Bulletin of Dental Education

ADEA Council of Deans 2024-25 Fellows Announced

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The ADEA Council of Deans Fellowship (CDF) Program seeks to create a pathway for a diverse contingent of future leaders who will develop the skills and experience during the program for success in a role as a dean or other higher-level university administrator. This ADEA program was developed in response to the recognized need for a development program to help the next generation of leaders gain exposure to the complexities of the roles and activities, and how to interact with university colleagues. In the last few years, over 50% of deanships have opened, with many current deans in their roles for one year or less.

The ADEA CDF Program Director is Steve Friedrichsen, D.D.S., who leads the program along with coaches Ann Boyle, D.M.D., M.A., and John Williams, D.M.D., M.B.A. Marsha Pyle, D.D.S., M.Ed., ADEA Senior Scholar in Residence, assisted with the curriculum development and has incorporated activities developed for new deans into the program. Each of these educators brings a broad base of unique skills. In addition to in-person modules, each fellow benefits from personal coaching, mentoring from deans at site-visit schools as well as mentoring from their own sponsoring dean. 

Five new fellows have been accepted into the program for the year 2024-25:

  • Purnima Kumar, D.D.S., Ph.D.
  • Maria A. Loza-Herrero, D.M.D., M.S., FACP
  • Nigel “Shaun” Matthews, D.D.S., M.D., FDS, FRCS, FRCS
  • Sonia M. Rocha-Sanchez, D.M.D., M.S., FACP
  • Yun Saksena, B.D.Sc., M.M.Sc., D.M.D.


CDF_Purnima Kumar, D.D.S., Ph.D.

Purnima Kumar, D.D.S., Ph.D.

Purnima Kumar, D.D.S., Ph.D.

Dr. Kumar is the William and Mary K. Najjar Endowed Professor of Dentistry and Chair of the Department of Periodontology and Oral Medicine at the University of Michigan. She received her dental degree from Annamalai University in India, her master’s degree in periodontology and a Ph.D. in molecular microbiology from The Ohio State University. She is a diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology and a fellow of the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine Program, the International College of Dentists, the American College of Dentists, the Pierre Fouchard Académie and the American Association of Oral, Dental and Craniofacial Research.

Dr. Kumar is the Principal Investigator of the Oral Microbial Ecology Laboratory at the University of Michigan. The lab is funded through the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Cancer Institute and the oral health care industry. She has authored over 100 papers and book chapters. She serves as the Associate Editor of Periodontology 2000 and Nature Scientific Reports and Senior Editor of Microbiome. She is an active researcher, clinician, teacher and administrator.

Dr. Kumar has mentored several predental, dental, master’s, doctoral and post-doctoral students and junior faculty colleagues, and has served on several grant review panels for the NIH. She serves as the Chair of the Continuing Education Oversight Committee for the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) and was a member of the AAP’s Taskforce for Future Science. She also serves on the board of directors of the Osteology Foundation and the American Academy of Periodontology Foundation. She is the Chair of the Council of Scientific Affairs of the American Dental Association and is their official spokesperson on e-cigarettes and vaping. Dr. Kumar has served on various committees of the International Association for Dental Research and is presently the President of the Periodontal Research Group. She also serves on several taskforces for women in science, women in surgery and women in STEM in addition to volunteering for groups that empower women locally and nationally. 


CDF_Maria A. Loza-Herrero, D.M.D., M.S., FACP

Maria A. Loza-Herrero, D.M.D., M.S., FACP

Maria A. Loza-Herrero, D.M.D., M.S., FACP

Dr. Loza-Herrero is a graduate of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR), Rio Piedras Campus, and from the UPR School of Dental Medicine (UPR SDM). In 1994, Dr. Loza-Herrero earned her dental degree, followed by a certificate in prosthodontics. In 1996, she earned a master’s degree in oral biology from the Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University. She returned to UPR SDM as a professor in the Restorative Sciences Department for 21 years and served as Prosthodontics Section Director and Program Director of the Prosthodontics Postdoctoral Program.

At the UPR SDM, she was the Dental Implant Coordinator and represented the school in the Medical Sciences Campus Academic Senate. In 2000, she became a diplomate of the American Board of Prosthodontics and a fellow of the American College of Prosthodontics, recertifying in 2008 and 2016. She is a fellow alumnus of HERS (Women Leaders in Higher Education) and the ADEA Leadership Institute.

In 2018, Dr. Loza-Herrero relocated to Texas, where she is currently the Chair of the Department of Restorative Dentistry and Prosthodontics at the UTHealth Houston School of Dentistry. Her research specializes in implant prosthesis outcome assessment, a topic she has studied since 2009. Since 2023, she has been part of the National Dental Practice-based Research Network, collaborating with the Implant Registry Study. Additionally, she collaborates on a multi-site United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) grant on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy for people of color, specifically among people who identify as Black, Hispanic or Pacific Islander. She participates in the Houston Hispanic Dental Association and the Greater Houston Dental Society. Moreover, she holds the Yun J. Ahn and Song Ahn, D.D.S., Professorship in Implant Dentistry, and a private practice in prosthodontics.

Marie Angie, as her friends and family call her, enjoys being outdoors with her husband and two sons, hiking, camping or playing golf.


CDF_Nigel “Shaun” Matthews, D.D.S., M.D., FDS, FRCS, FRCS

Nigel “Shaun” Matthews,
D.D.S., M.D., FDS, FRCS, FRCS

Nigel “Shaun” Matthews, D.D.S., M.D., FDS, FRCS, FRCS

Dr. Matthews is Clinical Professor and Chair of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Hospital Dentistry at Indiana University (IU) School of Dentistry. He also serves as Associate Dean for Hospital Affairs, Director of the TMJ Institute and Chief of Service of Dentistry for IU Health. He completed his dental, medical and maxillofacial training in the United Kingdom, and holds postgraduate fellowships in dentistry, general surgery and oral and maxillofacial surgery from the Royal College of Surgeons of England and Edinburgh.

Dr. Matthews’ commitment to teaching and education was recognized by the Royal College of Surgeons of England by his appointment as Surgical Tutor and Intercollegiate Representative on the Specialty Advisory Committee in oral and maxillofacial surgery. His clinical and research interests have focused on the management of temporomandibular disorders and the implementation of telehealth, both of which have formed a significant part of his practice for many years. He is published with over 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals and is author of the textbook Dislocation of the Temporomandibular Joint: A Guide to Diagnosis and Management. He currently serves as a reviewer for the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and the British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

As a lifelong academic, Dr. Matthews has been responsible for creating multiple collaborative, interdisciplinary clinics embracing both dental and other medical disciplines. In 2016, he was honored by the government of Barbados with the Golden Jubilee Award in recognition of his service in medicine and surgery to the people of Barbados and the United Kingdom. In 2019 and 2023, he was invited to be Medical Honoree for the Arthritis Foundation of North Carolina and Indiana, respectively, in acknowledgement of his clinical work treating children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. 


CDF_Sonia M. Rocha-Sanchez, D.M.D., M.S., FACP

Sonia M. Rocha-Sanchez,
D.M.D., M.S., FACP

Sonia M. Rocha-Sanchez, D.M.D., M.S., FACP

Dr. Rocha-Sanchez is a tenured Professor at Creighton University School of Dentistry (Creighton SOD), where she has taught for the past 18 years and served as the Associate Dean of Research for the past eight years.

She has an M.Sc. in genetics from the Federal University of Viçosa in Brazil and completed her Ph.D. training in population and quantitative genetics through a collaborative program between the State University of Campinas in Brazil and the University of Granada in Spain. Later, Dr. Rocha-Sanchez completed postdoctoral training in quantitative human genetics and neuroscience at the Creighton University School of Medicine and an M.B.A. at the Creighton University Heider College of Business.

As the Associate Dean for Research, Dr. Rocha-Sanchez provides leadership and oversight for the Creighton SOD’s research program, faculty mentoring, research funding and budget, research compliance and financial projections for management and planning purposes. She is also responsible for directing and implementing the Creighton SOD’s strategic plan in basic and clinical research and working with other campus research leadership on strategic research partnerships. 


CDF_Yun Saksena, B.D.Sc., M.M.Sc., D.M.D.

Yun Saksena, B.D.Sc., M.M.Sc., D.M.D.

Yun Saksena, B.D.Sc., M.M.Sc., D.M.D.

Dr. Saksena is the Associate Dean for Education, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry. She has been in this role for six years. Her dental education started at The University of Melbourne in Australia with a B.D.Sc., she then completed her prosthodontics certificate and M.M.Sc. in oral biology at Harvard University, and her D.M.D. at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. She has over 20 years of experience in higher education, starting as a part-time clinical instructor to switching to a full-time position with progressive leadership roles.

For over nine years, Dr. Saksena has worked in administration with experience in academic affairs, student affairs, admissions, clinical affairs and faculty development. Her past research focused on education, student life and admissions.

She serves on several committees at the university level and is an active member of ADEA. One of her favorite ADEA committees she serves on is the ADEA Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee.

Above all else, Dr. Saksena is passionate about creating an inclusive culture where everyone feels they belong and can participate and thrive.


Published on February 14, 2024

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