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Dean Russell S. Taichman has named Stephen (Steve) Mitchell, D.M.D., M.S., as codirector of the International Dentist Program (IDP) effective July 1, 2022. On December 1, 2022 he will take over the directorship. He will replace Dr. Sonya Mitchell, who intends to step down from the position in December.

A graduate of UAB School of Dentistry and diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Stephen Mitchell is director of the UAB Civitan Sparks Dental Clinic. Among his accomplishments, he served as Director of Predoctoral Pediatric Dentistry from 2000 through 2018, as well as principal investigator for an HRSA-funded predoctoral training grant (2017-2022) that has allowed dental students to engage with rural and community-based dental clinics. He currently serves as president of the Oral Health Coalition of Alabama, which promotes statewide oral health efforts.

Stephen (Steve) Mitchell, D.M.D., M.S.In addition to serving on the school’s curriculum committee, he has also played a key role in supporting the predoctoral CODA accreditation self-study process by leading the clinical standards workgroups in both 2014 and 2022 and serving as Assistant Director of Accreditation during the 2022 cycle.

“Steve possesses a depth of knowledge of our predoctoral didactic and clinical education program,” said Taichman. “He is innovative, collegial, and always ready to step in to advance our mission and programming.”

“As part of an overall 30-month curriculum, five-term period of study, each year the IDP program enrolls up to 24 highly qualified persons who have graduated from dental schools outside of the United States or Canada. In his new role, Dr. Stephen Mitchell will coordinate admissions, supervise patient care, and participate in didactic and clinical teaching, among other duties.

Mitchell shared that his work with the curriculum committee and the CODA accreditation process has given him a broad understanding of the overall curriculum needed to direct the IDP program.

"The current and past IDP classes have worked so hard, following Dr. Sonya Mitchell’s leadership, to set a high bar of excellence for UAB’s IDP program,” he said. “I am excited and humbled to take on this role and continue the legacy of excellence they have started. I will work my hardest to be the IDP leader they all deserve -- and that Sonya has been!"

Taichman added, “We are very grateful for the leadership that Sonya has provided in establishing the highly successful IDP program.” I look forward to watching the IDP program’s continued growth under Steve’s leadership.”