Maria Pintado begins her interview by discussing her early education, her immigration to the United States, and her arrival at the University of Minnesota, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in dental auxiliary education and her master’s degree in public health. She then describes how she came to be part of the biomaterials program under the leadership of Dr. William Douglas. She discusses the development of the artificial mouth and the creation of the Minnesota Dental Research for Biomaterials and Biomechanics (MDRCBB). She recalls her time as a student in the program, the only non-dental student and one of three women taking dental classes. She reflects on debates regarding specialization versus comprehensive care in dental education, on student activism in the 1970s, and on relations between dental students and dental auxiliaries. She discusses Dr. Erwin Schaeffer’s tenure as dean and Donna Aker, Helen Tuchner, and Kathleen Newell’s leadership in the dental auxiliary programs. She also discusses the closing of the Dental Assisting Program in 1982, her pursuit of a master’s degree in public health, professionalization in dental hygiene, Dr. Richard Oliver’s tenure as dean, Dr. Ralph DeLong’s role in the biomaterials program, the founding of the MDRCBB, her teaching and research, the changing makeup of dental school classes with the admission of more women and minority students, the deanships of Richard Elzay and Michael Till, and biomaterials in the Dental School curriculum. She concludes with a discussion of community outreach.
Maria Pintado was born and raised in Aláquez, Ecuador and attended high school in Quito, the capital. After graduating and while working in Quito, Ms. Pintado met William and Cathryn Jenshen, who sponsored her immigration to the United States. Upon their recommendation and because of her interest in dentistry, Ms. Pintado pursued admission to the Dental School at the University of Minnesota. After completing her bachelor’s degree in dental auxiliary education in 1972, Ms. Pintado then taught in the dental auxiliary program while concurrently pursuing a master’s degree in public health, which she completed in 1986. Upon the closure of the dental assisting program, the School retained Ms. Pintado. She continued to teach and began working with Dr. William Douglas on biomaterials research. She continues to work as an investigator in the Minnesota Dental Research Center for Biomaterials and Biomechanics (MDRCBB).
Klaffke, Lauren E.; Pintado, Maria R..
Interview with Maria Pintado.
University of Minnesota.
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