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Dr. Melvin Kushner and Alumni Reunion

Written by Adam Zewe and Marcelena S. Holmes, MPA, MA

As chairman of the All Alumni Reunion Committee, Dr. Mel Kushner encourages UMDS graduates across the country to join him and their classmates at this year's reunion.

Kushner, DDS '66, attended his first reunion in 1976, shortly after he founded his dental practice in Owings Mills. "Once you come to the school, see what's going on, meet some of the students and the dean, I think you can't help but get excited," explains the Pikesville resident. Since then, he has participated in the reunion every year.

Dr. Kushner eventually joined the leadership of the Alumni Association, serving a term as president. He now focuses on encouraging active participation and oversees a mentoring program that connects alumni with current students. Mentors provide professional advice, friendship and academic encouragement to students. "We want to expose them to life in real-world dentistry," he states. Helping students is rewarding for Dr. Kushner, who wanted to be a teacher before he followed a career in dentistry. He believes his volunteer role is a vital part of supporting the school.

Currently, Dr. Kushner serves on the Board of Visitors, while remaining active in education beyond the school. Drawing upon his experience in the Navy Dental Corps Reserve, he now teaches boating safety courses as a licensed Coast Guard Captain. Whether he is on the water or at the dental school, Dr. Kushner thrives on helping others. "I get back much more than I give," he concludes.

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