Dr. Daniels named head of NDA Foundation

November 4th, 2022

Dr. John T. Daniels II

Dr. John T. Daniels II, a clinical professor at Texas A&M School of Dentistry, was elected president of the National Dental Association Foundation.

The foundation is the charitable arm of the National Dental Association, one of the nation’s leading nonprofit professional organizations for the dental field, aimed at promoting oral health equity among people of color. It works to advance dentistry and provide educational opportunities for current and future Black dentists across the United States.

Daniels, who joined the dental school in June 2022, is a clinical professor in Comprehensive Dentistry. He has a long history with the NDA, including serving as a past president and on the NDA Foundation board. He was elected to a three-year term as Foundation president in July 2022 at the national convention in Phoenix, AZ. Daniels is also a Fellow in the International Congress of Oral Implantologists and the International College of Dentists.

“I’ve been in the NDA a number of years,” Daniels says. “One of the duties of a past president is to serve on the Foundation board, so I did that in 2020. I was reappointed to the Foundation board this past spring. When we had our annual meeting at the convention, the board of directors voted for me to be president.”

The NDA was founded in 1913 as the Tri-State Dental Association, Daniels says, and evolved into the National Dental Association. Daniels also added that the NDAF is a strong supporter of the Student National Dental Association, which has 35 chapters across the nation, one of which is here at the School of Dentistry.

The NDA Foundation was first incorporated in 1976 for the purpose of supporting dental research and education, through scholarships, grants, and other funding programs. The organization aims to “ensure oral health care remains a viable profession for African-Americans and other under-represented students,” according to its website. Daniels says the Foundation has provided more than $4 million in scholarship funds to about 3,000 students since its founding, as well as another $4 million in student and faculty research funding to several universities.

“The NDA is 113 years old now,” Daniels says. “It was formed at a time when African-Americans and other minorities were not allowed to be part of the ADA. Quite obviously, one of the goals of the organization is to facilitate the induction of minorities into the profession of dentistry.”

One of Daniels’ main goals for his term is to focus on the Foundation’s scholarship opportunities. This includes expanding available scholarships and promoting existing ones, such as the TORCH Scholarship Program. Its purpose is to recognize “the best and brightest scientists and dental scientists of African-American descent, and to help move oral health science impacting communities of color forward,” according to its website. This scholarship offers up to $45,000 in salary support, mentorship opportunities, professional development, and industry exposure.

More information on the NDA Foundation can be found at www.ndafoundation.org.

— Caleb Vierkant