Venita Sposetti’s mentors and companionship inspired her to continue working at UF after she got her dental degree in 1979.
Nearly four decades later, she’s still at the institution, but her time is coming to an end.
Sposetti, 67, the Associate Dean of Education for the UF College of Dentistry, announced Jan. 30 that she will retire in October.
She wants to retire so she can spend time with her family and travel. She said her time at UF has been deeply satisfying, challenging and a learning experience.
“I am incredibly fortunate to find my passion for education and clinical dental care,” she said.
The college is in its late stages of launching a national search to fill the position, Sposetti said.
One of Sposetti’s greatest accomplishments was when she received a Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation grant for about $240,000 in the late 1990s, she said.
Cesar Migliorati, the Associate Dean of Clinics and Quality Assurance in the UF College of Dentistry, said Sposetti serves as a motherly figure to many students because of her compassion and diligence.
There is never a day she’s not willing to sit down and talk to any and all of her students individually, Migliorati, also a professor for the college’s Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Diagnostic Sciences, said.
“Since she is the person who oversees the student progress committee, sometimes we have to make unpleasant decisions about the way students are progressing,” Migliorati said. “She has done a great job.”
Sposetti hopes her legacy as an associate dean and 40-year employee for the college will live on. For those pursuing a career in the field, she said she wants them to carry her words of wisdom.
“Know who you are, know your strengths and weaknesses, know why you want to do this and then jump in and do it,” Sposetti said.