Retiring, not slowing down
When it was time to retire in May after 37 years on the faculty, Dr. Kay Mash chose to look forward and “fade away into the sunset.”
“I turned 65 and it just naturally seemed like the perfect time to let younger faculty members put their stamp on the new curriculum and be given the same opportunities for course development and innovation that I was given so many years ago,” she says.
During her esteemed career at Texas A&M College of Dentistry, the associate professor in restorative sciences selflessly served others – from the scores of dental students she attentively guided to the local grade-schoolers who looked up to her for artistic insight as their mensch.
In 1981, Mash began her teaching career at the dental school after leaving her private practice in Little Rock, Ark. She went on to become a two-time Teacher of the Year award recipient (in 2015 and 2009) and was director of preclinical operative courses. For decades, both her professional and personal lives overflowed, but she says it was time for a change.
She has embraced retirement the same way she navigated her dentistry career: with gusto. In less than two months, she’s already been to Italy with her husband while also keeping her hand in various volunteer roles. Mash plans to return to Italy this fall when she and an Italian colleague will embark for the Moscow Medical Academy’s dental school to continue her years-long partnership, which began in 1992. She has served as an international judge in the school’s annual student competitions since 2001.
Closer to home, Mash continues to volunteer as the fifth- and sixth-grade art/architectural history teacher at Calvary Lutheran School in Dallas. She picked up that role decades ago when her niece was a fifth-grader there. She also will extend her work at MB2 Dental Solutions, where she is a clinical adviser for a growing group of practicing dentists. She helps keep them abreast of the latest dental research and best treatment practices.
When not fulfilling her long-standing community outreach or traipsing the globe, Mash makes time for family. She especially relishes her bond with grandchildren Enzo, 1, Luca, 3, and Charlotte, 5, who are “full of life and energy.” Their parents, she points out, are both dentists.