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 sodadmit@ohsu.edu 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, 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!

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.

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!

Aria Mirzazadeh Javaheri
Aria Mirzazadeh Javaheri, DS4

Aria Mirzazadeh Javaheri, DS4

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 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!

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.

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!

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!