AGD Honors Steve Ratcliff, DDS, MS, FAGD, with Weclew Award

  • by AGD Staff
  • Jul 24, 2019
The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) presented its Dr. Thaddeus V. Weclew Award to Dr. Steve Ratcliff during the organization’s annual convocation ceremony at its scientific session last week. This prestigious award is given to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the art and science of dentistry or who has enhanced the principles and goals of the AGD and made exceptional efforts in promoting these ideals. 

Dr. Ratcliff is the executive vice president of business development for Spear Education. His primary role is to create new opportunities for Spear to reach dentists who are passionate about learning and help them grow and flourish in their practice of dentistry. 

Named for the founding father of the AGD, the Dr. Thaddeus V. Weclew Award is presented annually to a dedicated educator who embodies the spirit of comprehensive dental care. This recipient is a professional role model whose activities exemplify a commitment to the profession of dentistry and the principles and goals of the AGD.

“One of the special highlights and privileges of being president of the AGD is the opportunity to recognize professionals like Dr. Ratcliff who have made enduring impressions  to the field of dentistry,” said Neil J. Gajjar, DDS, MAGD, AGD president. “Dr. Ratcliff is an extraordinary person and someone who is admired for his work to promote continuing education and the advancement of dentistry through ongoing learning.”

He taught in Spear workshops before moving into his current role and is still actively seeing patients in the Spear Faculty practice. He was the primary architect for the development of Spear Study Clubs and is still a major contributor to study club content, helping to build learning modules used in study club meetings.  Additionally, he provides content for Spear Online, Spear Education’s digital learning platform. 

The former chairman of education at the Pankey Institute, he led the team that developed the original Pankey Essentials curriculum and taught there for eight years. He has lectured nationally and internationally on a variety of topics, most recently on implant-restorative therapies, and has published in peer-reviewed journals. 

He is a member of the Arizona Dental Association, American Dental Association, American Academy of Fixed Prosthodontics and American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry. He holds fellowships in the Academy of General Dentistry, American College of Dentists and The International Team for Implantology. He earned his bachelor’s and DDS degrees from Case School of Dental Medicine in 1978 and his Master of Science in adult learning and instructional technology from the University of Wyoming in 2007.

About the Academy of General Dentistry
The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) is a professional association of more than 40,000 general dentists dedicated to providing quality dental care and oral health education to the public. Founded in 1952, AGD is the largest association for general dentists in the world and serves the needs and represents the interests of general dentists. For more information about AGD, visit,