DCG Associate Dean for Admissions, Associate Professor of Oral Biology and Diagnostic Sciences, Restorative Sciences, and Program Director for Graduate Program in Oral Biology and Maxillofacial Pathology. Dr. Messer earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Science and Mechanics from the University of Tennessee followed by her Master of Science and Doctorate of Philosophy in Biomedical Engineering focusing on Biomaterials. Dr. Messer has been part of the faculty of The Dental College of Georgia (DCG) and The Graduate School since 2000 and has led or served on many college and university committees as well teaches in and is course director in several courses. She has served as Program Director for the graduate program in Oral Biology and Maxillofacial Pathology since 2011. In this role, she administratively manages a very internationally diverse population of students and has helped them adjust culturally to Augusta and life in the U.S. She has mentored numerous postdoctoral/visiting scientists, MS/PhD students, DMD students, and undergraduate students. Dr. Messer has been funded by the NIH, Whitaker Foundation, and industry for her work on biomaterials, mechanical stress, and biocompatibility. She has 69 peer-reviewed articles as well as 126 peer reviewed abstracts/presentations. Along with 25 journals, she has reviewed grants for national and international scientific organizations. She is active member in the American Society for Dental Ethics, American Association of Dental Research, International Association of Dental Research, Society for Biomaterials, and the American Dental Education Association as well as the honor societies of Omicron Kappa Upsilon, Phi Kappa Phi and Tau Beta Pi.
These roles, as well as her unique educational background, and varied pre-doctoral and graduate teaching experiences give her a broad perspective on the current challenges facing education. Her desire to improve the educational experience from admission to graduation is evident in her willingness to develop new lectures, programs, and processes. She is part of a faculty team that enhanced our curriculum with professionalism and ethics topics that will be integrated throughout all four years to help students grow personally and professionally (e.g. implicit bias, emotional intelligence, generational differences, and communication skills). The interactive format for this content creates a healthy learning environment and effective andragogy to foster a humanistic culture among all persons. Dr. Messer’s involvement in these areas have expanded her research to include how these factors influence student success.