By Kim Piekos Dr. Cosmo Vivirito is a general dentist in St. Charles. While attending Lake Forest College, he interned with orthodontist Dr. Stuart Robb in Lake Forest. He credits that experience as solidifying his decision to pursue a career in dentistry. “I had worked in other offices as well, but being a part of Dr. Robb’s practice was something entirely different,” recalled Dr. Vivirito. “His calm, cheerful demeanor put his patients at ease, and he was able to build strong relationships with patients as a result. He has been a role model throughout my education and now in my career.”
“He was such a crucial person in my journey as he told me I could be successful in the field if I put my mind to it,” remembered Tiffany Stiewe, who interned with Dr. Stuart Robb.
Over the past decade, Dr. Robb has mentored eight students from Lake Forest College and six from Lake Forest High School -- some of whom are previous patients -- as they intern in his office. They get a first-hand look at what it’s like to be an orthodontist as well as the hours they need to apply to dental school should they choose to go that route.
“How fun is it to preview a potential career before you have to choose?” Dr. Robb said. “I wish I had had the opportunity to do that. I want these kids to know what a great profession this is.”
Of the 14 who have interned with him, Robb said eight have gone on to dental school, a feat given its competitive nature. Dr. Robb was Marquette University Dental School student Tiffany Stiewe‘s first introduction to the dental field. “He was such a crucial person in my journey as he told me I could be successful in the field if I put my mind to it,” remembered Stiewe, who attended Lake Forest College. “He gave me the confidence that do that.” Dr. Robb considers the opportunity to work with these students an honor.
“I enjoy encouraging them and giving back to the community.” says Dr. Stuart Robb about hiring local interns.
“When students choose to go to dental school after spending time interning, that feels gratifying and affirming to me,” he said. “It feels good to know they had a good experience here and want to stay in touch.”
Dr. Robb feels strongly that it’s important to invest in young people who live here.
“I enjoy encouraging them and giving back to the community.” he said.
The youthfulness of his practice brings Dr. Robb great joy.
“I am a kid at heart,” he admitted. “I’m surrounded by young, talented staff and that helps me connect with my adolescent patients and ultimately keeps me in touch with what’s going on in their worlds today.”
Dr. Robb hailed from Johannesburg, South Africa before immigrating to the United States in the 1980s. He graduated from the University of Arizona for undergrad and from the University of Illinois Dental School in 1994. Since 1997, he finds he feels most at home in Lake Forest, recalling his first drive through the tunnel of trees along Deerpath Road. “I was like ‘Done!’ I knew this was where we belonged,” said Robb about the decision for he and his wife, Kim, to raise their four children. “It’s an amazing community.”