University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
Eastman Dental Center
Former Chair, Department of General Dentistry
CLASS OF 1950
Often touted as the father of postdoctoral general dentistry education, Stanley Handelman, D.M.D., is a respected and accomplished scientist, educator, and mentor with an international reputation. He has practiced dentistry for 50 years and published nearly 100 research and educational papers. In honor of Handelman’s success as an educator and researcher, the annual Handelman Conference and Handelman Scholarship Fund were established at the University of Rochester’s School of Medicine and Dentistry.
Handelman’s academic reputation was firmly established when he received a major grant from the federal government to conduct national workshops and write a manual on the development of residency programs in the general practice of dentistry. He also has worked to ensure that students of diverse backgrounds are afforded equal opportunities to practice dentistry. In 2004, he secured a grant from the American Dental Education Association to assist students from underrepresented minorities in realizing their academic careers.
His mentorship is exemplified by many of his former students who have achieved academic distinction by becoming deans, associate deans, chairs of departments, and directors of dental research institutions. One of his students was named vice chancellor of a major university.
Handelman’s passion for education was strengthened during his time as a student at Washington & Jefferson College. Intrigued by the College’s intimate atmosphere and diverse educational possibilities, he participated in intramural sports and various extracurricular activities. However, the majority of his time was devoted to studying and working toward his pre-health degree. “I had a number of distinguished dentists in my family and I followed those positive models,” he explains.
Nearly 60 years after graduating from W&J, Handelman reflects on his college experience with gratitude. He credits the professors who guided him academically and the courses that challenged him mentally with preparing him for an illustrious career in dentistry. “W&J made me work hard,” he recalls. “That work paid off in the long run.”