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Dental school professors give to show gratitude

by UofL Today last modified Jul 23, 2014 02:25 PM

University of Louisville faculty and staff have played a significant role in the success of the Charting Our Course comprehensive campaign, contributing more than $27 million to the billion-dollar effort. (See Keith Inman’s letter to the campus community.) This is the third in a series of profiles of UofL faculty and staff, the areas they support and their reasons for giving back to the university.

Dr. Vicki Lindauer and Dr. Ralph DeDomenico

Dr. Vicki Lindauer and Dr. Ralph DeDomenico both graduated from the UofL School of Dentistry and have taught here since 2003 and 2002, respectively. Dr. Lindauer is an adjunct clinical instructor in pediatric dentistry, while Dr. DeDomenico is an adjunct clinical instructor in orthodontics. Two of their children are also dental school graduates.

Program donated to:  We started giving back to USLD 30 years ago, but when funds were needed to renovate the orthodontic clinic, we decided to focus on that department. Renovation of the pediatric dental clinic followed shortly afterward and we participated in that fundraising effort, too. Eight years ago, Dr. DeDomenico spearheaded an effort to raise $1 million to subsidize faculty salaries. We're proud to report that the Baxter E. Johnson Orthodontic Endowment Fund is close to achieving that goal.

Reason for selecting this program/department: This department has been good to us and our family. We have made so many friends through our 40-year association with ULSD, many of whom were teachers who made a huge impact in preparing us for a future in dentistry.

History/involvement with ULSD: Dr. DeDomenico graduated from ULSD in 1974 and Dr. Lindauer in 1975. After teaching in the operative dentistry department for a year, Dr. DeDomenico turned his focus to orthodontics. He was privileged enough to be accepted into the orthodontic residency program, graduating in 1977. Dr. Lindauer was accepted into the pediatric dental residency program at Ohio State, but elected to remain in Louisville with her husband and start a family. She worked as the dental director at the Children and Youth Project for High Risk Infants and Children and was mentored by several members of the pediatric dental faculty, so she was fully prepared to treat only children for her entire professional career. Their oldest son, Dr. Matt DeDomenico, graduated from ULSD in 2006 and completed his orthodontic residency in 2008. Their youngest son, Dr. Dustin DeDomenico, a 2014 ULSD graduate, is a pediatric dental resident.

Do you feel it's important to give back?: We feel strongly about giving back. Dr. DeDomenico speaks to the residents every year on this subject. Dr. Matt even started a resident fund to subsidize meetings, travel expenses, etc., that some of the residents wouldn't be financially able to take advantage of. Dr. Lindauer speaks regularly to the current DMD students on the subject of philanthropy. Getting into a U.S. dental school is very competitive and the students are encouraged to give back to ULSD as a sign of gratitude for taking a chance on them. We feel it's our mission to give our "time, talent and treasure" to an institution that has given us so much.

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