Linda C. Niessen, dean of the College of Dental Medicine at Kansas City University’s Joplin campus, has been named among the 32 Most Influential People in Dentistry for 2022 by Incisal Edge dental lifestyle magazine, KCU announced Thursday.
Niessen, who also serves as vice provost for oral health affairs, last year had been named a Woman Who Inspires by the magazine.
“Dr. Niessen brings expertise and enthusiasm to everything she does,” said Marc B. Hahn, president and CEO of KCU, in a statement. “We are proud to have an academic dentist of her caliber leading the development of our College of Dental Medicine as KCU works to improve oral health in the communities we serve.”
Niessen joined KCU in 2020 as the inaugural dean and oversees the development of all academic, research and service activities as well as administration of the dental college. With initial accreditation granted, the College of Dental Medicine has begun accepting applications for the first dental school class of 80 students to start in July 2023.
Niessen began her dental career as a lieutenant in the United States Public Health Service, Division of Indian Health, where she served as chief of the Service Unit Dental Program at the Choctaw Nation Indian Hospital in Talihina, Oklahoma. She has also held positions with the Veterans Affairs Medical Centers in Boston and Bedford, Massachusetts; Perry Point, Maryland; and Dallas, Texas. She has served as president of numerous dental organizations, including the American Association of Women Dentists, American Association of Public Health Dentistry, American Board of Dental Public Health, Dallas County Dental Society and American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry and the Santa Fe Group.