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Pediatric Dentistry Graduate Program




Jami Ballantine is a 2014 graduate of the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. She is native of California and has spent much of her life on the west coast obtaining a BS degree from the University of Utah and another BS degree from the University of Washington. While in dental school Jami established herself as young investigator working on projects that evaluated parents' perspectives on oral health for cleft lip/palate children and examining methods of caries diagnosis. Jami has just relocated to the Triangle with her husband and young baby.

Beau Meyer is 2014 graduate of The Ohio State University School of Dentistry. He is native of Ohio and received his BA degree from Miami University. While at OSU he was active with the Ethiopia One Health Task Force whose goal was to partner with Ethiopian universities to improve global health and strengthen an interdisciplinary approach to health care. He has also completed his certificate in Public Health. Beau has moved to Chapel Hill with his fiancée.

Bhavna Pahel is a 2014 graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry. She is native of India, but has been in Chapel Hill for the last 10 years. She received her PhD and MPH degrees at UNC School of Public Health in 2008 and 2003, respectively. She is already an accomplished health services research investigator contributor in a variety of teaching settings including masters and predoctoral level courses. She live in Chapel Hill with her husband and two children.


Jenna Alvey (DDS 2010) grew up in North Carolina and has always been a Tarheel. She received both her BS in Biology and DDS degrees from UNC Chapel Hill. Since graduating from UNC School of Dentistry Jenna has worked at the Community Health Centers (CHC) of Snohomish County in Washington state, a federally qualified health clinic. Jenna served as a full-time dental provider and provided comprehensive dental care to an indigent patient population heavily comprising of pediatric patients. Jenna has been instrumental in advocating for important outreach programs.

Erica Brecher is a native of Massachusetts. She received her BA degree from University of Pennsylvania with a major in Public Health. Prior to entering dental school, Erica worked as a research assistant at The Forsyth Institute in Boston with Dr. Anne Tanner on a project titled "Characterization of New Caries Pathogens" and published a paper in the Journal of Dental Research. She is a recent graduate of Tufts University School of Dentistry. During dental school, Erica established herself as a stellar student, leader and young investigator.

Scott Schwartz is a native of Illinois. He received his BS degree in Biology from the University of Illinois-Champaign, his DDS degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2012 and completed a one year GPR program at The Ohio State University. Scott has a long history of leadership and community service. Among other positions, Scott served as president of his dental school class. He was also awarded the prestigious Albert Schweitzer Fellowship. His project was devoted to improving the oral and general health of underserved children and their caregivers.


Jacqueline Burgette was raised in Seattle, Washington and received her BA at Williams College in Massachusetts. Jackie completed dental school at Harvard School of Dental Medicine in 2010. In addition to our program, Jackie is enrolled in the Health Policy and Management PhD Program.

Kevin Ricker (DDS 2012) grew up in Jamestown, North Carolina. He received both his BA in mathematics and DDS from UNC Chapel Hill. Before deciding to become a dentist, Kevin had careers in teaching and technology. He received numerous awards for his role as class president throughout his tenure in dental school, and he traveled to Africa as a member of the Malawi Project.

Alexandra Boudreau grew up in Wilmington, NC. She received her BS in Zoology from NC State University and continued on to UNC Chapel Hill School of Dentistry, graduating with honors in 2010. After graduation she worked in Southern Pines, NC at First Health Dental Care Center treating children of the Sandhills community.


Shijia Hu graduated from the National University of Singapore in 2008. While in dental school Shijia was the recipient of many honors and awards, eventually graduating first in his dental school class. Following graduation he held the positions of Dental Officer on the Health Promotion Board, National Dental Health Center and the National University Health Services. In addition to our graduate program in pediatric dentistry, Shijia will also be completing the PhD in Oral Biology during his five years here at UNC.