Whether they met in middle school, dental school, through friends or online, these five couples share one common connection: the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine (CU SDM). This Valentine’s Day, we’re celebrating the fillings they have for each other, and tooth be told, they are all mint to be.
As staff members and alumni—and we know there are many more CU Dental couples out there—their talents and the care they put into their work make this school shine bright. We’d be flossed without you!
The Middle School Sweethearts
Although there is a playful disagreement about whether they truly met in fifth grade or sixth grade, Agueda Garcia Paredes and Steven Bonilla’s relationship has flourished since they were young. They decided to tie the knot in 2020 in Aurora, Colorado, amidst the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, solidifying their commitment after more than a decade together.
Working together at CU Dental has proven to be a positive experience for them both. They enjoy the perks of shared lunches and carpooling while maintaining separate roles in different departments within the school. Garcia Paredes, initially drawn to the dental school for its career potential after taking a dental X-ray technician class, has risen through the ranks, currently serving as department administrator for the Department of Diagnostic Sciences and Surgical Dentistry. Bonilla transitioned from his roles at other healthcare institutions to seek a more structured schedule; he is now the purchasing support services lead for the CU SDM.
Their family has recently grown to a family of six, with two boys and two girls, the youngest being only three months old. They have shared interests in anime, comics and horror, with an annual tradition of attending FAN EXPO Denver together. Additionally, they enjoy going on family hikes when the weather is nice, and the kids especially love to come to family-friendly events at work. The three eldest are popular guests at the dental school since they were all born while Garcia Paredes was working there.
The couple looks forward to creating more memories and seeing what fun adventures lie ahead.
The Outdoor Enthusiasts
Alicia and Todd Hinshaw both play integral roles at the CU SDM; Alicia is a coordinator for dental students in the Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) program and Todd serves as facilities manager. Originally from Southern California and Indiana respectively, they met at the dental school in 2009 and have since built a life together in Colorado.
Outside of work, they share a passion for outdoor activities like paddleboarding, hiking and camping, as well as indulging in do-it-yourself (DIY) projects and home improvements. They also love to travel and explore new places. They were married in 2015 on the picturesque Hawaiian island of Kauai. With four children and two grandchildren, their family is their greatest joy and source of pride.
Alicia's entry into the dental field stemmed from a layoff after 9/11, leading her to dental assisting school and eventually landing her a position at the CU SDM. Todd found his way into dental repair after specializing in mechanical support during his military service, eventually joining CU Dental after years of experience in the field. Both cited the opportunities and supportive environment as key factors in their decision to grow their careers at CU Dental.
Working alongside each other has been a rewarding experience for the Hinshaws. While their roles may not always intersect, they find solace in understanding each other's work environments and providing support where needed. Their favorite memory at CU Dental is undoubtedly meeting each other, a testament to the serendipitous nature of their relationship and the role the dental school played in bringing them together.
The ISP Alums
Mannat Dhillon, DDS ’22, and Nitin Jaggi, DDS ’19, met in their hometown of Punjab, India, during their first year of dental school in 2010. They found a special connection within the halls of their dental institution. They were married in 2019 just ten days before Jaggi’s graduation from the Advanced Standing International Student Program (ISP) at CU Dental. He made a special, quick trip to India for their wedding, ensuring they both made it back in time for his graduation ceremony, marking two significant milestones in their lives.
Dhillon received her acceptance into the ISP program the following year. Their decision to study at CU Dental was influenced by the school's robust clinical program and approachable professors. Dhillon, following in the footsteps of her family's dental legacy, pursued dentistry with a deep-rooted passion. Jaggi was inspired by his parents' medical background and found his calling in dentistry. Despite the initial intimidation of attending the same dental school as her husband, Dhillon found support and pride in the faculty's fond memories of Jaggi, fostering a sense of belonging for her.
When Dhillon graduated in 2022, she was most excited to pin her flag next to her husband’s on the ISP world maps during the esteemed Flag Ceremony tradition for all ISP graduates.
Recently, they embarked on a new chapter together, opening their own private dental practice, Eastside Modern Dentistry, in Seattle, Washington. They fondly reminisce about their time in Colorado, often wearing matching CU hoodies during Christmas time and proudly displaying their matching degrees on the walls of their practice. Their story is one of shared aspirations, mutual support and a commitment to their profession and each other.
The Second Floor Duo
Danna Cervantes-Cabral and Beatriz Mosqueda's relationship blossomed from friendship to romance after meeting through family friends, initially bonding at Mosqueda's graduation party. When Mosqueda was ready to make a career shift from her role in retail, Cervantes-Cabral suggested she apply at CU Dental, where she has worked since 2017.
Mosqueda applied for a front desk position and got the job. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she was laid off but then brought back later that same year. Since then, she has steadily advanced to her current supervisory role. Cervantes-Cabral's journey at the dental school began during an externship in dental assisting. She eventually applied for and became dispensary lead on the second floor, where she continues to ensure smooth operations. She said she leads an excellent team that is motivated and always willing to listen and grow.
Working together as a couple at CU Dental comes with its own set of dynamics; both Cervantes-Cabral and Mosqueda emphasized the importance of maintaining boundaries between work and home life. They enjoy the convenience of carpooling, having lunch together and walking to and from their car from the dental building. They sometimes find a few minutes throughout the day to check in on each other amidst their busy schedules. Their shared traditions include monthly dates for quality time, exchanging early Christmas gifts and enjoying a heart-shaped pizza for Valentine's Day every year.
Fond memories at CU Dental include Cervantes-Cabral receiving a clinical staff recognition award during the school's 50th-anniversary celebration and sharing playful moments with their nephew at the school's outdoor sculpture, affectionately nicknamed the "big meatball."
Allie Logue and Taylor Hedman’s love story began on Bumble, leading to a memorable second date during lunch when they realized they both worked on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus. They tied the knot on September 18, 2023, in Denver.
Logue serves as the lead coordinator for the CU Dental Team Care Clinic (CUDT), working with students from each class to help manage their patients and graduation requirements. Originally from Washington state, she moved to Colorado in 2018 and transitioned into her current position after starting as an administrative assistant for the Interprofessional Education course at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus.
Hedman, a diagnostic technologist in the radiology department, instructs students on how to effectively acquire full mouth series and panoramic radiographs. He also acquires cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) images, and assists the radiologist, Assistant Professor Benjamin Crockett, DMD, MS. Originally from Illinois and an alum from the University of Iowa, Hedman's career has taken him from a sandwich shop to an orthodontic office to the CU SDM General Practice Residency (GPR) team before finding his role in radiology. He said radiology combines the technologic, anatomic, and pathologic aspects of dentistry, which he loves the most.
They said working together has its perks, including shared hours, lunches and days off, as well as the convenient carpooling arrangement. Outside of work, Logue enjoys reading, hiking with her dog and exploring new food and drink places, while Hedman indulges in board games, video games and culinary adventures.
Both Logue and Hedman are driven by the opportunity to contribute to students’ learning and they each find fulfillment in seeing their teachings resonate with future dental professionals.