See below for past residents and their bios.
Dr. Daniel Baker was born and raised in Lawrenceville, GA. He attended the University of Georgia in Athens, GA where he graduated with a degree in Biology. He then pursued his dream of being a dentist and attended dental school at the Virginia Commonwealth School of Dentistry in Richmond, VA. While in dental school, he met his wife and they recently celebrated their first anniversary. He is enjoying his postdoctoral AEGD residency at the VA hospital in Birmingham, AL and will be moving back to Richmond, VA to pursue a career in private practice. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, watching live music, and spending time outdoors with his pug, Pippin.
Dr. Melanie Evans was born in Stuttgart, Germany, the daughter of two Army Colonels (Ret). Her family later relocated to Ft. Benning in Columbus, GA where she grew up. She graduated from the University of Georgia with a B.S. in Psychology and then earned her M.S in Biology from Georgia State University. She went on to attend the Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University, earning her D.M.D. degree. While in dental school, she served as the President of SNDA, was a tutor for Waxing, Operative and Fixed Pros, and traveled to Nicaragua and Haiti on mission trips. In addition, she volunteered countless hours to various community service organizations. As a daughter of military veterans, what Dr. Evans’ enjoys most about being a resident at the VA hospital is the relationships she builds with her patients and the opportunity to give back to those who have served our country. After completing the AEGD program, she plans to return to Georgia to practice.
Dr. Taylor Hunt was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona. She attended Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona and graduated with a degree in Business Management. She attended dental school at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon. She has enjoyed moving to different parts of the country to continue to advance her education and experience. Upon completion of the Birmingham VA AEGD program, Dr. Hunt hopes to join a dental practice where she can continue to serve her community.
Dr. Drew Jelinek was born in Fairfax, Virginia. He graduated from Hamilton College in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in Communications. After college, Drew continued his education with a graduate certificate in Advanced Biomedical Sciences from George Mason University in 2014. He then moved to Richmond, Virginia and earned his D.D.S. in 2019. During Dental School he was heavily involved in outreach programs as a coordinator of the Mission of Mercy projects providing free dental care to the underserved populations of Virginia. He was delighted at the opportunity to further his education at the BVAMC AEGD. After completion of the program Drew hopes to practice in Virginia.
Dr. James Cheng graduated from the University of Georgia with a BS in microbiology in 2014. He then attended the Dental College of Georgia at Augusta where he was president of Student Professionalism and Ethics Association and served as senior patient care coordinator for “Give a Smile” for patients who struggled to afford dental care. He is looking forward to utilizing the skills and techniques learned from the AEGD residency in private practice next year. Outside of dentistry he enjoys rock climbing, hiking, traveling, and eating with his fiancé and Goldendoodle.
Dr. Amanda Komisarow was born and raised in Georgia. She competed in collegiate volleyball at Furman University while obtaining a BS in Health Science. She then attended and graduated from the Medical University of South Carolina College of Dental Medicine. During dental school she served on the executive council for Delta Sigma Delta, volunteered at dental access days, and participated in research. She decided to further her dental education at the Birmingham VA ad after this year she plans to work as an associate dentist somewhere in the Southeast. She spends her free time running with her dog Maverick, baking, and going to escape rooms with Dr. Kim.
Dr. Que Le grew up in northern Virginia and graduated from George Mason University with a BS in honors biology in 2013. She started her dental education and graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2018. During her time at VCU she participated in multiple extra-curricular activities such as being the vice president of Delta Sigma Delta and volunteered for mission of mercy. She also participated in a mission trip to Belize where she provided free dental care to middle and high school children. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her husband dog and cat. She also enjoys practicing yoga, meditation, and travelling.
Dr. Paul Dado Kim was born in South Korea and moved to the United States in 2004. He graduated from the University of Virginia with a BS in Biochemistry. He then obtained a Masters degree in immunology prior to his dental education at Virginia Commonwealth University. In his time At VCU, Dr. Kim was actively involved in ASDA and participated in research and volunteer work. In his spare time Dr. Kim loves to play video games, board games, and escape rooms. Dr. Kim is considering going back to Virginia after his residency year.
Dr. Lauren Becnel was born and raised in Lafayette, LA. She attended Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA where she graduated with a degree in Biological Sciences. She then pursed her lifelong goal of becoming a dentist and attended dental school at LSU School of Dentistry in New Orleans, LA. While in dental school, she engaged in many service and social organizations. Toward her latter years in dental school, she realized she desired additional education and experience. She is enjoying her postdoctoral AEGD residency at the VA hospital in Birmingham, AL and wishes to continue practicing general dentistry after residency. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and spending time with family and friends.
Dr. Jessica Johnston was born in Monroe, LA. She graduated from Southern Methodist University in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. Jessica moved to New Orleans where she earned her D.D.S from Louisiana State University in 2017. After finishing an Advanced Education in General Dentistry at the VA Medical Center in Birmingham, Dr. Johnston hopes to join a dental practice in the South.
Dr. Jessica Kleinschmit was raised in Battle Creek, MI. She attended Michigan State University where she majored in Human Biology with a minor in Bioethics, Humanities, and Society, Sociology and Public Health. After undergraduate, she chose to complete a master’s program in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She attended dental school at The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI. While in dental school, she was regularly involved in numerous dental organizations, had many opportunities to volunteer locally and abroad in Meru, Kenya. In her spare time she loves to cook, hike, travel, spend time with family and friends, and play with her dog Roxy. Upon completion of the Birmingham VA AEGD program, Dr. Kleinschmit hopes to join or buy a dental practice where she can continue to advance her general dentistry skills and knowledge.
Dr. Travis Weimer was born in Mesa, Arizona and lived there until he was 14 years old. He later moved to a rural community in northeast Oregon. After completing High School, he spent two years serving as a missionary for his church. He received a degree in Exercise Science from Brigham Young University. He later completed his dental education at Virginia Commonwealth’s School of Dentistry where he developed a great love for general dentistry. Seeking to increase his skills and abilities, he applied to several post-graduate programs and excitedly accepted an offer to attend the BVAMC AEGD residency. Along with the opportunity to obtain excellent clinical training, Dr. Weimer is excited to be able to give back to those that have sacrificed for our great nation through their military service. After completing his training in Birmingham, he plans to return to the Pacific Northwest to start his career in private practice. He is married and has three wonderful children, with another child arriving in April of 2018.
2016- 2017 Residents:
Dr. De’Leshea Blissett was born in Atlanta, Georgia and spent most of her childhood in Decatur, Georgia. Upon graduating from the University of Georgia with a degree in Biological Sciences in 2012, she entered into her first year of dental school at what is now The Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University in Augusta, Georgia. While in dental school, she engaged in dental missionary trips that included Cusco, Peru and Senegal with the Augusta chapter of the Medical Campus Outreach, held multiple offices in the Student National Dental Association and American Student Dental Association, and volunteered countless hours across the Augusta area. In her spare time, she loves to travel, spend time with her family and friends and play with her dog Nahla. Upon completion of the Birmingham VA AEGD program, De’Leshea plans to pursue a career in general dentistry and student education.
Dr. Brenna Kever was raised in St. Augustine, FL. She then attended the University of Central Florida where she majored in Microbiology and Molecular Biology with a minor in American Sign Language. She then attended dental school at LSU School of Dentistry in New Orleans, LA. While in dental school, she spearheaded campus-wide involvement in the American Student Dental Association. She was also active in volunteering and intramural sports. With respect to dentistry, she desired further knowledge of treatment planning, surgery, and endodontics. After applying to a number of post-graduate AEGD programs in the Southeast, she accepted a position at the Birmingham VA AEGD program. She is newly married and on the weekends enjoys kayaking, hiking, and playing sports with her husband, aside from attending church regularly.
Dr. Brett Rhodes was born in Huntsville, Alabama. Brett graduated from Auburn University in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in Microbiology and again in 2008 with a master’s degree in Biological Sciences. He then spent four years doing collegiate campus ministry at the University of Illinois, University of Pittsburgh, and Carnegie Mellon University. Brett moved to Richmond, Virginia where he earned his D.D.S from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2016. After finishing an Advanced Education in General Dentistry at the VA Medical Center in Birmingham, Dr. Rhodes hopes to join or buy a dental practice in the Southeast. His greatest joy is spending time with his wife and four children.
Dr. Jacob Wood grew up in Atascadero, California. His childhood was spent playing sports and devoting time to his family and friends. After high school he spent 2 years serving as a full time service missionary in Southern Italy. Upon returning state side, Jacob moved to Salt Lake City to attend The University of Utah. In college he became interested in the complexity of health and the human body. He graduated with degree in Exercise Physiology and Human Anatomy. Jacob applied for, and was accepted into a competitive 4-year dental program at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). Throughout dental school, he had many opportunities for volunteer work to help those in need, gain experience and improve his skills. He participated in a student-run homeless clinic, providing dental care to hundreds of homeless people throughout San Francisco. He volunteered at numerous community service events, performing oral health screenings, and teaching oral hygiene to underserved children. Additionally, he was able to organize and participate in dental service trips to Jamaica with a team of volunteers to provide free dental care and education. Most importantly, Jacob is a dedicated husband and father to 2 beautiful little girls. Once he completes his AEGD residency, he plans to practice dentistry in San Luis Obispo County, California.
2015- 2016 Residents:
Dr. Brittany Burgess was born and raised most of her childhood in Alabama, then moved to Dawsonville, Georgia when she was fifteen years old. She graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Biology in 2010. After undergraduate, Brittany completed a service year with a non-profit AmeriCorps organization called City Year. During this year, she taught and mentored 8th grade students at risk of dropping out of school in Los Angeles, California. After her service year, she came back home to Georgia and was the first person from her family to partake in a medical career. She began dental school at Medical College of Georgia in 2011. While in dental school, she engaged in many service and social organizations. After finishing an Advanced Education for General Dentistry at the Birmingham VA, Brittany plans to move to Florence, Alabama where she will put the skills she has obtained in dental school and her residency to work in a general practice.
Dr. Stephanie Fransoso was born in Portland Maine but spent most of her life in Evans Georgia. She attended Auburn University from 2006-2010. She played collegiate soccer for four years on scholarship while majoring in biomedical sciences; pre-dental. After college she spent a year trying to become more familiar with the dental field working at Augusta Oral and Maxillofacial for Dr. Faircloth and shadowing various dentists. She attended dental school at Medical College of Georgia, School of Dentistry, from 2011-2015 where she pursued her lifelong goal of becoming a dentist. Toward her latter years in dental school she realized she desired additional education and experience. She applied to multiple AEGD/GPR residencies and ultimately chose a one year program at the VA hospital in Birmingham Alabama. She states it has been the best experience thus far and continues to learn each and every day. She highly recommends the VA hospital post doctoral residency program prior to working at a dental practice to further your education, gain invaluable experience and obtain confidence to treat patients at the highest quality.
Dr. Vincent Oh was born and raised in South Korea and moved to Auburn during senior year in high school. He received his B.S. in Biochemistry and Biology from University of Wisconsin at Madison and D.M.D. from University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine. He is currently an AEGD resident at VA Birmingham Medical Center and also a member of American Dental Association. He plans to practice in Boston after residency.
Dr. Mariam Shaker was born in Nairobi, Kenya. Dr. Shaker has traveled to several areas of the world and came to the States when she was little. Dr. Shaker finished her undergraduate degree in 2 years at University of Alabama at Huntsville, then received her doctoral DMD degree from University of Alabama in Birmingham in 2015. Dr. Shaker is enjoying her postdoctoral AEGD residency at the Birmingham VA medical center and wishes to continue practicing general dentistry after residency. Dr. Shaker enjoys spending quality time with family and friends.