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Alex Mendoza, Restorative Sciences

Alex Mendoza

Alex Mendoza, lab supervisor and coordinator

Photo by Steven Doll

 


“I love Baylor College of Dentistry, and I’ve always been proud to say that I’m a part of it.”


 

Alex Mendoza’s ties to the people of Texas A&M Health Science Center Baylor College of Dentistry run deep.

Just ask him about his talks with Dr. Joe Lambert, with whom Mendoza eventually grew so close, he bought the faculty member’s house near White Rock Lake in Dallas, where he still lives to this day, complete with his own upstairs lab.

Or you may learn of the time Mendoza got a special FedEx delivery — a copy of a book he had for years encouraged Dr. Roy Daniel, a former faculty member and once prisoner of war, to write. When Daniel finally published the account of his experiences as a POW, he made sure to share it with Mendoza, lab supervisor and coordinator for restorative sciences.

If you stop by the restorative sciences lab late on a Friday afternoon, Mendoza will likely be more than happy to share those stories with you. In fact, he will probably pull up a stool and talk about the relationships he’s forged over the years, but first he’ll point out the photos of his kids and grandkids that cover his file cabinet and corkboard.

During one conversation in mid-December, Mendoza shared a memory that serves as a testament to his 35 years at the dental school. He mentioned how, periodically, each of the college’s then-current deans have stopped by the cutout window of his lab on the college’s third floor. The faces and leadership styles have changed, considering six deans have served the college since Mendoza started as a supervisor in 1976. 

He says the biggest change he’s noticed through the decades is that the dental school is not as close-knit as it was in the past. Mendoza doesn’t get discouraged, though, because his focus is on working with and helping students.

“Some of my favorite memories are when graduate doctors come back to see me and thank me for helping them,” says Mendoza, who still receives letters and Christmas cards from former students.

Throughout the day, Mendoza handles myriad tasks, from constructing and repairing partials and processing dentures to constructing night guards and working on relines. It’s work that gives him ample chance to interact with students, one of the reasons he has stayed at the college for so long.

“The young students energize, and I love the people that I work with,” says Mendoza. “I love Baylor College of Dentistry, and I’ve always been proud to say that I’m a part of it.”


What Mendoza does when he’s not at work:

“I like to travel to different places and play golf when I have the time. I enjoy playing with my grandchildren – Briana, Nadia, Brooke, Lydia, Lucy and Brendan – and watching their activities. I also present lectures at their Montessori school, where I teach students about dental laboratory techniques.”

Family stats:

“I have three children and six grandchildren. My wife, Mary, has four children and 13 grandkids. I’m very proud of what they have all become and how they have taken advantage of the education that I helped them to obtain.”

What you may not know about Mendoza:

“I was president and program chair for the Metroplex Dental Study Club for 17 years. The programs and lectures help technicians obtain their requirements for continuing education credits. My wife and my daughter, Anna, were my helpers, serving as hostess, secretary and treasurer. As my grandchildren entered school age, I finally had to turn the club over to other technicians.”