UW School of Dentistry

Alumni News

Dr. Dexter Barnes and Dr. David Minahan honored

Dr. Dexter Barnes and Dr. David Minahan, School of Dentistry alumni and two of the Washington state dental community’s most prominent members, were honored at the Dean’s Club Dinner on April 29 at Seattle’s Museum of Flight.

Dr. Minahan receives the Distinguished Alumnus Award from his presenter, Dr. Mark DiRe.

Dr. Minahan receives the Distinguished Alumnus Award from his presenter, Dr. Mark DiRe.

Dr. Barnes (left) receives the Dean’s Club Honorary Lifetime Member Award from his presenter, Dr. Jeffrey Parrish.

Dr. Barnes (left) receives the Dean’s Club Honorary Lifetime Member Award from his presenter, Dr. Jeffrey Parrish.

Dr. Barnes, a graduate of the Class of 1969, received the 2017 Dean’s Club Honorary Lifetime Member Award in recognition of his outstanding service to the school, particularly as longtime chair of the speaker selection committee for the Ernest M. Jones Memorial Lectureship. Dr. Barnes has led speaker selection for more than two-thirds of the history of the annual lecture, which is the school’s signature annual continuing-education event. In that time, he has personally recruited an impressive number of outstanding speakers, including such notables as Dr. Gordon Christensen and Dr. John Kois.

Dr. Barnes has also served as president of the Dental Alumni Association Board as President and as class representative, and also helped support the school’s annual White Coat Ceremony in his capacity as president of the International College of Dentists.

Dr. Sidney Gallegos and Dr. Patricia Rothwell were co-hosts for the dinner.

Dr. Sidney Gallegos and Dr. Patricia Rothwell were co-hosts for the dinner.

Fourth-year students Kalob Lesh (left) and Nate McKenna received leadership awards from Dr. Gallegos.

Fourth-year students Kalob Lesh (left) and Nate McKenna received leadership awards from Dr. Gallegos.

Husky Dog

Dubs, the UW mascot, was a big hit at the reception preceding the dinner.

Dr. Minahan, a member of the Class of 1975, received the 2017 Distinguished Alumnus Award in recognition of his multiple leadership roles in organized dentistry. A past president of the Washington State Dental Association, he received a WSDA Presidential Award in 2001 and has been a persuasive advocate for the dental profession in Olympia and in other venues.

He has also served in WSDA’s House of Delegates on WSDA’s board of directors. He has chaired the Pacific Northwest Dental Conference Committee and served on the Nominations Committee, Government Affairs Committee, and the DentPac Board. He has also worked on WSDA Board task forces on the Staff Retirement Plan, Dental Care Access, and the Affordable Care Act, and has been a Leadership Institute Mentor to future WSDA leaders.

Husky Marching Band

The UW Husky Marching Band got the crowd fired up with a performance of “Bow Down to Washington.”

The evening was co-hosted by Dr. Sidney Gallegos, president of the Dean’s Club Board of Trustees, and Dr. Patricia Rothwell, chair of the school’s Together for Dentistry fund-raising campaign. The event also featured special appearances by Dubs, the University of Washington mascot, and members of the UW Husky Marching Band.

Teaching endowment’s first fellowship awarded

A new endowment started by three prominent UW dental alumni to promote excellence in teaching has made its first award.

Drs Mathews, Spear, Kokich in black tie

Dr. David Mathews (left), Dr. Frank Spear (center) and Dr. Vincent Kokich, shown at the School of Dentistry’s annual Dean’s Club dinner in April 2012, sought to promote excellence in teaching at the School.

Dr. Kimberly Espinoza, director of the School of Dentistry’s special-needs clinical program, received the first fellowship from the 2016-2017 Kokich Mathews Spear Endowed Fund for Academic Leadership in Dentistry. The yearlong fellowship, which includes a $3,000 stipend, supports a personalized master class in the art and science of effective presentation.

The endowment was launched by Drs. Vincent G. Kokich (’71, Orthodontics  ’74), David P. Mathews (Periodontics  ’74) and Frank M. Spear (’79), who lectured together for more than 25 years as leading proponents of interdisciplinary dentistry. In 2009, the three dedicated one of their final joint appearances to raising funds for the endowment, and also made substantial individual gifts to it. Dr. Kokich passed away in 2013.

Dr. Kimberly Espinoza (right) discusses a case with second-year GPR resident Dr. Keturah Lowe.

Dr. Kimberly Espinoza (right) discusses a case with second-year GPR resident Dr. Keturah Lowe.

“I am excited to be selected for many reasons,” said Dr. Espinoza, who has directed the Dental Education in Care of Persons With Disabilities (DECOD) program since 2014. She has also chaired the Special Care Dentistry Association’s Council of Dentistry for People with Disabilities.

“I am particularly interested in different ways to engage students in a large classroom setting. I’ve spent the last year in the University of Washington Teaching Scholars Program focusing on curriculum development and educational scholarship, and am excited to expand on this by developing my presentation skills and delivery of content to students,” she said.

Dr. Espinoza, of the Oral Medicine faculty, was chosen from a field of applicants by a selection committee organized by Dr. Linda LeResche, Associate Dean for Research.

As they built international reputations as dental educators, Drs. Kokich, Mathews and Spear learned  what would best help students – evidence-based instruction, strong communication and presentation skills, open-minded inquiry, and techniques to create a dynamic and nurturing environment.

“We’ve seen what doesn’t work in teaching, and have been able to use that to teach people,” Dr. Kokich said in 2009. “I never had the opportunity as a faculty member, if I wanted to improve my teaching skills, to be guided by people who do this for a living.”

Mary Kokich Boer

Mary Kokich Boer

Dr. Espinoza will work with Mary Kokich Boer, Dr. Kokich’s daughter, who is a faculty member in the School of Education at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash. Kokich, who holds a master’s degree in teaching and is a nationally board-certified teacher, also worked for 13 years as a public school teacher and lectured individually and with her father on topics related to effective teaching and engaging audiences.

At the end of her fellowship year in the fall of 2017, Dr. Espinoza will join Drs. Spear and Mathews to present a special lecture at the School.

“Dr. Espinoza has already helped DECOD make significant strides, and with this additional training, I believe she will take this legacy program to even greater heights,” Dean Joel Berg said.

“I’d also like to convey my deep appreciation for the endowment to Dr. Mathews and Dr. Spear and to the family of Dr. Kokich. This is a truly meaningful gesture of support for our faculty that will bear tremendous dividends in the years to come.”