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WesternU selects Dr. Elizabeth Andrews as College of Dental Medicine dean

by Rodney Tanaka

August 15, 2022

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WesternU College of Dental Medicine Dean Elizabeth Andrews, DDS, MS

Western University of Health Sciences has selected Elizabeth Andrews, DDS, MS, as Dean of the College of Dental Medicine (CDM), effective Aug. 15, 2022.

Dr. Andrews joined the CDM faculty in 2008 as an assistant professor, shortly after the College’s founding. CDM’s inaugural class started in fall 2009. She was promoted in 2011 to Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and she became an Associate Professor with tenure in 2018.

“I thank and congratulate Dr. Andrews for accepting this coveted position as WesternU’s next Dean of CDM, and I express my genuine enthusiasm for the honor to work with such a distinguished academician,” said WesternU President Robin Farias-Eisner, MD, PhD, MBA. “I believe Dr. Andrews to possess the ‘right fit-in index’ for the job: Dr. Andrews is the right choice, at the right time, with the right skill set, and the right academic credentials and experience, to lead the College into WesternU’s new era of growth, expansion, and transformation to a mature University.”

Andrews earned her bachelor’s degree in biology in 1992 from Cal State Northridge and her Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree from the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry in 1995. She practiced general dentistry for 10 years in Merced, Calif. and then completed her specialty training and master’s degree in Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology at the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry.

“It is my distinct privilege and honor to accept the role of dean in WesternU’s College of Dental Medicine,” Andrews said. “This is a transformational time for the profession of dental medicine, the University, and the College of Dental Medicine.  I look forward to serving in this role with my esteemed University colleagues and College faculty and staff as together, we continue to strive for excellence in dental medicine education and patient service.”

During her time in private practice, Andrews was active in organized dentistry. She served as President of the Yosemite Dental Society and as a Trustee to the California Dental Association, where she also served as a member of the Strategic Planning Committee. Her research interests include HPV-Associated Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Oral Cancer Salivary Markers.

At WesternU, she has mentored numerous students in research and her guidance has helped them secure residencies and obtain grants. She serves on several College and University committees, including chair of the University Curriculum Committee and co-chair of the Admissions Committee. She is a member of the Tri-County Dental Society, the American Dental Education Association, the American Dental Association, and the California Dental Association. She is a Fellow of both the Southern California Academy of Oral Pathology and the American Academy of Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology.

“Dr. Andrews brings a wealth of institutional knowledge, specialty training and real-world experience to her new role as dean,” said WesternU Interim Provost and Chief Academic Officer Paula M. Crone, DO ’92. “Her work ethic, integrity, and commitment to our students, to the dental medicine profession, and to our communities demonstrate the qualities of inspirational leadership with a commitment to science and humanistic principles of patient-centered care. We look forward what the future holds for CDM under her leadership.

She succeeds Dr. Steven W. Friedrichsen, who retired as CDM dean after more than 11 years of service at WesternU. He was named interim dean of CDM on Feb. 1, 2011, and dean on July 1, 2011.

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