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Jillian Wallen named dean of Creighton University School of Dentistry

JJillian Wallenillian Wallen, BDS, MS, has been named as the new dean of the Creighton University School of Dentistry, effective Aug. 1. Wallen succeeds Mark Latta, DMD, who will step down July 31, after an accomplished 10 years as dean.

Wallen currently serves the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry as assistant dean for extramural activities and outreach and as chair of the Department of Growth and Development. In 2018, Wallen was named the Merritt C. Pedersen Professor of Dentistry.

“I am excited to welcome Dr. Wallen,” said Creighton President the Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD. “Her work at the UNMC College of Dentistry has been impressive, and her background, leadership, and enthusiasm are a perfect fit for our dental school.”

“I am also grateful for Dr. Latta’s decade of service and leadership as dean, and I look forward to his return to the faculty to teach and conduct research,” said Hendrickson.

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Wallen as dean of the School of Dentistry,” said Creighton Provost Mardell Wilson, EdD. “Throughout the search process, Dr. Wallen articulated a deep understanding of the unique characteristics of a Creighton University trained oral health provider while identifying potential opportunities where the school might continue to advance in the future.”

Wallen graduated with distinction from the University of Glasgow Dental Hospital and School in Scotland with her Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree. She completed her specialty training in pediatric dentistry and received a master’s degree from Ohio State University.

Prior to joining UNMC in 2011, Wallen served on the faculty at the University of Maryland Dental School and the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center School of Dentistry.

She was the principal investigator on a $2.2 million Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant examining tele-dentistry and rural health and has collaborated with several Creighton School of Dentistry faculty on oral health improvement programs over the past 10 years. She has received city of Omaha funding for community service efforts to improve and expand oral health services in schools, particularly for underserved children. Her research interests include improving access to oral health care for vulnerable populations and assessing quality of life indicators for children experiencing dental pain.

Wallen is a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and is active with its Post-Doctoral Inservice Examination Committee and the Society of Post-Doctoral Program Directors. She is a diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, and a fellow of the American College of Dentists and International College of Dentists. Dr. Wallen is a graduate of the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) Leadership Institute. Locally, she is a member of the Nebraska Dental Association and the Nebraska Society of Pediatric Dentistry and holds active staff membership at Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha, previously serving on its Physician and Provider Advisory Committee. Dr. Wallen is an alumna of Leadership Omaha, Class 40.

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