A publication for alumni and friends of the UNMC College of Dentistry. Please visit our Impressions archive.
Work Worth Doing: A Sustained Commitment to Service
Children's Dental Day, nursing home visits, and sealant programs. These represent just a few of the ways the UNMC college of Dentistry strives to improve the oral health of men, women and children through outreach activities that stretch to all corners of Nebraska and beyond. Faculty continually seek...[read more]
Dr. Janet Guthmiller Named New Dean of UNMC College of Dentistry
Janet Guthmiller, D.D.S., Ph.D., has been appointed as the new dean of the College of Dentistry at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
The appointment is effective Sept. 1, pending approval by the University of Nebraska Board of Regents.
She is currently associate dean of academic affairs and professor in the department of periodontology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry.
Dr. Guthmiller will succeed John Reinhardt, D.D.S., who is stepping down after 14 years as UNMC’s dentistry dean.
“Dr. Guthmiller brings a wealth of experience as a dental educator and researcher,” said UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D. “She possesses the leadership qualities we need to build on the reputation and accomplishments of the College of Dentistry.”
Prior to her current position, Dr. Guthmiller served on the faculty of the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery (now the University of Maryland School of Dentistry) and the University of Iowa College of Dentistry. She has been the associate dean at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill since 2007.
Dr. Guthmiller said she is very excited to lead the College of Dentistry.
“I am honored to be a part of this great institution,” she said. “I hope to sustain the excellence and build on the strengths of the College of Dentistry.”
Dr. Guthmiller said she plans to partner with dental students, faculty, staff, and alumni and friends of the College of Dentistry, as well as UNMC’s other colleges, on initiatives that will benefit all Nebraskans.
“As a statewide campus, UNMC has a mission not only in education, research and clinical care, but also in service,” she said. “I look forward to seeing how the college can work and collaborate to help identify and address oral health needs throughout Nebraska and beyond.”
Dr. Guthmiller is an accomplished researcher, author and teacher with special interests in genetic studies of periodontal bacteria and the expression and activity of innate antimicrobial peptides. During her time in academia, she also spent 14 years as a practicing periodontist. As an educator, she has a deep interest in mentorship programs for students and faculty. She is the recipient of multiple collegiate and national recognitions.
“Dr. Guthmiller separated herself from a talented field of candidates through the scope of her research and educational work, as well as her ability to quickly connect with all groups,” said Joan Sivers, D.D.S., chairwoman of the search committee.
Dr. Guthmiller began her career by earning an associate degree in dental hygiene at the University of South Dakota in 1983. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in 1984 from Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa, and graduated in 1988 with a doctor of dental surgery degree from the University of Iowa. She then entered the National Institutes of Health-sponsored Dentist-Scientist Program at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. As a part of this program, she earned a periodontal certificate in 1992 and a doctorate in cellular and structural biology in 1993.
Among her other service and accomplishments, she has been a diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology since 1998.
Both Dr. Guthmiller and her husband, Scott, are native Midwesterners who grew up in Orange City, Iowa. Their youngest daughter, Emily, is in sixth grade; the elder, Katie, is in her freshman year at the University of Iowa.
College of Dentistry Dean Stepping Down In 2014
John Reinhardt, D.D.S., who has served as dean of the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry for 13 years, announced today that he will step down from his post on June 30, 2014.
“It has been a great honor and privilege to serve as dean since 2000, and now it is time for someone new to guide the College of Dentistry to ever higher levels of achievement,” Dr. Reinhardt said. “The successes of the college would not have been possible without the dedicated energy and support of our faculty and staff, and for that I am very grateful.” [read more]
- Congratulations to Jenna Hatfield (D3) who has been chosen as an alternate delegate to the American Dental Association’s 2013 House of Delegates representing the American Student Dental Association. Jenna is charged with understanding, representing, and advocating the needs of her fellow dental students to the ADA House of Delegates at their November meeting in New Orleans.
- Congratulations to Dr. David Brown, a recipient of the 2013 Community Public Health Award from the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department. This award honors outstanding community service contributions toward public health. Dr. Brown was recognized for his collaboration and work in the dental community with the Community Dental Health Committee.
- Lisa Moravec, Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Dental Hygiene and Coordinator of our West Division Dental Hygiene Program, was installed as the 2013-14 President of the Nebraska Dental Hygienists’ Association at their recent annual meeting.
- Congratulations to Paul Johnson, D-4 student, who earned first place in the Clinical Research/Public Health Category among 56 competing dental schools at the 54th American Dental Association/DENTSPLY Student Clinician Research Program. His presentation, entitled “Alveolar Bone Loss in Subjects with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis,” was given at the American Dental Association Annual Session in New Orleans, Louisiana on November 2. As a result of winning this competition, Paul received an engraved glass trophy, $750, and a travel award to attend the 102nd Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia on March 27-29, 2014. Congratulations also to the study team who worked with Paul including Dr. Jeffrey Payne, Dr. Shawneen Gonzalez, and Marian Schmid from the UNMC College of Dentistry, Dr. Fang Yu and Harlan Sayles from the UNMC College of Public Health, and Dr. Ted Mikuls from the UNMC College of Medicine.
- Emily Tschetter, D3 student, conducted research at NIDCR for eight weeks in the summer of 2012 in Biological Chemistry in the laboratory of Drs. Lawrence Tabak (Deputy Director, NIH) and Raul Rojas. She is the third COD student to conduct research at NIDCR in the past five years. Emily and Dr. Rojas are pictured on the NIDCR Summer Dental Student Award home page. Congratulations to Emily for her work at NIDCR this past summer!
Julie Marshall Receives Greer Faculty Fellowship
As Dr. Julie Marshall accepted the college’s newest faculty fellowship at the Dean’s Club dinner in October, 2013, she looked out from the podium and was struck by what she saw a room full of mentors and alumni who generously support the UNMC College of Dentistry with their time, resources, and enthusiasm.
“That’s what I want to teach our students to be like, to be like the people in that room,” said Marshall, interim chair of the Department of Restorative Dentistry and the first recipient of the Dr. William and Kathryn Greer Faculty Fellowship in Dentistry. She said she wants her students to be like the Greers, and others, “strong in a desire to do their best, caring for patients like family, being relentless as life-long learners, appreciating the blessings in life, and being generous to others.”
She looks to the Greers as supportive teammates who “opened a whole new world for me” and who continue to provide encouragement. “Students need encouragement, and so do faculty members,” she said. The Greer Fellowship “is a wonderful affirmation for me,” she said, and a wonderful example of the type of support that can benefit all faculty members.
Marshall said she appreciates the Greers’ service to the community, the philanthropic and mission-oriented projects they support, and their down-to-earth nature.
She said she just hopes the Greers’ daughter, Dr. Ann Boyle—a 1991 College of Dentistry graduate and one of Marshall’s first students understands that teachers get better with practice. “I hope she realizes that I have improved, that I have gotten better with time,” Marshall said.
“I teach because I love to teach. It’s what I am supposed to be doing,” said Marshall, who began teaching part-time in 1988. She received a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene from Nebraska in 1981 and a dental degree from the University of Texas in 1987. She completed a certificate in prosthodontics in 1995 and received a master’s degree in oral biology in 1996, both from UNMC. For much of her career she worked in a private practice two days a week and taught at the college the other three days. She now works full-time at the college.
Marshall said she is still thinking about how she wants to use the stipend that comes with the Greer Fellowship. “The Greers put in a lot of thought to support our school. They made a conscious decision over many years to do this. I want to do the same,” she said. She expects her focus to become clearer once she finishes a leadership program through the American Dental Education Association (ADEA).
The ADEA leadership program has broadened her perspective, she said, as have opportunities at the dental college, including working with the dental alumni association, serving on the Nebraska Board of Dentistry, teaching assignments, and helping the ARD department through a transition. She also has served as an examiner for the Central Regional Dental Testing Service.
Working in private practice also has enabled her to “connect the dots” for students. “My clinical practice has helped shape my understanding that there is meaning behind the methods and standards we teach at the college that translates to a very practical, modern-day practice,” she said.
Marshall also is part of a team that works with patients who have palatal lift prostheses to improve their speech. These patients have lost the ability to elevate their soft palates as a result of tumor, trauma, or degenerative neurological disease.
The skills Marshall has learned in teaching—lecturing before large groups, in particular have led to her pursuit of another love outside of dentistry. She is a member of two singing groups, both associated with St. Mark’s Methodist Church. She and her husband, Jay, and brother, Gary Larson, lead congregational singing as members of the music ministry group, “Renewed.” She also joins with two other women in the group, “Jubilation.”
She also enjoys time with her husband, who is manager of Mapes Industries, and her children. The Marshalls’ daughter Jennifer is a dental hygienist, and Jennifer’s husband, Dr. Steve Peterman, is a dentist, both 2010 graduates of UNMC. The Marshalls’ daughter Kelsey is a sophomore at Nebraska Wesleyan University.
Johnson Receives Phase III CoBRe Renewal
Keith Johnson, Principal Investigator and Professor in the Department of Oral Biology, has been awarded a 5-year renewal of the Centers of Biological Research (CoBRE) grant from the National Institute of Health. This is the continuation of two previous CoBRE awards which are given to sustain collaborative research and mentoring of new investigators while strengthening their research capabilities, innovation, and ability to attain funding. Dr. Johnson is Director, along with Dr. Richard MacDonald, Assistant Director, of the Nebraska Center for Cellular Signaling. To date, the CoBRE awards have brought about $25 million in funding to the College of Dentistry.
College Participates In Sealant Program In Burwell
Forty-five children from the Burwell area left their school gymnasium March 28, 2013, with new sealants on their teeth and smiles on their faces, thanks to volunteer dental students, faculty, and staff from the UNMC College of Dentistry.
Ten dental students took part in the demonstration project to teach dental health care providers how to organize and conduct community sealant programs on their own. College of Dentistry students participated in similar projects last year in Fairbury and the year before in North Platte.
“The whole day was great,” said Vinh Nguyen, a fourth-year dental student who took part in the event. He appreciated the first-hand experience providing dental care and the opportunity to interact with the children, particularly in the Education Station. There, he talked one-on-one with the children about making good food choices. “I had an early exposure to outreach other people gave to my family,” Nguyen said. His parents immigrated to the United States from Vietnam in 1978. As the second youngest of seven children and the first born in the United States, he received early dental services in community outreach events, like the Burwell sealant program, until his parents became established with a Lincoln dentist.
The Burwell event is among a variety of projects being funded by a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The grant was awarded to the college to explore ways to provide dental care to underserved and rural populations. An estimated $3,000 worth of free dental care was provided to the children at the Burwell event.
The College of Dentistry was invited to Burwell by the Loup Basin District Health Department, which serves nine counties in central Nebraska.
“I was honored to have the dental students come to Burwell to incorporate their dental sealant program to the second, third and six grade students. What a wonderful opportunity for the children in those grades,” said Charles Cone, health department director and Burwell mayor. “Elimination of all dental diseases in children is a challenging goal that I task our department with, so I appreciate the UNMC College of Dentistry students helping me move one step closer.”
The college provided four portable dental chairs and delivery units along with supplies for the event. Screening exams, preventive education and sealants were given to the children. The event was the first children’s dental sealant program in the area.
The experience was valuable for the dental students, as well, showing them how to organize a community health event and how they eventually could use their own dental office staffs to
participate in community outreach events. “It shows them how they can extend the four walls of their dental office to not just be in the clinic, but in the whole community,” said Dr. Kim McFarland, associate professor, one of the faculty members who accompanied the students to Burwell.
Larson Fellowship: Well-deserved Recognition for Paul Hansen, Teacher and Clinician
For Dr. Paul Hansen, the Dr. Jack B. and Marena Larson Faculty Fellowship is welcome recognition of the hard work, time, and effort that go into teaching and overseeing students in clinical settings.
“I have been doing clinical dentistry for almost 40 years now, and I try to bring this experience to the students,” said Hansen, associate professor and prosthodontics section director at the UNMC College of Dentistry. “I appreciate the recognition that the Larson fellowship brings. The fact that alumni like the Larsons recognize the importance of dental education for our students is significant.”
The fellowship also helps make up some of the difference between private sector earnings and the financial realities of university teaching, he said. Hansen, a 1975 graduate of the College of Dentistry, identifies with the students and knows many of their parents and grandparents, uncles and aunts. He reminds students that he comes from a similar background, having grown up in Lincoln, graduating from Lincoln Northeast, and working as the first student research assistant in Dr. Stan Harn’s anatomy lab. Hansen’s wife, Joyce, grew up in nearby Raymond, Nebraska.
“We have the brightest students who are well motivated and extremely intelligent. It’s lots of fun to be a part of their education. It’s exciting,” Hansen said. Hansen received his graduate degree in prosthodontic in 1984 from Wilford Hall Medical Center at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. He previously taught at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and later worked in private practice in Kansas City, Kansas. After his three children finished college, he sought the opportunity to return to teaching. “And we came back to Nebraska. This is my home,” he said.
The Hansen’s daughter Kristi is a CT scan technician, their daughter Lisa is an elementary school teacher, and their son Scott works in Tokyo for a pharmaceutical company.
At Nebraska, Hansen has been director for seven courses, including the courses on complete dentures and removable partial dentures and clinical courses for prosthodontics. He has authored five journal articles mainly based on clinical experience. His educational philosophy is centered on his belief that students need consistent teaching and hands on opportunities with patients.
“Much of what we are doing in dentistry is changing dramatically, in terms of materials, techniques, and how we approach things,” Hansen said. In particular, he mentioned computer assisted technology (CADCAM) units that design and mill porcelain crowns. “We have to try to incorporate new technology so students can take advantage of that. The difficult thing is to try to make what we do in dental school relevant to what students will do in private practice.”
Hansen said he appreciates Dr. Larson’s 35 years in private practice. “It’s almost like we are road warriors,” he said, noting the difficult decisions that must be made in private practice.
When the Hansens visited with the Larsons at the Dean’s Club dinner in September when the fellowship was announced, they discovered they share a common interest in competitive swimming. The Hansens’ daughter Kristi swam competitively at the University of Kansas, and their son was a competitive swimmer at Texas A&M. The Larsons’ granddaughter Kelsey Larson is on the UN-L swim team.
International Association for Dental Research Annual Meeting in Seattle
Six students presented posters at the 91st General Session and Exhibition of the International Association for Dental Research and the 42nd annual meeting of the American Association for Dental Research. The meeting was held from March 20-23, 2013. Students presenting were: Jason Grant (D4), Jim Howe (D3), Jessica Poeschl (D3), Christopher Schultz (D4, in the photo to the right), Andre Rossini (D3), and Emily Tschetter (D3).
Also in Seattle, Erica Jasa (D1) was elected to serve as the Midwest Regional Representative for the American Dental Education Association Council of Students, during the ADEA annual session. Regional representatives act as a liaison between the Council of Students, Residents, and Fellows and individual school representatives. They facilitate communication between schools and the ADEA Administrative Board. Representatives also serve in the ADEA House of Delegates at the annual meeting.
Peng Receives NIH R01 Grant
Aimin Peng, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Oral Biology, has been awarded a 5-year grant from the National Cancer Institute for his research on DNA Damage Checkpoint Recovery and Cancer. The study will investigate a novel molecular mechanism that allows cancer cells to proliferate, and cancer to recur, following initially successful chemotherapy or radiation therapy. The ultimate goal is to gain a better understanding of how cancer cells develop resistance to treatment and provide the potential to develop more effective cancer therapies.
Robert Bundy receives Hinman Award
The 18th Hinman Student Research Symposium was held Oct. 26-28, 2012, at the historic Peabody Hotel in Memphis,Tennessee. The Symposium featured oral and poster presentations of research projects by dental students and graduate students from dental schools across the nation. At this year’s Symposium, 101 students represented 45 dental schools in 28 states, the District of Columbia, and 3 Canadian provinces. Twenty dental students from the University of Tennessee presented their projects and acted as hosts for the Symposium.
Eight awards were given for the most outstanding student presentations, four in clinical research and four in basic science research, in addition to an award from the National Students Research Group of the American Association for Dental Research. This year, one of the awards in basic science research was won by UNMC College of Dentistry dental student Robert Bundy (left in photo). Robert’s project examined the roles of transcription factors known as Interferon Regulatory Factors in sustaining inflammatory signals as a result of chronic viral infection in cultured mouse macrophages. His poster title was IRF Responses During Macrophages Infection with Theiler's Virus. The study was directed by Dr. Thomas M. Petro, Professor of Oral Biology, (right in photo) University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry.
Special awards were presented to Mrs. Iva Pendleton of the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry for her dedicated service to the Symposium, to Dr. Robert Spears of the Baylor College of Dentistry, Dr. William Johnson of the UNMC College of Dentistry, and Dr. Brian Laurence of Howard University for their long-standing support and participation in the Symposium, and to Katherine Garcia-Godoy, for her generous support of student-faculty interactions.
The Symposium is sponsored by the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry and co-sponsored by the Hinman Dental Society, which holds one of the nation’s largest continuing dental education meetings each March in Atlanta. The Symposium is also supported in part by grants from the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), the ADEAGies Foundation, the Procter & Gamble Company, the UTHSC College of Dentistry Alumni Association, and the Tennessee Dental Association Foundation.