Naty Lopez, PhD, MEd

Associate Professor, Department of Primary Dental Care

Naty Lopez

Contact Info

Office Phone 612-625-7477

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

Associate Professor, Department of Primary Dental Care

Assistant Dean of Admissions and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, School of Dentistry

PhD, University of Pennsylvania (Health Professional Education), 1990

MEd, University of the Philippines (Guidance and Counseling), 1985

BS, University of the Philippines (Nursing), 1972

Higher Education Resource Certificate -- Leadership in Higher Services (HERS) Summer Institute Education, 1999


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 Summary/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 Educ72:680-687
  • 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.


Board Certifications

Higher Education Resource Certificate 1999 -- Leadership in Higher Services (HERS) Summer Institute Education