UW School of Dentistry

Dr. Sara Gordon to join national leadership training program

Dr. Sara Gordon, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for the School of Dentistry, has been named a Fellow in the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program for Women.

Dr. Sara GordonNearly 1,000 women working in academic medicine, dentistry and public health have entered the leadership training program since ELAM’s inception in 1995. Dr. Gordon will be joining the 2017-2018 cohort.

The program is run by the Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership, which is part of the Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. At the time of ELAM’s founding, U.S. academic health centers had a marked dearth of women in leadership. Only three medical schools had women deans, and all dental schools were led by men.

Today, more than half of ELAM alumnae hold senior posts ranging from department chair to dean, center director, provost and president, at more than 230 institutions of higher education and health care in the United States and Canada.

Fellows attend three weeklong sessions at Drexel during the academic year and complete assignments and readings throughout the year while studying an online curriculum. They delve into
strategic finance, personal and professional leadership effectiveness, community-building and academic organizational dynamics. Another one of ELAM’s strengths is its supportive international network of alumnae.

ELAM staff and faculty work also with groups including the Society for Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine, the Association of American Medical Colleges, and the American Dental Education Association (ADEA).

“I am excited to become a member of this wonderful network of wise and knowledgeable women,” said Dr. Gordon.  “Most of my most influential mentors are graduates of ELAM, and I know that the knowledge that I learn will be useful to me every day of my career. I am so grateful that the UW and ELAM have given me this phenomenal opportunity to grow and to learn.”

“This is a great honor for Dr. Gordon and a sign of the wide respect she has already earned in academic dentistry,” said Dean Joel Berg. “Her participation in ELAM will benefit our school every bit as much as it benefits her personally.”

Dr. Gordon came to the University of Washington in October 2014 to oversee the School of Dentistry’s academic programs as well as curriculum development, student progress, academic regulations, educational technologies, regional academic operations, and the continuing dental education steering committee.

Since 2006, she had been Associate Professor in the Department of Oral Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Dentistry. She also held associate membership in the college’s Center for the Molecular Biology of Oral Diseases and an adjunct associate professorship in the UIC College of Medicine’s Department of Pathology.

Previously, she held dental faculty appointments at the University of Detroit Mercy and in Canada at the University of Western Ontario and Dalhousie University. A dual American and Canadian citizen, she received a DDS from Dalhousie University, a master’s degree in pathology from the University of Western Ontario, and a BA in English from Dalhousie and a BS in biology from St. Mary’s University in Nova Scotia. In 2003, she attended the UW School of Dentistry’s Summer Institute for Clinical Dental Research Methods.

She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology and is also a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and Canada’s Royal College of Dentists in oral medicine and oral pathology.

She has been an active researcher and presenter, with more than 40 peer-reviewed journal publications and several book chapters, and has participated in more than 130 professional development workshops and presentations. She is also a reviewer for journals including the Journal of Dental Research, Journal of the American Dental Association, Journal of Dental Education, Special Care in Dentistry, and Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology (Triple O). Since joining the UW, she has published articles on differential diagnosis, infectious diseases, tobacco dependence education, interprofessional education, and women’s health. She currently serves as secretary for ADEA’s Section on Academic Affairs and is the UW’s Women’s Liaison to ADEA.