News & Events


Andrew Glover

Motivation for University of Minnesota School of Dentistry student Andrew Glover hasn’t been a problem throughout his life.

The 30-year-old DDS student from Inver Grove Heights was accepted into the Air Force Academy in 2008, managed a group of more than 100 airman as a 2nd Lieutenant at 23, became an acquisitions officer and managed weapons systems for B-2 bombers. But when it comes to what led him to dental school, his motivation came from a very different place. Namely, from failure.

Hiwet Ephrem

For more than a century, the professional and academic discipline of dental hygiene experienced numerous changes and evolutions with many more to come, including the declaration of October as National Dental Hygiene Month.

One person on the forefront of these changes is School of Dentistry clinical professor Hiwet Ephrem, MSDH, RF. While she’s been a faculty member at the School of Dentistry since 2000, her inspiration came two decades earlier working as a dental hygienist in a small North Minneapolis clinic.

Ophir Klein, MD, PhD

The Dr. Richard and Nancy Christiansen Craniofacial Research and Education Lecture featuring Ophir Klein, MD, PhD, will take place on October 26 via Zoom.

Give Kids a Smile

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the School of Dentistry will not host an in-person event for Give Kids a Smile on February 6, 2021. Give Kids a Smile is a student-led, volunteer event connecting underserved children and families with oral health care.  While disappointing, the Give Kids a Smile Committee will keep its amazing network of supporters up-to-date on the alternate ways Give Kids a Smile will positively impact our community and how you can stay involved.

What will the 2021 edition of Give Kids a Smile look like?

School of Dentistry

Dr. Susan Buck-Wischmeier was named director of the School of Dentistry’s Outreach Division, effective June 8, 2020. She has served in a faculty role at the school since 2013 and as a clinical assistant professor in the Division of Outreach since 2017. She is a graduate of Colorado College and earned a DDS degree from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry in 1996.

Drs. Mike Hanson (left) and Jodi Fonkert

Willmar Dentists Reflect on Suspending and Re-opening Practice

Like every other dental office across Minnesota, Hanson & Fonkert Dental in Willmar, Minnesota, abruptly closed March 17, 2020 in response to the Governor’s Executive Order suspending all non-emergency oral health care to slow the spread of COVID-19. At the time, Dr. Jodi Fonkert '93 and her husband Dr. Mike Hanson '92 had no idea if the closure would last two weeks, two months or two years.

Drs. Massimo Costalonga and Peter Bittner-Eddy

Two grants to the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research of the National Institutes of Health will support research to identify new approaches to preventing thrush and periodontitis.

Diseases of the mouth are costly and can lead to loss of teeth, a diminished quality of life and life-threatening systemic infections.

Conrado Aparicio, PhD, MScEng

School of Dentistry Professor Conrado Aparicio, PhD, is leading a research team focused on reducing infection rates for patients with bone-integrated prosthetic limbs. As a mechanical engineer with deep experience advancing the science of dental implants, he is the lead investigator on a new $750,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Defense.

Jackie Callaway-Campbell

Sometimes all it takes are a few encouraging words to alter the trajectory of a young person’s life. For Jackie Callaway-Campbell, it was the words of a manager where she worked as a dental assistant in New Castle, Del.

Yazan Alkhatib

Fourth-year class president Yazan Alkhatib graduates from the Doctor of Dental Surgery program this spring. He was asked to share his experiences over the last two months.

Q: How are you adapting to the new pandemic normal?


Dentistry Magazine