School of Dentistry

STARS Program - STudent Affairs Representatives

In 2021 we launched our STARS Program - STudent Affairs Representatives for the School of Dentistry. We have 20 STARS representing the second, third and fourth year cohorts. Our STARS are excited to talk to you (prospective students) about their academic journey at OHSU. Meet our STARS below and find out some interesting facts about them before reaching out to connect! If you wish to be contacted by a STAR, please email and include your name, when you are planning on applying to dental school and a phone number or email address for our students to reach you.

For information about program requirements, including prerequisite courses, the application process and timelines, please visit our Admission Requirements page.

Thank you for your interest in OHSU!

Sara Birrer
Sara Birrer, DS2

Sara Birrer, DS2

Hometown: North Bend, Oregon

Undergraduate institution and major: Southern Oregon University - B.A. in Chemistry, B.S. in Biology

Why OHSU? Growing up in Oregon OHSU was my dream school. After my interview, I knew OHSU was the school for me due to the friendly faculty, supportive student environment and beautiful facilities.

An interesting fact about you: I adopted a puppy during the pandemic! I highly recommend a pet during dental school to keep you company.

Hobbies: Hiking with my dogs, kayaking, last minute road trips, plants, Thai food and coffee.

Advice for prospective dental students: Stay true to who you are and why you are pursuing this career. When you get accepted to dental school, trust the process and that you deserve to be here just as much as everyone else!

Lindsay Buell
Lindsay Buell, DS3

Lindsay Buell, DS3

Hometown: Noblesville, IN

Undergraduate institution and major: Purdue University, West Lafayette - Health and Human Science

Why OHSU? I loved the building/location, and the interactions I had with students and faculty during my interview were open and comfortable. 

An interesting fact about you: I adopted a puppy during school. 

Hobbies: Anything outdoors! Hiking, snowshoeing, kayaking.

Advice for prospective dental students: Learn to love the process and enjoy school while you are here! 

Beth Burgstahler
Beth Burgstahler, DS4

Beth Burgstahler, DS4

Hometown: Sandy, Utah

Undergraduate institution and major: Portland State University - General Science

Why OHSU? In-state resident; beautiful, new facilities; friendly faculty and students.

An interesting fact about you: I was a professional pastry chef before I went back to school.

Hobbies: Baking, gardening, dancing.

Advice for prospective dental students: Find some extracurriculars you truly enjoy. Yes, your DAT score or GPA may be impressive and get you a foot in the door, but hopefully those are the least interesting things about your application. All of my interviewers were way more animated about discussing my extracurriculars than they were my academics. 

Katherine Dolan
Katherine Dolan, DS3

Katherine Dolan, DS3

Hometown: Great Falls, Montana

Undergraduate institution and major: Montana State University; Cell Biology & Neuroscience 

Why OHSU? Well for one, it's in Portland. Which is great. So many delicious foods to try! Second, the school is beautiful. The sim lab and clinic floors are all 8th floor and above and have a lovely view of the city and the Willamette river. And the people are wonderful. Honestly, Mark Mitchell may be the reason I chose OHSU. He is just so cool. 

An interesting fact about you: I was the Sports & Rec specialist at a summer camp in college and one time a camper let me yell, "this is Sparta!" and kick them off the zipline... I suppose that is an interesting fact about me.

Hobbies: Reading, cooking/baking, embroidery, traveling (pre-2020), buying plants, eating Salt & Straw ice cream, discussing the latest episode of the Bachelor. 

Advice for prospective dental students: Everything will be ok! Don't forget to live while you're in school. Spend Friday nights with your friends and family; you can study on Saturday. 

Elizabeth Foss
Elizabeth Foss, DS3

Elizabeth Foss, DS3

Hometown: Hinckley, MN

Undergraduate institution and major: Saint Cloud State University, Biomedical Sciences

Why OHSU? Top rank, beautiful location.

An interesting fact about you: I was a dental assistant before becoming a dentist :) 

Hobbies: Being on the beach or lake, being outside with friends/family, napping.

Advice for prospective dental students: Enjoy dental school as much as you can. You'll find some amazing friends!

Jazzy Gill
Jazzy Gill, DS2

Jazzy Gill, DS2

Hometown: Bothell, Washington

Undergraduate institution and major: University of Washington - B.S. in Biology

Why OHSU? Lots of pre-clinical and clinical experience!

An interesting fact about you: I coached a unicycle class for a year before dental school started!

Hobbies: Dancing, biking, painting.

Advice for prospective dental students: Make sure to take personal time to do the things you love to do; it is super important for your mental health in dental school!

Taylor Glovsky
Taylor Glovsky, DS2

Taylor Glovsky, DS2

Hometown: Gilbert, Arizona

Undergraduate institution and major: Arizona State University—Barrett the Honors College; Biomedical Sciences

Why OHSU? It sounds cliche, but the second that I arrived in Oregon and stepped into OHSU, I knew that it was where I wanted to be for the next four years. The people, the outdoors, the clinical opportunities, the faculty—it all sold me immediately. I love that at OHSU the faculty truly treat you as if you are future colleagues. 

An interesting fact about you: I have a pet gecko, Darwin, who traveled with me from AZ to OR. He’s my little dental school buddy. 

Hobbies: I love getting outside and exploring OR! Camping, backpacking, hiking, and enjoying the coast are some of my favorite activities. During quarantine, I also started gardening, baking sourdough, and embroidering. 

Advice for prospective dental students: Follow your gut, be proud of yourself, and be true to yourself. This is one of the most exciting times of your life. 

Jon Goddard
Jonathon Goddard, DS2

Jonathon Goddard, DS2

Hometown: Wilsonville, Oregon

Undergraduate institution and major: Oregon State University - B.S in Biology

Why OHSU? Many current students and mentors guided me to OHSU because of the excellent clinical education, faculty, and facilities. I also love Oregon and knew I would be able to establish a good school/life balance here.

An interesting fact about you: Before dental school started, I built a cedar strip canoe with my dad. Luckily, it floats!

Hobbies: Backpacking, fishing, golf, cooking, snowboarding, and canoeing. I always look forward to getting away and spending time outside with friends.

Advice for prospective dental students: You will do a ton of things for the first time in dental school, which is exciting! Set your standards high, but understand that dentistry takes a lot of practice and don’t get frustrated in the beginning. Keep a positive attitude and view every experience as an opportunity to get better.

Brooks Hunsaker
Brooks Hunsaker, DS2

Brooks Hunsaker, DS2

Hometown: Kaysville, Utah

Undergraduate institution and major: Utah Valley University - Biology

Why OHSU? I visited Oregon a lot growing up and loved the idea of going to school here. I also love the new building and views of the river through Portland.

An interesting fact about you: I am very tall, but I’m not good at basketball.

Hobbies: I enjoy hiking, shooting, boating, and anything else outdoors!

Advice for prospective dental students: Everyone says dental school is hard and they are right, but it’s more doable than you think.

Mai Jones
Mai Jones, DS3

Mai Jones, DS3

Hometown: Portland, OR

Undergraduate institution and major: University of Portland, BS in Biology with Chemistry & English minors

Why OHSU? Portland will always be my home. I love the collaborative and encouraging atmosphere created by the students and faculty at OHSU. Not to mention the beautiful facilities and view of Portland from the clinic floors!

An interesting fact about you: I've dyed my hair every color of the rainbow.

Hobbies: Hiking, attending live music events, binging anime and cozy gaming.

Advice for prospective dental students: Take advantage of the summer before entering dental school. Make sure you can picture yourself thriving in your dental school's city for 4 years. Find the ones in your class who are like a second family to you. Most importantly, understand that it's okay to fail sometimes!

Kunal Mansukhani
Kunal Mansukhani, DS2

Kunal Mansukhani, DS2

Hometown: Phoenix, AZ

Undergraduate institution and major: Arizona State University, Biological (Biomedical) Sciences

Why OHSU? Incredible facilities, extremely friendly faculty, and cutting edge technology all in the beautiful city of Portland!

An interesting fact about you: I aspire to try every restaurant in Portland and make a comprehensive list of the best places to eat here (there are already so many)!

Hobbies: Photography, camping, basketball, and exploring!

Advice for prospective dental students: Be true to yourself and don’t put on an act for anyone! It’s important to portray yourself who you really are and not what people expect you to be in order to succeed not only in dentistry, but life!

Aria Mirzazadeh Javaheri
Aria Mirzazadeh Javaheri, DS2

Aria Mirzazadeh Javaheri, DS2

Hometown: Tehran, Iran

Undergraduate institution and major: Portland State University, Biology Major, Chemistry Minor

Why OHSU? I chose OHSU because of the great amount of clinical experience we receive. It was very important for me to receive a good amount of clinical exposure to make sure I am going to be as comfortable as possible providing care in the future.

An interesting fact about you: I won second place in a national Karate competition in Iran. 

Hobbies: Soccer, Hiking, Martial Arts, Listening to Music, and Traveling!

Advice for prospective dental students: Make sure you are on top of your academics and do well on the DAT, it can be frustrating but be organized, manage your time, and you will do well!

Taylor Mullaney
Taylor, Mullaney DS4

Taylor Mullaney, DS4

Hometown: Pomona, CA

Undergraduate institution and major: Southern Oregon University, Biomedical Sciences

Why OHSU? I am originally from Southern California but spent a majority of my childhood in Oregon. OHSU allowed me to stay in Oregon where I can enjoy all of my outdoor hobbies and stay close to my community. 

An interesting fact about you: I'm a blackbelt in Tae Kwon Do.

Hobbies: Yoga, Volleyball, Basketball, Snowboarding, Running, Hiking, Coffee. 

Advice for prospective dental students: School is only part of who you are, don't get lost in the process. Find a hobby and maintain your social life even when it feels like you aren't able to (and it will very often). You guys got this! 

Edward Pham
Edward Pham, DS3

Edward Pham, DS3

Hometown: Corvallis, Oregon

Undergraduate institution and major: Oregon State University, Bachelor of Science in Biology

Why OHSU? During my time as a volunteer dental assistant and research assistant at OHSU before entering dental school, I quickly learned of the novel research, breadth of clinical expertise, rigorous didactic curriculum, and compassionate patient care at OHSU. OHSU really was my top choice and I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to attend here for my dental education.

An interesting fact about you: I once danced at the half time show during a college football game in front an audience of 20,000 people.

Hobbies: Breakdancing, weight lifting, running, playing guitar and piano.

Advice for prospective dental students: Don’t forget to take time for yourself and enjoy dental school as you go. Self-care is important, so you can continue doing what you dream to do with the fullest energy in your most complete self.

Britta Pihl
Britta Pihl, DS2

Britta Pihl, DS2

Hometown: Ketchikan, AK

Undergraduate institution and major: Gonzaga University - Biology Major and Dance Minor

Why OHSU? OHSU is a very well respected dental school known for preparing its students for clinical excellence. With the ultimate goal of returning home to practice rurally in Alaska it was important for me to get as much clinical experience and exposure to specialties in school. OHSU has it all with state of the art facilities and located in the beautiful PNW being a bonus!

An interesting fact about you: This August along with a group of my classmates I will be participating in the Hood to Coast Relay, running 200 miles from Mount Hood to Cannon Beach!

Hobbies: Anything outside - fishing, running, hiking, camping.

Advice for prospective dental students: Give yourself grace! Dental school will challenge you in ways that you cannot anticipate/prepare for. Trust the process and YOURSELF.

Nick Ray
Nick Ray, DS3

Nick Ray, DS3

Hometown: Draper, Utah

Undergraduate institution and major: University of Utah, B.S. in Biology

Why OHSU? I had several mentors who guided me toward picking OHSU due to the superb clinical training we get at this school.

An interesting fact about you: I was the former Dance Dance Revolution tournament champion in Utah!

Hobbies: Car esthetics/mechanics, bodybuilding, DJing music, snowboarding, and oral surgery.

Advice for prospective dental students: If you would like the option to specialize, come out of the gate strong by working hard to understand the material and doing your best on each exam.

Conor Scanlon
Conor Scanlon, DS2

Conor Scanlon, DS2

Hometown: Portland, OR

Undergraduate institution and major: Whitman College; Biology

Why OHSU? I wanted to attend a school with a tremendous facility and great reputation for clinical excellence. It also helps that Oregon is the most beautiful state in the country!

An interesting fact about you: I built a full size couch out of tortilla chips in my college sculpture class :)

Hobbies: Travel, drawing, cooking, crabbing, and backpacking.

Advice for prospective dental students: Get involved in extracurriculars in undergraduate that will help you with leadership and communication skills. Once you’re in school try not to compare yourself to anyone else because everyone has their individual strengths and weaknesses and you will all become incredible dentists!

Brendan Withycombe
Brendan Withycombe, DS2

Brendan Withycombe, DS2

Hometown: Beaverton, OR

Undergraduate institution and major: Oregon State University, BioHealth Sciences

Why OHSU? I chose to go to OHSU for their high quality clinical curriculum and beautiful campus.

An interesting fact about you: My great great grandfather was the governor of Oregon.

Hobbies: Backpacking, skiing, rock climbing, fly-fishing, and playing guitar.

Advice for prospective dental students: Keep a growth mindset and don’t hesitate to reach out to upperclassmen for advice when you are having a hard time with a lab or didactic course!

Dallin Wright
Dallin Wright, DS3

Dallin Wright, DS3

Hometown: Grand Junction, CO

Undergraduate institution and major: Brigham Young University, Accounting

Why OHSU? I was really impressed with the faculty, the school location and equipment.

An interesting fact about you: I have had 2 kids during dental school!

Hobbies: I enjoy sports, hiking, eating good food, games.

Advice for prospective dental students: Find a good work/life balance and maintain that as best you can during dental school. Don't be afraid of failure, I learned the most when i didn't get something right the first time.

Matt Wyman
Matt Wyman, DS2

Matt Wyman, DS2

Hometown: Great Falls, MT

Undergraduate institution and major: Carroll College— Biology

Why OHSU? I chose OHSU because of the state of the art facilities, great clinical preparation, and a love for the PNW! 

An interesting fact about you: I have giant hands— don’t ask why I’m becoming a dentist!

Hobbies: Playing basketball, enjoying the outdoors-skiing, boating, hiking, camping

Advice for prospective dental students: Give your 100 percent in all that you do, whatever it may be, and the rest will figure itself out!