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Turner Named Dentistry Dean

Contact: Amanda White

Photo of Sharon P. Turner, D.D.S., J.D.
Sharon P. Turner, D.D.S., J.D.

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Turner began her tenure at OHSU in 1998 as a professor of dentistry and dean of the School of Dentistry simultaneously. During her tenure at the UNC School of Dentistry from 1979 to 1998, she served in numerous roles including associate dean for Administration and Planning, director of the Dental Faculty Practice, director of Patient Admissions and Emergency Services, acting associate director of the Clinical Pain Program and associate professor of Diagnostic Sciences. She continues to maintain an active intramural general dental practice as well. Turner has completed a number of service activities for university, state and national groups, both professional and civic.

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August 14, 2003 (Lexington, Ky.) -- Sharon P. Turner, D.D.S., J.D., currently dean of the School of Dentistry at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), has been named dean of the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry. UK Provost Michael T. Neitzel, Ph.D., made the appointment, subject to approval by the UK Board of Trustees.

“Well-known and highly regarded in national dental education circles, Sharon Turner will bring a record of excellent leadership and achievements to the UK College of Dentistry. I look forward to her joining UK very much,” Neitzel said.

Turner replaces Leon A. Assael, D.M.D., who served as dean of the UK College of Dentistry from 1997 to June of 2003.

Turner said she is strongly enthusiastic about her new assignment. “I am delighted to be given the opportunity to work with the highly qualified faculty, staff and students at the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry. I look forward to becoming a die-hard Wildcat fan; I am a native of Charleston, W.Va. and feel like I am coming home.”

Turner received her dental degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) in 1979, where she also completed a National Institutes of Health (NIH) sponsored post doctoral fellowship in craniofacial pain mechanisms and controls. In 1995, she earned her juris doctorate degree, graduating magna cum laude from the evening program at North Carolina Central University. She served on the law review staff during her final year of law school. She was admitted to the North Carolina Bar in 1996 and continues to hold an active law license there.

Turner began her tenure at OHSU in 1998 as a professor of dentistry and dean
of the School of Dentistry simultaneously. During her tenure at the UNC School of Dentistry from 1979 to 1998, she served in numerous roles including associate dean for Administration and Planning, director of the Dental Faculty Practice, director of Patient Admissions and Emergency Services, acting associate director of the Clinical Pain Program and associate professor of Diagnostic Sciences. She continues to maintain an active intramural general dental practice as well. Turner has completed a number of service activities for university, state and national groups, both professional and civic.

Turner is a fellow of the International College of Dentists, the American College of Dentists and the American College of Legal Medicine. She is a diplomate of the American Academy of Pain Management and was recently inducted into the National Academy of Practitioners. In 1999, she was named as one of the “Top Twenty-Five Visionaries in Dentistry” by Dentistry, the journal of the American Student Dental Association. She was named to Who’s Who of American Women in 2000 and Who’s Who Among American Teachers in 2002. She is a 1998 graduate of the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine Fellowship located at the Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

Turner is a member of numerous national and international organizations, including the American Dental Education Association where she serves on the administrative board of the Council of Deans and is vice chair of the Legislative Advisory Committee. Other organizational memberships include the American Dental Association, the Academy of General Dentistry, the International Association for Dental Research and the International Association for the Study of Pain. Turner, a dynamic and prominent speaker, has published articles in both legal and dental academic publications.

Turner is married to A.W. Turner Jr., an attorney, and has three children.


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