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Faculty & staff news


Martin Allison, MA, joined Learning & Disability Resources in October as a disability resources adviser on the Arizona campus.

Amanda Anders, executive assistant, president’s office, completed the 2018 Kirksville Leadership Institute. The institute’s class project was downtown beautification.

Shana Engel joined ATSU as assistant director of purchasing.

John Gardner, PhD, MEd, joined the Human Resources department in October as director of Title IX & training. Additionally, he earned his doctoral degree in higher education leadership at Colorado State University with a research topic on sexual misconduct, federal Title IX policy, and intersectionality.

Geoffroey-Allen Franklin, MBA, data manager/analyst, A.T. Still Research Institute, and Jane Johnson, MS, research assistant professor, A.T. Still Research Institute, completed and published Event Adjudication Committee Jury Room (EACJR) software on GitHub and Zenodo. EACJR is a multiyear, multisite research project exploring patient-reported events and determining which are adverse events by a consensus of review committee members. The project is supported by grants from the American Academy of Osteopathy and ATSU’s Strategic Research Fund.

Marsha Ham, PhD, university director, Teaching & Learning Center, retired from ATSU, effective July 5. She joined the University in August 2015 as the Teaching & Learning Center’s founding director. Since then, she has worked to build a center focused on providing faculty and students with a broad variety of resources and programs.

Theresa Hunziker, admissions counselor, residential admissions, received the Missouri campus Employee Excellence Award for the fourth quarter of 2018.

Michael Kronenfeld, MBA, MLIS, university librarian, A.T. Still Memorial Library, retired in March after 17 years with ATSU. He opened the Arizona campus library in 2002 and was appointed university librarian in 2011 when both campus libraries were merged.

Dan Martin, MA, director, wellness programs, received the Kirksville Osteopathic Alumni Association’s Living Tribute Award at the Founder’s Day Alumni Recognition Ceremony. The award honors ATSU-KCOM faculty and administration who make significant contributions to the University.

Kim Perry, DDS, MSCS, associate vice president, university partnerships, was inducted as a fellow into the American College of Dentists.

Craig M. Phelps, DO, ’84, president, received the Samuel U. Rodgers Achievement Award from the Missouri Primary Care Association in October at the Community Healthcare Awards of Excellence. Dr. Phelps also received the 2018 Medallion Award from the Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons for outstanding service to the osteopathic profession.

Clarissa Rodriguez joined ATSU in October as the administrative assistant for Diversity & Inclusion. She is based on the Arizona campus.

Jean Sidwell, MALS, director, Missouri branch, A.T. Still Memorial Library, retired in January after more than 30 years of service. She joined the University as a library clerk in November 1986.

Susan Swogger, MLIS, is the new Missouri branch manager for the A.T. Still Memorial Library. She joined the library staff in September 2016.

Brittany Williams, MS, instructional designer & faculty development coordinator, Teaching & Learning Center, received the Arizona campus Employee Excellence Award for the third quarter of 2018.


Jeffrey Cohen, DDS, joined the School as an adjunct professor.

Jack Dillenberg, DDS, MPH, dean emeritus, received the Skils Meskin Award from the Dr. Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Fund Inc. for his exceptional and relentless pursuit of innovation in education, public health leadership, health program development, and addressing oral health issues to improve the nation’s oral health. Additionally, Dr. Dillenberg received the 2019 American Association of Public Health Dentistry Distinguished Service Award for his contributions toward improving the nation’s public health.

Mai-Ly Duong, DMD, MPH, MAEd, FAGD, FSCD, ’12, associate director, special care dentistry, received a $5,000 grant from the Academy of General Dentistry to raise awareness and educate healthcare professionals, parents, teens, and the community about risk factors associated with developing oral cancers, the link between human papillomaviruses and oral cancer, and the lifesaving value of obtaining regular oral exams and screenings. In addition, Dr. Duong was inducted as a fellow into the American College of Dentists.

Amanda Fernandez is a dental assistant for CCU 3 in the dental clinic.

Wendy Hardina is the School’s new education specialist.

Larry Harlan, DDS, joined the School as an adjunct professor in the dental clinic.

Sabah Kalamchi, DDS, director, oral and maxillofacial surgery, received the Ivor Kramer Medal of Academic Distinction on Friday, Nov. 23, in London. The award, given for research excellence, is named for Ivor Kramer, a former professor of oral pathology and dean of the Eastman Institute of Dental Surgery at the University of London.

Noemi Kershner, dental assistant, dental clinic, received the Arizona campus Employee Excellence Award for the fourth quarter of 2018.

Satish Kumar, DMD, associate professor, became the director of periodontics, effective July 1.

Jason Lee joined the School in September as an operations assistant.

Binita Mool joined the dental clinic as a sterilization/float dental assistant.

Jae Hyun Park, DMD, PhD, MSD, MS, professor and chair, postgraduate orthodontics, published an article in the American Journal of Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics titled “Improvement of facial profile by nonextraction orthodontic treatment with temporary skeletal anchorage devices and visual treatment objectives.” The article, coauthored by Kiyoshi Tai, DDS, PhD, in Japan, was selected as Case of the Month for the journal’s November issue.

Additionally, Dr. Park’s article, “Anterior open bite correction with 2-jaw orthognathic surgery,” which was co-authored by Michael Papademetriou, DMD, MS; Carolyn Gardiner, DDS, DHEd; and John Grubb, DDS, MSD, was selected as the American Journal of Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics’ cover story in the January 2019 issue.

Maricela Segovia-Santoyo is a dental assistant for prosthodontics in the dental clinic.

Morgan Shubert joined the dental clinic as a sterilization/float dental assistant.

Ann Spolarich, PhD, RDH, FSCDH, professor, director of research, was honored by the Oral Health Research Group of the International Association for Dental Research with the 2018 Oral Health Research Award. The award recognizes a researcher for significant contributions to the advancement of oral health.

Caitlin Talkington joined the dental clinic as a sterilization/float dental assistant.

Amanda Westendorf is a dental assistant for oral surgery in the dental clinic.


Debra Abel, AuD, ’02, adjunct assistant professor, audiology, was named president-elect of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology.

Cailee Welch Bacon, PhD, ATC, associate professor, athletic training; Kirsty Gaither, MA, distance support librarian, A.T. Still Memorial Library; and Brittany Williams, MS, instructional designer, Teaching & Learning Center, delivered a presentation about Qualtrics rollout activities and the Train-the-Trainer SparkTank grant at the Qualtrics annual conference in Salt Lake City.

Ann Lee Burch, PT, EdD, MPH, was selected as dean of ATSU-ASHS in May. She had been serving as the interim dean since December. Dr. Burch joined ATSU in 2008 as associate professor and chair of physical therapy. Since 2012, she has served as vice dean of ATSU-ASHS.

Dr. Burch was selected as an advisory board member for the Health, Wellness, & Society Research Network, and she was selected to join the Arizona Advisory Council for Common Sense, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization committed to helping kids thrive in a world of media and technology. In addition, she was selected to attend the Institute for Management & Leadership in Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The two-week program, which was held in June, is designed for experienced administrators.

Randy Danielsen, PhD, PA-C emeritus, stepped down as dean of ATSU-ASHS, effective Dec. 1. He is serving as program director for the new online Doctor of Medical Science program in the Physician Assistant Studies (PA) department.

Dr. Danielsen joined the School in 1995 to help start the inaugural PA program in Arizona. In 1998, he became chair of the PA department where he served until 2004. He was appointed to full professor in 2004 and served as dean of the School from 2004-10 and again from 2012-18.

Michelle DiBaise, DHSc, MPAS, PA-C, DFAAPA, ’14, was named chair of the Physician Assistant Studies department and director of the master’s in Physician Assistant Studies program, effective July 1.

Jim Farris, PT, PhD, chair, physical therapy, received the 2018 Special Olympics’ Golisano Health Leadership Award. The award recognizes healthcare champions who are making significant contributions to equal access to health, fitness, and wellness for people with intellectual disabilities. It is the highest honor Special Olympics awards its health partners.

Heather Guerra, AuD, joined the Audiology department in October as an assistant professor.

Beth Jordan, clinical education assistant, physical therapy, received the Exemplary Staff Award from ATSU-ASHS Staff Assembly. The award recognizes staff members who demonstrate outstanding service to the University, create opportunities for professional growth, and contribute to a team-oriented work environment.

Tamara Valovich McLeod, PhD, ATC, director, athletic training, was one of five speakers at the Brain Injury Alliance Arizona breakfast for National Concussion Awareness Day in September. In January, she received the Pediatric Research in Sports Medicine Society National Achievement Award for Athletic Training. Dr. Valovich McLeod was recognized for modeling exemplary clinical care and contributing to the education of youth sports medicine providers.

Bert Simon, DHSc, became the associate director of the new online Doctor of Medical Science program, effective July 1. Dr. Simon, who served as chair of the Physician Assistant Studies department since 2012, stepped down from this role.


Kathy Adler, DHA, FACHE, associate dean, completed her Quality Matters Master Reviewer recertification.

Erin Breitenbach, PhD, MA, chair, health education, was selected to attend a National Science Foundation-funded summit on scalable advanced learning ecosystems at the Georgia Institute of Technology in November. In addition, she began serving on the Editorial Review Board for the International Journal of Innovative Teaching and Learning in Higher Education in January.

Jeffrey Chaffin, DDS, MPH, MBA, MHA, associate professor, public health, was invited to be an associate editor for the Section on Oral Health, Integration, and Practice of the 2020 Surgeon General’s Report on Oral Health.

Lihua Dishman, DBA, MBA, assistant professor, health administration, served as a judge for the Distributive Education Clubs of America High School competition in December. Additionally, her case study manuscript, “Allocating Hospital Resources to Improve Patient Experience,” was accepted for publication in SAGE Business Cases.

Olivia Ellison joined the College as the new enrollment data coordinator.

Jimmie Flores, PhD, DM, MS, adjunct professor, health administration, completed the requirements for the Project Management Institute’s Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP)® credential.

Jaana Gold, DDS, PhD, MPH, CPH, associate professor, public health, co-authored two chapters in a new textbook, “How to Use Evidence-Based Dental Practices to Improve Your Clinical Decision Making,” which will be published this fall and sponsored by the American Dental Association. The chapters are titled “Issues of Bias and Confounding in Clinical Studies” and “Curriculum Content and Strategies for Evidence-Based Practice Instruction.”

Lynda T. Konecny, DHEd, MS, CHES, ’08, associate professor, health education, published a chapter, “Medical student wellness initiatives,” in the book titled “Exploring the pressures of medical education from a mental health and wellness perspective.”

Elsie Rudd, MA, retired at the end of March. She had been with the College since 1999 and was a member of the instructional design team.

Helen Salisbury, PhD, associate professor, health sciences, received a $10,000 grant from to benefit the Humane Society of the White Mountains in Lakeside, Arizona, for low-cost public spay/neuter surgeries for the companion animals of community residents, including the White Mountain Apache Tribe.

S.D. Shanti, DDS, PhD, MPH, CPH, associate professor, public health, was selected to be an exam item writer for the public health certification exam (CPH) held by the National Board of Public Health Examiners.

Aesha Turner, MC, MCHES, became the business operations manager, effective March 1.


Kent Campbell, DO, ’83, associate dean, academic & clinical educational affairs, received the Kirksville Osteopathic Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Award at the Founder’s Day Alumni Recognition Ceremony. The award recognizes alumni and friends who have provided outstanding service and financial support to ATSU-KCOM.

Yohei Norimatsu, PhD, assistant professor, physiology, received a three-year, $382,343 grant from the National Institutes of Health to support his research, “Atomic-scale refinement of CFTR and TAAR1 molecular models for the study of drug binding.”

Kelcey Smith, education coordinator, family medicine, received the Missouri campus Employee Excellence Award for the third quarter of 2018.

Robert Sparks, DO, ’83, joined ATSU Gutensohn Clinic in January as a family medicine physician.

Bruce Young, PhD, professor, anatomy, received recognition in Psychology Today for his research on tonic immobility in alligators.


Joan Davis, PhD, MS, RDH, director, research, special projects, & initiatives, presented “Tobacco Cessation on the Clinic Floor,” an internationally streamed webinar in November as a part of the American Dental Education Association eLearn webinar series.

Prashanth K. Haribabu, DDS, MDS, MSD, joined the School as director for oral and maxillofacial surgery at the St. Louis Dental Center.

In March, Dr. Haribabu attended the Fifth Global American Academy of Implant Dentistry Conference and First Asian Hard and Soft Tissue Symposium in New Delhi, India. He served as one of the keynote speakers and as a chair to moderate a scientific surgical session. In addition, he was awarded the Master Fellowship certificate by World Congress of Oral Implantology, Japan.

Dwight McLeod, DDS, MS, dean, was named the 2018 Missouri Dental Association (MDA) Dentist of the Year in November at the MDA House of Delegates. The award recognizes a member dentist who has demonstrated outstanding service to the association, the profession of dentistry, or the community in the past year.

Dr. McLeod also received the Samuel U. Rodgers Achievement Award from the Missouri Primary Care Association in October at the Community Healthcare Awards of Excellence.

Richard J. Vargo, DMD, FAAOMP, FAAOM, joined the School as specialty care unit director for oral and maxillofacial pathology at the St. Louis Dental Center.


Lorree Ratto, PhD, FT, associate professor, served as a member of the National Health Care for the Homeless Council’s advisory committee on end-of-life for people experiencing homelessness. The committee created a set of guidelines titled “Adapting Your Practice: Recommendations for End-of-Life Care for People Experiencing Homelessness.”

Lisa Watts, DO, associate professor, regional director of medical education, received the Northwest Osteopathic Medical Foundation’s Founders’ Exceptional Accomplishment Award for her work in developing ATSU-SOMA’s partnership with the Northwest Regional Primary Care Association in Portland, as well as her role as the founding director of medical education for the Wright Center National Family Medicine Residency.

Earla White, PhD, was named inaugural chair of the Undergraduate Medical Education department, effective April 1. Since joining ATSU-SOMA in 2017, Dr. White has served as director of community-oriented primary care, a member of the Interdisciplinary Research Committee, and an elected member of the Faculty Council.


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