Campus News

'Behind the Blue': UK College of Dentistry Dean Jeff Okeson Discusses a Lifelong Career at UK

"Behind the Blue" Graphic

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 20, 2021) – A 1972 graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry, Dr. Jeff Okeson returned in 1974 to begin a now 46-year career as a faculty member. Inducted into the 2015 class of the UK Hall of Distinguished Alumni, Dr. Okeson has touched the lives of a vast number of students as well as members of the surrounding community.

Having worked as a teacher, a researcher, a lecturer and a representative of the University on a national and even international level, Dr. Okeson now serves as Dean of the College of Dentistry, a role he views as a privilege that enables him to give back to the school that gave him so much.

In an interview recorded in January of 2021, Dr. Okeson talks with UKPR’s Carl Nathe about how the pandemic pushed the College to find new ways of keeping students immersed in their work, the innovations in dentistry that UK Dentistry students are being trained in, the importance of getting dental care back into underserved areas of Kentucky, and more.

"Behind the Blue" is available on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher and Spotify. Become a subscriber to receive new episodes of “Behind the Blue” each week. UK’s latest medical breakthroughs, research, artists and writers will be featured, along with the most important news impacting the university.

For questions or comments about this or any other episode of "Behind the Blue," email or tweet your question with #BehindTheBlue. Transcripts for this or other episodes of Behind the Blue can be downloaded from the show’s blog page.

To discover what’s wildly possible at the University of Kentucky, click here.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.