new gift to the School of Dentistry
new gift to the School of Dentistry

A new gift to the School of Dentistry will start a ripple effect extending far beyond Creighton.

The Dr. Joseph and Rita Barsetti Faculty Development Endowed Fund — established by Creighton alumnus Joseph Barsetti, BA’77, DDS’81, and his wife, Rita — will support faculty in their pursuit of projects related to teaching, learning, research and leadership.

“The gift has a multiplier effect,” says School of Dentistry Dean Mark Latta, DMD. “When one of our excellent faculty members develops more skills as a teacher and a dentist, that’s imparted to the scores of students they impact, who then deliver it to thousands of patients.” 

In other words, this gift really pays it forward. 

There’s an additional multiplier effect, as well. A key component of the program is that the faculty member awarded the grant will be expected to then mentor fellow faculty members. Growth won’t stop at the single faculty member.

“Our ultimate goal as a school is to be innovative and advanced in our clinical education,” Latta says. “We hire faculty for high levels of clinical expertise and skills, and we want to be able to form them to be equally outstanding as educators. This fund will help us do that.” 

In the broadest sense, Latta says, funds such as these help the school stay excellent while at the same time helping to manage student tuition costs.

More specifically, the fund will support such areas as pedagogical skill development leading to improved instruction and student learning outcomes; expanded curricular offerings through the acquisition of new techniques and skill sets; and research grants and projects.

The fund may also be used to recruit faculty members with research potential and scholarly activities. Offering faculty candidates a competitive start-up package can be vital to recruitment efforts.

“This kind of support is essential for the continual relevancy and advancement of the school’s curriculum and its effective delivery,” says Timothy M. Durham, DDS, BS’82, senior associate dean. “Dentistry and dental education are constantly changing, and such faculty development opportunities are critical for staying on the forefront while also acting consistently within our Jesuit value system.”

If you would like to support this fund or learn more about other opportunities in the School of Dentistry, contact Paul Findley, senior director of development for the School of Dentistry, at PaulFindley [at] creighton [dot] edu or 402.280.1119.