2022: In memoriam
William W. Dodge, DDS, former dean of the UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry who oversaw completion of the state-of-the-art Center for Oral Health Care and Research, died May 28 after an illness.
Dodge served UT Health San Antonio for 40 years, and was dean of the School of Dentistry from 2013 until his retirement in 2018. In addition to establishing the Center for Oral Health Care and Research, he is credited with important revisions to the dental curriculum, new research programs, expanded patient care, modernization of the school’s compensation plan and successful recruiting processes.
Dodge received his Bachelor of Science degree in biology at Trinity University in San Antonio and his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He joined the health science center in 1978 after five years as a successful general dentist in San Antonio and two years as a captain in the U.S. Army Dental Corps.
He was associate dean for patient care from 1996 through 2003, and vice dean from 2004 before becoming dean in 2013. His tenure as associate dean marked a period of unprecedented growth for the school’s dental clinical enterprise.
He was key in orchestrating the school’s Dental Faculty Practice Plan and the Predoctoral General Practice Groups, as well as the maturation of the overall dental practice plan. He also initiated the strategic and tactical plan for the Center for Oral Health Care and Research, which today is recognized as one of the top dental school outpatient clinics.
The William W. Dodge, DDS, Endowment for Excellence in Dentistry was established in 2016 by an alumnus to honor Dodge and his contributions to the School of Dentistry. The endowment benefits the School of Dentistry’s greatest needs at the discretion of the dean. More information can be found at https://makelivesbetter.uthscsa.edu/dodge.
James T. Mellonig, DDS, died on Nov. 16, 2021, after a prolonged illness. He was 79 years old.
Mellonig was recruited in 1989 to the School of Dentistry as director for the periodontal graduate program, where he remained until 2009. Known for his seminal studies on periodontal regeneration and bone tissue grafting, Mellonig’s research was well funded within the institution. He remained on faculty until his retirement in 2011.
Mellonig received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Marquette University Dental School. During a 20-year U.S. Naval career, he completed a Master of Science degree in periodontics at the Naval Dental Postgraduate School in Bethesda, Maryland. He served with the U.S. Navy’s Medical Research Institute among other tours of duty, and eventually was named director of the Navy’s Advanced Educational Program in Periodontics.
The Dr. James Mellonig Endowment Fund has been created in the School of Dentistry to recognize and celebrate his memory while supporting his commitment to periodontology. For more information, go to https://makelivesbetter.uthscsa.edu/mellonig.
William J. Curtis, DDS, died May 13 at his home in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at the age of 90. Curtis served UT Health San Antonio for 21 years, joining the School of Allied Health Sciences’ Department of Dental Hygiene in 1999 as a consulting dentist. He continued to teach his dental hygiene students as the program moved under the School of Dentistry, then eventually retired in 2020 as an associate professor in the Department of Periodontics.
Before becoming an educator, Curtis served as a dental officer in the U.S. Air Force for 24 years. He received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, and a Master of Science in dental science and certificate in periodontics from The University of Texas Dental Branch in Houston. Among the students, faculty and staff, Curtis was known as a gentleman, an extraordinary educator and a compassionate friend.
Roger M. Weed, DDS, FACD, died April 29, shortly after his 79th birthday. He was an educator at the School of Dentistry for more than 40 years. He began his career at UT Health San Antonio in the former Department of General Practice in 1977 and retired with the Department of Comprehensive Dentistry in 2018 as an associate professor with tenure.
A beloved professor and esteemed colleague, Weed was voted Teacher of the Year by senior dental students on six different occasions and awarded the Outstanding Clinical Teaching Award by his faculty peers three times during his career at UT Health San Antonio. Weed is listed in the 4th edition of Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers and served as a member or chair of more than 25 different institutional committees. He authored or co-authored more than 40 articles, editorials and abstracts, and received several grants and contracts from local and national sources.
Before receiving his dental degree in 1973 from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Weed served in the U.S. Army as a medical evacuation helicopter pilot in Vietnam. He was also an Army captain in Korea, assisting with returning officers and crew to the U.S. He left active duty in 1969 to attend dental school, but served in the Army Reserves for 34 more years, retiring as a Dental Corps colonel in 2003.
In the 2016 issue of Salute, which highlighted Weed’s dental and military career, he said, “My favorite thing about teaching is when I see the lights come on with the students when they learn something.”