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Reconnecting Through Storytelling


Everyone has a story to tell. Stories can transfer the audience to a place where they can vicariously learn to both understand the storyteller and collectively dissect the complexities of human experience, explore complex moral issues and experience situations they would never have an opportunity to encounter in their normal lives. Whether the storyteller or audience member is a student, faculty member, staff or patient, the experience provides an unparalleled opportunity to connect with others on a level not replicated with a PowerPoint presentation in a classroom or with a rushed exam in a clinical setting.

Join us in this free webinar as we explore how the University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston (UTSD) implemented “Behind the Smile”, a series of school-wide storytelling events designed to strengthen community connection and wellness. The evaluation results of the five past “Behind the Smile” events will also be discussed as we examine the impact of these sessions on participants.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Promote the conditions where personal stories can be shared in a safe and welcoming environment within a dental institution
  2. Apply storytelling as a means of connecting different members of a community, reducing isolation and practicing empathy.
  3. Examine data and testimonies from past events where storytelling was used to build interpersonal connections.
CE Information:
The American Dental Education Association is an ADA CERP Recognized Provider.

An evaluation form is available to participants after the conclusion of the webinar. To earn continuing education (CE) credit for participation in the webinar, the online evaluation must be completed in full by July 14, 2024. After completing the evaluation, webinar participants can print and save the CE Verification Form.

ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of continuing dental education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry.

The American Dental Education Association designates this activity for 1.0 continuing education credit.

All speakers agree that neither they nor members of their immediate family have any financial relationships with commercial entities that may be relevant to their presentation.


  • Shalizeh “Shelly” A. Patel, D.D.S., M.Ed.

    Dr. Shalizeh A. “Shelly” Patel is an Associate Professor in the Department of Restorative Dentistry and Prosthodontics and also serves as the Director of Clinical Simulation at the University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston (UTSD). Dr. Patel has designed didactic, lab and clinic-based teaching curriculum in operative, simulation and laser education at UTSD. She conducts research in the fields of caries diagnosis and management, advances in teaching and learning, simulation education and laser dentistry. Dr. Patel is an honored recipient of the 2019 ADEA/Colgate-Palmolive Co. Excellence in Teaching Award.

  • John A. Valenza, D.D.S., FAGD

    Dr. John A. Valenza is dean and professor of the University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston (UTSD) where he has been a member of the full-time faculty since 1987. He has served in numerous administrative roles, including GPR director, clinical dean, department chair, executive associate dean and, since 2009, dean. He is a fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry, the American College of Dentists and the International College of Dentists, and a member of the American Dental Association, Texas Dental Association, Greater Houston Dental Society, American Dental Education Association and the American Association of Hospital Dentists.

  • Taressa C. Visor

    Taressa C. Visor was named director of the PACE Center at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Dentistry in August 2016. She joined the School of Dentistry staff in 2014 as an assistant director of development in the Office of the Dean. In that role, she built vital partnerships with UTHealth dental and dental hygiene alumni and friends to meet the university’s endowment goals — working to unite donor passions with university priorities. She has been actively involved planning a variety of UTHealth School of Dentistry’s community events and programs, including continuing education programs, reunions and special events like Behind the Smile: Stories in and out of Dentistry

July 14, 2021
Wed 1:00 PM EDT

Duration 1H 0M

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