Our People

College Organizational Chart

See chart.

Leadership Team


Gerry Kugel, DMD, MS, PhD


Gerard “Gerry” Kugel, DMD, PhD, was named dean of the UNMC College of Dentistry in 2023. Previously, Dr. Kugel served as associate dean for research and professor of comprehensive care at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston. He has extensive expertise in clinical research and esthetic dentistry.

Among his professional activities, Dr. Kugel serves as a reviewer for the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of Dental Materials, the Journal of Esthetic and Restorative Dentistry and the Journal of Cosmetic Dentistry. He also is a fellow in the Academy of General Dentistry and the Academy of Dental Materials.

Dr. Kugel received his doctorate of dental medicine from Tufts University in 1985 and his PhD in dental materials in 2004 from the University of Siena, Italy. He also has a master’s degree in anatomy and cellular biology from Tufts, and an executive certificate in management andlLeadership from the Sloan School of Management at MIT. Dr. Kugel has published more than 200 articles and more than 300 abstracts in the field of restorative materials and techniques. He also has given more than 400 lectures both nationally and internationally.


Amir Farhangpour, DDS

Executive Associate Dean

Dr. Farhangpour plays a vital role in achieving and maintaining the college's mission, vision and accreditation. He is instrumental in shaping the strategic direction of the college, fostering innovation, advancing our mission to provide outstanding education, research and patient care, and overseeing all facets of the College of Dentistry. Before joining UNMC in 2019, Dr. Farhangpour served as an associate professor and co-director of the pre-doctoral clinic at Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.


Yun Saksena, BDSc, MMSc, DMD

Associate Dean for Education and Campus Culture

Dr. Saksena works to help each student fulfill their potential and help the college community become better teachers and learners. She also leads the college's diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. Before joining UNMC in 2018, Dr. Saksena served as an associate professor and director of pre-doctoral clinical education at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston. Her research interests include student learning, teaching, classroom and clinic dynamics, student life and admissions.


Merlyn Vogt, DDS

Associate Dean for Student Affairs, Admissions and External Relations

Dr. Vogt joined the college in 1996 as a part-time clinical instructor and became an assistant dean in 2005. During his time as assistant dean, Dr. Vogt has advanced the college’s admissions, student affairs, alumni relations and government relations. Under his leadership, each year the college continues to recruit the most outstanding dental students. Additionally, Dr. Vogt plays a key role in student affairs initiatives and serves as a government relations representative for UNMC.


James K. Wahl, III, PhD

Associate Dean for Research

Dr. Wahl was appointed the interim associate dean for research and chair of the department of oral biology in 2020. Under Dr. Wahl’s leadership, the college achieved a 28 percent increase in grants and contracts during the 2021-2022 fiscal year and a near doubling in NIH research funding since 2019. Additionally, the research program has expanded through the recruitment of additional faculty involved in research. Dr. Wahl joined the College of Dentistry in 2001 as a research assistant professor in the department of oral biology and was named a UNMC Distinguished Scientist in 2019.


Sarah G. Lowman, DDS, MPH

Assistant Dean for Admissions

Since joining the college in 2020, Dr. Lowman has played a key role in recruitment initiatives, including working with the Summer Health Professions Education Program to help students who are underrepresented in the health professions prepare to apply to dental school. She leads the admissions process, develops strategic recruitment initiatives, and provides academic and career guidance to prospective students.


Jodi Isom, MBA

Assistant Dean for Finance

Ms. Isom oversees the college’s financial and administrative affairs and serves in a crucial role on the college’s leadership team. She joined the College of Dentistry in August 2005 as an office assistant and held the roles of accountant, finance administrator and chief financial officer before being named assistant dean for finance in April 2024.