The Class of 2017 recently gathered during the weekend of Feb. 3-5 for a class retreat on California’s Monterey Peninsula. The retreat is one of the last group gatherings for the third-year class as they finish up the last half of their academic year in preparation for graduation in June. The annual school tradition featured karaoke, a neon themed prom and a vendor fair. It also brought together the five-year and 20-year reunion classes at the Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove. The event allows students to continue to develop strong ties with each other and meet with members of the Alumni Association.
In an effort to promote and support the academic and social environments of minority students, both present and future, the Associated Student Body at the Dugoni School approved a new student chapter of the Student National Dental Association (SNDA). Founding members, students Jennifer Villalta, DDS Class of 2017, and Ashley Soliman, DDS Class of 2018, as well as their elected board members, aim to create and provide opportunities for our students to advance their careers in dentistry. Being able to work with individuals from different backgrounds will allow students to become culturally competent practitioners. As the health care gap continues, the need for diversity in health care professions has become increasingly important.
A group of more than 50 Dugoni School students and faculty travelled to Ocho Rios, Jamaica, during the school’s fall break for an oral health mission. The volunteers treated 997 underserved patients in the community during visits to several rural health clinics. They were involved with approximately 200 restorative cases and provided 900 extractions.
Student dentists had the chance to deliver dental care under supervision of faculty members while learning about the needs of the community and their specific oral health challenges. The volunteers visited three community clinics in the Ocho Rios area (Exchange, Port Maria and Claremont). They also volunteered at a clinic at their hotel designed to serve hotel employees. The group included 43 members of the DDS Class of 2017, four members of the DDS Class of 2018, three oral surgeons, four general dentists, one lab technician, one administrative faculty member and five volunteers to assist with registration.
In addition to serving the Bay Area community, Dugoni School volunteers participate in many outreach programs outside the U.S., including mission trips to remote or underserved areas such as Fiji, Jamaica and other areas.
Thanks to all of the volunteers who took time over break to bring smiles to the underserved!
Each year, our newest DDS and IDS students join forces with several San Francisco non-profit organizations as part of the first-year student retreat held July 28-29. The volunteer opportunities offer new students a chance to get to know each other better while giving back to the community. This year, students spent the day helping out at the San Francisco Botanical Gardens, Golden Gate Audubon Society, Glide Memorial, Project Open Hand and the San Francisco Food Bank.
Each year, students, faculty and staff gather for a celebration of research, clinical and community service achievements at the Dugoni School. Excellence Day is a long-standing tradition that allows the school community to share their projects with colleagues, friends, alumni and special guests. This year’s event featured poster presentations, case presentations with patients, a keynote speaker, reception and awards ceremony. View photos from May 25 Excellence Day on the school’s photo gallery! View photos >>
Each spring our school family comes together for Bridge Builders, one of the most anticipated and festive events of the year! Bridge Builders celebrates cultural diversity at the dental school and gives students, faculty and staff a chance to share their cultures, backgrounds and ethnicities with others. Participants host themed tables that represent their native country, ethnicity or region and share traditional food, drinks, music and customs. One of our talented DDS students, James Huang, created a video to capture the excitement!
DDS valedictorian Dr. Grace Lan caught us all by surprise at the school commencement on June 12, 2016, when she proposed to her boyfriend, a Dugoni alumnus from the Class of 2015! Here’s to a bright future for the couple filled with love, friends and family, career success and more. And lots of cats, of course! (Watch the video at 7:30 to see the surprise moment)
As summer quarter comes to an end, we would like to congratulate all the newly elected student leaders from the incoming IDS 2017 & DDS 2018 classes! All student leaders at the Dugoni School of Dentistry are wonderful representatives of the school and they enrich the Dugoni family atmosphere on campus.
Associated Study Body Mission
Enrich the lives of students through programs and events.
Promote collaboration between faculty, staff, and students to enhance the humanistic model.
Provide a unified framework of communication to advance the educational interests of present and future classes.
Support leaders that represent diverse student needs
Enhance and encourage student involvement in organized dentistry.
Over the spring break this year, I had the unique opportunity to travel to Nadi, Fiji with 21 other dental students and 13 faculty chaperones to provide free dental care and preventive resources to the people of Moala Village. I was thrilled to be carrying on the legacy that my sister, Ariana, started when she founded this mission as a Pacific dental student in 2007 with fellow classmate Lexie Lyons and alumnus Dr. Karl Brose '72.
What made this trip especially meaningful was being able to share this experience with my family. After working as a dental assistant to both my father and sister in our family’s practice, I imagined the day when I could join them as a fellow doctor. This mission trip was my first experience actually practicing dentistry with my family, and it was a very special moment to me. I was very grateful to have their support, encouragement, and advice throughout the week, and enjoyed sharing in a new cultural experience with them.
As a whole group, we accomplished a great deal of dentistry. Of the 379 patients treated, we completed 628 extractions, 751 operative surfaces, and seven root canals. Everyone worked together as a team and brought a positive attitude, which made all the difference.
One of the things that had the greatest impact on me occurred on our last day in Moala when one of the female leaders of the village described the impact we had on them, how their government recognized and appreciated the services we provided, how they saw an improvement in the health and lives of their people, and how grateful they were for our service to them. It made me realize the true magnitude of our work and how our mission trip really encompassed the seven core values of Pacific Dugoni: humanism, innovation, leadership, reflection, stewardship, collaboration and philanthropy. I feel so fortunate to have my family be a part of the larger Pacific Dugoni family, and I can’t wait to return to Moala next year as a third year trip leader to continue this tradition of service to others.