Peers praise WVU alums

MORGANTOWN – A local dentist and a local orthodontist recently received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the West Virginia University School of Dentistry.

Dentist Dr. David Edwards, who practices in Wellsburg, and Wheeling-based orthodontist Dr. Daniel Joseph both received the honor this spring during the Alumni Banquet at Lakeview Golf Resort and Spa in Morgantown.

Edwards, 73, who has practiced for 40 years since graduating from WVU in 1973, said he was pleasantly surprised to receive the call that he would be getting the recognition.

”It meant a lot to us because it was given by our colleagues and peers, and that really makes it special,” Edwards said. ”I was rather speechless when they called me.”

Edwards has been a clinical associate professor at the WVU School of Dentistry for 10 years and has lectured in dental assisting and dental hygiene at state colleges. He has memberships in 12 state and national dental societies, including election to the American College of Dentists and International College of Dentists. Since 2004, he has served on the West Virginia Board of Dental Examiners, including two years as president – a duty he will take on again starting in July; the Northeast Regional Board of Dental Examiners; and the Southern Regional Testing Agency Board of Directors.

Joseph, 59, has practiced orthodontics in Wheeling for 32 years.

”This award is very special because it is my state’s university honoring us. … It’s just great,” Joseph said.

Joseph noted much has changed in the field of orthodontics, especially since his father was practicing. Joseph started working in his father’s office when he was a child.

”Everything has changed. … It’s easier on the patient,” he said, noting installing and changing braces now takes minutes instead of hours as it did in decades past.

Joseph received his doctor of dental surgery degree from WVU in 1978. He is a member of 15 state, national and professional organizations, including election to the American College of Dentists and International College of Dentists. He has been elected to several leadership positions, including president of the Wheeling District Dental Society, executive council delegate in the West Virginia Dental Association, president of the West Virginia Association of Orthodontics, board member of the Southern Association of Orthodontics and leadership conference member of the American Association of Orthodontics. Joseph has been the orthodontics examiner on the West Virginia Board of Dental Examiners for 17 years. As the founder of two funds, he has also received the WVU Outstanding Philanthropy Award.

Also receiving the award was Morgantown dentist Dr. Louise Veselicky, a two-time graduate of the WVU School of Dentistry who currently serves as a clinical associate professor in the WVU Department of Periodontics.

The final award, the Alumni Achievement Award, was presented to the late Dr. Elliot Shulman, professor of pediatric dentistry at WVU, who died in February. The award is presented to an individual for service to the profession, the state and the WVU School of Dentistry. His widow, Marilyn, accepted the award on his behalf.