Akhlaghi to become interim director for admissions

Elham Akhlaghi, DDS

Elham Akhlaghi, DDS, becomes the Interim Director for Admissions at the School of Dentistry, effective May 30, 2022. 

Akhlaghi’s transition into this new role comes following a decision from Naty Lopez, PhD, MEd, to step down from her role as Assistant Dean for Admissions and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. She will remain in her faculty position and enjoy a phased retirement as she continues her research. “Dr. Lopez has gracefully and ably led the Admissions and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Office since 2007,” reflected Dean Keith Mays, DDS, MS, PhD, in an announcement to the School of Dentistry community. “Her contributions to the school in these areas are immense, and her work is truly appreciated.” 

Naty Lopez, PhD
Naty Lopez, PhD

Akhlaghi holds a DDS and a certificate in periodontics from the Free University of Brussels in Belgium. She joined the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry as a visiting adjunct associate professor in 2009 and a clinical associate professor in 2012. Akhlaghi has served on the Admissions Committee for the past seven years. Her experience on the committee and as an applicant interviewer have prepared her well to serve in this role. She currently serves as a clinical professor and pre-doctoral Clinic Director in the Division of Periodontology and she will continue with those responsibilities. 

Akhlaghi will report directly to Karl Self, Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and will see the overall admissions office and processes. Joel Mixon, MA, associate director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, will continue in his role and report directly to Dean Keith Mays. 

“Please join me in welcoming Dr. Akhlaghi into this role and thanking Dr. Lopez for her many contributions and dedication to the office of Admissions and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion,” said Mays.