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It is amazing to think we have reached the last week of the academic year. This year has moved ahead swiftly with each day bringing some important and historic milestones.

We hosted the WREB examinations over the weekend and are now hosting the ADEX exam. Yesterday was our last day of full services in the Main Clinic. Today, Faculty Development Day activities are taking place online. Wednesday is the day that graduating students will be officially certified for graduation, and we will welcome our incoming students at a “Meet the Family” session in the evening. Exams will take place the rest of the week for our continuing students. The circle of academic life continues.  We also look forward to the virtual awards program on Friday evening for the graduating Class of 2021 and our in-person commencement ceremony on Sunday. What a memorable week!

I would like to take this moment to express my deep appreciation to all of you as members of the Dugoni School family. You have worked so hard during some very unusual circumstances during this academic year. Thank you for all that you have done — and will continue to do — to collaborate, succeed, and thrive in the face of any challenge or obstacle.

This certainly was a remarkable year. Our Dugoni School family has been inspiring in achieving so many incredible milestones this year. I am grateful for your compassion, care, and commitment to excellence in all that we do. You helped us stay true to our values and achieve our purpose of helping people lead healthy lives. You helped the Dugoni School emerge through this year as a premier dental education program anywhere in this country or world.

I hope that you take time to reflect, appreciate your many achievements, and allow yourself some downtime to rest.

Memorial Day provides an opportunity for all of us to memorialize the veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice for all of us.

Congratulations to those involved in the many presentations at OKU-Sutro Excellence Day last Wednesday. It was a great opportunity to highlight clinical cases, research, community service, PIP projects, and other topics. It was impressive to see your great accomplishments in the face of the many challenges of the last year.

Thank you to the OKU-Sutro Excellence Day committee for all of your work on the event: Chair: Dr. Karen Schulze; Faculty: Prof. Eve Cuny, Dr. Des Gallagher, Dr. Alan H. Gluskin, Ms. Lindsey Green, Dr. Rex Hoover, Dr. Terry Hoover, Dr. Jiong Hu, Prof. Lory Laughter, Dr. Cindy Lyon, Dr. Daniel Bender, Prof. Christine Miller, Dr. David Ojcius, Dr. Allen Wong, Dr. Debra Woo, Dr. Andrew Young; Staff: Sandra Derian, Katherine Falk, Joanna Faltys, Annie Han, Rowena O’Connor, Karl Pfeifer, Bonita Wong, Karita Zimmerman.

Read our news story about Excellence Day.

The June issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association features a cover story about COVID-19 among dentists in the United States. Given the production of aerosols during many dental procedures, dentists were thought to be at a higher risk for acquiring COVID-19 than other health care workers at the beginning of this pandemic. Nonetheless, a web-based survey reported in JADA revealed that the COVID-19 prevalence among dentists in the U.S. was low during the last year. The low prevalence is due to the high level of adherence by oral health care providers to strict infection control guidelines. Dentists, dental hygienists, and the dental team continue to follow the strict protocols, which should allow them to protect patients and dental clinic employees in the future. Read the report

New city initiatives are moving forward to support the post-pandemic recovery of downtown San Francisco. In our immediate neighborhood, Moscone West will undergo significant cleaning and repairs in July. Moscone West was being used for homeless sheltering services during the pandemic, but will transition back to use for conventions. At the end of June, the large white shower trailers on Minna Street will also be removed.    

Mayor London Breed last week announced a $9.5M proposal to support the downtown community. Funds would go to a series of downtown community ambassadors, improvements to Hallidie Plaza (at Powell Station), and other public spaces; and performances and events to welcome the return of downtown employees and visitors. Learn more here.

Be well, and my best wishes to you as we complete the last week and a half of a memorable academic year.

Dear Dugoni School Family,

Congratulations to several of our students for their contributions to the April Contour magazine from the American Student Dental Association.

Pedrom Mashaw wrote a profile of alumnus Dr. Bill Dorfman (page 6); Anthoula Vlachos penned a story about sports dentistry (page 24), and Sharynne Isys Alfonso and Patrick Gomez shared their thoughts in the “Probing Question” section (page 48).

Thanks to these students, and others throughout the year, who took the time to share their voices with fellow students and colleagues from across the country.

Building your transparency and communication skills is critically important as a leader. When we communicate in an honest and clear manner, we alleviate fears and provide hope. Frequent and honest communication is reassuring, and I applaud our students for building your networks and for your communication.

Dear Dugoni School Family,

Happy Friday morning. I hope you enjoyed our first full week of April as our Spring quarter moves into full swing. I want to congratulate our Dental Hygiene students and their faculty mentors on the research presentations completed this week.  I was able to attend a few of the virtual presentations on Wednesday and was impressed by the preparation and professionalism of our Dental Hygiene students.  Keep up the great work.

Congratulations to our student Pedrom Mashaw DDS ‘22, who recently created and launched the “Dental Giants” podcast to help inspire dental students and young dental professionals. I had the honor of being interviewed and sharing some of my background and thoughts about the dental profession. Thank you Pedrom for your passion for this podcast project and your leadership and initiative.

Listen to the podcast episodes on Apple Podcasts or Anchor FM.

Thank you to our volunteers who helped with our pop-up vaccine clinic last night and those helping at the vaccine clinic tomorrow for people with disabilities. Thank you also to our students, staff, and faculty who are volunteering for the virtual Dugoni Discovery Day tomorrow. We are very thankful for your willingness to help make these events a success.

I will end our message for today with a reflection on the importance of our thoughts on successful outcomes.

“Whether you think you can or think you cannot, either way you are right.”