Naty Lopez

Naty Lopez

Academic Title

Assistant Dean for Admissions and Diversity
Associate Professor
Division of Dental Public Health
Department of Primary Dental Care


Nursing, BS, University of the Philippines, 1972
Guidance and Counseling, M.Ed., University of the Philippines, 1985
Health Professional Education, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 1990

Contact Info



Office Address

15-163 Moos Tower
515 Delaware St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Bio Statement

Dr. Lopez is a nurse and counselor by training and has worked in various countries in the Pacific and East Asia prior to her coming to North America. She completed her doctoral studies at the University of Pennsylvania in health professions education and served in the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine as Assistant Dean for International Relations, Co-Director of the Program for Advanced Standing Students (PASS), Co-Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for Oral Infectious Diseases: Education, Research and Care, and counselor to minority and international students.

As Assistant Dean for Admissions and Diversity at the U of MN School of Dentistry, she created recruitment programs for underrepresented minority, rural, and disadvantaged students. Dr. Lopez received funding from the Health and Human Resources HRSA for the “Building Bridges to a Dental Career” program, a health career opportunity pipeline program and the Early Decision Rural Dentistry Track program through the MN Department of Health/HRSA.

Research Interests

Developing a comprehensive approach to recruitment and retention of a diverse student body:
    a. Inclusion of non-academic factors in student admissions
    b. Holistic review of applicants
Recruitment of underrepresented minority and American Indian students to dental school
Peer to peer mentoring relationship among dental students
Knowledge of and perceived cultural competency of dental students
Career aspirations of minority students
Health seeking behaviors of immigrants


Lopez N, Blue C, Self K. (2012) Dental School Faculty Perceptions and Attitudes Toward the New Dental Therapy Model. J Dent Educ 76 (4):383-394.

Lopez N, Blue C, (2011) Socialization of the New Dental Therapists on Entering the Profession. J Dent Educ 75(5):626-632

Blue C, Lopez N (2011) Characteristics and Motivations of the First Class of Dental Therapy. J Dent Educ 75(1) :36-45

Blue C, Phillips R, Born D, Lopez N. (2011) Socialization to a New Workforce Model: Dental Student Knowledge and Perception of Dental Therapy. J of Dent Educ 75(11):1465-1475 (Reviewed and edited paper)

Lopez N, Johnson S, Black N. (2010) Does Peer Mentoring Work? Dental Students Assess its Benefits as an Adaptive Strategy. J Dent Educ 74(11):1197-1205

Lopez, N. (2010) What Dental Schools Can Learn from College Experiences of American Indian Students J Dent Educ; 74(4):381-391.
Selected 2011 Paper of the Year Award, Behavioral Social Science and Public Health Category, School of Dentistry Annual Research Meeting

Wadenya R, Lopez N, Berthold P. (2010) Chewing Stick Use among African Immigrants in West Philadelphia: Implications for Oral Health Providers J Comm Dent Health; 27 (March): 60-64. (Wrote methods and discussion sections of paper)

Lopez N, Self K, Karnitz J. (2009) Developing a Tool for Systematic Inclusion of Non-Academic Factors in Dental School Admissions: Towards Building Diversity in the Dental Workforce. J Dent Educ; 73(Dec): 1347-1352
Selected 2010 Paper of the Year Award, Behavioral Social Science and Public Health Category, School of Dentistry Annual Research Meeting

Wadenya R, Lopez N. (2008) “Parental Involvement in Recruitment of Underrepresented Minority Students” J Dent Educ 72:680-687

Lopez N, Simpser S, Berthold P. (2005) “Prevention and Treatment of Caries using Atraumatic Restorative Treatment in an Underserved Community”. Amer J Public Health, 95:1338-1339.

Lopez N, Wadenya R, Berthold P. (2003) “Effective recruitment and retention strategies for underrepresented minority students: perspectives from dental students”. J Dent Educ, 67:1107-1112.

Wadenya RO, Schwartz S, Lopez N, Fonseca R. (2003) “Strategies for recruitment and retention for underrepresented minority students at theUniversity of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine”. J Dent Educ, 67:1039-1041.

Lopez N, Berthold P. (2003) “Transnational licensure: Foreign dentists in America reclaim their profession through the Program for Advanced Standing Students”. J Amer Coll of Dentists, 70:15-17

Muzyka B, Kamwendo L, Mbweza E, Lopez N, Glick, M, Matheson PB, Kershbaumer R, Nyrienda T, Malamud D. (2000) Constantine NT, Thompson J, Nyasulu Y, Saville S, and Berthold P. “Prevalence of HIV-1 and oral lesions in pregnant women in rural Malawi”. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod, 92:56-61

Lopez N, Glick M, Berthold P. (1998) "Providing care in an infectious disease clinic: Why students Volunteer". European J of Dental Educ, 2:138-142.

Berthold, P., Lopez, N. (1994) “PENN PASS: A program for graduates of foreign dental schools”. J Dent Educ, 58: 849-854

Selected abstracts:

Lopez N. “Reasons to Attend College among American Indian Students: Implications for Dental School Recruitment. ADEA March 2009, Phoenix AZ, J Dent Ed, 73 (2) 259.

Lopez N, Self K. “Inclusion of non-academic criteria in dental school admissions. ADEA March 2009, Phoenix AZ. J Dent Ed, 73 (2) 259.

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  • Last modified on June 17, 2013