School News

Boyen Huang, DDS, MHA, PhD

A CGHSR Global Health Seed fund, along with two other recent grant awards, will propel a teledentistry effort focused on identifying and treating dental trauma.

Dental Hygiene awards

On Thursday, July 22, the Dental Hygiene class of 2021 gathered for a senior banquet to recognize and celebrate the graduates and to present fifteen awards. These awards honored students for their academic achievement, community involvement, leadership skills, and more.

Emily Kahnert, DPT, CCTT,

Emily Kahnert, DPT, CCTT, is not a typical PhD student. She calls herself an “unusual combination of a lot of different things here at the University,” saying that she is “blazing some trails in many ways.” Those trails earned her an American Academy of Orofacial Pain Research grant to implement her dissertation research in orofacial pain and TMD.

Kahnert’s journey with the University of Minnesota began when she received her degree in physical therapy fifteen years ago, but she was drawn to dentistry even then.

Sumita Mitra, MS, PhD

Sumita Mitra, MS, PhD has left her mark on nanotechnology and dental materials for more than three decades. Though she has been retired for more than ten years, her influence and her work continues--and her work with the School of Dentistry’s Minnesota Dental Research Center for Biomaterials and Biomechanics (MDRCBB) makes up a large part of that influence.

Phonsuda Chanthavisouk, MDT ’21 (right)

Phonsuda Chanthavisouk, MDT ’21, graduated this spring, and she’s ready to make an impact in the world as a dental therapist. She got there with help from a Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation scholarship.

“The scholarship allowed me to be more focused and put intention and energy into my studies,” she reflected. “The work I produce as a clinician and a student is better because my financial burden of student loans was reduced.”

A Message from the Dean

Every day in our clinics, we open our doors to care for patients, and to teach students and residents, and to engage in research that we hope will bring better health to someone in the world.

Zach Slama, DDS and Maddy Gamble, DDS

Zach Slama, DDS ’20, and Maddy Gamble, DDS '19, are co-residents in the Division of Orthodontics. They’re pretty much together 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And the two wouldn’t have it any other way.

Slama and Gamble first met when they entered the School of Dentistry’s DDS program one year apart. They joined the same dental fraternity and moved into the same house. They quickly became friends, then started dating.

Kendall Bast, RDH, BSDH and Alyssa Olson, MSDH

Two Dental Hygiene alumnae received the American Dental Hygienists’ Association’s prestigious Sigma Phi Alpha Excellence in Journalism awards, the organization announced in June.

Nicholas Fischer


Nicholas Fischer, PhD, DDS ’25, is the Secretary-elect for the American Association for Dental Research’s National Student Research Group (NSRG), the organization announced following an AADR election.

Raptor Center

The School of Dentistry held its annual Summer Celebration of Donors virtually this year, allowing for a special presentation that taught donors a bit about the large birds they might see throughout Minnesota.

The summer celebration hosted donors to the School of Dentistry who are members of the University of Minnesota President’s Club, a giving circle of the highest level.

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