Costello moves from Dental Medicine to associate vice chancellor

Anantha Shekhar, who became senior vice chancellor for health sciences in 2020, continues to mold his team with the addition of an associate vice chancellor for health science integration.

The new position, which aims to advance interprofessional education among the schools of the Health Sciences, is being filled by Bernard Costello, as of Sept. 1. Costello was named interim dean of the School of Dental Medicine in February 2018 and in April of that year took on the job permanently. He  succeeded Thomas W. Braun, who retired in January 2018 after having served as dean for 18 years.

When Shekhar started at Pitt in June 2020 he noted that at his previous job at Indiana University, a Center for Interprofessional Education was formed in the health sciences to make sure that curriculum in medicine, nursing, public health, dental medicine and more were “intertwined, so that there were periods when medical students and nursing students and dental school students were all working in teams on certain courses. You learn to respect other providers’ schools, as well as work with their students as early as your first and second year in medical school and in nursing school.”

In the August newsletter from the dental school, Costello thanked his colleagues “for your incredibly hard work and commitment to advancing the mission of our School. Improving oral and craniofacial health in our region is an incredibly important cause and working with such a special group of people in pursuit of this mission has been both an honor and a pleasure.”

Marnie Oakley, vice dean at the dental school, will serve as interim dean — a role she also held last year for several months when Costello took voluntary administrative leave for personal reasons.

After earning her DMD from Pitt in 1992, Oakley served a four-year tour as a dental officer in the United States Navy. She returned to Pitt in 1996 as a clinical assistant professor and has risen to leadership since. She is the school’s vice dean, associate dean for clinical affairs and former chair of the Department of Restorative Dentistry and Comprehensive Care.

The school will begin a national search for a permanent dean this fall.

— Susan Jones


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