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Robert Butler

General Dentist

Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics

Graduated in 1979

Explain your career path

After graduating from SEMO in 1979, I went on to dental school at the University of Missouri Kansas City finishing my Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 1984. Afterwards, I completed a one year General Practice Residency at the Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. I then went to work as an associate for my program director in Webster Groves where I still practice today.

What was your major at Southeast and what led you to that?

I was Interdisiplinary Studies major with an emphasis in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Why did you choose to attend Southeast?

Southeast offered a quality preprofessional studies program close to my hometown of St. Louis at a very reasonable price.

Who influenced you most during your time at Southeast?

My greatest influence at Southeast was the late Dr. Norman Braasch. He was a brilliant man. He was the Professor of Zoology and the predental advisor on campus. If you were fortunate enough to have Dr. Braasch write you a letter of recommendation for dental school, you were almost a sure thing. Many a dentist in Missouri owe their professional success in part to Dr. Braasch's mentoring and guidance.

Share your best college memory.

Ordering our Paglia's pizza to Magill Hall on a spring afternoon. Once we started a Biochemistry experiment, it might take several hours to run to completion. At first Paglia's thought it my be a prank but, through the years it was sort of a right of passage for upper class Chemistry students.

What is the most important thing you learned while you were at Southeast?

Good study habits, working with faculty to full grasp difficult concepts.

Describe Southeast in three words.

affordable quality education.

What is your greatest professional accomplishment?

In 2016, I was recognized by the Missouri Dental Association as Dentist of the Year for my volunteer activities on behalf of the dental profession in the state of Missouri.

How did your education at Southeast prepare you for what you are doing today?

When I graduated from Southeast, I had a self imposed academic inferiority complex. I didn't believe that my science background would qualify me to complete with graduates from "big-time schools". Wow was I wrong. Not only did Southeast graduates perform academically in dental school but, performed superiorly. In later years while having a conversation with the admissions director at my dental school she stated " we never worry about Southeast students being qualified, they are ALWAYS very sound in their science background".

What advice would you give current students or recent graduates interested in pursuing a career in your professional field?

The one mistake I made during my undergraduate studies was that I should have taken more business classes to prepare me to run a dental practice as a small business owner.


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College of Humanities and Social Sciences
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Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701