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HEADWAE in dentistry, certifying psychiatrist

Published on Thursday, December 18, 2014

Published on December 18, 2014

Medical Center faculty and staff often are recognized regionally, nationally and internationally for their academic or medical achievements. These accolades elevate the UMMC brand among health science centers worldwide.

Dentistry faculty, student to make HEADWAE with award

The Mississippi Association of Colleges and Universities has selected a School of Dentistry faculty member and a dentistry student at UMMC to receive its Higher Education Appreciation Day – Working for Academic Excellence (HEADWAE) Award.


Dr. John B. Smith Jr., associate professor of care planning and restorative sciences in the School of Dentistry, and Suzanna Ellzey Nida, a fourth-year dental student, will receive their respective HEADWAE awards at the Mississippi State Institutions of Higher Learning’s 28th annual Higher Education Appreciation Day event Feb. 17, 2015. The program will begin with at the State Capitol in Jackson, followed by an awards luncheon at the Jackson Marriot Hotel.

HEADWAE honors one outstanding faculty member and one outstanding student from each participating member institution of the MACU. Blake Wilson, president and CEO of the Mississippi Economic Council, serves as chair of HEADWAE, which is sponsored by the Mississippi Legislature and coordinated by the Office of Academic and Student Affairs in the Mississippi IHL.


A member of the School of Dentistry’s first graduating class, Smith received his D.M.D. summa cum laude from UMMC in 1979. In the private practice of general dentistry in Forest for 33 years, he serves as associate professor of care planning and restorative sciences and assistant dean for admissions in the School of Dentistry.

After receiving her B.S. in biochemistry summa cum laude from the University of Southern Mississippi, Nida entered the School of Dentistry at UMMC, where she carries a 3.92 dental school GPA, first in her class of 33. A national merit finalist, she is a volunteer at the Jackson Free Clinic.

Psychiatrist earns brain injury medicine certification


Dr. John W. Norton, professor of psychiatry and neurology, has recently earned subspecialty board certification in brain injury medicine.

He is the first physician in Mississippi to be certified in this subspecialty.

Norton also is board-certified in neurology, psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry and psychosomatic medicine.