Ahmann retires after two decades at the School of Dentistry

Headshot of Lisa Ahmann on a branded background

Lisa Ahmann, MEd, BSDH, RF retired from the School of Dentistry this past summer. Ahmann graduated from the Dental Hygiene program at the University of Minnesota, Duluth in 1978 and completed her baccalaureate degree in Dental Hygiene Education at the University of Minnesota. Ahmann began her teaching career at Normandale Community College Dental Hygiene Program, and during her time at Normandale she completed her master’s degree in curriculum and instructional systems at the University of Minnesota.

In 2000, Ahmann took a teaching position at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry in the Division of Dental Hygiene as a part time faculty, eventually taking on the role of clinic director for the Division of Dental Hygiene. In addition to teaching didactic courses in the undergraduate and graduate programs of hygiene, dental therapy and DDS programs, Ahmann provided academic technology support to the Division of Dental Hygiene. Sheila Riggs, DDS, DMSc and chair of the Department of Primary Dental Care said of Ahmann, Lisa was always looking around to see how she could take down barriers that were hindering other faculty members as they educated our students on the clinic floor.  In particular, she took it upon herself to create the modules that still today teach our new faculty how to use the aXium system as both an educational tool for our students and an electronic dental record.” In 2018, she stepped down as the clinic director. She retired in the summer of 2022 after a long and fruitful career.

We recently caught up with her to hear about why she chose dental education as her career and what she was most proud of accomplishing throughout her time at the School of Dentistry.

Why did you choose dental education as your career?

When I graduated from the dental hygiene program in 1978, I received an associate of arts degree and began practicing.  I was inspired by my dental hygiene instructors to continue my education. The University of Minnesota offered two bachelor’s degree paths: education and public health. I chose education. It was an excellent program that prepared me to teach, develop curriculum and instructional strategies. I began applying those skills immediately and enjoyed a long and fulfilling career as a dental hygiene educator. I eventually continued my education to earn a Master’s of Education in instructional technology.

What aspects about dental education did you most enjoy?

One thing about teaching that I particularly enjoy is change. Every semester and every new class presents opportunities for new challenges. I love to develop instructional strategies and keep the course content fresh. Of course, I love the interactions and mentorship with students and the ability to inspire them to excel.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of during your time at the School of Dentistry?

There are many more than three accomplishments of which I am proud, but here are my top three. I was the Division of Dental Hygiene Clinic Director for 12 years. In that role I planned and executed hundreds of OSCE and Clinical exams that enabled the students to gain clinical competency. When axiUm was adopted by the School of Dentistry I became a super user. I facilitated the switch to electronic dental records and implemented paperless grading for dental hygiene students. My most recent accomplishment was to develop online axiUm training for dental faculty and dental students. I hope this training will continue being used and updated in the school.