Flossiraptors Break Through in Volleyball

The multi-sport School of Dentistry Flossiraptors are usually an intramural juggernaut, frequently winning or making the finals in flag football, basketball or soccer. Volleyball was the only sport in which the Class of 2021 teammates struggled — until now. This year’s squad went 6-0 and became intramural champs last week. Congrats to the Flossiraptors! The happy teammates in the photo below: (front row from left) Micayla Shrimpton, Taylor Rinda, Allie Moss; (back row from left) Chad Phillips, Aaron Howard, Stan Dotson (captain), Vince Markovitz.

Read a recent story about the teams here: https://dentistry.umkc.edu/flossiraptors-fight-fiercely-and-have-intramural-fun/

Missouri Scholars Program Chooses UMKC Dental Students

Eight students from the UMKC School of Dentistry have been chosen for AHEC Scholars, a two-year program promoting a greater understanding of the issues that affect individual and community healthcare.

The program gives students a chance to improve the health of their communities through service projects and civic engagement, interdisciplinary training in rural and underserved clinical settings, and increased awareness of topics including behavioral and oral health integration, social determinants of health, cultural competency, practice transformation and other current and emerging health issues.

Six of the students chosen are from the DDS Class of 2020: Amber Arshad, Brittany Daniel, Yasmin Hussein, Safa Nawazish, Christian Vargas and Stephanie Zarrasola. Jonah Heitman from the DDS Class of 2022 and Jake Findley of the DDS Class of 2023 also were selected.

The program is financed by the Health Resources and Services Association and implemented by the West Central Missouri Area Health Education Center.

“Missouri AHEC Scholars are a part of a national initiative to prepare tomorrow’s health care professionals to become leaders in interprofessional, transformative practice who serve those who need it the most,” said Stephanie Taylor, director of the West Central Missouri AHEC. “These students will collaborate with other students representing various health professions including nursing, medical, dental, pharmacy, therapy and allied health fields and position themselves to join or lead a diverse and culturally competent health workforce. We are very excited to include UMKC dental students in this group.”

Area Health Education Centers were developed by Congress in 1971 to recruit, train and retain a health professions workforce committed to underserved populations. The AHEC program helps bring the resources of academic medicine to address local community health needs. The West Central Missouri AHEC is a regional center of the Missouri AHEC Network and receives federal Health Resources and Services Association financing, state financing from the Missouri Department of Health, and local support to provide health career exploration pipeline programs for youth and training and support for current health professions students.

New Researchers, New Hope for All Ages

Meet three new faculty on the UMKC School of Dentistry team who are making an impact


The UMKC School of Dentistry has proven itself as an internationally known research powerhouse in the past decade, especially when it comes to studying bone and muscle deterioration as we all grow older, as well as possible remedies.

Three new researchers are studying what can make all ages heal — starting from in the womb — and treatments that could span the generations. Continue reading

Taking the Reins at AGD

Congratulations to the School of Dentistry’s Dr. Connie L. White, who is the new president of the Academy of General Dentistry. She was installed this month during the academy’s annual meeting, held in Chicago this year.

“I am confident that, together, we can accomplish a lot during my year as president,” Dr. White said. “I want to work with everyone to create a mosaic of impactful change. Academia, mentoring young people, and my love of dentistry and learning have been my life. They’re how I found AGD, and I have shared my love of AGD with every student I have known for just over 40 years of teaching and practice.”

At the School of Dentistry, Dr. White is associate professor, interim dean for clinical programs and assistant dean for community relations and communications earned her DDS (’81) and bachelor’s degree in chemistry (’77) at UMKC. She also earned her certificate in oral medicine in 1989.

When she started teaching, Dr. White became involved in the Missouri Academy of General Dentistry as its liaison to the School of Dentistry. For the academy’s national organization, she most recently was vice president, and its secretary before that. Now, she said, she wants to use her term as president to help dentists improve the care they give, and to help them be involved with and benefit from the academy.

In addition to having a general practice and teaching for decades at UMKC, Dr. White holds fellowships in the American College of Dentists, International College of Dentists and the Academy of Dentistry International. She also is active in the American Dental Association, Missouri Dental Association and the Greater KC Dental Society.

The Power of Giving

Generous support from scores of individuals, foundations and alumni combines to make a difference and improve educational programs

By Patricia O’Dell

Shanon Black first became interested in the UMKC School of Dentistry while attending Haskell Indian Nations University. She had considered pursuing a medical degree, but once she learned of the impact of dentistry on overall health, she changed direction. Continue reading

Scholarships Top a Record $1 Million; Banquet Honors Generous Donors

At the 2019 Scholarship Recognition dinner Oct. 6, the UMKC School of Dentistry distributed 373 awards to 176 students totaling a record breaking $1,009,315. During the program, student speaker Victoria Ratcliffe (DDS Class of 2021) shared how dentistry changed her life as she was born with a cleft lip and palate. She has undergone 22 surgeries to date. After graduation, she plans to continue on to an oral and maxillofacial surgery residency program with hopes to further specialize in craniofacial surgery to positively impact other cleft palate patients’ lives. “I would like to express my gratitude to all of you donors for making these scholarships available to us,” she said. “They are helping us tremendously lower our expenses so that we can pursue this incredible profession.” It is these meaningful connections made that make this event so special each year. Continue reading