Patricia Pereira, new associate dean

Patricia Pereira, D.D.S., Ph.D., was appointed the new associate dean of academic affairs for the UF College of Dentistry in fall 2019 following a national search.

“I am very confident that Dr. Pereira brings the leadership, dedication and vision we need to maintain our standing as one of the best dental education programs in the country,” said Isabel Garcia, D.D.S., M.P.H., dean.

Pereira has 19 years of teaching, research and leadership experience that will be very valuable as she takes the role of serving as the senior educational officer for UFCD. Her duties focus on establishing a vision and strategic plan for the Office of Academic Affairs; planning, developing and managing the predoctoral dental education program; and working closely with other members of our senior leadership team to ensure coordination and support for all three missions of the college.

Pereira joined UFCD in 2015 as a clinical associate professor in the UF Department of Restorative Dentistry Division of Operative Dentistry; she has served as program director in the master’s in operative dentistry program since 2016.  She earned her dental degree from the University of the Planalto Central, Brasilia, Brazil, in 1993, her doctorate in operative dentistry from Tokyo Medical and Dental University in 1998, and a certificate in prosthodontics from the Patos de Minas Educational Association in Minas Gerais, Brazil, in 2014.

While in Brazil, she co-founded a continuing education institute, the Integrato Specialized Education, which posted over 120 courses and trained over 1,100 dentists. In 2019, Pereira was one of three faculty to earn the college’s Sustained Exemplary Teaching Award; in 2017, UF dental students selected her as the Clinical Sciences Teacher of the Year.


Teaching Technologies:

Teaching & Learning with 3D Digital Scans

Prosthodontics faculty are using 3D digital scans to help improve students' understanding of important course concepts. Canvas is able to embed 3D STL files posted on the online website SketchFab. These images display clearly and allow students to manipulate the scan to view it from multiple angles. The scans can also be viewed full screen or using VR technology.

Dr. Luis Rueda, course director for DEN8462: Advanced Topics in Prosthodontics, and Dr. Carlos Soucy, course director for DEN6412: Fixed Pros 1, have found creative ways to integrate scans into their courses.

In the Advanced Topics in Prosthodontics course, senior students examine a complex prosthodontics case based on a real life case from the DMD clinic. The seminar assignment helps students develop case-based solutions for patients in their scope of care after graduation. This year we scanned in casts in maxillary view, mandibular view and occlusial view. Students are able to examine these casts in conjunction with the case details such as odontograms, radiographic images, and perio charting. With this information, they will propose prosthodontic treatment in a small group setting.

The student license covers the entire four-year curriculum. Course directors that want to use this anatomical software in their teaching can view this video tutorial VH Dissector v.6 Pro (beta) and contact the Office of Education for additional information.

Image: Samples of scans from DEN8462 prosthodontics case studies.

In Fixed Pros 1, Dr. Soucy used digital scanning technology to provide students with examples of common mistakes in made in the Fixed Prosthodontics. He scanned in examples of Margin Finishing and Thickness, Over Tapered Preparations, Probe Not Passing, Sharp Axial Angles, Sharp Occlusal Angles, Undercuts, and Uneven Occlusal Reduction. Students were able to examine these STL files in depth by zooming in manipulating them from different angles, and downloading large files to view in software programs like MeshLab or Mesh Mixer. Dr. Soucy and other faculty in the course were able to show these examples to students throughout class to help them predict common mistakes and understand why these mistakes occur. As the course continued, Dr. Soucy scanned in the two best preps from each psychomotor exam. This became a competition that encouraged students to practice peer-assessment, thus providing them with the critical judgement skills needed to assess their own work. 

Image: Samples of scans from DEN6412 prosthodontics common mistakes and best preps.

The Office of Education looks forward to collaborating with course directors from all departments to find creative ways to integrate 3D digital files into their courses. If you have creative ideas for how students could benefit from this technology in your course, contact us!


Course Spotlight: Prosthodontics Movie Stars

Dr. Carlos Soucy collaborated with film makers from the Center for Instructional Training & Technology (CITT) to develop two introductory videos for DEN6412: Preclinical Fixed Prosthodontics 1. As part of the process, he developed a detailed script, story-boarded the camera shots that would connect to elements of the dialog, and recruited students to provide helpful testimonials.

Over the summer, a movie crew came the college and taped scenes in the Sim Lab, the clinic and during student active learning sessions. Most Prosthodontics Division faculty participated in the filming.

The final films, which premiered on the first day of class on 8/28, had an impact. A patient testimonial provides a moving demonstration of how prosthodontic treatment can change lives and improve overall health outcomes for patients. Students from the DMD Class of 2021 shared their personal experiences transitioning from operative to prosthodontics. The students opened up about struggles, triumphs and tips that could help future cohorts make the transition successfully.

You can enjoy the high-quality videos here:

• Fixed Prosthodontics 1 Introduction [Link to https://mediasite.video.ufl.edu/Mediasite/Play/563b618612344ec0a73ada7070bab30e1d]

• Fixed Prosthodontics 1: Ergonomics

Faculty teaching a credit-bearing course in the DMD program can apply to collaborate with CITT video services here: http://citt.ufl.edu/citt-services/video-services/


Vision for UF Classrooms: Beyond Walls

“Today, the vast majority of university courses have at least some type of online content, collaboration, or structure, and as a result we can assume that most every course is either fully online or blended to some extent.  It’s our responsibility to provide physical and online learning environments that provide a coherent, flexible, and  functional experience for both students and faculty in blended courses across disciplines.”

--Mark McCallisrer, Director of Academic Technology, UF Information Technology

We should think of UF classrooms as not just physical spaces, but encompassing both virtual online class components and direct face-to-face learning. The vision of UF Academic Technology is to transition from purely physical learning environments to blended learning environments.

This concept was promoted by the UF Center for Teaching Excellence’s 2019 Conference on “Learning Beyond 4 Walls.” Innovative ideas for connecting students outside the physical class to important learning opportunities included integrating escape rooms, community outreach, international virtual exchanges, and augmented reality. The Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) and the Center for Instructional Technology and Training (CITT) both teach a variety of faculty development workshops to promote creative, engaging, high impact learning opportunities that reach beyond the limits of traditional classroom spaces. You can access their course schedule here: http://teach.ufl.edu/events-and-workshops/

As we make this transition away from traditional classroom space, it is critical to think about what information students can learn individually (e.g. foundational knowledge like readings and lectures) and what information students need to engage with under close guidance with feedback (e.g. applied case studies, clinical experience, psychomotor skill practice). 

Creating high quality videos to replace traditional lecture time, is one option that allows for more application time in the face-to-face environment. The CITT has a studio that faculty can use to record using a variety of creative video options, including green screen, document cameras, iPads, lightboards, cloning, and video backgrounds. Check out some of the options here: https://mediasite.video.ufl.edu/Mediasite/Channel/studio. Working with the CITT video services unit is free for course directors with a credit-bearing course in the DMD program. It does require a time commitment that includes scheduling one to two semesters in advance of your course term, writing scripts, and storyboarding your video plan.


Classroom Update: D8-11

Did you know that Instructional Support recently rewired D8-11? Cable types include:


• USB-C/Thunderboldt

• Display Port mini

If you have any questions please contact Instructional Support at (352) 273-6589.

UPDATE: Instructional Support Contact Information

Ben Mertz’s cell phone is no longer a contact method, unless it is an emergency. Contact sheets are posted on all UFCD lecterns.Please contact Instructional Support by:

• email: bmertz@dental.ufl.edu

• Office#: 352-273-6589, Assistant#: 352-273-5699

• Pager#: 352-413-7510


Employee Update: Shalini Nair

Instructional Support has hired a new part-time student assistant to replace Alejandro Jacobo. Shalini is a fourth year public health student at the University of Florida. She is completing a bachelor’s and master’s in public health, focused in epidemiology. She hopes to pursue a PhD in the field following graduation, and eventually wants to work at a governmental public health agency as a researcher. In her spare time, she likes to stay active through yoga, weightlifting, and running.

Shalini has previous experience working at the University of Florida and spent three years within UF Student Affairs at the Disability Resource Center. She is also familiar with the College of Nursing, where she works as a research assistant. She is looking forward to expanding her knowledge in her new position here at the College of Dentistry.