School of Dentistry

STARS Program - STudent Affairs Representatives

In 2021 we launched our STARS Program - STudent Affairs Representatives for the School of Dentistry. OHSU dental students from the 3rd and 4th year 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!

Ido Almog
Almog Ido, DS3

Ido Almog, DS3

Hometown: Jerusalem, Israel

Undergraduate institution and major: Oregon State University, Biohealth Sciences major

Why OHSU? OHSU was my top choice for many reasons. A few of those reasons include being close to family, giving back to my community, and getting an education from a program that integrates research into the curriculum.

An interesting fact about you: I love scuba diving.

Hobbies: Spending quality time with my friends, family and significant other!

Advice for prospective dental students: Getting in a good routine (working out, eating a well rounded diet, and making time for yourself to enjoy your free time) prior to dental school will really help you manage your time when you get busy with dental school.

Brenna Amundson
Brenna Amundson, DS3

Brenna Amundson, DS3

Hometown: St. Cloud, Minnesota

Undergraduate institution and major: University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, Biology major

Why OHSU? I was looking to get out of Minnesota for a few years and after touring OHSU knew that this was the place I wanted to study dentistry. I love being close to the coast and the gorge when I need a brain break from school. The views from the dental floors at OHSU are unbeatable and I appreciate how integrated we get into the clinic so early on.

An interesting fact about you: In undergrad I lived in Tanzania for 4 months and still know a few phrases of Swahili! I got to study how rural Tanzanians brush their teeth with local plants and make their own tooth paste! 

Hobbies: Cooking, traveling, exploring Oregon with my golden retriever Samson, trying out new restaurants.

Advice for prospective dental students: Study hard and shoot for your dreams but don’t forget to make time for family and friends. They’re the ones who will be there for you during your entire journey, highs and lows. Also take a deep breath and give yourself grace when you make it to dental school. If you were a top of the class type of student when you were in high-school/undergrad, it’s okay if you struggle a bit in dental school. The material is hard and meant to challenge you. One failure does not define you and at the end of 4 years you will be a great dentist! Avoid comparing yourself to classmates, everyone excels and struggles in their own way.

Sara Birrer
Sara Birrer, DS4

Sara Birrer, DS4

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!

Andrea Bornstein
Andrea Bornstein, DS3

Andrea Bornstein, DS3

Hometown: Santa Rosa, CA

Undergraduate institution and major: University of Oregon, Human Physiology major

Why OHSU? I did a post bacc at PSU and had to opportunity to take classes in the stunning building where the dental school resides. I was able to witness the collaborative environment between dental students and knew that I would fit right in. Not to mention it has the best views of any dental school!

An interesting fact about you: I recently backpacked the Enchantments in Washington!

Hobbies: Pottery, camping, cooking, biking, golfing, skiing... you name it, I like it!

Advice for prospective dental students: Comparison is the thief of happiness. You will be good at something so don't beat yourself up about not being perfect, especially if its your first few times doing something.

Ahmed Elamin
Ahmed Elamin, DS3

Ahmed Elamin, DS3

Hometown: Alexandria, Egypt

Undergraduate institution and major: Portland State University, Biology major

Why OHSU? OHSU’s faculty and their involvement in organized dentistry has allowed us to make great connections around the Portland area. 

An interesting fact about you: I’m the best dancer you’ll ever meet in your life!!

Hobbies: Soccer, hiking, working out and kayaking.

Advice for prospective dental students: Don’t let the process of getting into dental school take over you life. Dentistry is a wonderful profession, but always make sure you’re taking care of personal well being in order to achieve your goal of making it to dental school.

Jazzy Gill
Jazzy Gill, DS4

Jazzy Gill, DS4

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, DS4

Taylor Glovsky, DS4

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, DS4

Jonathon Goddard, DS4

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.

Jiwon Kang
Jiwon Kang, DS4

Jiwon Kang, DS4

Hometown: Tigard, OR

Undergraduate institution and major: Oregon State University, Biology Major 

Why OHSU? My inspiration for pursuing dentistry began when I was a patient at the old OHSU SOD on the hill. I had an amazing provider who I looked up to, and so, 15 years later, it only made sense to seek my dental education at the same institutions where the best dentists I knew were trained.

An interesting fact about you: I once Skyped with Dante Basco while studying abroad! Shoutout to my sister who set it up because she knew I'm a huge fan.

Hobbies: Cooking, hiking, drawing, ice skating, and playing the piano.

Advice for prospective dental students: Know that you're not alone in this exciting, but challenging time. You have a built-in family at the school who knows exactly what you're experiencing, and building a strong support network will help you not only personally, but also academically and clinically.

Ellen Krippaehne
Ellen Krippaehne, DS3

Ellen Krippaehne, DS3

Hometown: Portland, OR

Undergraduate institution and major: Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, Biology. 

Why OHSU? Being from Portland, I wanted to begin my dental training where I want to work someday where I can make connections and learn more about my community.

An interesting fact about you: My classmate Andrea and I recently won the lottery to hike through the Enchantments in Leavenworth, WA! We scaled and mountain woke up to mountain goats in our campsite. 

Hobbies: Backpacking, pickleball, running, playing volleyball, hiking, and traveling!

Advice for prospective dental students: Reach out to your number one school of choice! Update them with anything you would like to add to your application and stay in contact will help them. It will help them remember you during the selection process. 

Peter Lahti
Peter Lahti, DS3

Pete Lahti, DS3

Hometown: Lincoln City, OR

Undergraduate institution and major: Lewis & Clark College, Biology major

Why OHSU? I liked what I had heard about clinical experience and it allowed me to stay close to family.

An interesting fact about you: I worked as a barista for Dutch Bros for 5 years before dental school. 

Hobbies: Sports (football, baseball, basketball), playing the guitar, writing.

Advice for prospective dental students: School takes a lot of time and energy. Make sure to take time to do the things you enjoy. Always have something to look forward to.  

Kunal Mansukhani
Kunal Mansukhani, DS4

Kunal Mansukhani, DS4

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!

Britta Pihl
Britta Pihl, DS4

Britta Pihl, DS4

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.

Ciara Robinson
Ciara Robinson, DS3

Ciara Robinson, DS3

Hometown: Hilo, Hawaii

Undergraduate institution and major: University of Hawaii at Hilo, Biology major

Why OHSU? I used to work as a dental assistant in Public Health for an OHSU alumni. Many people I met also spoke so highly of this institution and after taking a campus tour, I understood why!

An interesting fact about you: I have over 100 plants.

Hobbies: Crafting, DIYing, furniture flipping, makeup artistry, hiking, camping, SUP boarding… etc.

Advice for prospective dental students: Speak kindly to yourself! You’re right where you need to be and comparing yourself to others who are in different places on the journey only makes it harder. Embrace the discomfort and appreciate all the growth that comes from it. 

Chelsea Plinke
Chelsea Plinke, DS4

Chelsea Plinke, DS4

Hometown: Hillsboro, OR

Undergraduate institution and major: University of Oregon-Human Physiology 

Why OHSU? I worked as a dental assistant in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at OHSU during my gap year and felt immediately welcomed by the faculty and students. Everyone was interested in my success as a future dental student and went out of their way to teach me whatever they could about dentistry. OHSU was a natural choice for me because you can admire the green beauty /mountains of Oregon from every floor of the school. Students seemed pleased with their clinical education and preparedness for residency applications. 

An interesting fact about you: I lived in France in high school as a Rotary Exchange student and didn’t get my drivers license until I was 18. In college I got my motorcycle license and drove a scooter all around Eugene. My scooter was gold and I called it El Dorado. 

Hobbies: Rollerskating, skiing, cooking (my spice cabinet is enormous), admiring my super fluffy Ragdoll cats- Hendrix and Hamilton.

Advice for prospective dental students: The time commitment of dental school can feel overwhelming at times. Stay organized with a calendar and a good group of friends who will remind you of due dates. Exercise to strengthen those back and shoulder muscles you’ll be needing for dentistry and try the sauna at March Wellness to get your mind right!

Conor Scanlon
Conor Scanlon, DS4

Conor Scanlon, DS4

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!

Ali Sultan
Ali Sultan, DS3

Ali Sultan, DS3

Hometown: Al-Dair, Bahrain

Undergraduate institution and major: University of Alabama-Huntsville. Philosophy Major, biology minor

Why OHSU? I felt very welcomed at the interview. I was definitely impressed by the infrastructure and what the school had to offer. There is a lot to do within the city of Portland and around it. Plus the people are nice here :) 

An interesting fact about you: I've lived in different 2 countries, and 3 different states in the past 7 years.

Hobbies: Reading, basketball, socializing, cooking, traveling.

Advice for prospective dental students: Remember, no matter how hard school gets, you are capable of overcoming anything. Every day, you will continue to grow and develop :)

Matt Wyman
Matt Wyman, DS4

Matt Wyman, DS4

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!