Dean Russell S. Taichman recently announced several senior leadership appointments and updates regarding key positions within the School of Dentistry.

The actions align the school’s leadership team with its strategic goals and position the school for continued success.

New associate and assistant deans named

Michelle Robinson, DMD, MA, associate professor and associate dean for Health Information and Business Systems, has been elevated to the position of senior associate dean. Perng-Ru Liu, DDS, MS, DMD, has been named associate dean of clinical affairs, and Carly McKenzie, PhD, has been appointed assistant dean for admissions.

“Each of these outstanding individuals has a proven record of leadership, innovation, and commitment to our mission of optimizing oral health locally and globally,” Taichman said. “With the depth and breadth of experience represented, I am confident that our leadership team will continue to graduate well-prepared academicians and clinicians and position us to lead oral health into the future.”

Michelle Robinson, DMD, MA
Senior Associate Dean

michelle robinsonRobinson, a graduate of Rutgers School of Dental Medicine and the General Practice Residency program at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, holds a biomedical informatics degree from Columbia University.

Her leadership and research interests span the areas of information technology, patient billing and finance operations, strategic planning, risk assessment, institutional effectiveness, clinical affairs oversight, and diversity and equity initiatives. She served as interim dean from March 2018 to June 2019.

Robinson has received awards for teaching, research, service, and mentorship. As the school’s director of diversity and equity action officer, she was recognized in 2017 as a Minority Access Inc. National Role Model for her efforts to advance the recruitment, retention and enhancement of under-represented students and employees. She also serves as the faculty advisor for the Student National Dental Association chapter and the student chapter of American Association for Women Dentists.

She is a 2019-20 fellow of the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program for Women at Drexel University College of Medicine. Her memberships include OKU and the American and International colleges of Dentists, with leadership roles that have encompassed chair of the Dental Informatics Working Group of the American Medical Informatics Association and chair of the Dental Informatics Section of ADEA.

Focusing on emerging technologies, she is an associate editor of the 2020 Surgeon General’s Report on oral health in America. She has presented and consulted throughout the United States and Europe.

As senior associate dean, Robinson will assist the dean in advancing the school’s strategic goals.

Perng-Ru Liu, DDS, MS, DMD
Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs

perng ru liu Liu is a 1985 graduate of Chung-Shan Medical University, Taiwan. He received his Prosthodontic Certificate, MS and DMD from UAB School of Dentistry.

During the past 30 years, Liu has provided leadership in prosthodontics and comprehensive dentistry at UAB. He was chair of the Department of Comprehensive Dentistry 2000-09, chair of the Department of Prosthodontics 2009-12 and chair of the Department of Restorative Sciences 2012-19. In September 2014, he was named the inaugural holder of the Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting Endowed Professorship in Comprehensive Dentistry.

Liu brings a broad range of knowledge and experience in clinical operations to his new position. In addition to lecturing in the discipline of prosthodontics, he has taught courses in comprehensive care, patient management and quality assurance.

He has served on the Second Floor Clinic Renovation Business Operations Task Force, the Curriculum Steering Committee, the Campaign for Clinical Excellence Task Force, and the Strategic Planning and Assessment Committee, among many other school and university committees. Since 2013, he has co-chaired the Clinical Affairs Committee and chaired the screening and treatment team of the UAB Dentistry Cares event planning committee.

As clinical dean, Liu will continue to foster evidence-based, patient-centered care and streamline clinical operations throughout the school.

Carly McKenzie, PhD, MA
Assistant Dean for Admissions

carly mckenzieMcKenzie is a graduate of the University of Alabama, where she earned a PhD in Mass Communication and MA in Advertising and Public Relations.

She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her new position, including a strong background in communications and simulation. She has worked extensively with first- and second-year students as a course director for Evidence-Based Dentistry and the Case-Based Education series. In her role as director of the school’s behavioral sciences curriculum, she developed and implemented a comprehensive pre- and post-doctoral communications curriculum. This role integrated oral health with principles from psychology, communications, education, and social work.

McKenzie’s membership on steering committees for both curriculum and accreditation also provide valuable “big picture” perspectives about what students will encounter in dental school. Her leadership as an officer in the ADEA Behavioral Sciences section helps broaden her perspective and also fosters enriching relationships in dental education, both of which will prove useful.

As admissions dean, McKenzie will focus on developing comprehensive recruitment processes and refining admissions strategies for the DMD program. She also will provide administrative leadership for postdoctoral and residency program admissions, develop and implement an advising process for prospective pre-dental and IDP students, and lead and enhance the financial aid process.

Interim chair designated

Daniel Givan, DMD, PhD, has been selected as interim chair of the Department of Restorative Sciences, filling the position vacated by Liu. Taichman noted, “Dr. Givan’s knowledge and experience will be a great asset to the department in his role as interim chair, and we thank him for his service.” A national search has been launched for the next chair.

Daniel Givan, DMD, PhD
Interim Chair, Department of Restorative Sciences

daniel givanGivan is a graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry and the Graduate Practice Residency program at UAB, where he also earned a Certificate in Prosthodontics and a PhD in Biomedical Engineering.

As the department’s associate chair since 2012, he also is director of Prosthodontics and director of Digital Dentistry and Clinical Laboratory Services.

Givan, active in clinical research and applications of technology to dentistry, is a member of numerous professional organizations including the International Association for Dental Research, the American Dental Education Association, and the American Dental Association.

Among his school and university service, he is an executive council member of the UAB Faculty Senate and chair of its Faculty Policies and Procedures Committee. He also has chaired the school’s faculty council and is active in policy and shared governance.

New director appointed

Raquel Mazer, DMD, MS, MPH, DDS, has been named director of the Division of Behavioral and Population Sciences in the Department of Clinical and Community Sciences and director of community collaborations. Mazer was appointed by and will report to Chair Gregg Gilbert, DDS, MBA.

Notably, community collaborations help the School of Dentistry use its resources to improve the oral health of Alabamians and positively shape the education of its students. In this role, Mazer will enable the school to improve oral health through community-based education, research and service. According to Gilbert, “Her leadership will be invaluable as our department and the School of Dentistry continue to build and maintain important relationships at UAB, in Birmingham and beyond.”

Raquel Mazer, DMD, MS, MPH, DDS
Director of Community Collaborations and Director of the Division of Behavioral and Population Sciences, Department of Clinical and Community Sciences

raquel mazerMazer earned her DMD and MS in Dental Clinical Sciences from UAB, an MPH in Health Policy Analysis from Johns Hopkins University, and DDS from the University of São Paulo.

Her broad range of expertise across the areas of community service, teaching, mentoring, and research includes service as an associate scientist with the Minority Health and Research Center and a scientist in the Global Center for Craniofacial, Oral and Dental Disorders. She has served the school in a variety of capacities, most recently as director of the Comprehensive Care Program within the Department of Restorative Sciences.

Mazer’s volunteers with the Hispanic Health Alliance, Cahaba Valley Health Care, and the UAB Minority Health Center, among other organizations. She is faculty advisor to the student chapter of the Hispanic Dental Association and a Liaison to the Associação do Grupo Brasileiro de Professores de Dentistica (Operative Dentistry Brazilian Society).