Post-graduates in orthodontics will gain an in-depth knowledge of craniofacial growth and development, biomechanics, biomaterials, biomedical and clinical sciences, as well as their application to a wide variety of orthodontic techniques and clinical situations.

The post-graduate program in orthodontics was established in 1947. With a history of teachers consisting of Edward H. Angle, Charles M. Bailey, Thomas D. Speidel and Robert J. Isaacson, Minnesota has established itself as one of the originators of the orthodontics profession. Our current dedicated faculty members, led by program director Dr. Stanley Williamson, have strived to continually develop the program and facilities to provide an exceptional educational experience.


Program director: Stanley P. Williamson DDS
Office contact: Wendy Johnson
Phone: 612-625-5110
Program length: 24 months
Class size: Limited to 6
Degree: Master of Science, Certificate in Orthodontics
Start Date: Last week in June
Application deadline: September 1


This program includes a 12.5% appointment with some teaching responsibilities. Residents are also eligible for single coverage medical insurance with an option for more comprehensive and/or family coverage. Each year we will assess the level of paid stipend, continued tuition and individual medical insurance benefits. Once enrolled in the graduate school, the 12.5% appointment will qualify for a non-resident tuition waiver (i.e. non-Minnesota residents qualify for Minnesota resident tuition rates) and a 50% tuition benefit. 

Application Process

All applications need to be submitted through the ADEA Postdoctoral Application Support Service (PASS) at www.adea.org and the National Matching Service at www.natmatch.com. Selected candidates will be invited for interviews during October. Please remember to review the requirements and supplemental fee requirements that are unique to the University of Minnesota by using the ADEA PASS website and following "ADEA PASS Search Engine" link.

NOTE: As of 2016, we now require the applicant to take the Advanced Dental Aptitude Test (ADAT) and submit scores as part of the application process. We will continue to accept GRE scores to help support your application, but it is no longer mandatory.

It is also recommended that you enclose a current Curriculum Vitae in your PASS application.


The Graduate Program in Orthodontics is proud of its commitment to research and continual advancement of the field of orthodontics. As part of the educational experience, students complete a research project and have the opportunity to obtain a Master’s Degree in Dentistry through the Graduate School.

The Division of Orthodontics is committed to instilling sound principles of research methodology and promoting attitudes for the advancement of the field of orthodontics.


Orthodontics facilities collageThe Orthodontics Clinic is a 24-chair clinic with fully digital records and electronic charting. The clinic uses state-of-the-art equipment, such as diode lasers, digital imaging technology including three-dimensional photography, direct intraoral scanners, and cone-beam computed tomography, which provides a comprehensive view of all oral and maxillofacial structures and aids in diagnosis and treatment planning.

The Orthodontics Clinic offers comprehensive treatment for children, adolescents, and adults utilizing advanced technology including clear aligners, which straighten teeth without noticeable metal wires and brackets, and computer-assisted treatment technology, which utilizes virtual treatment planning and robot-bent, customized shape-memory alloy archwires.

Utilizing the latest technology, both in the clinic and the classroom, helps us achieve our mission to comprehensively prepare our graduate students for the future of orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics.

Current residents

Class of 2016

Orthodontics residents 2016Matthew Goergen

Dr. Goergen was raised in Woodridge, Illinois, earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Illinois Wesleyan University in 2007, and received his D.M.D degree from Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine in 2011. Prior to beginning his orthodontic residency, he practiced as a general dentist in Colorado for just less than three years. In his spare time, Dr. Goergen enjoys traveling, being active and outdoors, and music. He is excited to be living in the Twin Cities and to be part of the orthodontic residency program at the University of Minnesota.

Farah Kar

Dr. Kar is a Persian-Canadian-American who grew up in Toronto, Canada and moved to Atlanta, Georgia as a teenager. She earned her bachelor of fine arts and a masters degree in building construction/project management from Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia. She founded the Women's Dental Association Student Chapter at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry while also serving as class president. Dr. Kar was awarded the University of Minnesota President's Student Leadership and Service Award, recognizing her accomplishments and contributions as an outstanding student leader. She loves traveling with her husband and exploring new cuisines. Dr. Kar is currently earning her masters degree at the University of Minnesota Orthodontics residency.

Rosemary Lelich

Dr. Rosemary Lelich was born and raised here in the Twin Cities. She moved to Philadelphia, PA to attend the University of Pennsylvania for her undergraduate studies. During college, she double majored in Biological Basis of Behavior and Hispanic Studies, played water polo, studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain, and graduated with honors from the Benjamin Franklin Scholars’ Program. After graduating, Dr. Lelich spent a year in Washington, DC working with the DC Volunteer Lawyers Project, a non-profit organization. She then returned to UPenn to earn her Doctor of Dental Medicine degree. During dental school, Dr. Lelich completed an honors project in community service at a dental clinic for Spanish-speaking patients. She also was involved in research, served on student council, and joined the Delta Sigma Delta Dental Fraternity. Dr. Lelich enjoys yoga, theater, traveling, and being outdoors. She is thrilled to be back in the Land of 10,000 Lakes as an orthodontic resident!

Brienna Lise Newton

Dr. Newton grew up in Stillwater, MN. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN and really enjoyed playing trumpet with the St. Olaf Band during those four years. Following St. Olaf College, she had an incredible experience studying Christian ethics in London, England and received her Master's degree in 2010. After returning home, she attended University of Minnesota School of Dentistry and graduated in 2014. One highlight of dental school was presenting her implant research at the IADR meeting in Iguazu Falls, Brazil. She then began her orthodontic residency at the University of Minnesota in June 2014. In her free time, Dr. Newton loves traveling, hiking, camping, and spending time with her amazing husband.

Charlene Tai

Dr. Charlene Tai was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and grew up in Vancouver, Canada where she studied Pharmacy and went on to receive a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the University of British Columbia. During her time there she served on the Dental Admissions Committee and as president of the graduating class. Her lifelong interest in orthodontics has led her to pursue a Master’s degree in the orthodontic residency program at the University of Minnesota. Her other passions include humanitarian aid, traveling, playing violin, jamming on the piano, and experimental baking.

Ariana Weissend

Dr. Ariana Weissend was born and raised in Rochester, NY. She attended Penn State University for her undergraduate studies. In 2009 she received her B.S. in Biology with distinction, and was awarded membership into the Phi Beta Kappa national honor society. After college, she took a voluntary year off of school to teach and tutor calculus, trigonometry and algebra at her high school alma mater. The following year, she attended the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine. During her time there, she served as northeast student representative to the American Dental Education Association, editor-in-chief of the American Student Dental Association local newsletter, and as a peer tutor. In 2014 Dr. Weissend received her D.D.S. degree, graduating summa cum laude, and was inducted into the Omicron Kappa Upsilon national dental honor society. Dr. Weissend is excited to continue her academic studies and clinical training in orthodontics at the University of Minnesota!

Class of 2017

Graduate Orthodontics Class of 2017Scott Czarnik

Dr. Scott Czarnik was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. He earned a Bachelors of Science in Chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and received his D.M.D degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago.   While training in Chicago he was able to provide care to patients with limited access to dental services within the city of Chicago, outside of Boulder Colorado, and in Panajachel Guatemala.  He loves exploring and spent his free time following graduation from dental school up until beginning orthodontic residency traveling across Eastern Asia.  Dr. Czarnik is extremely happy to be in the Twin Cities and continues to explore Minnesota while completing his training in Orthodontics at the University of Minnesota.

Sara Gaalaas

Dr. Sara Gaalaas is originally from Northern Minnesota. She has continued her education in the state, earning her B.A. in Biology with a Concentration in Biomedical Studies from St. Olaf College in 2010, and her D.D.S with High Distinction from the University of Minnesota in 2015. In her year between college and dental school, she worked at a Courage Center summer camp as a counselor for youth and adults with special needs. While in dental school, she conducted research projects on bisphosphonate-treated bone biomechanics and orthodontic treatment modalities utilizing CBCT analysis, participated in multiple volunteer events, including the U’s Give Kids a Smile and Mission of Mercy, and had the honor of being elected into the Omicron Kappa Upsilon National Dental Honor Society. Dr. Gaalaas loves being outdoors - going camping, hiking, fishing, biking and cross-country skiing. She enjoys her time in orthodontic residency, and has plans to return North after graduation.

Sean O'Dell

Dr Sean O'Dell is a South Dakota resident who, in his free time, relaxes with his wife and their (almost) 3 year old daughter. He graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry in 2013 and attended college at South Dakota State University.

Jacob Schering

Dr. Jacob Schering was raised in Trenton, Michigan.  He received his Bachelor of Science in Human Biology with distinction from Michigan State University.  After college, Jacob attended the University of Michigan where he received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree.  During this time, he served as the student representative for the Peer Review Committee of the Michigan Dental Association, community service coordinator for the American Student Dental Association, and treasurer for Xi Psi Phi Dental Fraternity.  He was inducted into the Omicron Kappa Upsilon national dental honor society in 2015.  Dr. Schering appreciates the opportunity to continue his education in the State of Hockey!

Eric Smith

Dr. Smith was born and raised in a small town one hour outside of Toronto in Ontario, Canada. He attended the University of Toronto for his undergraduate studies and obtained his dental degree in 2015 from the University of Connecticut. In Eric’s spare time, he enjoys playing jazz guitar, is a voracious reader, and is a running enthusiast.  The greatest thrill of his life came when he got to perform a duet with a singer who had once sang for Queen Elizabeth on her birthday.  Getting matched to this residency program is a very close second.

Katerina Zakharova

Dr. Katerina Zakharova is originally from Russia, where she received her dental degree, graduating summa cum laude, and law degree prior to moving to California. She obtained her DDS degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. As a dental student in Los Angeles, Dr.Zakharova served as a student representative to the California Dental Association, and was founding member and president of the Aesthetic Dentistry Student Study Club.  She then began her orthodontic residency at the University of Minnesota in June of 2015, where she is currently pursuing her Master’s degree. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, yoga, playing a guitar, spending time outdoors, tennis and running.

Our division

The Division of Orthodontics is home to outstanding faculty, students and staff. Our mission is to provide excellent orthodontic care for their patients while providing a top-notch educational and research experience for their residents.

With the support and leadership of six full-time faculty members, nine part-time faculty members, and 10 dedicated staff persons, our division offers a didactic and clinical curriculum that creates dental specialists ready to serve the orthodontic needs of our population and the profession.

Learn how to become a patient


Office & Administrative Specialist
Wendy Johnson

Clinic Coordinator
Diane Anderson

Financial Coordinator
Lynn Erickson

Clinic Supervisor 
Jodi Kelly

Front Desk Staff
Laura Waegener
Stephanie Rappe

Ashlynn Kersten
Lori Larson
Thea Whoolery

David Bodick