Skip to content

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.

ASB Officers

Rep at Large: Libbie Creasy ’17; President: Altan Khim ’16; Treasurer: Indy Sappal ’18; Parliamentarian: Gurman Shoker ’ 18; Secretary: Hannah Cohen ’17; Vice President: Estevan Tinoco, DDS 2016

Please check the Student Roster for a complete list of students’ names and positions.

*Not all student leaders are pictured below.

IDS 2017

Nish Mehta, Jimmy Bhatt, Karina Alcala Barbosa, Pallavi Suhag, Grishma Zaveri, Ayat Elsherif, Jack Pai, Jalal Bukhari, Raj Bhatt

DDS 2018

Trent Ichiuji, Anmol Bhangu, Nainesh Tailor, Sean Sunyoto, Derek Appelblatt, Tanner Zylstra, Chad Sloan, Kevin Kai, Jonny Volland, William Keeton

SCOPE Officers

Co-Presidents: Adam Gluskin & Rachel Chapa, IDS '17 Rep: Karina Barbosa, DDS '18 Reps: Matt Parisek, Allyson Hsiao, Natalie Okuhara.

DDS 2016

Kevin Sun, Adam Miller, Ashley Cheng, Rosemary Tran, Ryan Courtin

IDS 2016

Amin Samadian, Iliana Hernandez, Kiran Mann, Daniela Auerbach Jimenez, Fahd Mohammed, Abhishek Joshi

DDS 2017

James Kellogg, Ruidan Ma, Neri Lubomirsky, Mike Stout, Jessie Yu, Joseph Phillips

ASB Group
Libbie, Altan, Hannah, Estevan


Unifying student efforts by fostering innovative leadership to represent the diverse needs of the student body.

Get to know your know your 2015-2016 ASB Officers

President: Altan Kihm, DDS 2016
Undergrad: UC Santa Cruz / San Francisco State
Quote: "We're all gonna make it" -Zyzz 

Vice President: Estevan Tinoco, DDS 2016
Undergrad: University of the Pacific
Fact: Getting married on the island of St. Lucia!

Secretary: Hannah Cohen, DDS 2017
Undergrad: UC Santa Barbara
Fun Fact: My husband, Joey Cohen, is also a member of the DDS Class of 2017 at Pacific Dugoni

Rep at Large: Libbie Creasy, DDS 2017
Undergrad: Colorado State University
Fun Fact: I will be a 7th generation dentist in my family

 *The ASB Treasurer and ASB Parliamentarian will be elected from DDS ’2018 in August.

On February, 18-21, 29 Pacific Dugoni ASDA members traveled to Boston for the Annual ASDA Session. The weekend brings together student leaders from all 65 U.S. dental schools and includes highlights such as an exhibit fair, prominent speakers, an awards ceremony, House of Delegates meeting and elections of ASDA's national leaders.

Pacific’s ASDA chapter president, Steve Truman ‘16, reported back on the session:

It was a pleasure to represent you at the end of February at this year's ASDA's Annual Session that took place this year at the historic (and snow-covered) city of Boston! This conference is the time where ASDA chapters from around the nation gather to vote on ASDA policy that aims to enhance the dental school experience and your future career in this profession. It was an exciting conference for us, and I am happy to be able to report back some of the highlights.

Steve Truman
Pacific Dugoni ASDA Chapter President Steve Truman '16 (at right), represented the school at the House of Delegates meeting.

The most important portion of Annual Session is the House of Delegates meeting where the chapter president and vice president of each respective school comes together and votes on resolutions in a variety of areas. Here is an outline of the more important resolutions:

Education and Licensure:
Needlestick Policy:
It was brought to the attention that it may be necessary for schools to provide increased protection for students potentially exposed to infectious diseases during the course of treatment both in school and at volunteer events.

Oral Health Literacy & Evidenced-Based Dentistry
Resolved, that ASDA encourages incorporating the term “oral health literacy” into CODA accreditation standards, particularly in the standards related to prevention and public health; and be it further
Resolved, that ASDA encourages a multi-disciplinary approach to student education about oral health literacy and usage of communication techniques that are appropriate based on patient level of oral health literacy.
Resolved, that the American Student Dental Association supports dental schools’ incorporation of Evidence-Based Dentistry

ASDA research exhibit
Pacific Dugoni supports its very own Jesse Han (third from right) at the research exhibit during the Annual Session.

Membership & Professional Issues:
Resolved, that the American Student Dental Association encourages Congress to introduce and pass legislation that includes adult dental services in the federal Medicaid program. 

The American Student Dental Association supports opportunities for interprofessional education within the dental school clinical and didactic curriculum.

Thank you all for your time. It is amazing to be part of a school that already practices and teaches so many of these resolutions. If you have any questions or would like to discuss anything further, I encourage you to email me or find me in the halls or study room. If you disagree with something that was voted on please remember that this represents the collective voice and not necessarily my own beliefs. However, I would be happy to discuss the merits and or the reasoning behind of each resolutions to the best of my ability.

Pacific ASDA in costume
Pacific ASDA dressed up as The Incredibles for the superhero-themed President's Gala.

Pacific Dugoni students, faculty and alumni joined more than 1,700 volunteers to provide $1.66 million in charitable dental services during CDA Cares at Pomona on November 21-22, 2014. The CDA Foundation and CDA host the event to provide dental services and oral health education at no charge to Californians who experience barriers to care. Dentists and dental professionals provided fillings, extractions, cleanings, oral health education, and full and partial dentures to 1,861 people during the two-day event.

Pacific Dugoni students at CDA Cares Pomona.
Pacific Dugoni students at CDA Cares Pomona.

A few current Pacific Dugoni students shared reflections on their experiences volunteering at CDA Cares Pomona.

“We delivered a stay plate on #8 on one patient. She just had the extraction done and was not given pain medications. When we were trying on her stay plate, I could tell that she was in pain because she was trying to hold back the tears. Every time we asked how she was doing, she’d still say that she was fine. That was only one of the few patients I saw that day. Some of the patients drove from two hours away just to get care. Experiences like that remind me why I came to dental school. Nothing compares to the smile you see on people’s faces when they look at their new smile in the mirror. Dentistry, for me, is not just about having the best looking cavity preparation or getting A’s in all my classes. It is about providing service to those who are not fortunate enough to have the means to take care of themselves. One can do dentistry to make other people feel confident about themselves. I do dentistry because it makes me feel good, and it warms my heart when I see a patient smile again.”
- Jacqui Uy, DDS 2016

“Dentists working at CDA events are so open to teaching and patients coming in generously provide the opportunity to learn. I love how dynamic this event is because I can move between departments and assist any number of dentists. What strikes me is that most patients have a full-time job and are contributing members of society who just don’t have the means to take care of some basic dental needs. Patients are so grateful to be able to receive this great service, but they’ll never know how much I honestly cherish my experiences and encounters at CDA Cares.”
- Michelle Nguyen, DDS 2016

“It was my first time volunteering for CDA Cares, and now I know why thousands of volunteers wake up at 5 in the morning and spend their entire day helping out. I worked at the denture station for the majority of the time, and it brought me so much joy see to the look on the patients' faces when they glanced in the mirror and saw their new smiles for the first time. I spoke with patients who told me that they started lining up for this event at 3 in the morning. This shows me that there is a community who wants to improve their oral health, but truly lack the means to do so. All of the appreciative patients and generous volunteers have rejuvenated my passion for the career that we chose.”
- Sheynie Vo, DDS 2016


“I spent most of my time at CDA Cares Pomona working either in the triage area or guiding patients to the different stops for care. The very first group I took in the early morning said they had been in line since before 4:00 a.m. and were excited to get things started. I was so distracted talking with that first group about the event that I missed taking them to their first stop, routing, and had to backtrack to get them there. To me having that happen wasn't so bad, as talking with the people was what I love about CDA Cares. The people come from everywhere and every situation and at this event we do all we can to help them. In my time at this event I must have met and seen hundreds of people all in need of some form of help and this is an opportunity to provide some relief. To do that alongside so many other awesome volunteers makes it easy to say that I made the right decision to get involved.”
- Steve Truman, DDS 2016

“The best part about CDA Cares, for me, is always the patients. One patient needed to have 10 of her teeth extracted and was very nervous during the procedure. Half-way through I saw a tear fall down her cheek and asked her if she was feeling pain and she said she was crying cause she felt so embarrassed about the state of her mouth. I held her hand and told her that we were there to help bring back her smile. Taking a break from academics was just what I needed to refocus my energy. I had been to a few CDA Cares events before, but Pomona meant more to me because it was so close to home. Volunteering there, you could clearly see the need.”
- Rosemary Tran, DDS 2016


Student leaders from Pacific’s ASDA Chapter traveled to Chicago for the ASDA National Leadership Conference held on October 31 – November 2. They joined more than 500 dental students from across the country for a weekend of personal and professional development. Read their reflections on lessons from the conference, leadership in dentistry and why ASDA matters.

Pacific Dugoni ASDA representatives at the NLC Conference.
Pacific Dugoni ASDA representatives at the NLC Conference.

“This experience has reinforced the idea that ethics is the foundation on which dentistry stands. We must always remember that open communication and leading a fair business practice will allow us to be the successful business owner we all strive to be.”
 - Leesa Ching, DDS 2016, Webmaster Co-Chair

“We have the right to be our own business owner. Don't let someone tell you, ‘We can handle the business, and you focus on treating.’ Don't be afraid to take the risks, just learn from every decision you make.”
 - Veeraj Patel, DDS 2016, Treasurer

“I learned that there is a real need for ASDA and that I can have a voice when it comes to policy-making. It was interesting to know that I can help influence the state and rules of my profession.”
 - Deanna Lee, DDS 2016, Pre-Dental Co-Chair

‘“Listening intensely is a far more valuable skill than speaking immensely.’ This quote really struck a chord for me at NLC. Being a great leader isn’t about getting others to conform to your ideals; it’s about listening to your peers and gaining a better understanding of their needs so you can better serve them.”
 - Rosemary Tran, DDS 2016, Ideal ASDA Co-Chair

The students had the opportunity to explore Chicago and visit famous landmarks.
The students had the opportunity to explore Chicago and visit famous landmarks.

“After experiencing ASDA’s National Leadership Conference, I can attest to the level of professionalism and involvement we have here at Pacific. If we can incorporate the many aspects of organized dentistry we have learned to our practices here at Pacific, obtaining an “Ideal” ASDA will be within our grasps.”
 - Joey Meade, DDS 2016, Legislative Liaison

“Meeting people from different dental school made me realize there are many individuals who have a same goal in their minds: provide the best care for patients. I was able to gain positive energy from this event by interacting with many passionate and ambitious dental students.”
 - Jeong Yun, DDS 2016, Community Outreach Chair

“Advocacy isn't just important, it’s vital. Policy has the potential to support us as practitioners or detract from our profession as a whole – it’s really up to us to decide how that works. Optimism and unity are keys to help ensure the former. Voting is the motion.”
 - Richard Ly, DDS 2017, First Year Legislative Liaison

“The keynote speeches of each day were both eye-opening and inspiring. Researcher Vanessa Van Edwards’s speech, “Body Language for Dentists,” taught me how to apply non-verbal and body language in patient care, while nonprofit organization Pencils of Promise’s founder, Adam Braun, reminded me of the importance and possibility of bringing positive social changes as a dentist.”
 - Ruidan Ma, DDS 2017, Vice President

The Pacific ASDA team celebrates Halloween during the conference. We are TRON!
The Pacific ASDA team celebrates Halloween during the conference. We are TRON!

“One characteristic of a leader that I tend to overlook is the importance of being able to effectively praise and compliment my (well-deserving) teammates and colleagues when they complete a task well. This is a valuable trait as a leader because one can powerfully motivate others by giving genuine encouragement and showing appreciation for their hard work.”
 - Leeann Chu, DDS 2016, Webmaster Co-Chair 

“With graduation looming around the corner, NLC also provided a great source of information on what to expect and how to handle various situations after dental school, from budget-friendly marketing strategies to making business-savvy decisions.”
  - Kowthemi Murugapoopathy, IDS 2015, IDS Representative 

“A gathering of students who care about their profession is an awesome sight to behold. This past weekend has been a fun ride of meeting new friends, seeing old ones and listening to great speakers. It was a feast of learning how to improve oneself and Pacific. This was an event that I left energized to do better.”
 - Steve Truman, DDS 2016, Chapter President

making our mark

How do dentistry and politics intersect? The Pacific Dugoni Chapter of the Academy of General Dentistry recently invited alumnus Dr. Joel Strom ’79 to speak with the Pacific Dugoni dental community on how dentists have an opportunity to enhance their career through political involvement. Dr. Strom is a former California State Dental board president and president of Strom Political Strategies. After graduating from University of the Pacific’s School of Dentistry in 1979, he completed a National Institute of Health Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Human Nutrition at Columbia University. In addition to practicing general dentistry in the greater Los Angeles area, he has served as course director for ethics at USC’s School of Dentistry and as president of the Western Los Angeles Dental Society. Dr. Strom also founded Dentistry United for WWII Vets.

AGD Political Perspective photo

During his visit, Dr. Strom discussed points of intersection between dentistry and politics, and explained how he got involved in political issues while just starting out in his career. Issues such as malpractice rates, changes in healthcare laws, student loans and taxes all affect the lives of dental professionals. Dentists have specialized knowledge about the healthcare industry that puts them in the prime position to make a difference in their community by taking leadership roles at all levels of politics – including professional dental organizations.

At Pacific Dugoni, students are constantly challenged to engage with their communities to be forces of positive change. Our clubs and organizations offer events that give students an opportunity to learn from seasoned professionals as they share perspectives on different ways dentists can use their talents in society. Many thanks, Dr. Strom, for sparking conversation on these timely topics at our school!

AAWD members hold a bake sale.

As the 2013-2014 school year comes to a close, the Pacific Dugoni chapter of the American Association of Women Dentists celebrates its first year and reflects on hopes for the future. The AAWD is a national organization dedicated to supporting and enriching the lives of women through education and outreach. Melissa Styles DDS ’14 and president of the Pacific chapter of the AAWD shares what inspired her to start a chapter at Pacific Dugoni:

“I was able to meet several of the national leaders at a conference for Successful Women last summer, and I was immediately inspired by their stories. At the University of the Pacific, we embrace all of our faculty, students and patients, and I knew a chapter of the AAWD would only bring more positive influence on the relationships of the people within the Pacific Family.

“We have had several meetings now, where the amazing women faculty of Pacific have shared their stories of overcoming obstacles, becoming mothers and striving towards becoming excellent dental clinicians. We've shared tears, we've shared laughter, and more importantly, we are becoming closer in our relationships and providing the support we need in a traditionally male field.”

Many of Melissa’s academic and professional choices have been guided by a heart for service. She was still an undergraduate student when she heard Dr. Arthur Dugoni speak on the importance of serving the community as a dentist, and his words resonated strongly with her. She became active in the community at her university and later served three years with the Peace Corps in a village in the South Pacific. At the Dugoni School of Dentistry, she has been able to serve the San Francisco community as well as her colleagues through various activities, including the founding of an AAWD chapter.

AAWD revised

In collaboration with the Larkin Street Youth, the AAWD reaches out to mentor young women interested in health careers. Melissa hopes to build a lasting relationship with the Larkin Street Center to continue to help young women navigate the path towards health professions.

The AAWD may be the new kid on the block, but it’s intelligent, bold and passionate. We’re looking forward to seeing how this community will grow at our school. Here’s to many more years of women leaders in dentistry!

Pacific's chapter of the American Student Dental Association (ASDA) recently hosted a week-long series of events to highlight the ADA's American Dental Political Action Committee (ADPAC). Throughout the week of Jan. 31, students, faculty and staff participated in educational discussions focused on public policy, dental politics and the legislative process.

Invited speakers included Dr. Rhett Murray, chairman of the ADPAC Board of Directors and Dugoni School of Dentistry alumnus; Dr. Matt Campbell, member of the 13th District ADPAC Board of Directors; and California State Senator Leland Yee.


Cedric is third from left, top
Cedric Papa (third from left, top) launched the Humanitarian Dentistry Organization earlier this year.

Cedric Papa, Class of 2012, is the creator of the Humanitarian Dentistry Organization (HuDen), a new, completely student-run organization at the Dugoni School. HuDen was created to celebrate humanitarian dentistry; serve as a resource for current humanitarian dentistry groups; and publicize ongoing volunteer and service projects at the dental school.

HuDen became Cedric’s brainchild when he realized he had no venue to celebrate and share with his classmates the pro bono dental service taking place all around them.

"There are so many things that our mentors would have us learn during our short time as dental students. I feel that learning to serve altruistically is one of the most important,” says Cedric. “So I went through the appropriate channels and gathered amazing students who share my vision of celebrating and supporting humanitarian dental work."

Currently supported by over 100 students, HuDen is completely student-run with 13 officers organizing various events on campus. The organization plans to incorporate faculty during the coming year as the group continues to grow in size.

"I have always been fascinated by the positive changes that one can bring about in the lives of others via service," says Cedric. "I’ve led multiple groups down to Central and South America and have realized that dental service is contagious and with the proper exposure it can evolve into a lifetime commitment.

“Helping others is limited by your capacity, time, and resources, but there are no limits to the effects of teaching people how to help others. HuDen is about attitude adjustment,” he adds. “If we get several new dentists hooked on the rush and the memories that come from reaching out to those in need, then I believe we did a greater service and accomplished more than just donating our own time to a clinic."

An article about Cedric and HuDen was recently published in the ADEA Bulletin. The article can be found at ADEA login required (free to join).

For more information about HuDen and its activities, contact


We're excited to announce the launch of the Dugoni Practical Leadership Initiative. Dentists are leaders whether they choose to be or not. The DPLI has been created to provide additional learning opportunities and practical leadership skills. We'll explore three themes: yourself as a leader, leadership of a team, and leadership of a community.

Throughout the course of the year, DPLI will host one session per month. The six-session series will focus on topics such as business management, joining a community as a new dentist, motivating staff and colleagues, and other leadership-centered topics. The initiative will include guest speakers, small group discussions and a mentorship program.

Interested? Contact Dan Hammer at or Jonathan Gluck at

In order to fulfill the requirements of participation, the first DPLI meeting on Nov. 10 is mandatory for all participants. Following that night, students must attend three of the next five sessions to successfully complete the program. Events will be held in the evening after school and clinic hours, aproximately 5:30 to 7:30pm. At the end of the year, there will be a celebration event for participants. We hope to see you at the events!

November 10, 2010
Personal Preferences in Leadership: How does your personality affect those you lead?

Everyone is different. We have different ways of communicating, managing change, and leading others. Understanding your personality is an excellent tool to develop yourself as a leader of your team.

December 1, 2010
Dental Business Management 101
Dental school teaches us how to diagnose, restore, prevent, and maintain. But it doesn’t teach us much about hiring, firing, marketing, and managing. These things will occupy a lot of your time in practice.

January 26, 2011
Joining a Community as a New Dentist: Where do you start?
So you’ve graduated from Pacific, packed your things, and are ready to start a new job in a new place. Most likely, there are already dentists and doctors in the community. How can you meet them, earn their trust, and learn from them?

February 16, 2011
Escaping the Dental School Vortex: Where do you see yourself in the future?
Sometimes, dental school is an all-encompassing 24/7 experience where the days, weeks, and months go by in an instant. But the future is not far off and it’s up to you to decide what it brings. Make a plan for what you want. Think about it every once in a while. Pursue it.

March 1, 2011
Motivating Your Team to Achieve Their Greatest Potential
Your team is only as strong as its weakest link. It’s up to you to turn your weakest link into your strongest ally.

April 13, 2011
Experience Leadership
There are a lot of different things to do with a DDS: Private Practice, Education, Research, Public Health, Community Dentistry, etc. What do you want to do with yours? Spend time outside of school with a dental professional specializing in your area of interest and learn how to get involved.

DPLI Speaker Series Dates:
November 16, 2010
DPLI Speaker Series: Yourself as a team leader.
January 19, 2011
DPLI Speaker Series: Yourself as a Community Leader
February 2, 2011
DPLI Speaker Series: Yourself as a Leader