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I would like to wish everyone a happy Juneteenth, as our country officially celebrates our new federal holiday for the second year. Also, I encourage you to read a guest opinion piece written by Dr. Mary J. Wardell-Ghirarduzzi, Vice President for DEI at University of the Pacific, which was published over the weekend in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Dear Dugoni School Family,

Welcome to a fresh start to a new month on this first day of February.  As we held our vaccine clinic last night with members of our school family continuing to volunteer their time and serve our school family and community, I was struck by the fact that we started providing these life-saving vaccines to members of our school family and community almost exactly one year ago.

Happy Lunar New Year to the Dugoni School family and to those around the world who celebrate. We certainly hope the “Year of the Tiger” brings healing and good news both here and abroad. Learn more about the international holiday celebrated in many Asian countries here.

February is also recognized as Black History Month. A variety of events, performances, and celebrations are taking place both virtually and in person to highlight the role of Black / African American people in our country’s history. Please see a list of opportunities in which to get involved here.

I hope your Tuesday is off to a good start. Yesterday was a time of observance of both Columbus Day and Indigenous Peoples' Day. Columbus Day was proclaimed a national holiday in 1934, while the celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day took root more recently. Read a brief overview of both days here.

As we look toward the future, please take a minute to reflect on where we have been. Our newly published 2020-2021 Academic Year in Review highlights some of the stories, metrics, and milestones of our last academic year. We compile this publication each year to showcase the important work done by School family. You may see your own projects highlighted among the pages. Thank you to our team members in the Marketing and Communications and Design and Photo departments for your work on the issue. The publication is available online and we will also have a limited number of printed copies available upon request.

This week marks Sterile Processing Week (formerly International Central Service Week), celebrated October 10 - 16, 2021. Please thank the members of the Central Sterilization and Dispensing Department for the important work they do each day. They are on the front lines of patient and provider safety here at the Dugoni School, as they are responsible for cleaning, decontaminating, sterilization, assembling, testing, and otherwise managing the instruments and equipment used to care for our patients. Our clinics could not function safely or successfully without their important contributions.

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