Excerpts from MUSC Catalyst article:
Dental Couple Plan on Continuing to Give Back
by Cindy Abole
Juliana and Nathen Head’s story began long before dental school and goes as far back as second grade when the two were classmates at North Springs Elementary School in Northeast Columbia. Their paths and story have taken them through a unique journey that’s fulfilled both their personal and professional lives.
Now as they prepare to start the next chapter of their lives, the Heads will continue to support each other in as much the same way they supported each other in dental school and throughout their lives.
Juliana Head, DMD and Nathen Head, DMD, are proud graduates of the James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine. The Heads are likely the first married couple to enter and graduate together from the dental school. And somewhere between the didactic classes and lectures and clinical years, they also became parents welcoming son, Reiland Clark, last May. Their dental school and life experiences have prepared them for the hard work ahead of them as dental professionals working and giving back to the community.
Once in dental school, the Heads thrived in the school’s dental science curriculum, clinical experiences and student life. Both made dean’s list and were recognized for their oral health research work.
Department of Stomatology associate professor Rick Albenesius, DMD, enjoyed getting to know the Heads over the course of dental school, and accompanied them and other students to formal and informal functions including golf and sport tourneys and student activities in the community. He was particularly impressed with Juliana’s leadership and strong organizational and leadership skills as Psi Omega Dental Fraternity’s president in which Albenesius serves as faculty advisor.
Additionally, Juliana was Class secretary and enrolled in the American Association of Women Dentists, American Student Dental Association, and S.C. Academy of General Dentists. She was also the Recipient of the Psi Omega Fraternal Achievement Award. Both are active members of James Island Christian Church.
Nathen also had his own achievements as vice president of the MUSC Chapter of the S.C. Academy of General Dentists and most recently, the American College of Dentists Award for being an outstanding student and leader. According to Albenesius, both are excellent student leaders, hard working, dependable, ethical and overall good honest people. They’re both examples of what every dentist strives to be.”
Tariq Javed, DMD, associate dean for academic and student affairs, College of Dental Medicine, worked with the couple throughout their dental school experiences. He guided Juliana, especially, throughout her third year of dental clinical rotations and pregnancy and was impressed with her preparation and commitment leading up to childbirth, a six-week medical leave of absence and return to school. “She never missed a beat”, he said.
“Both have demonstrated themselves as excellent clinical dentists. What’s impressed me most is how they have helped and encouraged each other throughout their experiences. They’ve reorganized their lives, their family priorities around a demanding dental education and curriculum and have come out of it with special experiences that have made them the individuals they are today. It’s a wonderful job and achievement that they’ve accomplished,” said Javed.