April 10, 2017
Dr. Charles Luptak, Associate Professor, Restorative Dentistry, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry, has been named the recipient of the Department of Restorative Dentistry’s 2017 James W. Buckman Faculty Award.
Founded in Dr. Buckman’s memory, the award, “is for recognition of inspirational excellence and caring and is intended to honor a faculty member who has had a demonstrated long-term commitment to the Department of Restorative Dentistry, its programs, faculty, staff, and students,” said Dr. Stephen D. Campbell, Head of the department.
Dr. Buckman, a faculty member in the department who passed away in 2015, “positively influenced the lives of thousands of students and practitioners over his 50-year academic career,” Dr. Campbell said.
“I first met Jim Buckman in the 1970s,” Dr. Luptak recalled, when he was in the Removable Prosthodontics Department and Dr. Buckman was in the Fixed Prosthodontics Department. The two departments merged in 1992.
“We worked together on many cases that required our two disciplines,” Dr. Luptak continued. “It was obvious from the beginning that he was a mentor, role model, and an inspiration for anyone in the teaching field.
“He was caring and devoted to teaching, which he demonstrated right to the end. I am truly humbled and honored to be told that I am in his same category,” Dr. Luptak added.
Dr. Luptak noted that his philosophy is, “I have a teaching career and I should strive to be good at it. As a young man I knew I wanted to be a teacher, but my father thought that being in a profession like dentistry would be more fulfilling. I had an interest in dentistry, so I pursued it. Now I have the best of both worlds, being a doctor in a health care profession and an instructor who can share his knowledge in the field.”
Dr. Campbell noted that Dr. Luptak “is in his 46th year of his commitment and caring for our students, patients, and faculty.”
Dr. Luptak retired in 2001, but stayed on to teach part-time. He has received several Golden Apple awards for teaching excellence, is a member of Omicron Kappa Upsilon, a Fellow of the International College of Dentists, and was given the Dr. E. Lloyd Du Brul Faculty Achievement Award in 1999.
The Buckman Award Committee’s members are Dr. Fatemeh Afshari, Dr. Ana Bedran-Russo, Dr. Alex Chan (previous Buckman Award Recipient), Dr. Priscilla Chang, Dr. Rand Harlow, and Dr. Susan Rowan.
Photo caption: Joining Dr. Charles Luptak (2nd from right) when he was honored with the Dr. James W. Buckman Faculty Award at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry were Drs. Mickey Spector, Stephen Campbell, and Susan Rowan.