Alumni & Friends

Classes of the 2000s





























Alum Volunteers in Kenya
Dr. Trisha Thomas and her husband, Keith, traveled to Kenya, Africa, to participate in a service project sponsored by “Be the Change Volunteers,” a non-profit education equipping organization. Trisha and Keith helped with the construction of two school classrooms and visited a small orphanage in Sori, Kenya (a VERY remote area). Dr. Thomas also shared oral health information and instruction with the kids and gave out toothbrushes and toothpaste. Dr. Thomas graduated from the UMKC School of Dentistry in 2010, and practices with the Long Branch Dental Group in Moberly, Mo.

Dr. Linda Sturrup publishes "A Sugar Bug On My Tooth"
Linda Sturrup (DDS 2000) is a published author. She has written a children's book titled "A Sugar Bug On My Tooth". It's about a little girl's first dental appointment. This is a great story for young children who are fearful of going to the dentist. The instructional component teaches young children that going to the dentist is important, and can also be fun!

Dr. Pete Spalitto Adds 3D Imaging
Pete Spalitto (DDS 2000), PC, owner and lead dentist of West County Dental, has added a state-of-the-art 3D imaging system as well as the CEREC chair-side system as a part of dental restoration procedures to his St. Louis implant dentistry practice.

Read more at:

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. Sarah Cimino Profiled in Perspectives Magazine
UMKC's alumni publication, Perspectives, contains an interview with Sarah Cimino (D.D.S. ’08) about her work on the Tooth Truck of the Ronald McDonald House of the Ozarks Care Mobile in Springfield, Mo.
To view the article visit:

Dr. Daniel Boedeker Opens New Office

The Fort Morgan (Colo.) Times published an announcement that
“Daniel Boedeker (’04) recently celebrated an open house to show the dental community of Northeast Colorado his new office which will be the only Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery office on the Eastern Plains.”

For more information, visit:

Dr. Nichole Rogers to Receive OHK Award
Nichole Rogers ([Nichole Switzer] DDS ’08) was recently announced as the 2011 recipient of the Oral Health Kansas (OHK) Outstanding Dentist Clinician award in recognition of her dedication to the dental needs of the children in Cowley County, Kan. She will be presented the award at a ceremony during the annual OHK Conference, Friday, Sept. 16, at the DoubleTree Hotel in Overland Park, Kan. The conference will be held in conjunction with the Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved.

According to the Oral Health Kansas website (, “Dr. Rogers strongly believes every child should have a dental home to receive quality dental care. In order to help provide the children of Ark City with a dental home, Dr. Rogers has spent the past two school years screening the children of Arkansas City, Kan. If a child does not have a dental home, Dr. Rogers will do her best to establish a home for that child. Dr. Rogers truly enjoys giving people of all ages the smile they have always wanted!”

Dr. Rogers practices at Rogers Family Dentistry in Arkansas City, Kan., with her husband Scott Rogers (DDS ’08) and her father-in-law Nick Rogers (DDS ’78). She currently serves on the advisory board of OHK’s Dental Champions, “a leadership program that offers participants leadership and personal development training as well as other training focused on planning and organizational skills and up-to-date information about the oral health scene in Kansas and the nation. The goal of the program is to develop state-level leaders with a progressive vision of oral health improvement in Kansas.

Dr. Rogers is currently serving as the President of the Southern District Society of the Kansas Dental Association and as a delegate for the KDA. She is also a member of the Academy of General Dentistry, American Dental Association, and an affiliate member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

Dr. David Keim Is Making a Difference in Kalispell, Montana
David Keim (DDS ’02) is featured in an article posted on the Daily Inter Lake’s website. The article describes Dr. Keim’s impressive efforts to organize and participate in public health initiatives in and around Kalispell. To view the article, visit:

Dr. Wendy Churchill to Serve as NMDA Vice President

Wendy Churchill (formerly Harless) (DDS ’04) of Anthony, N.M. has been selected to serve as the second woman vice president in the New Mexico Dental Association's 100-year history. Dr. Churchill is in line to become the second NMDA woman president, following Dr. Gail Willow of Silver City, N.M., who served in 2005-06.

"Dr. Churchill provides services to children and low-income families in rural New Mexico," said Mark Moores, NMDA executive director. "Her commitment to serving the community is a shining example of NMDA's Brighter Smiles for New Mexico campaign."

Dr. Churchill attended the University of Kansas and studied dental hygiene at Johnson County Community College. She earned her doctor of dental surgery degree from the UMKC School of Dentistry. She practices dentistry at La Clinica de Familia Dental Center in Anthony, N.M. Dr. Churchill's husband, Chris, is an astronomer at New Mexico State University.


More News

Kathryn (Nielson) Stanley (DDS ’07) recently moved back to Overland Park, Kan., after completing a residency in Pediatric Dentistry at OHSU in Portland, Ore., and is happy to again be practicing near her family:  Donald Nielson (DDS ’74) and Daniel Nielson (DDS ’02). She also recently purchased the pediatric practice of Glenn Hemberger (DDS ’74) where he will continue to work part time.

Nellie Kim-Weroha (DDS ’04) has twin boys that are starting first grade. In addition to having two office locations in Rochester, Minn., she serves as the secretary/treasurer for the Minnesota Association of Orthodontists and is also on the planning committee for the Midwest Society of Orthodontists and American Association of Orthodontists annual meetings. Dr. Kim-Werohna is also the immediate past president of the UMKC Orthodontic Alumni Association.

Ashley and Brooks Barefoot (DDS ’10) had a baby, Emerson Grace, on 12/22/2014.

Courtney Beussink (DDS ’10) has three boys: Tommy, who just started kindergarten, Jacob and Tony. She also bought a practice in March 2014.

Melissa (Francisco) Rahmeier (DDS ’10) had a second baby boy on 3/29/15 — big brother is 20 months old.

Letrisha (Trisha) Thomas (DDS ’10) welcomed the birth of her first child, Brock Edward, on July 15, 2014, with her husband, Keith Thomas. She purchased a practice in October 2014 in Columbia, Mo.

Nellie Kim-Weroha (DDS ’04), Rochester, Minn., reports that she and her husband’s lives are busy with happy twin boys who are four years old. The boys love to go to prekindergarten class to have fun with their friends.

Melissa (Melton) Smith (DDS ’04), Washington, Mo., just had her third baby, Barrett. They also have Kendall and older brother Charley. She recently finished construction on her new office.

Alison Riekhof (DDS ’04), Salina, Kan., has three children ages one, three and five. She has been off work for three years but started back in January 2014.

Misty (Fujii-Carr) Trybom (DDS ’04), Wilsonville, Ore., married Joseph Trybom on Sept. 25, 2010. They had a son, Jonah, on July 7, 2012, and were expecting their second child in May 2014.

Amanda (Wood) Fitzpatrick (DDS ’09), LaPlata, Mo., has a baby girl, Morgan Elizabeth Fitzpatrick, born Oct. 19, 2011.

Jon Copeland (DDS ’09) and Stephanie Copeland (DDS ’10), Wildwood, Mo., report that Jon purchased a practice in Wildwood in September 2013. On St. Patrick’s Day 2013, they welcomed their second daughter, Addie, who joins Evie, who is two years old.

Jay Main (DDS ’09), Garden City, Kan., is married to Courtney Main. They have two children (Jozlynn, age six, and Jaydan, age three) and one on the way.

Humaira Habib, DDS ’07, Perio ’10, successfully challenged the American Board of Periodontology (ABP) examination in 2011 and is now a Diplomate of the ABP.

William (Will) Duensing, DDS ’08, (North Kansas City, Mo.) served four years in the U.S. Navy, three of which were in Okinawa, Japan. He joined his father’s, Bill Duensing Jr. (DDS ’77), practice in North Kansas City, Mo.

Daniel Heard, DDS ’03, (Sherwood, Ark.) will celebrate seven years at Central Arkansas Family Dentistry in August 2013. He will have been married for 16 years in July 2013 and has three kids: Grace (10), Leigha (8) and Noah (4).

John Humphrey Jr, DDS ’03, (Kansas City, Mo.) says he and his wife, Charity, have two beautiful kids: Hudson (4) and Lola (2). They will be opening a new practice in 2013 and can’t wait!

Brent Mayginnes, DDS ’03, (Salina, Kan.) sold his practice in Overland Park, Kan., and moved to Salina. He joined Discover Dental Center in Salina and practices with Drs. Earl and Gary O’Hara.

J. Reese Graue, DDS ’08, (Liberty, Mo.) has two sons: Jack is three years old and Joseph was born in June 2012. Dr. Graue practices in Gladstone, Mo.

Julia Skidmore, DDS ’08, (Overland Park, Kan.) is married to Breck Skidmore, and has two sons: Evan (born in May 2010) and William (born in June 2012).

Katie Watson (Kiddoo), DDS ’08, (Kansas City, Mo.) had a son, Landon, in December 2010 and opened her own practice in Overland Park, Kan., in September 2012.

Michael Umaki, DDS ’09, MS Perio ’11, (Honolulu, Hawaii) successfully challenged the American Board of Periodontology Examination and is now a Diplomate of the American Board.

Max Weber, DDS ’10, and Ashlee Weber (Williams), DDS ’10, Ortho ’12, (Kansas City, Mo.) welcomed their sonPaul (Mike) Cady, Cash, in May 2013.

MS Perio ’11, (Pocatello, Idaho) is practicing periodontics in Pocatello, Idaho.
Adam McClellan, MS Perio ’11, (Overland Park, Kan.) is practicing periodontics in Overland Park.

Caleb Gardner, DDS ’07, (Kansas City, MO) Married to Christine Pramann on  September 12th, 2009. First child, Cade William born on August 24, 2010 and second child, a baby girl, due in January 2012.
Brandon White, DDS ’07, (Medford, OR) Brandon and Lauren now have a 2 year old daughter, Bella.  They are expecting a boy June, 2012. 

Matthew Gassen, DDS ’01, (Jefferson City, Mo.) has three children:  Lauren (5), Lydia (3), Leah (20 months). He’s opening a new dental office building October 5, 2010.

Matt A. Niewald, DDS ’01, (Lee’s Summit, Mo.) serves as president of the Missouri Dental Association and 6th District Representative on the ADA Committee on the New Dentist.

Wendy Weimer, DDS ’01, (North Kansas City, Mo.) has had a solo practice in North Kansas City since 2002. He was awarded Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry in 2007. He adopted a son from Russia in 2004.

Sally Powell, DDS ’01, (Columbia, Mo.) just moved to a new facility. They have twice the space and all new equipment. She says it is such a blessing to work in such a wonderful space.

Patrick R. Briscoe, DDS ’06, (Longview, Texas) has a new child, Addison.

Aaron Cregger, DDS ’06, (Kirkwood, Mo.) and his wife, Jamie Cregger (RDH ’06), announce that Carson David Cregger was born October 28, 2009.

Kelly Farmer, DDS ’06, (Perry, Kan.) announces that daughter Madilyn was born on May 24, 2008, and a son is due in November 2010.

Allison M. Jones, DDS ’06, (Overland Park, Kan.) says her family is growing. They welcomed their third child in late August 2010. Beckham (4) and Natalie (2) were both excited to meet their new little sister. Allison is keeping busy with work, practicing on her own since January 2009.

Tim O’Bryan, DDS ’06, (Farmington, Mo.) got married June 2, 2007, to Kelly O’Bryan. He purchased his own dental practice Nov. 10, 2008, in Farmington. Kelly is pregnant and due Dec. 10, 2010 with a boy, Grant Michael O’Bryan.

Michael & Angela Pernoud, DDS ’06, (O’Fallon, Mo.) had twin girls, Caitlin and Madeleine, born June 24, 2010.

Alumni & Development Contact Info

Becky Higgins, Advancement Officer, 816-235-2022

Hilary Wheat, Director of Development 816-235-2173

Amy Widau, Manager, Continuing Dental Education 816-235-2142

Amber Heffernan, Senior Accountant

Contact Us Links

  • Submit your news online here.
  • Notify the Alumni office of an address change here.
  • Register you e-mail address and sign up for the new Alumni Email Newsletter here.