Alumni & Friends

Classes of the 1980s




























Dr. Brett L. Ferguson Re-elected Treasurer of AAOMS

Brett L. Ferguson (DDS ’81, DOMX ’90) was elected to a second two-year term as treasurer of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) during the Association’s 95th Annual Meeting, Scientific Sessions and Exhibition in Orlando, Fla. As treasurer, Dr. Ferguson oversees the annual audit of association funds, serves as custodian of all monies, securities and deeds belonging to AAOMS and reports the finances of AAOMS at each annual meeting.

“As the elected Board of Trustee member charged with safeguarding the financial assets and resources of the AAOMS, I intend to keep our association financially strong and independent,” said Dr. Ferguson. “I look forward to my continued work with the Board of Trustees to enable our membership to meet the exciting challenges that await our specialty in the future.”

Dr. Ferguson received a DDS, with honors, and subsequently entered full-time academics at the UMKC School of Dentistry. After a fellowship year in general anesthesia, Dr. Ferguson began his OMS residency at Truman Medical Center. He is currently program director of the UMKC OMS Graduate Training Program, chair of OMS at Truman Medical Center, and chair of the UMKC Department of Oral Surgery and Hospital Dentistry.

Dr. Ferguson is past president of the Medical/Dental Staff of Truman Medical Center and a member of the Center’s board of directors. In addition to the AAOMS, Dr. Ferguson, a diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, is a member of the International Association of OMS, American College of Dentists, Midwest Society of OMS, Missouri Society of OMS, American Dental Association, Missouri Dental Association, and Greater Kansas City Dental Society. He has served as president of the Greater Kansas City Society OMS, a member of the Fifth District Caucus and a delegate in the AAOMS House of Delegates. In addition, Dr. Ferguson serves as president-elect of the Rinehart Foundation, the endowment of the UMKC School of Dentistry. 

Drs. Vierthaler  and Twaddle Add Space-Age Technology

The Maryville (Mo.) Daily Forum newspaper published an article about the additional space and new technology that Brian Vierthaler (DDS ’02) and Bruce Twaddle (DDS ’83) have added to their practice, Compass Dental Group, in Marysville, Mo. The practice held an open house, Friday, Nov. 18, 2011, to introduce the changes to their patients and the public. To view the article, visit:

Dr. Arthur L. Cole Elected to the American Association of Endodontists Board of Directors

Arthur L. Cole (DDS ’80) was elected to the American Association of Endodontists Board of Directors during the organization’s recent Annual Session in San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Cole represents AAE District III, comprised of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Dr. Cole currently works in a private practice in Clarksville, Tenn. In addition to serving the AAE, Dr. Cole holds memberships in many other professional organizations including the American Dental Association, the European Association of Military Endodontists, the Tennessee Dental Association and the Tennessee Association of Endodontists where he currently serves as Secretary/Treasurer. Dr. Cole served in the U.S. Army for 30 years, is active in several civic organizations and is a member of Omicron Kappa Upsilon Honorary Society and Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society. He earned his Certificate in Endodontics from the U.S. Army Dental Activity, Fort Gordon, in 1986.

The American Association of Endodontists, headquartered in Chicago, Ill., represents more than 7,200 members worldwide. Endodontics is one of nine dental specialties formally recognized by the American Dental Association. The AAE, founded in 1943, is dedicated to excellence in the art and science of endodontics and to the highest standard of patient care. The Association inspires its members to pursue professional advancement and personal fulfillment through education, research, advocacy, leadership, communication and service.

Nancy Newhouse Elected AAP Vice President

Nancy Newhouse, DDS, of Lee’s Summit, Mo., was installed as vice president of the American Academy of Periodontology Board of Trustees during the 96th annual meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii, Oct. 29-Nov. 2, 2010.
In addition to practicing periodontics in Independence, Mo., Dr. Newhouse serves as an assistant professor at the UMKC School of Dentistry. She has been a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology since 1989.
A member of the AAP since 1983, Dr. Newhouse has previously served on multiple AAP committees including the Executive Committee, the American Dental Association Liaison Committee, the Task Force on Membership Value, Finance Committee, Planning Committee, and Awards Committee. She served as the AAP’s secretary/treasurer in 2010.
“I look forward to Dr. Newhouse’s valued contributions as a leader of the AAP in the upcoming year. The academy has a variety of exciting initiatives planned for 2011,” said Dr. Don Clem, 2011 AAP president.
Dr. Newhouse received her dental degree from the UMKC School of Dentistry in 1980 and completed her postgraduate work in periodontology at University of Texas Health Science Center-San Antonio in 1986.

UMKC Alum, Dr. Pasco Scarpella, Become’s Colorado Dental Association’s New President

University of Missouri-Kansas City graduate, Dr. Pasco W. Scarpella (DENT, 1987), is the new president of the Colorado Dental Association, an organization committed to supporting organized dentistry in Colorado, serving over 3,000 members. It represents over 82% of the licensed dentists in Colorado. Dr. Scarpella is a general dentist and has a private practice in Brighton, Colo. He has practiced dentistry in Colorado since 1987. He received his D.D.S. from the University of Missouri in Kansas City in May of 1987. Prior to dental school, he received his B.S. in EPOB from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1983.

In addition to holding every governing office of the Colorado Dental Association for the last four years, Dr. Scarpella is the former chair of the Colorado Dental Association Government Relations Council and the former editor of the Journal of the Colorado Dental Association. He is a past president of the Boulder/Broomfield County Dental Society, and a fellow of the Pierre Fauchard Academy and the International College of Dentists.

Dr. Connie White’s Barbie Collection Featured on UMKC’s Website

Connie White (DDS ΄81), associate professor of General Dentistry, and her impressive collection of Barbie dolls are featured on UMKC’s website. To learn more about her passionate pursuit of rare versions the world’s most popular doll, visit:

By Kent Dinnebier
After running a private dental practice in Clarinda, Iowa, for 22 years, Mark Mosier (DDS ’85), has joined his practice with Family 1st Dental Associates, effective April 1, 2009. Family 1st Dental Associates subsequently announced that Drs. Lee Gertsen and Kim Suga will join Dr. Mosier and Family 1st Dental Associates on July 1, 2009.

“Family 1st Dental Associates is a tremendous company and have a management team that truly honors and cares about their dentists and staff, which allows us to care for our patients with a higher standard of care,” Dr. Mosier said.

This office is the latest of 26 offices Family 1st Dental has in rural Iowa and Nebraska. The company was formed in 1999 and other Iowa offices are located in Hawarden, Akron, Le Mars, Storm Lake, Sac City, Lake View, and Lake City.

Dr. Mosier has served on the Dental Recruitment Task Force under the direction of the Clarinda Chamber of Commerce for the last three years and explained there is a significant shortage of dentists not only in Clarinda but nationwide.

Dr. Mosier said Clarinda is fortunate to have added Drs. Gertsen and Suga.

Drs. Gertsen and Suga are both 2009 graduates of the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) College of Dentistry. Dr. Gertsen grew up in Watertown, S.D., and attended Minnesota State University in Moorhead, Minn. Dr. Suga grew up in Sioux Falls, S.D., and received her undergraduate degree in biochemistry from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.

Drs. Gertsen and Suga plan to marry on June 6, 2009, in Sioux Falls, SD. They met in dental school their freshman year.

More News

Robert Schmidt (DDS ’85) received the Gold Medal Award at the Greater St. Louis Dental Society’s Installation & Awards Ceremony on January 24, 2015, at Union Station.

Steven Irwin (DDS ’84), Lee’s Summit, Mo., reports that oldest his daughter, Taylor, graduated from MU in December 2012 in nursing and now works at KU Medical Center. His youngest daughter, Peri, is a junior at MU and is applying for early admission to dental school.

Suzanne Watson (DDS ’84) St. Louis, Mo., says she competes in Masters Volleyball tournaments. Her most notable achievements: 2007 Silver Medal National Senior Games in Louisville, Ky.; 2011 Gold Medal National Senior Games, Houston, Texas; and 2013 Silver Medal National Senior Games in Cleveland, Ohio.

Robert Butler (DDS ’84) Webster Groves, Mo., has been selected to serve as 6th District representative to ADPAC Board of Directors 2014–2018. He is currently serving as Speaker of the House for the Missouri Dental Association.

Mark Dake (DDS’84) West Plains, Mo., tells us he has a new partner, Dr. David Sander, and a new associate, Dr. Kyle Wendfeld. Orthodontic Specialists of the Ozarks has offices in West Plains, Mountain Grove, and Houston, Mo. They also have offices in Mountain Home, Highland, and Batesville, Ark.

Rob Dakin (DDS ’84), Wichita, Kan., has been married nearly 38 years to Karen. They are still doing mission trips, mostly recently to the slums of Nairobi, Kenya, and Fiji. They are working on the development of healthcare in remote islands. He finished his second novel, which is in the editing phase at the publisher. They enjoy time with their adult kids, boating and hunting.

Bill Moorkamp (DDS ’84), Rolla, Mo., has been happily married for 30 years. He recently bought a farm with their oldest son, a petroleum engineer. Their daughter, Emily, is married to Charlie Arthur (DDS ’14). Emily teaches at Park Hill High School. Their son Stephen is a second-year dental student at UMKC. “Life is good!” he says. “And if you’re ever by Rolla, come visit.”

Michael S. Klein (DDS ’84), Bucyrus, Kan., is a part-time faculty member at the UMKC School of Dentistry in the Graduate Orthodontic Department. He has a new partner in practice, Dr. Cameron Walker.

Kathy Brumagin-Scott, DDS ’83, (Raymore, Mo.) retired in 2007 when the spinal surgery performed on her back left her crippled (paraplegic) and living in a motorized wheelchair. She is proud to say she is a grandma now.

Remiguis Eussen, DDS’83, (Ridgefield, Wash.) has been happily married for 27 years and has four beautiful daughters. He loves the Northwest part of the country and its beautiful scenery.

David Stamos, DDS ’83, (Independence, Mo.) reports that his oldest son, Alex, is a junior at UMKC School of Dentistry.

Dean Telthorst, DDS ’83, (St. Louis, Mo.) was inducted as a Fellow of the Academy of Dentistry International in Oct. 2012.

Ann Barber, DDS ’83, (Leawood, Kan.) sold her practice in 2008 due to disability. She and her husband, Dr. Alan Barber, do medical mission work with his foundation True North Missions, which serves Guatemala.

Remy Eussen, DDS ’83, (Ridgefield, Wash.) has been happily married for 27½ years and has four beautiful daughters and four cats. He loves the Northwest but misses Kansas City and the BBQ. He says “thank you to the UMKC School of Dentistry for all you’ve given me!”

Kurt Loveless, DDS ’83, (Lubbock, Texas) and his wife, Paula, have been together for 33 years. They have three grown children and one daughter-in- law. At any given time, the kids could be anywhere around the world. He has been in private practice in Lubbock since 1984. He has been very active with the Texas Dental Association, completing numerous leadership positions with his local dental society and serving recently as the chairman of the Texas Dental Association Smiles Foundation. Kurt has been appointed as an advisor to the L.D. Pankey Dental Foundation. He enjoys bicycling, golfing, aviation, photography and gardening.

Gregory Dale, DDS ’86, (Kansas City, Mo.) is proud to say his daughter, Stephanie, married in August 2012 and is expecting twins in August 2013. His wife, Joanna, received an award for 25 years of service at Children’s Mercy Hospital.

Robert Abernathy, DDS ’82, (Lee’s Summit, MO) “Karen and I are celebrating 30 years of marriage and 30 years of practice in Independence, MO. Our son, Josh is a junior studying Biological Sciences at MU (Pre-Med).”

Kevin Cumming, DDS ’82, (Lee’s Summit, MO) Son, Matthew J. (DDS ’07) and wife, Tabitha Strain- Cummings (DDS ’07) have a 1 year old, Samuel Brian and have returned to Kansas City to practice.

Mark Huenergardt, DDS ’82, (Wichita, KS) “Our daughter, Robin graduated from UMKC School of Dentistry in May 2011 and purchased a dental practice in Plattsburg, MO from Dr. Jim Hobbs.

Jeff Rickabaugh, DDS ’82, (Winston- Salem, NC) President Elect North Carolina Association of Orthodontics.

Melodee Armfield, DDS ’87, (Augusta, KS) Daughter, Natalee is engaged to be married in October and son, Collin is studying in Ireland through UMKC. Mark’s new passion is scuba diving. “He makes me be his buddy, so we spend a lot of time under the sea.”

Elwood Rice, DDS 82, (Mexico, MO) “3 out of 4 of our children are out of college and one is a sophomore at MU. One is a Medical Doctor, one is a Doctor of Pharmacology and one is a Elementary Teacher! My son is leaning towards Dentistry. My wife Liz continues to manager our Dental practice. I have continued to stay active in the MDA and am currently President- elect. Serving on the Mexico School Board for 21 years, the Elk’s and Kiwanis keeps me busy. Liz and I feel very blessed for our family, friends and profession.”

Howard Farran, DDS ’87, (Phoenix, AZ) Is now formally engaged to Madonna and passed his last STO test.

Greg Kelley, DDS ’87, (Independence, MO) Bret (25) at Logan Chiropractic School, engages to be married June 2012. Brandon, 23, graduated from KU in Organismal Biology December 2011.

Mark Scantlan, DDS ’87, (Sullivan, MO) In 2012, was awarded by the ADA, the Certificate of Recognition for Meritorious  Service to the People of Honduras, India, and Kenya.

Rob Tait, DDS ’87, (Grandview, MO) Immediate Past President of Greater Kansas City Dental Society, 2nd Vice President of Delta Dental of Missouri.

John Fasbinder, DDS ’81, (Prairie Village, Kan.) has two grandchildren:  a girl (6) and a boy (4). John is engaged to be married to Cheri Antin on May 29, 2011. He’s in practices anesthesia and dentistry full time and teaches part time. He also lectures on medical emergency preparedness for offices/surgical centers. Retire? Why? Having too much fun!

Ron Wright, DDS ’81, (Hiawatha, Kan.) has been married to Pamela for 23 years. He has three children:  a son (33); a daughter (21), in her third year at K-State; and another son who’s a freshman at Washburn. His three granddaughters include twins (3) and a 2-year-old.

John W. Tabash, DDS, MS ’81, (St. Louis, Mo.) has been in private practice as an orthodontist for 28 years. John has been honored by “The Best Dentists in America,” “America’s Top Dentists” and “Top Dentists in St. Louis” in the field of “Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics” for numerous years. He has been happily married for 25 years to Mary. They have 2 children. Their daughter Julie (22) is a senior at Northwestern University. Their son John (19) is a sophomore at the University of Chicago, where he is studying economics and playing football.

Dewain Whitmore, DDS ’81, (Kansas City, Mo.) will celebrate 30 years of marriage May 16, 2011. In one week, May 9-16, 1981, they took Missouri and Kansas jurisprudence, graduated Central Regional Boards, cleaned out school lockers and got married.

Jerry Paz, DDS ’81, (Warrenton, Mo.) has been married to Barbara for 25 years and has seven kids and six grandkids. He has helped establish a dental clinic in Haiti since 1994 on the island La Gonave. For more information, visit

Rod Thiele, DDS ’81, (Leavenworth, Kan.) has four children out of the house and now is an empty nester. His youngest daughter will marry in August 2011. He will retire in 3-6 years.

Susan Ellis DDS, DDS ’81, (Kansas City, Mo.) is happily retired, traveling between New York, Florida and Kansas City. She has 10 grandchildren. She volunteers at Family Health Care one day at week.

Steven Johnson, DDS ’81, (Overland Park, Kan.) continues to fight to keep third parties and governments from taking over our profession.

Jim Otten, DDS ’81, FACD,  (Lawrence, Kan.) practices restorative dentistry full time. He recently received Alumni Fellowship in ACD as well as membership in the America Academy of Restorative Dentistry. He’s also provost and lead faculty at the Pankey Institute in Key Biscayne, Fla.

Joe E. Richardson, DDS ’81, (Houston, Mo.) Finally! After all the hard work, we are grandparents! Daughter Kelly, is due December 5, 2010. Other than that, life and dentistry as usual.

Bonnie Lamb Beckmann Ruyle, DDS ’81, (Santa Fe, N.M.) as of fall 2010, will be in Tulane to study “Tropical Medicine and Traveler’s Health.” She is a grandmother to Hadley Isabelle (2)!

Connie L. Head, DDS ’86, DH ’81, (San Diego, Calif.) announces that Brandon, the son she had two weeks after graduation, is going to dental school! The daughter she had during her junior year is getting married and finishing grad school! They remember and miss their husband/father/hero, Capt. John Pierce (DDS ’82, Adv. Prosth ’93), who died in June 2008.

Lynn Kinderknecht, DDS ’86, (Hays, Kan.) has two grandchildren so far. One son is a member of the UMKC School of Dentistry Class of 2012. Two sons and a daughter-in-law are in medical school (KCUMB). A daughter (Cr1eighton 2007) is a concert promoter. Lynn celebrates a 35th wedding anniversary in December 2010.

Alumni & Development Contact Info

Becky Higgins, Advancement Officer, 816-235-2022

Hilary Wheat, Director of Development 816-235-2173

Karen Wilson, Coordinator, Continuing Dental Education 816-235-2142

Amber Heffernan, Senior Accountant

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