John A. Valenza, DDS, distinguished teaching professor and dean of The University of Texas School of Dentistry (UTSD) at Houston, has recruited two new department chairs to fill vacancies created by retirements.

Maria A. Loza, DMD, MS, has joined the faculty as chair of the Department of Restorative Dentistry at Prosthodontics.

A graduate of the University of Puerto Rico School of Dental Medicine, Loza earned a certificate in prosthodontics and a master’s degree in oral biology from the Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University. In addition to serving on the faculty of UPR-SDM, she maintained a private practice for many years limited to prosthodontics and geared toward cosmetic and implant dentistry.

Gregory W. Olson, DDS, MSc, has joined the faculty to lead the Department of Pediatric Dentistry.

Olson is a dual-trained orthodontist/pediatric dentist who taught in both graduate and predoctoral programs at Loma Linda University in California, where he earned a DDS, certificate in pediatric dentistry and a master’s degree in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in management and operations from Pacific Union College.

In addition to their many individual achievements and honors, both Loza and Olson are board-certified in their areas of specialty, and both are graduates of the American Dental Education Association’s Leadership Institute.

Valenza expressed delight that Loza and Olson have decided to continue their careers in Houston. “We’re thrilled to be able to bring these two talented and personable leaders to UTSD,” he said. “I know they will be difference-makers for their faculty, the school and the health science center.”

The faculty vacancies followed the retirements of Raymond Koeppen, DDS, MS, as chair of the Department of Restorative Dentistry and Prosthodontics, and Gary Badger, DDS, MS, as chair of the Department of Pediatric Dentistry.

The School of Dentistry is part of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).