A Message from the Dean
This issue of the Explorer is uniquely different, just as our world has become.
We are hopeful as we emerge from our stay-at-home orders and campus closure. We certainly missed many opportunities that springtime brings – the Midwest Dental Conference, a Roaring ‘20s-themed Pouring from the Heart, the annual Golf Tournament, Royals Opening Day. Other events had enough lead time to plan virtual celebrations: graduation’s quick shift to an online format, and a concurrent Zoom “meeting” to honor our graduates from afar.
Our university is currently re-envisioning itself for the future. This will likely bring widespread change in how we work toward our mission. The focus is timely while we recover from the challenges the spring season brought to each of us. I know that we will emerge stronger with renewed focus on important strategies that will sustain us. This issue concludes with a special ask of support of those most impacted by the public health crisis. We truly are in this together.
For the last 11 years, it has been my honor to serve you in leading our school. One year ago, I announced that I would be stepping down as dean Sept. 1, 2020. What a year it has been. We have been challenged like no other time, but rose to meet those challenges with dedication, care and resiliency. Whether it is the work of faculty and staff, efforts of our students, or commitment of alumni and friends, our school is strong because of YOU! The days of pure joy sustained me, while the challenges made me stronger.
I leave you with a Claude Bissell quote that means a great deal to me: “Risk more than others think is safe. Care more than others think is wise. Dream more than others think is practical. Expect more than others think is possible.”
These are times requiring courage and kindness. I wish you great successes to come.
Marsha Pyle, DDS, MEd
Dean, UMKC School of Dentistry