National Alumni Society MemberName: Joseph Hastings
Degree(s) and Graduation Year(s): B.S. 1977, Doctor of Medical Dentistry (D.M.D.) 1981
Hometown: Anchorage, Alaska
Current town: Mobile, Alabama
Current employer and job: Orthodontist
What is your favorite UAB memory? Biology class with Dr. Ken Marion. The entire time was a great time of life.
How has UAB impacted your life? It has helped me professionally, socially, and it’s been a place I’ve made lifelong friends.
What made you choose your current profession? I decided in 9th grade I wanted to be a dentist.
What lessons has your professional life taught you? I do not know everything and the further I go the more I learn I don’t know.
What would you do if you were given more time in each day? Probably more of the same; I hope I would focus more on my faith.
What invention have you seen in your lifetime that you believe has been the most important? Space travel and the space program.
If you could have 3 wishes, what would they be? Good health for my family. 2) Good marriages for my daughters. 3) Funds to establish an outstanding foundation.
If you could go back to any age…which age and why? I would not go back, life is good!
Which historical figure do you most identify with and why? Knowing no man is perfect, I would probably most identify with Ronald Reagan. He had admirable ethics, moral standing, and the will to stand up for what is right. I certainly struggle with all those issues and fall very short.
If you had the power to solve one, and only one, problem in the world…what would it be and why? Lack of people's understanding of the importance of faith because all other problems are diminished with faith.
What natural gift would you most like to possess? Discernment
What trait(s) do you most value in your friends? Loyalty, truthfulness, and patience
Who would you want to portray you in a film about your life? John Wayne
What is your motto? You’ll get over it!
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? To become a dentist because you will make a good living, have a family life, and you will not deal with life and death issues in your practice.
If you could start a charity or non-profit organization, what would it be and why? If I were to start a foundation, it would be for orphaned children. To create a scenario for adoption and for those not adopted a simulated family life with a father and mother figure for every 5 children. Opportunities would exist but not given without effort. Faith centered around Jesus Christ would have to be essential, preferably around a church congregation.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why? I would travel to Scotland for the beauty and history of the country; as well I understand they make pretty good scotch there.
What is something you are proud of and why? My family, they have good work ethics, faith, and are well rounded people.
What is the last book you read? Two Minute Warning by Jim McCartney and Aaron Fruh.
Student Alumni Society MemberName: Chet Swartzentruber
Graduation Year: 2013
Major: Doctor of Medical Dentistry (DMD)
Hometown: Odon, IN
Why did you choose to attend UAB? I chose UAB School of Dentistry for the exceptional clinical training. Maybe we are ranked #1 in the nation in research, but there is no substitute for experience. I am proud of the significant number of clinical requirements that set UAB apart from other dental schools.
Who is the best professor that you have had at UAB so far and why? All have been top-notch, but someone who doesn’t get as much recognition as he deserves is Dr. Yung-Tsung Hsu (pronounced “shoe”). He is a simple man who takes pride is his common-sense approach, and whose passion to help others is second to none. He always has time for students, except on Boy Scouts night when he has to leave by 5:30.
What is your favorite UAB memory? Passing my clinical dental board exam.
What is your current state of mind? I’m excited to be graduating and beginning a new chapter of life.
What do you do for fun? I enjoy playing Legos and tractors with my 2-1/2 year old son, or dreaming about building my antique wooden boat.
Who are your heroes in real life? My father – the most honest, hard-working man I know, and any man who thinks he can. As the Walter Wintel poem goes, “Life’s battles don’t always go to the stronger or faster man, but sooner or later the man who wins is the man who thinks he can.”
If you were given more time in each day, what would you do? Read, think, and exercise more.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Mind-reading – It would drastically improve my communication skills.
What is the best invention of your lifetime and why? In dentistry? – Cone Beam Computed Tomography. Because of its ability to produce accurate 3D images of head and neck anatomy and interface with software, CBCT has revolutionized diagnosis and treatment planning for dentists. CBCT helps in cases of maxillofacial pathosis, bone loss, root resorption, alveolar factures, implant placement, and more.
What are your future goals? Our family is moving to Montgomery where I am joining the dental practice of Dr. Thomas Williams. We believe in community and want to join the effort to make the River Region and Alabama an even better place to live and work. I have a desire to embrace and help carry on that vision.
What would be your ultimate dream job? A dream job could be any job that provides fulfillment of your purpose in life. Mine is to serve patients as a dentist. Furthermore, I plan to avoid burn-out (and stay passionate about dentistry) by maintaining professional integrity and not compromising on my values. For example, I will resist allowing third party reimbursement (i.e. “insurance” companies) to negatively affect my patient-provider relationships.
If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional. with whom would it be? If only for a week, I would trade places with Job of the Bible to experience his suffering. I’m sure nothing I’ve experienced compares. Hopefully, I would never complain again.
If you had a theme song, what would it be? “A Country Boy Can Survive” – Hank Williams, Jr.
If you had the power to solve one, and only one, problem in the world…what would it be and why? William Deresiewicz said it better than I can in his speech to the 2009 plebe class at West Point.
“We have a crisis of leadership in America because our overwhelming power and wealth, earned under earlier generations of leaders, made us complacent, and for too long we have been training leaders who only know how to keep the routine going. Who can answer questions, but don’t know how to ask them. Who can fulfill goals, but don’t know how to set them. Who think about how to get things done, but not whether they’re worth doing in the first place. What we have now are the greatest technocrats the world has ever seen, people who have been trained to be incredibly good at one specific thing, but who have no interest in anything beyond their area of expertise. What we don’t have are leaders.
What we don’t have, in other words, are thinkers. People who can think for themselves. People who can formulate a new direction: for the country, for a corporation or a college, for the Army – a new way of doing things, a new way of looking at things. People, in other words, with vision.”
What’s the best advice you ever received? Attitude is more important than aptitude.
If someone wrote a biography about you, what would the title be? A Little Determination Goes a Long Way.