During his undergraduate studies at Dixie State College – St. George and Utah State College, Josh Elliss was awarded the Dr. Barnum Research award and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in Biology. Dr. Elliss then attended the University of Las Vegas School of Dental Medicine; he was also an extern at the prestigious Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies, where he was exposed to modern cosmetic and occlusion techniques. Upon graduation from UNLV, he was awarded the Quintessence Award for his research during school and the Outstanding Student Award from the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain. After schooling, Dr. Ellis practiced in Dallas, Texas, prior to moving his family to Las Cruces.
“Growing up in a small town next to Zion’s National Park in southern Utah, I cultivated a love for outdoors and hiking at an early age. I am grateful to now look out my window every day and see the beautiful Organ Mountains so close by. Las Cruces is a unique and diverse place and my family feels at home here.”
Dr. Elliss is currently involved in local cub scouts and enjoys being a supporter of NMSU athletics and student organizations.
Dr. Cory Thompson attended Arizona State University where he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish. Dr. Thompson then went on to graduate from the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine out east where he loved the seasons but learned to appreciate the fact that you never have to shovel sunshine. At his family’s request/urging, Dr. Thompson set out to practice in the desert southwest. After some time spent in Arizona, Las Cruces became home and he and his family have grown to love the area and the people.
“There is a uniqueness about Las Cruces and Southern New Mexico that I really enjoy. I love the spectacular mountain views and White Sands National Park. This is a place that my family and I are excited to call home. I am looking forward to helping the people of Las Cruces with their dental needs and I am excited about the many wonderful options that we can provide for you.”
Born and raised in New Mexico, at a young age Dr. Espinoza knew he wanted to be a dentist. The path was not always straight and clear but with encouragement from his family, friends and church he had faith he would achieve his goal. He started to develop a hard work ethic while attending Las Cruces High School and working at Memorial Medical Center as a Sanitation Aid. After graduating from high school and completing a certificate as a Certified Nursing Assistance, he worked at Las Cruces Nursing Center and attended NMSU School of Business and College of Arts and Sciences to complete pre-dental requirements. Upon completing his Bachelors in Business Administration and all pre-dental requirements, he was accepted into Loma Linda University School of Dentistry. There he served as class president all four years and was a part of the Dean's List for academic achievements. In his senior year he was nominated and won several leadership awards including recognition by the California Dental Association for research and the Prince Award, which the school deems one of the most prestigious awards given. Wanting to continue to learn more about dentistry and advanced procedures, Dr. Espinoza was accepted into the University of New Mexico Advanced General Dentistry program. He studied an extra year of day-to-day dental procedures in a clinic and hospital setting, as well as LV. sedation, dental implants, endodontic, fixed and removal prosthodontics, advanced pediatric cases, periodontal surgeries, impacted wisdom teeth removal, emergency dentistry and preventative dentistry. It was an intense year but working with specialists in each of those areas has helped mold him into a better dentist that wants to continue to grow and learn. After having several job offers around the U.S., Dr. Espinoza decided to take the job at Urgent Dental Care Sonoma and proudly serve his community that helped him in achieving his own goal.
Dr. Southwell grew up in gorgeous Thousand Oaks, CA and loved video games, art, singing, surfing, wrestling, running track, and playing the cello. After graduating from Thousand Oaks High School, he lived in Japan for two years as a volunteer for his church, and fell in love with the people, food, and language. Once returning home, he received a Bachelor's Degree from Brigham Young University in Japanese with minors in business and music.
He then realized his childhood dream of becoming a dentist by graduating from the University of Louisville School of Dentistry in Louisville, Kentucky, with Dean’s list honors. After finishing dental school he attended the Advanced Education General Dentistry Program at the University of Texas Dental School in Houston, TX. The residency provided many learning and clinical opportunities not usually available to a first-year dentist.
Since graduating, Dr. Southwell has lived in Farmington, NM and his hometown in Southern California. He has worked as both an associate and a practice owner. In his free time, he still loves playing the cello and working in the garden.
Dr. Southwell and his beautiful wife, Allison, have been married for 17 years and have four amazing children - two boys and two girls. They love hiking, the beach, Frisbee golf, board games, and most especially Disneyland!
Dr. Southwell is a member of the American Dental Association, the Academy of General Dentistry, and the Santa Barbara/Ventura County Dental Society. He and his family are very excited about their new life in Las Cruces. Dr. Southwell loves his job and is committed to helping you find your optimal dental health.
Dr. Narek Akopyan was born in Armenia and came to the United States when he was 5 years old. He was raised in Los Angeles and attended undergrad at the University of California, San Diego where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Biology. Dr. Akopyan then went to dental school at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Upon graduating, he received the American College of Dentists Outstanding Student Leader Award, as well as the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons Dental Student Award. He has taken a special interest in oral surgery procedures, including implant placement and wisdom tooth extractions. Dr. Akopyan has taken several continuing education courses on both implant placement techniques and theory. Understanding that many people are anxious when they come to the dentist, he has also been certified to administer intravenous sedation to make his patients feel more comfortable. Dr. Akopyan is very passionate about dentistry and is excited about serving the Las Cruces community. He also plans to take time off from private practice each year to travel internationally and provide dental treatment to underserved communities.
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