5 Questions With ... Dr. Juliette C. Daniels

Lamont Lowery  
Juliette C. Daniels, Ed.D.
Assistant Dean for Student Services & Enrollment Management
University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry

1. If you could change one thing about dental education (or dentistry) with a snap of your fingers, what would that be?

Interesting question. I would love to snap my fingers and see the cost of dental education drastically decrease. While the investment in dental education is worth it in the long run, the levels of student debt have sky-rocketed immensely. We are also increasingly seeing students carry debt from undergrad into dental school, which compounds the debt burden and serves as a barrier to considering the dental profession.

2. In 10 years, the biggest change about dental education (or dentistry) will be …

Wow, probably a ton of different answers to this question! Innovation and advancement in technology is going to continue to have a big impact on how we teach in classroom and clinic. I also anticipate we will see a shift in our faculty within dental schools. Hopefully we will encourage academic dentistry as a viable and attractive career pathway for educators who represent the diverse landscape of the profession. Lastly, the impact of COVID-19 and the fallout from our ongoing pivot to the ebbs and flows of the pandemic have taught many dental schools how to maximize their learning environments to meet the needs of their graduates. Many of these changes will be long-lasting—10 years and beyond.

3. What makes you excited to go to work each day?

The people at Detroit Mercy Dental bring me excitement and joy each day. The students I have the privilege of serving in my role are absolutely the hardest-working, most passionate and energetic individuals. I am really lucky to be a part of their universe for a short, but meaningful part of their journey. My dental school colleagues are so thoughtful and brilliant. I am surrounded by inspiring educators who work incredibly hard to foster learning and development in our students.

4. What’s one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?

I agonize about decisions large and small, especially when other people are impacted. I am a worrier by nature, and I am always concerned about making the right decision, getting things right and doing the best I can for the people around me. I never want to let people down. I think people may have the sense that I am more confident than I really am! Now the secret’s out …

5. What’s the ultimate comfort meal for you?

I love to eat. This is a tough question. I would say the ultimate comfort meal would be some of my favorite Armenian dishes that I would have growing up. Shish kebab and rice pilaf with warm pita bread is the ultimate comfort meal for me. But I also love a big plate of nachos with some Michigan craft beer.