Wallen Named Dean of Creighton University School of Dentistry

Dentistry Today


Jillian Wallen, BDS, MS, will be the next dean of the Creighton University School of Dentistry, effective August 1. She will succeed Mark Latta, DMD, who will step down on July 31 after 10 years serving as dean.

Wallen currently is assistant dean for extramural activities and outreach as well as chair of the Department of Growth and Development at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) College of Dentistry. In 2018, she also was named the Merritt C. Pedersen Professor of Dentistry there.

“I am excited to welcome Dr. Wallen. Her work at the UNMC College of Dentistry has been impressive, and her background, leadership, and enthusiasm are a perfect fit for our dental school,” said the Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD, president of Creighton University.

“I am also grateful for Dr. Latta’s decade of service and leadership as dean, and I look forward to his return to the faculty to teach and conduct research,” said Hendrickson.

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Wallen as dean of the School of Dentistry,” said Creighton provost Mardell Wilson, EdD.

“Throughout the search process, Dr. Wallen articulated a deep understanding of the unique characteristics of a Creighton University trained oral health provider while identifying potential opportunities where the school might continue to advance in the future,” said Wilson.

Wallen graduated with distinction from the University of Glasgow Dental Hospital and School in Scotland with a BDS. She completed her specialty training in pediatric dentistry and received a master’s degree from Ohio State University.

Prior to joining UNMC in 2011, Wallen served on the faculty at the University of Maryland Dental School of Dentistry and the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center School of Dentistry.

Wallen also was the principal investigator on a $2.2 million Health Resources and Administration grant examining teledentistry and rural health and has collaborated with several Creighton School of Dentistry faculty on oral health improvement programs over the past 10 years.

Additionally, Wallen has received funding from the City of Omaha for community service efforts to improve and expand oral health services in schools, particularly for underserved children. Her research interests include improving access to oral healthcare for vulnerable populations and assessing quality of life indicators for children experiencing dental pain.

Wallen’s memberships and titles include:

  • Member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, where she is active with the Post-Doctoral Inservice Examination Committee and the Society of Post-Doctoral Program Directors
  • Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry
  • Fellow of the American College of Dentists and International College of Dentists
  • Graduate of the American Dental Education Association Leadership Institute
  • Member of the Nebraska Dental Association and Nebraska Society of Pediatric Dentistry
  • Active staff m ember at Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha, previously serving on its Physician and Provider Advisory Committee
  • Alumna of Leadership Omaha, Class 40

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