumeister, DDS, 1969

Dr. David NeumeisterDr. David Neumeister was born in Lincoln and graduated from the University of Vermont. After graduating from the UNMC College of Dentistry in 1969, he established a practice in Brattleboro, Vt. Despite the distance, he has taught sessions in the College of Dentistry’s practice management courses for 20 years, donating his time and expenses. He has written a chapter in the textbook, Dental Practice Transition: A Practical Guide to Management, and has written articles for the Journal of the American College of Dentists. He has lectured across the United States.

In Brattleboro, Dr. Neumeister founded and developed the business plan for a for-profit, Medicaid driven, access dental office, the Estey Dental Center. He is a former vice president of the American Dental Association and was chair of the ADA Strategic Planning Committee and Council on Dental Practice.

Outside of dentistry, Neumeister has guided the strategic planning for the United Way of Windham County, schools, a hospital, and a nursing home. He also coached the Brattleboro Union High School to four state high school skiing championships.

 Honorary Life Membership Award: Dr. John W. Reinhardt, DDS Dean of the College of Dentistry 

Dr. John ReinhardtDr. John Reinhardt was born and reared in Nashville, Illinois. He received his BS from Illinois Wesleyan University and his DDS from Loyola University School of Dentistry in Chicago. He also received a MS in Operative Dentistry from the University of Iowa, where he served on the faculty for 23 years, and an MPH degree from Harvard University while there on a Robert Wood Johnson Fellowship.

He received a Certificate of Proficiency from the American Board of Operative Dentistry and the Award of Excellence from the Academy of Operative Dentistry. He has served as president of the Supreme Chapter of Omicron Kappa Upsilon and also as president of the Academy of Operative Dentistry. Since 2000, he has been dean of the UNMC College of Dentistry

 Outstanding Teaching Award: Dr. Eric Fung, PhD 

Dr. Eric FungDr. Eric Fung, a professor in the UNMC College of Dentistry’s Oral Biology Department, received his BS degree in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin and his PhD in pharmacology from The Ohio State University. He has worked at the college since 1984 where he teaches pharmacology to graduate students, dental students and hygiene students.

He has received six teaching recognitions, including the UNMC Outstanding Teaching Award in 1992, and he is a speaker in the ADA’s Center for Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning seminar series.

Dr. Fung’s research activities include the role of mercury in neurodegenerative disorders, the effects of nicotine on central neuronal systems, the effects of nicotine on bone remodeling, and the pharmacokinetics of bisphenol A release from dental sealants. His research has been highlighted in the American Dental Association News and The New York Times. He has published 73 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals and has participated in research funding projects exceeding $2 million.

Award Nominations
Do you know alumni or others who deserve recognition for their outstanding contributions and/or service to the College of Dentistry, CODAA, or their communities? Nominate them for one of the following CODAA Awards.

Alumni Achievement Award
Presented to College of Dentistry alumni with a record of outstanding achievements in their dental or dental hygiene careers and/or civic involvement. Voting members of the CODAA are not eligible for this award during their tenure as a Board member.

Distinguished Service Award
Presented to College of Dentistry alumni on the basis of their contributions and/or service to the CODAA or the College of Dentistry. Voting members of the CODAA are not eligible for this award during their tenure as a Board member.

Honorary Life Membership Award
Presented to someone who demonstrates or has demonstrated exceptional service to the UNMC College of Dentistry or the CODAA. The recipient need not be a graduate of the College of Dentistry.

Outstanding Educator Award
Presented to someone who demonstrates or has demonstrated exceptional service as a full-time or part-time faculty member of the College of Dentistry. The recipient need not be a graduate of the College of Dentistry. This award can be made to a previous recipient, but there must be a ten-year interval between those awards.

Nomination Process
To nominate a person for any of these awards, please send a short (one typed page or less) description of the person's achievements, service activities or other contributions which make them eligible for receiving the award. Include your (nominator's) name and contact information. Nominations are accepted continuously and the CODAA Board of Directors selects award winners annually.

Nominations may be sent to:

UNMC CODAA, c/o Dean's Office
UNMC College of Dentistry
40th and Holdrege Streets Box 830740 Lincoln, NE 68583-0740;
Faxed to: (402) 472-6681 (Dean's Office);
Or emailed to Dr. James Jenkins, Director of Alumni Affairs