Dr. Dean Cole joined us 16 years ago after a successful nearly 30-year career in private practice. Initially, he was part of the original clinical model that incorporated all treatment disciplines because the school was still hiring faculty. As the school grew, Dr. Cole taught multiple classes in the predoctoral education program, including the simulation lab and team clinics.
And he loved every minute of it.
“My years at the school have been some of the most rewarding, and the decision to enter the dental education field has been one of my best,” Dr. Cole said. “I became more interested and involved in dental education than I ever thought I ever would, and it became one of the most enjoyable aspects of my dental career. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
“I have had the opportunity to know and work with so many special people, especially Dr. Thomas Nowlin and Dr. Stanley Nelson, during my time at the school. I am also appreciative of the opportunities I received, such as being appointed to the North East Regional Board of Examiners and then to the Commission on Dental Competency Assessments. My roles with these boards gave me an opportunity to give back to dentistry. It also enabled me to see how we, as a school, were doing. I am proud of how well we did.
“I also cherish my appointment to Omicron Kappa Upsilon Honor Dental Society. This is the most special award I ever received during my entire career.
“I think Dr. Lily Garcia will make an incredible difference and put UNLV School of Dental Medicine back on a winning track again. I wish she had come several years earlier, and I wish her nothing but the best as she tries to right the ship.”
As he prepares for his second retirement, Dr. Cole is looking forward to spending more time with his children and grandchildren, and doing the activities he and his wife enjoy.
“I will certainly miss my interactions with the students, faculty, and staff. I have had so many great mentees and students, and have appreciated watching them enter and contribute to the profession. Teaching has been wonderful. I will never forget this amazing part of my life.”