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This is a week of good progress for the Dugoni School. We are off and running with the start of our new quarter and new academic year. Yesterday was the first day of a fuller resumption of clinical care following the clinic orientations that were held Monday. On Tuesday, we treated 177 patients in our clinics. We will be increasing the patient flow slowly as we move through July and into next month according to the health and safety guidelines.

I had the opportunity to observe our clinics yesterday and was able to see many of our students, residents, staff, and faculty, including some people who had not been back on campus for many weeks. It was wonderful to see your faces — even behind your masks. Thank you to everyone for working together, as we provide care to our patients and learning experiences for our students and residents.  Our patients were excited to be continuing their care.  There is a large pent-up need for oral health care in our community.

Speaking of working together, two members of the Dugoni School family have been recognized for outstanding service to others.

Congratulations to Emilio Fastidio, Sergeant in the Department of Public Safety, for being selected as the Employee of the Quarter for the Spring Quarter. We had the opportunity to thank him on Monday (see pictures attached). During the shelter-in-place, Emilio and the entire team worked tirelessly to ensure that the essential campus operations could continue in a safe manner, while helping to prepare us for the eventual resumption of operations. Just one example is his work with the Emergency Clinic staff and Building Operations team to prepare the clinic entrance to safely receive emergency patients, setting up the proper protocols with Eve Cuny, and posting the latest information from the SFDPH. Emilio is continually thinking and taking action on ways to further the school’s humanistic approach and values. His devotion to our campus is extraordinary.

According to John Feeney, director of the department: “Emilio is a rock and many here lean on him for so many things outside of his job description. Our team would not be as strong as it is without Emilio’s commitment to our mission and his attention to detail.”  Congratulations Emilio!

In another accolade, Dr. Craig Yarborough, Associate Dean for Institutional Advancement and Director of our Center for Success, was recently honored by the American Dental Education Association. Dr. Yarborough received a Chair of the ADEA Board of Directors citation during a virtual event on July 10. The award is presented to leaders who have demonstrated exceptional service to the Association and the dental education community. Dr. Yarborough has made such an impact on the lives of thousands of our students and residents. We are very proud to see this recognition!

Also, back in May, I had communicated about the Dugoni School’s ADEA Chapter, which was selected for a Bronze Level Chapter Designation by the ADEA Council of Students, Residents, and Fellows (CoSRF). This designation is determined by several factors, including the number of active chapter members, the number of events hosted by the chapter, and representation of attendees at national events. Congratulations again to our student leaders for your involvement in the chapter.

You can learn more about the award for Dr. Yarborough and our student chapter designation on the ADEA website.

It is amazing what we can accomplish by working together, living our values, and supporting each other, especially during times of change and uncertainty.

Be well and continue practicing safe habits.

University of the Pacific has a storied history as the first chartered institution of higher learning in California. Today marks “Founders Day” — a day to recognize the establishment of the university on July 10, 1851.

Originally located in Santa Clara, University of the Pacific later moved to San Jose, then finally to Stockton in 1924, making it also the first private four-year university in the Central Valley. Pacific provided California with its first chartered medical school in 1858, its first coeducational campus in 1871, and its first conservatory of music in 1878. It was the nation's first to offer an undergraduate teacher corps program, the first to send an entire class to an overseas campus, the first to establish a Spanish-speaking inter-American college, and the first to offer a four-year graduation guarantee. Learn more about some university’s history and milestones.

While we look to the past today, we also look ahead to the future.  One of the areas of change and progress in the immediate neighborhood of our school is the 5M project taking shape directly across Fifth Street from our campus.

For those not familiar, the 5M project is one of the major construction projects moving forward in downtown San Francisco. It will include apartments, condos, office space, a park, renovated space for non-profits, and more.

Here is a picture I took with my phone of the construction.

However, you can see a better representation of what the buildings will look like on the project's website.

We have communicated with the project developers over the past two years to stay in touch about the construction activities and plans. One of the benefits is the creation of new park space along Natoma Street and the creation of a rooftop open area accessible to the public above the San Francisco Chronicle building. While this project will take years to complete, it will bring some new amenities to the Fifth Street corridor. It is encouraging to see the construction progress despite the pandemic.

Next week, as we start the new academic year, we will be holding orientation meetings for our continuing students as well as our clinical faculty to ensure that your questions are answered, and you have the most updated information.  We will also begin our brown bags for the quarter with different classes and faculty/staff.  Thank you to everyone who participated in our matriculation week online activities this week.  It is exciting for our newest students to learn more about their school and program and meet so many members of the Dugoni School family.  You are the magic of this school.  Every time we are faced with a new challenge or problem because of this pandemic, you find a creative and positive solution.

Dear Dugoni School Family,

Thank you for what you have done this week as we slowly welcomed back students on campus for simulation experiences and completed more of the close-out process for our Class of 2020. It is a bittersweet time, as we are so happy for our graduates, but will miss seeing many of them in person as they move forward in the next steps of their careers and lives.

This week, our faculty have started to see priority clinical cases. Our faculty-led emergency care has continued, our Faculty Dental Practice started seeing patients on Monday, and our Orthodontic Clinic and Oral Surgery Clinic have also started to see patients. There will be great demand in the community for oral healthcare and I am so encouraged that we are able to slowly re-open our clinical services in a safe way to care for our community and then begin to incorporate students and residents in the delivery of oral health care.

Thanks again for all who were part of our successful simulation-based WREB exams last weekend. This first-of-its-kind effort has made some news! Please read a story in Dentistry Today that highlights the Dugoni School’s collaborative approach and quotes some of our students. Read the story here.

A reminder that this Sunday at 2:00 pm, we will be celebrating the Class of 2020 through a Virtual Awards program. The Zoom link has been sent to the Class of 2020 specifically for their use, and other students, residents, faculty, and staff can watch the YouTube Live stream. If you are unable to watch, the program will be recorded and available afterwards.

A variety of awards that are typically presented during the Alumni/Graduate Banquet will be announced. Thanks to the planning team involved in creating this special online event for our graduates. This Sunday would have been our commencement ceremony, but we have postponed our commencement to a future time when we can plan for an in-person gathering, as requested by the graduating class.

I also want to thank and recognize our ASDA Chapter for organizing the Charity Trivia online event this Saturday night at 7:00 pm. This event is open to the Dugoni School family, as well as all dental schools in the District 11 region. Thank you to the ASDA Community Outreach Team for your work on this special social event that will help raise money for a good cause.  Thank you to so many of you who are displaying our value of leadership through all that is going on in our society.  You will help shape and change the world.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead

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!