Joan Sivers, DDS, retires after more than 37 years

by Erin Wirth, UNMC College of Dentistry | January 08, 2021

Image with caption: Joan Sivers, DDS (Photo by Margaret Cain)

Joan Sivers, DDS (Photo by Margaret Cain)

Joan Sivers, DDS, assistant dean of clinics in the UNMC College of Dentistry, retired on Dec. 31 after more than 37 years at the UNMC College of Dentistry.

Dr. Sivers was instrumental in helping thousands of students develop clinical knowledge and skills as an administrator,a teacher and course director, and she served as a mentor to countless students.

"I have lots of great memories from the college, including meeting young students and seeing them mature into sensitive young colleagues and being with students when they first learn to manage the hands-on skills that go along with their didactic learning," Dr. Sivers said. "The last half of my career I worked closely with our clinical staff and that experience opened my eyes to the dedication of our frontline and behind-the-scenes staff that work so hard to make our clinics safe and to enhance the education of our students."

Dr. Sivers contributed greatly to the past, present and future of the college, colleagues said.

"She wore many different hats and worked in different faculty and leadership roles to provide whatever the college needed," said Julie Heyl, clinical services manager. "I had the privilege of working closely with Dr. Sivers for the last 13-plus years, and I learned so much from her leadership, mentoring and friendship. The clinical services team will miss her support and understanding of what we do and how it affects the mission of the college."

She contributed significantly to the tripartite missions of the college: teaching, research and service. Dr. Sivers served on more than 65 college and UNMC committees, including the gender equity committee and the faculty senate. In her leadership roles and committee assignments, she always kept her focus on the best clinical outcomes for the patient.

For example, she helped implement a new group practice model for the college's clinical education programs in 2016 and recently led the college's COVID-19 clinical reentry task force that guided the college in safely reopening the clinics. She also was involved in the college's outreach events, including Children's Dental Day and SHARING Clinics. Colleagues called her passion for oral health education and patient care inspirational.

Dr. Sivers' clinical acumen and knowledge of licensing processes and procedures also greatly benefited the college. She served on the American Association of Dental Boards and as site coordinator for the college's regional boards, was president and on the executive committee of the Central Regional Dental Testing Service (CRDTS) testing agency and had a long tenure as a CRDTS examiner.

"I can't forget to thank my great teaching colleagues that supported me over the years and who patiently give so much to our profession every single day. In the end, it is all about the people and their caring attitudes who made this a great career for me," Dr. Sivers said.

"On behalf of the entire college, I want to thank Dr. Sivers for her many contributions and accomplishments as a UNMC College of Dentistry faculty member and leader," said Janet M. Guthmiller, DDS, PhD, dean of the UNMC College of Dentistry. "She was an extraordinary teacher, colleague and friend. We will miss her institutional knowledge, her steadfast loyalty and her leadership and service to our college and to dentistry."


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Julie A. Marshall
January 08, 2021 at 3:08 PM

Thank you Dr. Sivers for your many contributions to the UNMC College of Dentistry and the dental profession. Congratulations!

Cyndie Poffenbarger
January 08, 2021 at 12:43 PM

Congratulations Joan!

Julie Heyl
January 08, 2021 at 11:57 AM

Congratulations Dr. Sivers! Thank you for all you've done for all of us at the COD!

Dr. Sheritta Strong
January 08, 2021 at 10:07 AM

Congratulations on your retirement!

Claire Koukol
January 08, 2021 at 8:51 AM

Congratulations on your retirement, Dr. Sivers! Thank you for all you have done for the COD.

Cristy Arent
January 08, 2021 at 8:47 AM

Congratulations Dr. Sivers!!! You will be dearly missed!! Hope retirement is all you want it to be!! ENJOY!!

Lisa Spellman
January 08, 2021 at 7:59 AM

Congratulations on your retirement Dr. Sivers! I wish you all the best in this next chapter of your life and thank you for all of your incredible leadership and service to the COD, students and patients you cared for.

Carmen Sirizzotti
January 08, 2021 at 7:24 AM

Best wishes on your retirement. We will miss you

Katina Winters
January 08, 2021 at 6:57 AM

Congratulations on your next journey, Dr. Sivers! We will miss you!