eImages Spring 2022

Dean Lobb

Welcome to the Spring 2022 Edition of eImages newsletter for Marquette Dental School alumni. We’ll continue to come to you with digital newsletters through the summer with a fall printed version of Dental Images arriving in mailboxes.

In this issue, you’ll find news on faculty, students and alumni – along with updates on curriculum changes initiated here at Marquette to continually improve our student education offering.

You’ll also find an article in the student section that highlights student extern work in Wisconsin community-based clinics. While this experience is priceless for students to gain real-life skills, it’s also a reminder of the social responsibility all professionals have in serving the public.

Many of our Marquette graduates volunteer time in the clinics featured in this article – thank you for your service to the profession and to patients in great need of our professional skills. Students also benefit from your time, which we appreciate greatly as this experience is vital not only in developing essential skills but also in providing them a better understanding of the community at large. Thank you for all you do in service to our profession!

Wishing you all the best as we head into the highly anticipated spring season.

Dr. William Lobb
Dean and Professor of Developmental Sciences
Marquette School of Dentistry



Curriculum Changes Work to Enhance Student Training and Patient-Centered Care

Conrad NennDental school curriculum for academic classroom learning has remained relatively the same for students’ first two years of training. However, by the third year, students’ time is primarily spent in clinics at the university or in external rotations.

“For D3 and D4 students, 25 percent of their time is assigned to a rotation,” explains Dr. Conrad Nenn, associate dean for Clinical Services. “These rotations include oral surgery, advanced care clinics, emergency clinics and special needs clinics.”


Bedran-RussoOn Faculty Development Day, October 22, 2021, Dr. Ana Bedran-Russo, DDS, Ph.D., presented a new model to assess this clinical competency. “The new model is more patient- and student-centered than our previous assessment model,” says Dr. Bedran-Russo. “We created a comprehensive clinical competency assessment model that takes into account cumulative clinical experiences, provides continuous assessment, and student self-assessment, under five main pillars that encompass students’ cumulative clinical experiences: Minimum Expected Experience (MEEs), Relative Values Units (RVUs), Appraised Clinical Experience (ACEs), Case Completions (CCs) and Patient Management Professionalism.”

What’s different with this assessment model is now there’s a formalized way to gather data and a self-assessment tool at the end of every procedure to capture lessons learned and find ways to improve outcomes.

“Through this new model, clinical competency – the ultimate goal – is assessed through the pillars of learning to result in an outcome where patient-centered care and enhanced student training meet with a long-term benefit of better prepared students who can deliver exceptional patient care after graduation.”

Research Day at Marquette University

February 2, 2022, marked the 23rd Annual Research Day at Marquette University School of Dentistry, which offered more than 40 poster presentations from predoctoral students, graduate students, residents, postdoctoral scholars and faculty.

The morning oral presentation session featured Keynote Speaker, Dr. Purnima Kumar, a professor of periodontology from Ohio State University who presented: “Antibiotic Wars: Revenge of the Bacteria.” This was followed by oral presentations from five Marquette faculty members – Drs. Tayebi, Guentsch, Kofina, Gungor and Y. Rawal.

The afternoon session showcased combined research and Grand Rounds posters representing the continuum of research and its applications to clinical cases. These posters represented the 11 best of the 100 Fall Evidence Based Dentistry Rounds presentations.

Dr. David Berzins and the MUSoD Research Day Planning Committee organized the events and Dr. Mary Cimrmancic, and the Grand Rounds Planning Committee organized the posters and judging. Congratulations to all!

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Seeking Professional Mentors

Now in its 27th year, the Mentor Program includes more than 300 students and 190 mentors this year. Katie Koncki, M.Ed, practice transitions coordinator, wishes to thank all who have been part of this program and who continue to make it a great success!

The Mentor Committee is actively planning for the 2022-2023 year and is seeking additional mentors. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise with dental students and guiding them on their paths to practice, please consider participating in the Mentor Program. Thank you for your consideration! To sign up to be a mentor, visit here. To see photos, visit here.


Faculty promotions

Dr. Pradeep Bhagavatula Promoted to Professor

Pradeep BhagavatulaCongratulations to Dr. Pradeep Bhagavatula on his promotion to the rank of professor, effective July 1, 2022. Dr. Bhagavatula has served as faculty member at Marquette University since 2008. He was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2016, and he has now attained the rank of professor.






Ana Bedran-Russo, DDS, Ph.D., Elected Treasurer of the American Association for Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Research (AADOCR)

Bedran RussoDr. Bedran-Russo has also served as the past Chair of the American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs and is a current member. She was installed as treasurer at the 51st Annual Meeting of the AADOCR that took place in Atlanta in March. To learn more, visit here.

A member of the organization since 2003, Dr. Bedran-Russo has authored or co-authored 105 abstracts presented at IADR and AADOCR meetings. She has also served as president of the IADR Dental Materials Group. In addition, Dr. Bedran-Russo is a member of the IADR Membership and Recruitment Committee. To learn more about AADOCR, visit here.


Congratulations to Dr. Christopher Okunseri who’s partnering on a multi-million-dollar NIH grant for No-Show Prevention in Underserved Populations.

Christopher OkunseriDr. Okunseri, professor and predoctoral program director for Public Health, has obtained new research funding from the NIH – National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) for the research project entitled: “No-Show Prevention Practices in Dental Care Settings Serving Underserved Populations.” Dr. Okunseri is the Marquette University principal investigator on this multi-investigator award.

The amount funded for the first year of the two-year phase 1 UG3 is $337,401. This phase of the project began on February 1, 2022. Based on achieving project milestones, transition to a clinical trial implementation phase of up to an additional five years (UH3) would result in a total award of $4.2 million over all seven years.

Appointment no-shows are an all-too-common occurrence in dental offices. Rather than blaming patients for failing to show up, Dr. Okunseri believes dental clinics can take the lead to reduce no-shows with a systematic approach. In partnership with mechanical engineering researcher Professor Molfenter at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dr. Okunseri is working to test the effectiveness of an organizational change model proven to reduce missed appointments in medical settings, employing principles of systems engineering and has proven effective in more than 3,300 organizations – but remains untried in dentistry.

Wisconsin-area clinics are working to build appropriate and effective tools into their systems – practices such as regularly calling and texting patients more frequently, and closer to appointment times, creating shorter and more convenient appointments, using motivational interviewing to help patients prioritize oral health, and many more.

“My interest is not only personal … this project appeals to my community-based focus of making sure access to care is available to the people who need it,” says Dr. Okunseri.

“Dr. Okunseri is a great example for Marquette dentists with his commitment to expanding access to vital dental care for underserved populations,” notes Dr. William Lobb, dean of the Marquette School of Dentistry. “The problem of no-shows in dentistry is an issue of access to care. This project appeals to his community-based focus of making sure access to care is available to the people who need it.”

New Research Funding Obtained from the American Association of Orthodontics Foundation

Shivam MehtaCongratulations to Dr. Shivam Mehta, clinical assistant professor of Developmental Sciences at the Marquette University School of Dentistry, for obtaining new research funding from the American Association of Orthodontics Foundation for the research project entitled: “Orthodontic Diagnosis with Artificial Intelligence.” The Orthodontic Faculty Development Fellowship Award program sponsored this one-year, $20,000 award.




Students in the community

Students Serving and Learning in Underserved Dental Clinics

Dental school D3 and D4 students have gained inspirational experiences and skills this year providing essential dental care for patients at free and charitable dental clinics around the state of Wisconsin. Students currently serve externships at Open Arms Free Clinic in Elkhorn, Lake Area Free Clinic in Oconomowoc, Tri-County Dental Clinic in Appleton, Chippewa Valley Technical College in Eau Claire and Ascension Seton Dental Clinic in Milwaukee.

Open Arms Free Clinic

Open Arms is the only free clinic in Walworth County that began with 100 percent volunteers and private donations. It will soon celebrate 10 years serving the community.

With community support, the dental program expanded in 2020 to purchase a six-chair dental clinic building. Then, on September 8, 2021, its first four Marquette students arrived – 2 D4s and 2 D3s. “We had total rock stars here!” explains Sara Nichols, MPH, executive director of Open Arms. “I feel the students and the staff at Open Arms Dental are doing amazing services for our patients!”

Drs. Robert Dillman, Craig Thomas and Mark Braden are currently serving as preceptors for the students. “We could use additional volunteer dentists who have the teaching spirit,” says Nichols, “so we could help many more people in the community.”

Open Arms

Tri-County Dental

Marquette University has served as a collaborative partner of Tri-County Dental since its inception in 2003.“The Marquette students come for 30 weeks and work Tuesday through Friday,” says JJ Schauske, clinical director. “Two juniors and two senior students work here at a time, 120 students yearly.”

Students see a multitude of patients a day at Tri-County, while supervised by a preceptor and supported by a dental assistant. “Each student has an opportunity to gain experience in a wide variety of procedures to help establish more productive treatment rates,” says Schauske. “Students feel like real-life dentists who are working in a practice.”

Seven students who were previous externs at the clinic came back later as volunteers. and 80 percent of the dentists who volunteer at Tri-County are Marquette alums. “We value our partnership with Marquette very much,” states Schauske. “It’s a wonderful collaboration with the students.”

Tri-County Dental

Lake Area Free Clinic

In 2017, Lake Area Free Clinic (LAFC) opened a six-chair dental clinic to serve a substantial need for dental care for low-income adults with Medicaid or those who are uninsured.

“We had our first Marquette dental extern in February 2021,” explains Carrey Spencer, dental clinic manager.“We expanded as a dental rotation site in January 2022 and have had such a positive experience with the externs.”

This spring, 28 students plan to come for a rotation and two externs. The clinic had to turn extern students away due to its limited chair space.“LAFC is also proud to have five former undergraduate student volunteers who were accepted into dental school, four at Marquette and one in Boston,” says Spencer.

Drs. Robert Schwade and Pablo Fernandez serve as the clinic’s preceptors, both Marquette alumni and former faculty.“Students have an assistant while seeing patients and the preceptor offers guidance,” explains Spencer, “so they can work more independently than in a typical school setting. We’ve been impressed with the students’ professionalism and skills.Fortunately, our dentists love to share their passion for dentistry with others.”

Chippewa Valley Technical College

In 2004, Chippewa Valley Technical College built its new low-income dental clinic to provide care to those who can’t receive care anywhere else. The new 5,000-square-foot clinic has 22 dental chairs – six for dental and 12 to 14 for dental hygiene.

“Here, Marquette D3 and D4 dental students work with dental assistants to perform a wide variety of dental procedures including oral surgery, restorative and endodontics, and they’re involved in learning how to perform dental hygiene checks,” says Pamela Entorf, program manager. “Students have an assistant while seeing patients and the preceptor offers guidance, which allows them to work more independently than in a typical school setting. They get to see what a typical dental practice workday might be like, including real-life time-management experience, working Monday through Thursday – eight weeks in the spring and eight weeks in the fall.”

Entorf says they absolutely loved having Drs. Shannon Burns and Sam Miller at the Eau Claire clinic. “They’re hard-working, good clinicians who’ve become part of the clinic family. They work well with not only preceptors and patients, but the staff and students.”

Chippewa Valley Technical College

Students reflect on their experiences

Class president Klea Rota is currently a D4 dental student at Marquette from Cudahy, Wisconsin. “I’ve experienced immense gratitude from the patients I’ve treated at the free dental clinics,” says Rota. “Everyone has been very appreciative to receive the dental care they need but can't afford elsewhere. These experiences inspire me to continue to give back to my community by volunteering throughout my dental career.” After graduation, Rota will be practicing dentistry in Franklin, Wisconsin.

“The Wisconsin free dental clinics have been a remarkable experience,” notes D4 dental student Matthew Ang. “I’m privileged to provide comprehensive and emergency dental care to patients with their own diverse experiences and personal challenges.” Ang has also learned to marry what patients are comfortable with to what providers deem necessary to improve patients’ oral health. He’s excited to return to the suburbs of the Twin Cities in Minnesota upon graduation.

Student Community Clinic

Student Leadership

Students reflect on their experiences

Drake LindholmDrake Lindholm, D3, was elected to the Wisconsin Dental Association (WDA) Board of Trustees for one-year appointment. He was elected by the American Student Dental Association to represent Student Region 6. Lindholm, a Wisconsin native, will represent the interests of Marquette to the WDA Board of Trustees through November 2022. He will attend several meetings throughout the year to weigh in on WDA board decisions.




Daniel O’Brien, New Director of Development

Daniel ObrienIn February, Daniel O’Brien joined the School of Dentistry as its new director of development. Although new to Marquette, O’Brien has worked with and for the Jesuits for 20 years.

“I spent eight years in the Cristo Rey movement working in Jesuit high schools in Chicago and Denver,” shares O’Brien. “From there, I spent time at Regis University in Denver before heading back to the Midwest – I’m a Wilmette, Illinois, native.”

For the last 10 years, O’Brien has lived in Milwaukee working for the Wisconsin Province of Jesuits (now Midwest Province of Jesuits), fundraising for Jesuits in formation, as well as retired Jesuits.

“Milwaukee has been a great place for our family,” notes O’Brien. “My wife Jenni is a psychotherapist in Mequon, and we’re the proud parents of a seventh-grade daughter, Annabelle, and a fifth-grade boy, Hugh.”

The O’Brien’s daughter was diagnosed with autism in 2013, so the family is pleased to learn of Marquette’s investment in the special-needs community.

“As alums and supporters of the School of Dentistry, I welcome your thoughts and comments as I begin the deep dive into the dental world and my new role at the university,” concludes O’Brien. “I look forward to the opportunity to work with you."

To connect with Daniel O’Brien, email daniel.obrien@marquette.edu or call (414) 902-0907.

Advancing Our World-Class Dental Education Facility

Since 1894, Marquette University has been delivering a premier dental education, grounded in exemplary practice, supported by its world-class facility on the west end of Marquette’s campus and – moreover – recognized for its compassionate patient care to all of Wisconsin.

Nearly 25 years ago, university leadership, in support of Dean William Lobb’s vision, transformed dental education at Marquette with a new facility and teaching philosophy. Under the direction of Dr. Lobb, and with the support of the Trustees, the Marquette School of Dentistry became a national model for excellence in dental education across the country.

Today, more than two decades later, technology continues to accelerate. We’ve reached a critical moment to revitalize our clinics and ensure excellence in education, practice and improve patient care.

With the support of the Marquette Board of Trustees, Marquette School of Dentistry launched an $18 million effort to revitalize its clinics and totally rebuild its facility with the latest technology and equipment.

We’re equipping 151 new operatories with the latest equipment. In addition, our innovative upgrade will include Advanced Care and Pediatrics Clinics, as well as specialty clinics in Radiology, Oral Surgery, Prosthodontics, Periodontics, Orthodontics and Endodontics.

As of the time we published this newsletter, we’re proud to share that we’ve raised the first $5M required to commence with the revitalization project this summer. We are sincerely grateful to our alumni, friends and industry partners who have joined us in securing the future of the dental school. Many will be recognized in various areas throughout the clinics.

Marquette’s School of Dentistry remains Wisconsin’s only dental school, and serves as a transformative model for dental schools across the country. We receive applications from nearly every state and several countries annually. Over the past several years, the Office of Admissions has received an average of 2,400 applications for the coveted 100 spots. The revitalization project is critical to our ability to meet the demands of enrollment and prepare tomorrow’s dentists.

Please know that we continue to look for support to drive this important project forward. If you’re interested in contributing, or you wish to hear about other funding opportunities, please contact Daniel O’Brien email daniel.obrien@marquette.edu or call (414) 902-0907.



Alumni Reception Returned to Chicago for the Midwinter Meeting

In February, the Chicago Midwinter Meeting was held in person, and Marquette was back in town to host a reception. A large group of alumni, student, faculty/administrators and friends attended to enjoy food, drinks and conversation. It was great to be together again! View photos from the event here.

A big thank you to our sponsors: Gold Level: First Midwest Bank and Huntington, Silver Level: PerCSoft and Marcum, Bronze Level: PPG Partners and Racine Dental Group. See you there next year.

Chicago Midwinter 2022

Alumni National Awards 2022

Since 1945, Marquette University has honored alumni and friends around the world. Their inspirational stories remind us how Marquette transforms students who go on to make a difference in our world.

2022 Alumni Awards Recipients

  • Distinguished Alumnus in Dentistry Award | Timothy R. Kinzel, D.D.S, D ‘84
  • Outstanding Dental Service Award | Gary A. Hendricks, D.D.S., D ‘85
  • Young Alumna of the Year Award | Zazell Staheli Cummings, D.D.S., D ‘16
Timothy R. Kinzel Gary A. Hendricks Zazell Staheli Cummings

To nominate someone for future awards, please visit here.

Alumni Fun

Upcoming Alumni Baseball Outing – The Milwaukee Milkmen

The School of Dentistry Alumni Association is organizing an outing to a Milwaukee Milkmen baseball game. The Milwaukee Milkmen are members of the American Association of Professional Baseball, an official partner of Major League Baseball, and play in Franklin, WIs. For the team’s game on Sunday, July 24, the association has secured a limited number of tickets in the team’s Hop Yard, which is an open seating area and includes food and beverages. The Milwaukee Milkmen games are a great family outing – and we hope you can join us!

Register online or call (414) 288-3093 for more information.


Matthew Bures, D.D.S. (MUSOD Class of 2018) is currently completing his fourth year of a six-year oral maxillofacial surgery residency program in Detroit. He will graduate in June from Wayne State University School of Medicine as a Doctor of Medicine.

Please share ideas for future editions of eImages

Thanks for reading this issue of eImages newsletter from Marquette School of Dentistry. If you have achievements or ideas for topics you would like us to share in the next edition, please reach out to us here.