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A special note of congratulations to several members of the Dugoni School family who received awards at the Faith Davies All-University Leadership Awards Ceremony held virtually on May 7. This event is designed to celebrate the successes of Pacific students, faculty, staff, and student organizations across all three campuses. During the many challenges of the past year, you can be proud that we had three Dugoni School family award recipients in these all University awards.

  • Outstanding Graduate Student Leader Award — Anthoula Vlachos DDS ’21
  • Pacific Tiger Award — American Student Dental Association Chapter
  • Podesto Award for Excellence in Student Life, Mentoring and Counseling — Janelle Palomares

These awardees have made such a positive impact on so many people here at the school and in our community. Thank you all for what you have done as leaders at the Dugoni School.

Click through the awards program to learn more about the recipients.

I would also like to congratulate all our Tau Kappa Omega honorees for the well-deserved recognition of your hard work. Last evening’s virtual ceremony was a great success because of you as well as our wonderful, sometimes comical, co-presidents Savana Brown, Maryam Moghaddam and Kenji O’Brien. Thank you also to Dr. Budenz. Thank you to our students, staff, and faculty recognized last evening for your leadership and commitment to excellence in academic dentistry.

Thank you for what you have been doing to keep each other healthy. Through our protocols, we are also keeping our patients, families, friends and others in the community healthy.

I would like to start this post by thanking Hiba Akhtar, Pacific ASDA, our office of student affairs, and all our participants for a wonderful Virtual Bridge Builders week. I loved the videos (some of which you can see on Instagram) and know that we are all grateful for everyone taking the time to share your culture and family with your Dugoni School family.

The American College of Dentists — Northern California Section held its virtual awards program this past Saturday. Congratulations to Kenji O’Brien DDS ’21 for being named the Outstanding Student Leader, and to Professor Eve Cuny for being named Outstanding Faculty Member. Your leadership over the past year has been admirable and we are proud of both of you!

Congratulations also to Dr. Ned Nix, associate professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the Dugoni School, who was recently elected Regent, Regency 7, for the American College of Dentists. He will represent Hawaii, Northern California, Southern California, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico for three years beginning at the ACD Annual Meeting in October.

Tonight, we will hold the virtual Tau Kappa Omega (TKO) celebration for selected students and honorees. The dental school organized its TKO dental honor society in 1927 to promote honor and service to alma mater. Students are admitted on the basis of ideals, scholarship, and character, and those elected graduate with honors. I look forward to seeing our students virtually this evening to mark this wonderful achievement. Thank you to our student co-presidents and faculty advisor Dr. Alan Budenz.

Yesterday, we conducted a new interprofessional education opportunity. Six students from the Clinical Nutrition program at Pacific’s School of Health Sciences joined our dental students. They participated in the morning ICS 1 course and in the afternoon clinic ODTPs where they offered nutrition consultations for patients. Thank you to Dr. Michelle Brady and others here at the dental school for developing IPE opportunities with colleagues at the School of Health Sciences.

An update about travel for employees. All university-related travel must be approved in advance according to the school, program, or unit policies. Fully vaccinated individuals may travel within the United States if approved by their supervisor, manager, program director, department chair, or dean. People who are not fully vaccinated should delay travel until they have had a chance to complete vaccination and wait until two weeks after their final vaccine injection to travel. The updated interim travel guidance is available on the university website (scroll to click “Travel” section) at COVID-19 Information for Employees | University of the Pacific.

Finally, a reminder that we are hosting a first-dose COVID-19 vaccine clinic for children ages 12+ this Thursday, May 20, from 5:00 pm to 6:20 pm.  Appointments are still available so please spread the word to your family, friends, or community contacts. Sign up online

Good Monday morning and welcome to our final week of the quarter.

Congratulations to members of the Dugoni School family who were involved over the weekend in the ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition that concludes tomorrow. I know many of you participated in sessions, special interest groups, section meetings, poster presentations, and other virtual activities. Thank you for your leadership helping shape a stronger future for oral health education.  You represent the best of the Dugoni School family.  I am pleased to walk with you and serve our school and oral health education. My thoughts about the future of ADEA and dental education are available here or at the video below.

On a separate leadership update, congratulations to Dr. Darren Cox, professor of diagnostic sciences. He has stepped up in a national role within his specialty and has been elected by his peers to a three-year term as Secretary-Treasurer of the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology. Thank you, Dr. Cox, for all that you do for your specialty and for us at the Dugoni School. I am always amazed by our faculty and students who step up to lead and improve our profession.

I will end with an important update that I received Friday about a 7th PREP Act amendment (Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act) that further expands the list of healthcare professionals who may administer the COVID-19 vaccine.  I am pleased to see that with all of our collective efforts and advocacy, dentists are listed in this group.  This amendment will be published as a Federal Register Notice on March 16.  It is publicly available to be downloaded, however, here.

Today, I have some news and pictures that were shared with me by our Alumni Association. It is always great to learn more about the paths that our graduates are taking in their careers. We are so proud of the service of our alumni and the impact they are making in their communities.

In September, Naval Dental Officers of the 1st Dental Battalion/Naval Dental Center Camp Pendleton and alumni of the Dugoni School posed for a picture to celebrate Dr. Jerome Ragadio's promotion to Captain. Here are some of our alumni (pictured left to right):  LT Adam Gluskin (Class of 2017), CDR Sherry Caraveo (Class of 2004), CAPT Jerome Ragadio (Class of 2003), LT Michael Lawrence (Class of 2016), LCDR Eric Frederiksen (Class of 2011). Not pictured is LCDR Michael DeFazio (Class of 2013).

One month later, Sherry Caraveo was also promoted to Captain. Here is a picture of her with CAPT Jerome Ragadio.

CAPT Caraveo currently serves as the Executive Officer and CAPT Ragadio serves as the Director for Dental Services. The 1st Dental Battalion/Naval Dental Center Camp Pendleton is composed of 10 dental clinics on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton and five others throughout Southern California and Arizona. It services over 50,000 Marines and Sailors.

In his message sent to the Alumni Association, CAPT Ragadio remarked that Dr. Arthur A. Dugoni's and the Dugoni School's model of humanistic leadership, service, inspiration, and excellence spreads and thrives in the military setting. What a wonderful testimonial about the impact of Dr. Dugoni and the impact that each of you make on the lives of our graduates and the people who they serve in their communities and in this case the individuals they serve in our military.

This news reminds me that Fleet Week in San Francisco is just about to start. It has always been a well-attended experience for the community, however this year the events have gone virtual due to the pandemic. You can experience the virtual events on the San Francisco Fleet Week website between October 9 to 11. To learn more, visit the Fleet Week website here.

To stay with the theme of the message today, I will end with a quote from General Norman Schwarzkopf, U.S. Army.

''The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it.''

Be well, and thank you for continuing to do the right things every day.