Ostrow Faculty Member Honored for Outstanding Mentorship
By Beth Newcomb
Ostrow School of Dentistry faculty member Kian Kar DDS ’95, PERIO ’99, MS ’00 has been named a recipient of a 2013 USC Mellon Mentoring Award for being an outstanding mentor for graduate students in the school’s Advanced Periodontology Program.
Kar, associate professor of clinical dentistry and Advanced Periodontology clinic director, was honored during a ceremony on April 25 in University Club on USC’s University Park Campus.
The Mellon Mentoring Awards are bestowed annually on faculty members who help to build a supportive academic environment by engaging in faculty-to-student and faculty-to-faculty mentoring. Ten faculty members, including Kar, were honored this year for exceptional mentorship of graduate students.
“It is a humbling and rewarding experience to observe my students’ growth and to witness their success,” Kar says.
Kar says much of the work he does with the Advanced Periodontology residents involves not only teaching the specifics of clinical periodontology but also helping residents hone their critical thinking and clinical decision-making abilities.
“We try to teach them how to think like a periodontist, lead, and be a professional,” he says.
The Advanced Periodontology Program has 12 residents total and includes dentists right out of dental school as well as those who have practiced for several years. Each is unique in how they manage patients and in what kind of mentorship he or she needs, Kar says.
He keeps in touch with many of the program’s graduates, noting that his role as educator helps residents become his trusted colleagues.
“As mentors, we should trying to make more mentors and leaders,” Kar says. “Many of our grads are now faculty members themselves.”
Ostrow School of Dentistry Dean Avishai Sadan says Kar is a tremendously talented and caring educator.
“Dr. Kar serves as a terrific role model to our students and residents, and he is very deserving of this award,” Sadan says. “We are so proud to count him as a member of both our alumni family and our faculty.”