5 Questions With ... Prof. Rachel Kearney

Rachel Kearney, B.S.D.H., M.S.
Associate Professor and Chair
Division of Dental Hygiene
The Ohio State University College of Dentistry

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

I view each day as an opportunity to grow and improve. From our programs, facilities, processes, patient care and curriculum, each day gives me the opportunity to improve something for the good of our school. And I feel really fortunate to have a career that allows me to do those things each and every day.

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

Accessibility to dental care for all people. It is a complex problem that requires creative and innovative solutions and that takes time and resources. So being able to solve that with a snap of my fingers would be amazing.

3.  What’s the biggest challenge facing dental education today?

Most recently, the biggest challenge has been managing patient care and education during the COVID-19 pandemic. Aside from that challenge, I believe our biggest or most important challenge is recruiting diverse applicants to the profession and maintaining an inclusive environment in our schools.

4.  What’s your favorite TV show—and why?

I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I do have a favorite podcast, Hidden Brain. This podcast takes a deep dive into a variety of subjects such as “Laughter is the best medicine,” “Finding meaning at work,” and “Our pursuit of happiness.” The host uses scientific evidence and expert researchers to explain the normal and not so normal phenomena in our world.

5.  What’s your philosophy in 10 words or less? 

Leave things better than you found them.