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I want to congratulate so many people at the Dugoni School who have been, and will continue to be, engaged in leadership. As you know, one of our seven values is leadership. It is constantly demonstrated that we are true leaders. I was pleased to see that our students were recognized and assumed leadership roles during the recent American Student Dental Association meeting. Again, it is a great recognition of what value we contribute to organized dentistry, to dental education, and many other avenues. I am also pleased that many of our students, as well as former students, will be engaged in leadership roles during the upcoming California Dental Association meeting in San Francisco.

During my recent travels, I was also happy to see Dr. Anders Nattestad recognized as a leader at the Association of Dental Educators for Europe meeting. He was engaged in numerous presentations. At the same time, it gives me great pleasure to announce that Dr. Derry Shanley was given an honorary membership into ADEE during that meeting.

These are only a few of the examples of leadership roles that so many people from the Dugoni School are involved in. It is important that we maintain that value and continue to contribute to organized dentistry and to society at large. I look forward to seeing you all. Thank you.

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Sorry that I have missed the past couple of weeks with additions to the blog. In the future, I hope to be more consistent keeping the blog current.

One of the things I always try to stress is values, that we must keep those values strong in our minds throughout everything that we do. As you know, we at the Dugoni School cherish those values of humanism, innovation, leadership, collaboration, stewardship, reflection, and philanthropy. These should always continue to be what guides us in our thought processes. Values can be more significant than even a strategic plan and implementation. We should always stick to our values. Today, I think if you look at society, individuals and organizations struggle because they either do not have strong values, or they do not stick to their values. Keep those in mind as we continue to progress as a great institution.

This weekend, I had the opportunity to participate in another event that supports our initiatives in providing oral health care to children who are in need. The Kids in the Klinic project, which was originally started by Dr. Susan Bittner, continues to flourish. This weekend, the fashion show, chaired by Ms. Bonnie Kwong, one of our strong supporters not only of the dental school, but of this project, was extraordinary. Many volunteers, including our students and staff, gave up their Saturday to help make this a spectacular event. It brought out the very best in the Dugoni School family. Many friends of the community, especially those of Bonnie Kwong, had the opportunity to see our values of commitment, passion for humanism, as well as other values. This program helps provide care for kids who are the most vulnerable. With today’s budget cuts, especially here in the state of California, less and less is going toward providing oral health care for those who are at risk. I want to congratulate everyone for their strong commitment to this project and strong commitment to serving the public in so many ways.

In the coming weeks, I will be talking about our global initiatives. During the Labor Day weekend, I will be traveling to Europe to meet with our colleagues in dental education to discuss issues of how we can improve the quality of dental education, therefore improving the oral health care provided to the public. I will keep you posted. I also look forward to feedback from the readers.

Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend. Enjoy the three-day holiday. I know you all need that time away. Thanks again for all that everyone does on behalf of the Pacific Dugoni School.

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I would appreciate some feedback regarding my blog. I would like you to address the issue of ease of finding the blog and the content, as well as suggestions for future items that you would like to see in my blog. Please e-mail me directly at pferrillo@pacific.edu. If you wish to talk to me about the blog face to face, please feel free to do so.

I look forward to hearing back from you. I am hoping to incorporate some of your ideas in future blogs. Thank you.

What an extraordinary weekend at the Dugoni School, with two great events sponsored by our great Alumni Association. The welcoming cioppino feast and the White Coat Ceremony were the key activities this weekend.

The cioppino dinner began many years ago when a group of our graduates came together to provide a meal to welcome the new students. These gentlemen from the alumni get together each year in one of their backyard kitchens, begin early in the morning, select the seafood, and prepare the cioppino. For two years, I have had the privilege to watch them and somewhat participate in the cioppino preparation. During the time I spent with them, I got to see their passion and commitment to the Dugoni School, but more important, their passion and commitment to each other.

I have said to the classes as they enter that the people you meet during these three years will become some of your very best friends. This group of graduates is truly an example of how that friendship has been maintained through many years. They are not only colleagues, but they are truly deep friends. They celebrate all the important occasions together as a large family.

The White Coat Ceremony has also been a long term tradition at the Dugoni School. It is important to point out that we were the very first dental school to conduct the White Coat Ceremony. Today, I am pleased to say that most dental schools in the United States have a similar event. It was impressive to look from the stage into the audience and see our DDS, IDS and dental hygiene students in their white coats. It made me think about how lucky we are to have such dedicated young people. I realize our profession is in good hands with them, but more important, the patients they will be treating now and into the future are in excellent hands. These young people are about to embark on the new experience of patient care. I am so proud to be a part of this new experience.

As always, we celebrate important occasions. That is a part of our great culture here at the Dugoni School. I want to again thank all the staff who worked so hard to pull these events together, and all the volunteers who give up the precious little time they have to help make these events extraordinary.

Finally, thank you to the great Alumni Association. It is so impressive all the things they do, the alumni weekend, which I know many of you will participate in as students and future graduates, and the graduation awards banquet at the Ritz Carlton is also an extraordinary event. They support the Articulating Paper. These are just a few of the examples of all that they do for the Dugoni School.

I am proud of you – the alumni – and I really want to say on behalf of everyone, thank you for what you do.