OU College of Dentistry Honors Alumni Members at 2022 Alumni Weekend
Published: Monday, October 10, 2022
2022 Young Dental Hygiene Alumnus of the Year
Carly Mindemann, R.D.H.
Ms. Carly Mindemann graduated with an Associate Degree in Business from Cameron University in 2006. In 2016, she earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene from the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry, where she was awarded the American Dental Hygienists’ Association’s Ideal Dental Hygienist Award.
She stated that earning her diploma in dental hygiene fulfilled a dream she had since she was in the third grade.
Ms. Mindemann has worked in the field of dentistry for the past 15 years. During that time, she has worn many hats. She started as a front desk team member before moving into clinical management. Now she practices as a registered dental hygienist.
During the first five years after graduation, she practiced dental hygiene in a private dental office in north Oklahoma City while working part-time or temporarily at various dental offices around the greater Oklahoma City metro. She is now practicing full-time at a multi-dentist practice in Newcastle.
Ms. Mindemann states that she likes being part of a team and that her colleagues are more like a family. She believes in building genuine relationships with her patients and helping the practice achieve long-term success.
She has served on the Oklahoma Dental Hygienists’ Association’s executive board for the past six years. She currently serves as the organization’s Public Relations Chairman and oversees the quarterly Oklahoma Hygiene Hotspot Newsletter. Over the years, she has helped this organization in various ways, including serving the last two years as the event planner for the organization’s Mighty Mouth 5K run.
Ms. Mindemann selflessly gives back to the community and the dental hygiene profession. She frequently helps with Free Dental Days and has volunteered at the Oklahoma Mission of Mercy for the past ten years.
In August 2012, she married her husband, Wyatt. Together, they have two children, a daughter, Londyn, who is four years old and in Pre-K, and a son, Kasyn, who is 17 months old.
During her off-hours, she likes spending time with her family, including her parents, siblings, and children. Her family enjoys mountain vacations where they can ride off-road vehicles along the mountain trails. She also loves trying new foods.
Recognizing her dedication to the dental hygiene profession, the Alumni Association honored Ms. Carly Mindemann as the 2022 Young Dental Hygiene Alum of the Year.
2022 Dental Hygiene Alumnus of the Year
Kim L. Graziano, R.D.H., MPH
Ms. Kim Graziano has worked in the field of dentistry for more than 35 years. She started her career as a registered dental hygienist after graduating from Rose State College in 1986 with an associate degree in dental hygiene.
Over the next ten years, Ms. Graziano worked part-time as a dental hygienist while she and her husband grew their family. She credits the flexibility the dental hygiene profession offered her with the opportunity to be highly involved in her children’s school, sports, and church activities.
After ten years of patient care in a private practice setting, Ms. Graziano knew she wanted more from her career. In 1995, she applied for and was appointed a part-time clinical instructor at the OU College of Dentistry. This opportunity awakened a desire in Ms. Graziano to become a life-long learner and to provide the best education to future professionals.
In the early 2000s, the OU College of Dentistry’s dental hygiene program launched a career ladder program for associate-level hygienists to receive their bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene. Ms. Graziano took advantage of this opportunity, and in 2007, she earned her Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene from OU.
During this time, Ms. Graziano worked in private practice twice a week and taught at OU twice weekly as a clinical instructor. After earning her bachelor’s degree, she immediately enrolled in the Master of Public Health program at the OU College of Public Health. She graduated with a Master of Public Health in Occupational and Environmental Health in 2011.
In 2012, Ms. Graziano was offered a full-time position at the OU College of Dentistry, where she worked as the college’s Director of Compliance. Since then, she has served on multiple committees and task forces, including leading the college through the COVID-19 pandemic as a valued member of the COVID Reengagement Task Force. She worked alongside the College of Pharmacy, Nursing, and Medicine to implement the campus’s COVID-19 vaccine clinics for all OUHSC and OU Health employees and students.
Ms. Graziano believes in giving back to the community. She demonstrates this with her 11 consecutive years of providing free dental services and care to the underserved population through the Oklahoma Mission of Mercy. She has volunteered for the Homeless Health Fair, Good Shepherd Mission, Rural Access Medical Oklahoma, and the College of Dentistry’s Kids Day, which provides numerous free services to the underserved. She has a fond appreciation for her volunteer work and looks forward to new opportunities each year.
In recognition of her commitment to the OU College of Dentistry, Ms. Graziano was awarded the 2021 Outstanding Professorial Achievement Award. Additionally, she was awarded the Dean’s Service Award in 2018 and the Outstanding Part-Time Faculty Award in 1999 and 2009. In 2016, she was selected as a University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Leadership Faculty Fellow.
Ms. Graziano is an active member of the American Dental Educators Association, the Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention, and the American Dental Hygienists’ Association.
Ms. Graziano takes great pride in her family. She enjoys spending her summers at the lake, relishing the sun and water activities. She loves cooking and trying new and old recipes. Around Christmas, her family volunteers to make a home-cooked meal for the families staying at the Toby Keith Kids Korral.
For her outstanding contributions to the advancement of the dental profession and her commitment to the OU College of Dentistry, the Alumni Association honored Ms. Kim Graziano as the 2022 Dental Hygiene Alum of the Year.
2022 Young Dental Alumnus of the Year
Matthew L. Bridges, D.D.S.
Prior to enrolling in dental school, Dr. Matthew Bridges served as a Staff Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona, majoring in soil and water science with a minor in mathematics. He worked for nearly a decade as a software engineer.
Dr. Bridges states that his passion for dentistry was born after volunteering at a Give Kids a Smile event. Afterward, he decided to make a career change. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry in 2017 and practices general dentistry in Duncan, Oklahoma.
During his time at the OU College of Dentistry, he was active in and held leadership roles in the American Student Dental Association and Staples Society, as well as the OU Student Professionalism and Ethics Association. He was awarded the Pierre Fauchard Academy Junior Scholarship Award in 2016.
Additionally, Dr. Bridges regularly volunteered his time at clinics such as the Oklahoma Mission of Mercy, Good Shepherd Clinic, and King’s Clinic.
Dr. Bridges is known for his compassion when it comes to treating patients. He has a heart for those anxious or fearful of going to the dentist. He takes time to listen to his patients’ concerns and treats each person like a member of his own family. Dr. Bridges believes community education is a crucial aspect of successful dentistry. He spends a significant amount of time discussing diagnoses with patients to provide a clear understanding of treatment.
Given his background in software engineering, staying up-to-date on the latest methods and technologies is important to Dr. Bridges. He participates in numerous continuing education courses. As part of his dedication to continued learning in the field of disorders like sleep apnea, Dr. Bridges has been designated as a Qualified Dentist by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
Dr. Bridges is an active member of the American Dental Association, the Oklahoma Dental Association, the Academy of General Dentistry, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the American Academy of Facial Esthetics, and a Fellow of the American College of Dentists. He served as President of the Southwest Dental Society from 2018 to 2021. He currently serves as Trustee of the Southwest component of the Oklahoma Dental Association.
When he is not performing dentistry, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Melody, and their four children: Nathanael, Millie, Ruby, and Suzie. He and his family are involved in their church, Immanuel Baptist Church in Duncan. In his spare time, he enjoys board games, model rockets, home improvement projects, software development, and fishing.
In recognition of his contributions to the advancement of the profession of dentistry and his commitment to community service, the Alumni Association honored Dr. Matthew Bridges as the 2022 Young Dental Alum of the Year.
2022 Dental Alumnus of the Year
Jeannie McGee Bath, D.D.S.
Dr. Jeannie Bath graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry in 2000. While in dental school, she served the American Student Dental Association nationally as vice president. Locally, she coordinated student volunteers at Good Shepherd Ministries. After graduation, she completed a General Practice Residency at the Oklahoma City Veteran's Administration Hospital.
Dr. Bath has practiced dentistry in Germany as a civilian dentist for the United States Army and all over the state of Oklahoma, in private practices and with Mobile Smiles Oklahoma.
As a dentist, she has volunteered with many charitable dental organizations. She volunteers as an elementary school "Adopt-A-Dentist," serves on the Oklahoma Dental Foundation Access to Care Committee, and is the pharmacy lead for Oklahoma Mission of Mercy.
She currently serves as the Dental Director for Good Shepherd Ministries in Oklahoma City. As the Dental Director for Good Shepherd Ministries, now operated by Crossings Community Clinic, she shares God's love by offering dental care to under-resourced members of our community and by empowering others to do the same.
In the Charitable Dental Clinic Leadership Institute, she and nine other charitable clinic dental directors across the United States learned how to do their jobs better.
Dr. Bath has played a critical role in the growth and expansion of the Good Shepherd Clinic, working with patients with diabetes and periodontal disease to improve their A1C levels and evolve their treatment plans as needed.
Additionally, Dr. Bath guides the next generation of dentists in the art and science of dentistry. Over the years, she has mentored numerous students as they volunteer at Good Shepherd Ministries from their time as undergraduate pre-dental students through their time at the OU College of Dentistry and well into their careers. She encourages them to keep their Good Shepherd patients in mind and to care for their neighbors in need wherever they practice.
Hoping to prevent the mouth diseases she sees in adults, Dr. Bath's alter ego, the Tooth Fairy, began teaching kids to care for their teeth by telling the story of The Three Little Teeth. She has presented to thousands of children in dozens of schools in four states. Unable to present to all schools, she and her brother created The Three Little Teeth as a children's book to empower anyone (parents, teachers, and more) to educate kids on mouth health!
Without her Tooth Fairy wings, Dr. Bath presents on topics such as dentistry in public health settings, silver diamine fluoride, and oral health for medical professionals. Clinical insight from immersion in a high-caries-risk population helps Dr. Bath inspire fellow health professionals with hope for healthy mouths for everyone.
In recognition of her outstanding contributions to the advancement of professional dentistry and her long-standing commitment to community service, the Alumni Association honored Dr. Jeannie Bath as the 2022 Dental Alum of the Year.
2022 Dr. Stephen K. Young Distinguished Service Award
Raymond A. Cohlmia, D.D.S.
Dr. Raymond A. Cohlmia was born into dentistry. His dad, the late Dr. Ramiz Cohlmia, was a dentist and left a legacy that spans multiple generations. This includes Dr. Raymond Cohlmia’s brother, Matt, and two of his three sons. His youngest son is now a first-year dental student at OU. Additionally, he has an uncle who is a dentist, along with more than a dozen cousins who are dentists.
Dr. Raymond Cohlmia is a 1988 graduate of the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry. After earning his degree, he established a successful private practice in Oklahoma City, which he operated with his brother, Matt. In 2009, he joined the OU College of Dentistry faculty, serving in various leadership positions. In 2011, he was named Director of Comprehensive Care and served as assistant dean for patient care from 2013 until he was appointed dean in 2015.
Dr. Cohlmia served an integral role in the college’s Legacy Project, a $20 million capital campaign. He also led the college through a change in curriculum, converting to a comprehensive care clinical education model. Additionally, under his leadership, the college has seen a record number of applications for the dental program, and a record number of patients served each year.
On May 12, 2021, it was announced that Dr. Cohlmia was named the new Executive Director of the American Dental Association (ADA), the nation’s leading advocate for oral health.
Dr. Cohlmia has always been an active leader in the dental community at the local, state, and national levels. Prior to accepting the position of executive director of the American Dental Association, he served on the ADA Board of Trustees from 2015 to 2019.
He led the ADA New Dentist Committee and Council on Membership, serving as chair in 1999 and 2007. Additional ADA appointments over the years include the Council on Annual Sessions, the Council on Dental Benefits, and the American Dental Political Action Committee. Dr. Cohlmia has also served the state of Oklahoma as a delegate to the ADA’s House of Delegates.
In addition, he served as president of the Oklahoma Dental Association in 2001 and the Oklahoma County Dental Society in 1997. He is also an active member of the International College of Dentists, American College of Dentists, Pierre Fauchard Academy of Dentists, American Association of Dental Editors, American Dental Education Association, International Association for Dental Research, and American Association for Dental Research.
Dr. Cohlmia is widely respected within the dental community for his dedication to the profession and his service-oriented approach to leadership. As a result, he has been recognized for serving the profession numerous times.
He was recognized by the Oklahoma Dental Association as the Outstanding Dentist of the Year in 2004 and again in 2014. In fact, he is the only dentist to win that award twice. He also received the ODA’s President’s Leadership Award in 2012 and the ADA’s outstanding Presidential Service Award in 2006.
Further, he was recognized by the OU College of Dentistry as the Outstanding Part-Time Clinical Professor in 2007 and 2008. And in 2021, the OU College of Dentistry’s Faculty Recognition Committee voted to give special recognition to Dr. Cohlmia for his leadership to the college and the profession as the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. Further, the committee voted to rename the award in his honor. The award is now known as the Dr. Raymond A. Cohlmia Lifetime Achievement Award.
In recognition of his outstanding service to the OU College of Dentistry and unwavering dedication to the profession of dentistry, the Alumni Committee honored Dr. Raymond A. Cohlmia with the 2022 Dr. Stephen K. Young Distinguished Service Award.
Note: Unfortunately, Dr. Cohlmia could not attend the Dean’s Circle Dinner. However, his wife, Sherry Cohlmia, was in attendance and accepted the award on his behalf.