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We have some noteworthy news to share about Professor Eve Cuny who has been leading our health and safety protocol. She has been selected as the co-recipient of the 2020 Excellence in a Nonprofit Organization Award by the Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Fund for her lifelong commitment to education of the dental community and the Organization for Safety Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP), especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Shils Awards are given annually to recognize individuals, organizations, and programs that have made significant positive impacts on the oral health community and the health of the public. Professor Cuny has been an invaluable resource to the Dugoni School and it is exciting to see her recognized at a national level with this award. Her expertise on environmental health and safety, infection control protocols, and many other areas has been extremely helpful. The awards will be formally announced this fall.

In addition, Professor Cuny has recently contributed chapters about infection control and prevention to two new textbooks: Burt and Eklund’s Dentistry, Dental Practice, and the Community, Seventh Edition and Darby and Walsh, Dental Hygiene Theory and Practice, Fifth Edition. Both are published by Elsevier. Congratulations to Professor Cuny for all the ways you are working to educate the dental community!

I am grateful every day for the expert dedicated team of faculty and staff that we have working to keep us in the forefront of dental education and oral healthcare.

In other news, we recently gathered online on June 29 to celebrate a very significant milestone: Dean Emeritus Art Dugoni's 95th birthday. Friends and admirers shared messages and recollections, which you can also enjoy in this video.

We recently received some exciting news about two Dugoni School alumni who were selected by the American Dental Association for a national award that honors dentists who are making an impact on the profession less than 10 years after graduating from dental school.

From more than 120 nominations, the ADA's New Dentist Committee selected Dr. Dan Hammer '11 and Dr. Brian Hathcoat '12 as part of its "10 Under 10" awards.

According to the ADA, the winners are driving dentistry forward and inspiring their colleagues through their work in science, research and education, practice excellence, philanthropy, leadership and advocacy.

We are proud of these two alums and all of the other young professionals who were nominated and recognized by the ADA. Learn more about the award on the ADA website.


Our strong alumni network is one of the great assets of the Dugoni School. We recently had an opportunity to gather with more than 1,600 of our distinguished alumni and friends at the 118th Annual Alumni Meeting held next door at the InterContinental Hotel.

Thank you to our Alumni Association staff, alumni board of directors, and all of our volunteers for organizing the events. It is a very large meeting and we could not have made it a success without your help. Special congratulations to our immediate past Alumni Association President, Kimberly LaRocca ’06 DH, and to the new Association President, Daniel Castagna ’81, for stepping up as leaders among the alumni family.

During the event the Alumni Association presented its highest honor, the Medallion of Distinction, to Dr. Dorothy Dechant, Melanie and Richard Lundquist, and Dr. Ariane Terlet ‘86. Congratulations to each of these recipients for the impact they have made on the school, our profession, and the community.

Another aspect of the meeting was the reunion dinners held that Friday night at locations throughout the city. I had the opportunity to attend all of these gatherings, held this year for the Classes of 2012, 2007, 2002, 1997, 1992, 1987, 1982, 1977, 1972 and 1967. The IDS alumni each held a reunion gathering as well. The reunion classes held mini fundraising campaigns and collectively donated nearly $2 million to support the Dugoni School’s fundraising campaign. We thank the classes for this amazing display of philanthropy to support our people and programs.

Saturday’s Legacy Ball at the InterContinental ballroom was a festive opportunity to celebrate and socialize with our alumni, donors, friends, and guests. Thanks to those of you who volunteered at the gala, and especially to our Office of Development for all of their work on this signature event. It is always one of the highlights of the weekend, and this year’s Nowruz-themed event was no exception.

Looking ahead, we are excited about the upcoming American Dental Education Association Annual Session being held March 18-21 in Long Beach, California. Nearly 30 faculty, staff, and/or students are involved in presentations or posters at the event, and we have others involved in leadership activities for their ADEA Sections. The Dugoni School has a history of strong involvement with ADEA and it is great to see this tradition continue. More details are available at

 The ADEA conference will be special for the Pacific Center for Special Care, which is receiving a “Gies Awards for Innovation” on March 20. We congratulate Dr. Paul Glassman and the entire team at the Pacific Center for their work on the Virtual Dental Home system and their many other innovations.  The Gies Awards, named after dental education pioneer William J. Gies, Ph.D., debuted in 2008 and are the profession’s preeminent recognition for individuals and organizations that exemplify the highest standards in oral health and dental education, research, and leadership.

 We have much to celebrate as our Winter Quarter soon comes to a close. From our students to our patients to our alumni family and our colleagues in dental education, the Dugoni School is making an impact. Thank you for continuing to support each other and creating an environment of success.

During the past few weeks, I had the chance to travel to several cities and meet with people, including many of our alumni, who are doing some remarkable things.

First, I had the opportunity to attend the graduation ceremony for Dr. Cindy Lyon, chair of our Department of Dental Practice, from the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) program. A one-year program of leadership training for women in academic medicine, dentistry and public health, ELAM is part of the International Center for Executive Leadership in Academics at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA.

Each year, ELAM selects a group of 54 women candidates from a significantly large pool of applicants. The applicants have already demonstrated leadership, but this is an opportunity to improve on their leadership skills. They ask the deans to come to two days of graduation activities at the end of the program, and I had the opportunity to participate.

Dr. Lyon graduated from the prestigious ELAM program.
Dr. Lyon graduated from the prestigious ELAM program.

I was extremely impressed with Cindy and the project she has accomplished as part of the program. Her project focused on the future move of our Dental Hygiene program from Stockton to San Francisco. While that may seem somewhat simple, it is a very complex project because it involves many people and areas. I heard a high number of positive comments about Cindy from her fellow classmates.

The next activity, which I enjoyed immensely, was attending the California Dental Association’s annual meeting in Anaheim held April 30-May 2. I had an opportunity to meet with many of our alumni from throughout the region. The Pacific Dugoni Alumni Reception held at the Anabella Hotel was a great opportunity to connect. I heard so many positive stories about what our alums are doing, not only in their practices, but also in their personal lives, and how they are giving back to their communities. As we all know, we are proud of our graduates. Meeting our alumni at these types of events reinforces that strong feeling. It is always inspiring to hear about their achievements and leadership in their local communities.

Meeting with alumni at the Pacific Dugoni Alumni Reception held at the Anabella Hotel during CDA Presents - Anaheim.

Finally, on May 2, I had the opportunity to meet up with one of our graduates, Dr. Bill Dorfman ’83. In addition to his very successful cosmetic dentistry practice, he is involved in METal International, a membership group for dynamic entrepreneurs in the Los Angeles area. The purpose of their Saturday gatherings is to network, not necessarily to help themselves with their businesses, but to connect each other to all the good things that they are doing in the community.

Today, we hear about so many negative things in the world, but it was heartening and impressive to listen to these leaders as they discussed all the different community activities they are involved with and to which they are giving their time, talent, and treasure.

Bill Dorfman himself is making a difference through a program he co-founded called LEAP (which stands for Leadership, Excellence and Accelerating Potential). It helps young people begin to prepare better for their future by teaching them goal-setting, mentorship, self-motivation, professionalism and effective communication skills. Often, these young people have limited exposure to role models. People who volunteer for the program help fill that void.

Once again, I am always proud to see what our people are doing out in the world. As dean, it is very fulfilling for me to visit with our wonderful graduates and hear their stories.