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Dear Dugoni School Family,

Happy Cinco de Mayo to you today on May 5. The date commemorates the Mexican Army’s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, and today the date has become associated with the celebration of Mexican-American culture.

Today is also #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of giving in response to COVID-19. Today we are highlighting the Dugoni School Student/Patient Emergency Fund. Thank you to those who have made a gift of any amount already to this fund. The pandemic has created unforeseen financial hardships for many of our patients, some of whom have lost jobs, are depleting meager savings for rent and groceries, and may have even incurred medical costs they cannot hope to pay. When our dental clinics reopen, there will be so much need for our students to help these patients. In return, our students will complete their Dugoni School education with essential clinical training. To learn more or make a gift, visit our crowdfunding site here.

We have some positive news to share about two of our students — Patrick Pansoy IDS ‘20 and Beniel Tamraz DDS ’20 — who successfully finished the ADEA Academic Dental Careers Fellowship Program. The program provides students and residents the opportunity to become involved in academia by providing structured research, mentoring, and insight into what an academic career involves. The program creates a pathway for those who may be considering entering into an academic career.

The accomplishments of the fellows are generally celebrated at the ADEA annual meeting, which was cancelled this year. We thank Patrick and Beniel for their passion for academic dentistry and will look forward to how they will touch the lives of generations of students in the future.

Thanks also to Drs. Parvati Iyer, Bill Lundergan and Nan (Tori) Xiao for their mentorship and ongoing support of the fellows and the program. They have been such great role models for our students.

As we await details for the modifications to the California stay-at-home order and any change in San Francisco specifically, we wanted to share how San Francisco is offering COVID-19 testing. For more info, go to sf.gov/GetTestedSF or call 311.

I would also like to send you greetings from Dr. Dugoni. This is a photo he sent over the weekend of him among some beautiful flowers in Palo Alto.

We send our greetings and well wishes to him. Dr. Dugoni continues to stay closely engaged with the Dugoni School family during these times and shares his appreciation for how well you are all stepping up to stay positive and meet this challenge.

We look forward to sharing more information with you during our next town hall.

Be well and continue following your good safety practices.

Dear Dugoni School Family,

Happy Monday and May the Fourth Be With You! Today is a special day because as long-time Star Wars fans, my kids and I can only say that one day a year. For those who are not familiar, you can learn a little more about that turn of phrase here.

I would like to thank and recognize Dr. Paul Subar, Chair of the Department of Diagnostic Sciences, who was recently elected to the position of Chair-Elect on the University of the Pacific Academic Council. His term starts on June 1. This is an important group that recommends policy concerning curricular, faculty, and other academic issues for the entire University of the Pacific. Faculty representatives are elected by the faculty in each school or college for three-year terms. All three campuses are represented on the Council. We thank Dr. Subar for his service to the Dugoni School and the wider University academic community. I would also like to thank the many other dental faculty members who have participated on this council in recent years.  Thank you for stepping up and being such strong and professional representatives for all of us in the Dugoni School.

The American Association of Endodontists (AAE) recently held a virtual general assembly and several of our Dugoni School faculty members were selected for leadership position. Congratulations to Dr. Alan Gluskin — AAE President; Dr. Ken Tittle - AAE District VII (California) Board Member; Dr. Jonah Galicia — AAE Foundation Board Member; and Dr. Nava Fathi — AAE Foundation Secretary. This is an amazing demonstration of our Dugoni School commitment to leadership. Thank you to these four individuals for stepping up. Several of our faculty leaders were also involved in writing this this article, which will be featured on the cover of the upcoming Journal of the American Dental Association.

Finally, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released their new guidelines for dentistry. They are reinforcing the need to delay routine care, expand use of PPE, and avoid aerosol procedures. Professor Eve Cuny, our infection control specialist, continues to regularly monitor infection control guidance as we work on plans for our eventual campus reopening. The guidelines are available here.

My closing thought today is about the importance of each moment.  When we are young, we always want to be older. Our daughter is in fifth grade and wants to be in high school, our son is in high school and cannot wait to start driving. We do not always appreciate the moment and want to hurry. To reach that future moment, we must be fully present in this one. Make the most of what we are doing and where we are now. Do not drown in the moment, but experience it to learn and grow.  It is always darkest before the dawn. We know this is just a moment… and in the next moment, we will begin to see light.

Dear Dugoni School Family,

I would like to celebrate the members of our Dental Hygiene Class of 2020 as well as Dr. Dalal Hasan, the newest graduate of our International General Dentist Educator Program.

Our Dental Hygiene class was scheduled to have their pinning ceremony this past Saturday. They have already finished their finals since the academic calendar for the Dental Hygiene program runs on a semester basis.

Congratulations to the following members of the DH Class of 2020:

  • Kayla Dinh
  • Lionel Gowans
  • Seerat Kaur
  • Amy Lee
  • Leah Munyiri
  • Jacqueline Palma
  • Ajah Piper
  • Stephanie Suen
  • Steph Tu
  • Penelope Zheng

I would also like to thank Program Director Lory Laughter and all of the faculty and staff who support the program. Together you have created one of the strongest Dental Hygiene programs in California and we are proud of your leadership.

We took this class photo in mid-February (before physical distancing). It was a beautiful opportunity to gather for a moment with the class from a unique vantage point on the top of our building. This class has a bright future ahead of them and we are proud of their achievements.

In addition, I would like to congratulate Dr. Dalal Hasan, our Global Scholar from Kuwait. She is the newest graduate of our International General Dentist Educator Program.

She completed a two-year AEGD experience with us (graduating in 2017), then earned her Master’s Degree in Education from Pacific’s Benerd College. Dalal will return to Kuwait to begin her teaching career there. A special thank you to Dr. Allen Wong for overseeing our resident experience in this program and Dr. Cindy Lyon for her leadership of this collaborative program.

Congratulations to Dalal on this significant achievement!

Dear Dugoni School Family,

As we continue every day to work toward our return plan and you are working and learning from home, I would like to share some different news and updates. The world’s first “Earth Day” was celebrated back on April 22, 1970, to demonstrate support for environmental protection. Today marks the 50th anniversary of the event. One interesting aspect of the current pandemic is how air quality and some other aspects of the environment have improved since so many people are staying home, reducing automobile pollution, and reducing our impact on the planet. As humanity emerges from the impact of this pandemic, I hope that one silver lining may be that our environmental researchers can learn from this unique moment and identify some evidence-based steps for us to take in ensuring a healthier planet for this and future generations. You can learn more about the history and impact of Earth Day here.

April 22 also is the national celebration of Administrative Professionals Day. I encourage you to take a moment to thank and acknowledge the important role of the administrative professionals we are fortunate to have as part of the Dugoni School family. We would not be as successful as we are without the dedication of our administrative assistants, support specialists, and others who help us deliver excellence across our departments. All areas of our school function better thanks to their talents and they are truly some of the unsung heroes of our ability to transition so quickly and successfully during this unusual time.

I look forward to connecting with our Class of 2022 today at 1:00 pm. Also, I invite everyone to please remember to join us for a Virtual Town Hall this Friday, April 24, from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm by WebEx. The event is open to all students, residents, faculty and staff. An invite with the link has been sent out. Members of our Crisis Management Team and I will discuss our school’s “roadmap to reopening” and some other important updates. If you would like to ask a question in advance, please email it to sf_deansoffice@pacific.edu. You can also ask questions during the town hall.  We will successfully make it through by keeping our strong culture and continuing to share ideas through open lines of communication.

After I shared the video of a singing dentist last week, I have received a few other links to videos, including this one from Dr. Eddie Hayashida entitled “Dentist Singing Disney’s Reflection.” This dentist is our alum Sarah Kym, a DDS graduate of the Class of 2015 who practices in Tucson. What a beautiful rendition! Enjoy the video here.

Thank you for your incredible show of strength as you are enduring this shelter in place and for your outpouring of positive thoughts and well wishes for one another.

Be well,

Nader A. Nadershahi, DDS, MBA, EdD
Dean