LMU dean awarded prestigious fellowship

Published 11:08 am Friday, April 21, 2023

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Dr. Denise Terese-Koch, founding dean and chief academic officer of Lincoln Memorial University-College of Dental Medicine (LMU-CDM), has been awarded the Pierre Fauchard Academy (PFA) Fellowship.

The Pierre Fauchard Academy is an honorary dental service organization founded in 1936 by Dr. Elmer S. Best. The Academy is named after Pierre Fauchard of France, who is recognized as the “Father of Modern Dentistry” for growing the profession of dentistry into what is it today. The Pierre Fauchard Academy’s mission is to recognize and develop outstanding leadership within the dental profession.

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“The Pierre Fauchard Academy Fellowship is a tremendous honor for Dr. Denise Terese-Koch,” LMU President Clayton Hess said. “It is very fitting for Dr. Terese-Koch to be honored for outstanding leadership and service. She has worked tirelessly from day one at LMU to build a program where service to humanity is a cornerstone. The hundreds of patients she has served since joining LMU are proof of the example she is setting for her faculty and students and an inspiration to the University Community.”

The PFA has over 7,000 Fellows around the world, according to the PFA website. The honor of receiving a fellowship is given to dentists who have demonstrated great service to their communities. The Fellowship is extended to fewer than 3 percent internationally.

“I am humbled and honored to receive the PFA Fellowship,” said Terese-Koch. “There are few things as gratifying as serving your fellow man. I was drawn to the opportunity to build a College of Dental Medicine at LMU, in part, because service was ingrained in its mission. I strive to be a role model for the LMU-CDM students and lead by example by providing dental health care services to the community, especially in the dental desert that exists here in Appalachia.”

Terese-Koch led LMU-CDM to receive initial accreditation from the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) and approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) in September of 2022 for both the Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry (DMD) program as well as the Associate of Science in Dental Hygiene program. Both programs are located at the LMU-Tower in Knoxville.

In addition to building the program from its foundation, Terese-Koch has championed community outreach and service throughout the process. From volunteering at scores of free dental clinics to finding state funding for further dental outreach, she has made service a cornerstone for the faculty, staff and students of the LMU-CDM.

Occupying the top six floors of the LMU Tower, the LMU-CDM facilities include faculty offices and lecture classroom space on two floors as well as a student break area, the administrative suite, a library, and small group study areas. One floor has a bench lab, simulation lab, digital workflow lab and a wet/dry lab. Additionally, located on the sixth floor is the LMU-CDM Center for Research Education in Technology (CRET).

The LMU-CDM CRET Center offers general dentistry services including dental exams, cleaning, and extractions; restorative dentistry services including crowns, root canals, and fillings; and cosmetic dentistry services including bridges, dentures, partials, implants, and aligner orthodontics.

Terese-Koch became the Dean of LMU-CDM in August 2020. Prior to her position as Dean at the LMU-CDM, she was the Chair of Dental Education at South College in Nashville, Tennessee, where she developed and implemented three dental programs. As a comprehensive general dentist since 1992, she has a vast knowledge of general dentistry, dental education, program development, and implementation.

Terese-Koch holds a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) from Loyola University of Chicago School of Dentistry and a Bachelor of Science in biology from Saint Xavier University in Chicago. She completed a general practice residency at Loyola Medical Center and earned a certificate in hospital dentistry in 1993. Terese-Koch spent the next 21 years in private practice in the western suburbs of Chicago. She entered academia in 2014, as an assistant professor in the department of general dentistry at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center College of Dentistry and was the director of faculty practice. She was hired to develop and direct the Advanced Education in General Dentistry Program (AEGD) at Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center before joining South College in 2017. At South College she developed a dental assisting program, an Associate and Bachelor of Science in dental hygiene program and directed the AEGD. She also served as professor and chair of the Department of Dental Education.

Terese-Koch received a Master of Business Administration from Belhaven University in 2018. In 2021, Terese-Koch earned her EdD from Liberty University. She serves as a Site Visitor for the Commission on Dental Accreditation and is a licensure examiner for the Commission on Dental Competency Assessments. She and her husband, Loren, share three children, Dennis, Lori and Jeni.