Class of 2023
Dr. Ameen Shahnam
Hometown: Reno, NV
Spanish Language and Literature, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid, 2009
Biology, University of California, San Diego/University of Nevada, Reno, 2011
DDS, University of Michigan School of Dentistry, 2015
AEGD, Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, 2016
Personal interests: Being from the Tahoe area, I grew up skiing, loving the outdoors, and eating the best all-you-can-eat sushi around. My first hike ever was Mt. Whitney, the highest in the continental US, and, miraculously, it went well. I also played soccer pre-COVID and hope to join intramural teams at UW soon.
Fun facts about me: I have visited 46 U.S. states, mostly on my cross-country moves. I have driven on moves between the west coast and D.C. 3 times. I postponed my orthodontic dream to serve in the United States Air Force for 5 years. During that time, I lived in Germany and visited 49 countries. I love sharing travel tips!
Favorite things about the Seattle-area: I continue to backpack, hike, and have fully embraced the stand up paddle boarding craze. I can’t wait to try the incredible restaurants and watch the Niners beat the Seahawks.
Dream vacation: Backpack through Patagonia, Chile, tour New Zealand in a camper van, or ski pillow lines in Japan.
Original AIM screen name: MeenDaBean. Feel free to IM me, but you may get my Away Message.
Starbucks order: Salted Caramel Cream Nitro Cold Brew. I’ll drink mostly any coffee or tea though.
Dr. Kaitlyn (Katie) Tom
Hometown: Honolulu, HI
BS in Biology, University of Washington, 2016
DDS, University of Missouri-Kansas City, 2020
Personal interests: Personal Interests: hiking (Mt. Rainier is my favorite, it’s gorgeous in the summertime!), growing avocados (current COVID obsession), going to Huskies basketball and volleyball games, and traveling.
Fun Facts about me: I have a pet turtle back home in Hawaii
Favorite things about the Seattle-area: I love getting flowers from Pike Place Market, watching the sailboats and sunset at Gasworks Park, kayaking at the UW waterfront, and scoping out the best coffee shops. I never drank coffee until I came to Seattle and now I probably drink on average 3 cups a day.
Favorite Netflix show to binge: Grey’s Anatomy
Starbucks order: Toasted Coconut Milk Cold Brew. Having grown up in Hawaii, I love coconut everything!
Dr. Ellen Hoang
Hometown: Houston, TX
BA in Economics, Rice University, 2016
DMD, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, 2020
Personal interests: You can usually find me consuming some type of carb – whether it’s fresh-baked cookies or pasta made from scratch. I also love crawfish boils, kickboxing, tennis, and taking “candids” of my photogenic co-residents when we’re out and about.
Favorite things about the Seattle-area: Since I really enjoy architectural photography, Seattle has really cool museums and buildings like the Seattle Public Library and the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum right next to the Space Needle! Also, there are so many vantage points to get a good view of the city’s skyline like at Kerry Park and Gasworks Park.
Favorite TV show to binge: The Office (I think I’ve seen this about 7 times, and I will try to incorporate Office-themed gifs into chats whenever I can.)
Dream vacation: I really want to travel to rural Japan, stay in the ryokans, soak in the hot springs, and feast on fresh sashimi.
Favorite memory with a co-resident: Accompanying Erin when she adopted her quarantine-cat, Ted! He’s a bit of a devil but definitely a cutie (I secretly want to kidnap him and keep him forever).
Dr. Erin Yoshida
Hometown: Hilo, HI
BS in Chemistry, Pacific University, 2016
DDS, University of Missouri-Kansas City, 2020
Personal interests: Pre-COVID, I enjoyed traveling, watching broadway musicals (I sing the Hamilton songs in the shower), and trying new restaurants.
Fun facts about me: I tap danced for 10 years growing up so I sometimes tap to the beat whenever I wear clackity heels. I love dancing to the Happy Feet soundtrack.
Favorite things about the Seattle-area: The hikes have been so beautiful here in the PNW! I’m also looking forward to apple picking season in the fall; the honeycrisp apple is my favorite!
Favorite orthodontic appliance: The Hyrax appliance is probably the coolest because it’s named after an adorable fluffy mammal with a diastema.
Dr. Sherry Wan
Hometown: Ann Arbor, MI
BS in Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2016
MSE in Bioengineering, University of Pennsylvania, 2019
DMD, University of Pennsylvania, 2020
Personal interests: Eating oysters with my fiancé Michael and developing a systematic review and meta-analysis of the best dog parks in Seattle with my Samoyed, Monty, and my Shepadoodle, Teddy.
Fun facts about me: My first foray into wire-bending was when I was a competitive jewelry/metal artist in high school. I then switched from bending wires to bending carbon fiber poles as a pole vaulter on my college’s varsity track & field team.
Favorite things about the Seattle-area: The seafood scene is incredible, it’s one of the most dog-friendly cities in the US, and everytime I see Mt. Rainier as I’m driving over Lake Union it’s hard to keep my eyes on the road!
Favorite memory with a co-resident: Testing the limits of my respiratory system on a challenging hike to Lake Serene with all my co-residents, and then enjoying Lauren’s delicious homemade birthday cake popcorn after.
Favorite Trader Joe’s item: Balela (savory Middle Eastern salad) – I didn’t know I could like a dish with the word “salad” in it until I tried this.
Class of 2022
Dr. Sara Finkleman
Hometown: Tacoma, WA
BA in Biology, Whitman College, 2015
DDS, University of Washington, 2019
Personal interests: Making new recipes from my growing cookbook collection, playing doubles pickleball, cycling, hiking, and dog-sitting
Fun facts about me: I played tennis competitively from a young age and played division 3 tennis in college. Playing collegiate tennis was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
Favorite memory with a co-resident: So many memories! One that stands out is going to the AAO Winter Conference in Austin, TX in 2020 with a group of my co-residents. We enjoyed eating way too much BBQ and queso, exploring the city, as well as learning all about anterior open bite!
Favorite things about the Seattle-area: Where to start? There’s so much to do here in the PNW. Seattle has everything that someone could want in a major city – arts, culture, concerts, sports, and restaurants – while also being a short drive away from numerous outdoor recreational activities. One of my favorite things to do in Seattle recently has been getting takeout from the many amazing local restaurants! There are also so many day trips that are accessible from Seattle – some of my favorites are the San Juan Islands, Vancouver, B.C., and Cannon Beach. I love exploring this beautiful place that I feel so lucky to call home!
Favorite Trader Joe’s item: Gone Bananas! (They’re chocolate-dipped frozen banana slices)
Dream vacation: I would love to go to Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia someday. Hiking through the national park is definitely a bucket list item of mine!
Clinic-commute activity: Currently, I am trying to beat my record for fastest commute at 12 minutes! I bike almost everyday from the Wallingford neighborhood via the Burke-Gilman Trail. We will see if that continues once the rain starts this Fall/Winter…
Dr. Lauren Hagel
Hometown: Kirkland, WA
BA in Biology, Willamette University, 2011
DDS, University of Washington, 2019
Personal interests: I enjoy skiing, hiking, biking, drinking coffee, playing fetch with my cat, Sasha, and cheering on the Seahawks and Huskies.
Fun facts about me: I have been riding horses competitively since I was 8 years old and currently have two at my house in Woodinville.
Favorite things about the Seattle-area: Exploring all of Washington’s waterways by paddleboard, wine tasting in Woodinville, eating fresh oysters from the coast, and in the winter spending my weekends on Steven’s Pass. I have lived in Seattle my entire life and I am still finding new places to explore!
Favorite Trader Joe’s item: I can’t decide – either Corn and Chile Tomatoless Salsa and Surfboard Chips or Salted Truffle Marcona Almonds
Dream vacation: Enjoying all the coffee and vineyards in Italy or Scuba Diving in Roatán, Honduras
Starbucks order: Venti Non-Fat Latte – some would say I drink too much coffee…
Dr. Erica Frenkel
Hometown: Akron, Ohio
BA in Chemistry, Barnard College, 2009
PhD in Microbiology, Harvard University, 2017
DMD, Harvard University, 2019
Personal interests: I enjoy trail running, yoga and spending time with my family 🙂
Fun facts about me: I’ve eaten at El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain, which was voted the best restaurant in the world in 2013 and 2015.
Favorite things about the Seattle-area: The summer in Seattle is absolutely gorgeous and perfect for exploring the amazing national parks and beaches! I can’t think of any other city that has such a great balance of urban living and access to amazing nature. My favorite park is Golden Gardens—it’s a gorgeous beach with the most amazing view!
Favorite memory with a co-resident: Going to Etc. Cafe in the dental school with my coresidents between classes! So simple, but it’s such a nice break in the day to catch up with each other while grabbing coffee or snacks.
Clinic-commute activity: Listening to 92.5 on the radio. They’re usually doing the Second Date Update while I’m driving to school in the morning which ALWAYS makes me laugh.
Favorite TV show to binge: Selling Sunset. The houses are so gorgeous!
Dr. Jessica Collins
Hometown: Fairhaven, MA
BS in Biology, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2015
DMD, Boston University, 2019
Personal interests: I love watching and playing sports (especially when it’s the Red Sox). Fenway Park is my all-time favorite place to be. I also love a good afternoon nap, reading, playing poker, watching TV, and trying out new restaurants!
Favorite things about the Seattle-area: One of my favorite things about Seattle is that it doesn’t snow very much. After living in New England my entire life, this is a very welcome change! Summers here are also amazing! Long days of sunshine, beach trips, paddle boarding and hiking aplenty!
Favorite song to sing in the shower: 9 to 5 by Dolly Parton
Original AIM screen name: smilexitsjess
Favorite Trader Joe’s item: Chicken Cilantro Mini Wontons
Favorite quarantine activity to keep you sane: Puzzles. So. Many. Puzzles.
Commute-to-clinic activity: Listen to murder podcasts. Creepy, I know, but I can’t stop. Dateline and Crime Junkie are my favorites.
Dr. Anna Morrow
Hometown: Dubna, Russia
DMD, Tver State Medical Academy, 2011
Internship, Tver State Medical Academy, 2012
DDS, University of Michigan, 2019
Personal interests: I enjoy road trips, hiking, and exploring new places.
Fun facts about me: I competed in Ballroom dancing for 10 years growing up.
Favorite things about the Seattle-area: Absolutely love sunny summer Seattle weather and having gorgeous mountains around, especially Mount Rainier. I enjoy seeing the Pacific Northwest Ballet and Broadway musicals.
Favorite quarantine activity: Getting together with friends and playing with my bengal cat, Cavity.
Favorite TV show to binge: Sherlock (BBC), The Morning Show, House of Cards
Dream vacation: Japan or New Zealand, learn more about beautiful nature and try new cuisine.
Class of 2021
Dr. Emily Knott
Hometown: Ormond Beach, FL
Business Management, University of Kentucky, 2014,
DMD, University of Kentucky, 2018
Personal interests: Some of my favorite things to do include singing, F45 classes, reading, and cooking (the food is good, but I always set the fire alarm off!). I love spending time with my husband, Ryan, and taking our mini goldendoodle, Langley, to all the dog-friendly places in Seattle!
Fun facts about me: I have never had a cavity, but I had to have a root canal on my front tooth after a tragic softball accident!
Favorite things about the Seattle-area: The summers here are amazing! I love to go to Golden Gardens, kayak, hang out on our rooftop, and take our dog to all of the amazing local breweries! Coming from Florida, it is nice to be able to enjoy amazing weather in June/July/August and experience sunshine until almost 10PM! There is so much natural beauty here…no place like the PNW!
Favorite memory with a co-resident: GALentine’s Day 2019! All of the female residents got together and made amazing cheese and chocolate fondue!
Original AIM screen name: ilove2sing116 (still do…sorry to my neighbors)
Quarantine co-workers: Langley the mini goldendoodle…she is ¼ an orthodontist now (she listened to all of the Zoom lectures and liked to make frequent appearances)
Starbucks order: Iced Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Latte (extra, I know)
Favorite TV show to binge: Real Housewives
Clinic-commute activity: Jess and I listen to Dateline or Crime Junkie and discuss the cases in clinic
Dr. Gabriela (Gabi) Aragon-Meyer
Hometown: Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico
DDS, LaSalle University, 2014
Certificate in Orthodontics and Orthopedics in Mixed Dentition, UNAM, 2017
Personal interests: I enjoy traveling, cooking and learning about new cultures and different cuisines. I am also a big movie fan and especially enjoy thrillers.
Fun facts about me: During our time here, my husband and I have made it our mission to explore the city’s neighborhoods and try the local coffee shops in search for the best cappuccino in Seattle!
Favorite things about the Seattle-area: There are always fun things to do in Seattle, whether you love exploring the city or the outdoors, there will always be something new to discover during your time off. I especially have enjoyed taking my yorkie, Duque, to the local dog parks.
Favorite memory with a co-resident: When my class went to Tucson for the Tweed wire-bending course, we accidentally got locked out of one of the rooms in our Airbnb late one afternoon. After several hours of failed attempts to pick the lock with bobby pins (yes, of course we tried! Yes, it is harder than what it looks like in movies) we finally gave in and decided to call a locksmith I found on Yelp. While our locksmith was trying to open the door we all started playing board games and exchanging funny stories. We were having so much fun, that it took us several hours to realize that our locksmith still hadn’t come to find us to update us about his progress. After looking for him frenziedly all around the house, and not being able to find him we realized he couldn’t open the door either and had ditched us without saying a word! After deciding to call another locksmith, we couldn’t help but laugh about the situation, and to this date the memories of that day still make me chuckle.
Dream vacation: I can’t wait to visit Spain and Morocco, I would really like to ride a camel and camp in the Sahara.
Favorite TV show to binge: House of Cards and Breaking Bad
Dr. Sarah McMartin
Hometown: Ephrata, WA
BS in Biology, Minor in Music, University of Washington, 2014
DDS, University of Washington, 2018
Personal interests: Baking – I have a Baking Bucket List. I also love watching the Great British Bake Off and Alton Brown. In middle school my favorite channel to watch on TV was the Food Network. Gardening – I am interested in all plants but especially enjoy growing a vegetable garden every summer. I grow blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes, radishes, cucumbers, carrots, zucchini, peas, corn and onions. I always try a new vegetable every year. This year my favorite new vegetables were watermelon radishes and dragon’s egg cucumbers. Sewing – I started sewing quilts with my grandmother a few years ago. Since then we have made several baby blankets, a few queen sized quilts for weddings, and several lap quilts. Music – I played clarinet in the Husky Marching Band during undergrad. I now play in the Alumni Marching Band as well as the UW Concert Band. Hiking – I love being outdoors in the mountains!
Fun facts about me: I was a certified archery instructor at a summer camp, I can juggle, and I can ride a unicycle. I would love to learn how to play the cello and I hope to take a biathlon clinic with my dad someday.
Favorite things about the Seattle-area: I love being outdoors and the PNW has it all! Mountains, lakes, ocean, even a rainforest. I like hiking in the summers, walking on the beach, BBQing, eating seafood, skiing, berry picking, and getting Starbucks with my husband.
Favorite memory with a co-resident: Several of us hiked to an alpine lake on a hot summer day. We spent the afternoon picnicking, swimming in the lake surrounded by mountains, and we even brought inflatable donut and corgi floats to lounge on.
Favorite quarantine activities: Baking things from my “Baking Bucket List” including croissants, bagels, and chocolate soufflé. Pretending to be Joanna Gaines while I renovated my small yard, built an outdoor sofa, sewed the cushions, and started my vegetable garden.
Favorite TV show to binge: Gilmore Girls, Castle, Friends
Dr. Leigh Armijo
Hometown: Reno, NV
BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from University of Nevada, Reno, 2010
DDS, University of Washington, 2014
Personal interests: I have a 7-pound pomeranian that loves to cuddle and hitches a ride in my backpack on hikes. I take a yoga class before clinic almost every day. I enjoy trying new restaurants, reading, and binge watching seasons of shows on Netflix.
Favorite things about the Seattle-area: Food- there are so many restaurants and different cuisines to try. I enjoy seeing plays and ballets when they’re open, and hiking in the summer.
Favorite song to sing in the shower: Whatever song is playing on my Pandora Top Country’s playlist
Dream vacation: Africa to go on a safari, Bora Bora and stay in my own hut on the water
Starbucks order: Grande white mocha, decaf, non-fat milk, and yes whipped cream- they ask every time
Favorite TV show to binge: 24 or Gilmore Girls
Clinic-commute activity: Talk to Gabi
Dr. Lauren Lewandowski
Hometown: Queens, NY
BS in Biological Anthropology, Certificate in Evolutionary Studies, Binghamton University, 2014
DDS, University at Buffalo, 2018
Personal interests: Food (80% eating it, 20% making it). I consider grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s to be a hobby, and I wish I could go every day. I also love theater! Catch me singing off-key showtunes and dance-flailing anytime, anywhere.
Favorite memory with a co-resident: When my class attended the Tweed Study Course in Tucson, AZ, we went to a local ice cream shop. Naturally, we had to order “The Farmhouse” which contains 8 scoops of ice cream over warm cookies and brownies with unlimited toppings. We finished it all. Leigh even used a straw to drink the melted ice cream.
Favorite Trader Joe’s item: Neapolitan Joe-Joe’s and the entire cheese section
Quarantine co-workers: My houseplants just wanted to sit by the window and wouldn’t help with my puzzles, so I adopted my canine co-worker, Bagel. Unfortunately, she just eats the puzzle pieces.
Favorite TV show to binge: Grey’s Anatomy and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Clinic-commute activity: When biking, I’m taking in the sights of Lake Union and the downtown skyline, and wishing I had stronger quads. If I ride the bus, I’m usually reading!