Students

2021 White Coat Ceremony

The School of Dentistry celebrated 105 DDS learners, 21 Dental Hygiene learners and 7 Dental Therapy learners at their White Coat Ceremony last week, marking their official entrance into the dental profession.

First celebrated in 1989 at the University of Chicago, the White Coat Ceremony marks the moment in which each clinical learner is bestowed with their first white coat, recognizing the professionalism and patient-centered care expected of the wearer.

2021 Orientation

Last week, 133 new students made their debut on the University of Minnesota’s campus to attend orientation for their respective programs. The incoming class of 2021 consists of 105 DDS, 21 Dental Hygiene, and seven Dental Therapy students who participated in a hybrid orientation program.

The students began their first day on campus, at the Health Sciences Education Center, where they received a warm welcome from Dean Keith A. Mays, DDS, MS, PhD.

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.

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.”

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.

Brooke Vierling and Kevin Marzolf

Two School of Dentistry students will assume leadership roles in District 8 of the American Dental Student Association.

Kevin Marzolf, DDS '23, will serve as a member of the District 8 Presidential Council during his tenure as the University of Minnesota ASDA President. Brooke Vierling, DDS '22, will become the Membership & Professional Issues Chair.

Andrew Glover, DDS

Andrew Glover, DDS, Class of 2021, is one of 92 students within the University of Minnesota to receive the 2021 President’s Student Leadership and Service Award.

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