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There is that day every July when the halls of the Dugoni School become permeated with a delicious smell, as members of the school's alumni association gather to cook up a feast for the incoming dental students. The centerpiece of this school tradition is cioppino, a seafood stew unique to San Francisco. Some of the alumni chefs were kind enough to share their recipe with us. Here it is!

Dugoni School of Dentistry Alumni Cioppino with the Duke's Marinara Sauce

Recipe provided courtesy of Ken Frangadakis, Ernie Giachetti, Mario Puccinelli (The Duke) and Paul Senise.

For Marinara Sauce:
3 tbsp olive oil
1/3 leek, chopped (white part only)
1½ tbsp garlic, chopped fine
2/3 yellow onion, chopped
¼ bunch Italian (flat) parsley
1 can (28 oz) crushed peeled tomatoes (San Marazano brand if possible)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
4 tsp sugar
1 tsp oregano (Note: fresh basil can be added also)
Pinch cayenne or cracked red pepper
Dash "Mrs. Dash" spice
2/3 Cup dry white wine

(Amounts and type can be altered according to taste)
1 lb Dungeness crab, cleaned and cracked
2/3 lb Black tiger prawns (large)
1/3 lb Scallops
½ lb Clams, chopped
¼ lb Rock cod filet, fresh


In a large sauce pan (1 gal.), heat olive oil over medium heat. Sauté onions, leek, parsley and garlic for about 5 minutes (add garlic near end so it won't burn).

Add white wine and bring to a boil; lower the heat and simmer off the alcohol (7-8 minutes).

Add remaining non-seafood ingredients (tomatoes, spices) and simmer on medium to low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Note: This sauce can be refrigerated or frozen and saved for weeks.

Add rock cod first and cook on medium to low heat until it starts to break down (a good thing), about 10-15 minutes. Then add the prawns and continue to cook for 7-8 minutes. Finally, add the remaining seafood, turn up the heat and bring it to a boil for 5-10 minutes.
Serve in a large soup bowl with white wine/beer, garlic bread — and a bib! Enjoy!

The "Marinara" Story

The word "marinara" is derived from the Italian word for sailor, "marinaro." The sauce itself contains no seafood, but is a tomato-based sauce. It originated in the Italian seaport town of Naples and was served to the sailors when they returned home from sea. It was poured over pasta or, with seafood added, became cioppino — a San Francisco original from the kitchens of the Sicilian and Southern Italian crab fishermen who immigrated to the Bay Area.

The graduating classes of 2011; the reunion classes of 1991 and 2006; and participating faculty and staff had a great time at this year's Asilomar Retreat held in Pacific Grove, CA. From the weekend’s abnormally nice February temperatures, to the beach bonfire, educational sessions and some wild karaoke, the 2011 weekend was a huge success!

Check out a video recap, with footage filmed throughout the weekend by DDS student Scott Sutter, below:


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.



Dental students are normally quite peaceful people, but this month, we went to war... with pennies. The annual "Penny Wars" event raises money for local charities. Our school's American Student Dental Association (ASDA) chapter and student-led community outreach program Pacific Pays it Forward co-hosted the fundraiser along with a food drive.

The "Penny Wars" fundraiser challenged students to contribute pennies to their respective DDS or IDS class's change collection, with each penny counting for one point. Students could also add nickels, dimes and quarters to competing class change collections, as these coins counted for negative points.

"We had a great time with the penny wars and food drive fundraiser this week," said Vinni Oberoi, Class of 2012 and Pacific ASDA community outreach coordinator. "A lot of students participated and we're excited to be able to give our donations to City Youth Now and the San Francisco Food Bank."


ArminVahidnia in Golden Gate Park

By Armin Vahidnia, Class of 2012 and ASDA Northern California Community Outreach Coordinator

I’m privileged to serve as this year’s ASDA Northern California Community Outreach Coordinator. This position allows me to be an ambassador between the University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry and our neighbor dental school, the UCSF School of Dentistry. I’m constantly working to create community service opportunities which will allow us to collaborate and serve the city of San Francisco. My goal is to organize one event per quarter to encourage students from both schools to serve the community and build relationships with future colleagues from across town.

Our most recent event was a park beautification effort in Golden Gate Park. Students from both Pacific and UCSF woke up early on Saturday, August 21 to join together and help clean up the park. The area that we worked on was in the western side of Golden Gate Park, next to the Angler’s Lodge and the Bison Paddock (yes, there were live bison roaming in a meadow across the street from us). The Angler’s Lodge is a popular place for fisherman to practice their casting, and while we were there we saw several children learning how to cast a line. Between the parking lot and the ponds is a wooded hill with native plants including beautiful rhododendrons and flowers of all sorts. They were being overrun and choked out by weeds that we removed and piled up to be hauled away. When we were finished the landscape looked significantly better. The park ranger we worked with told us that we were able to complete more work in three hours than would typically happen in three weeks!

While we did a lot of work, the time went by quickly because the entire time we were getting to know each other and hearing about all the nuances of a different dental school experience. Despite going through different dental programs we share commons goals, including community service as a priority. We finished off the day at a nearby picnic area with ice cream and root beer floats. I’m looking forward to getting to know the UCSF students even better while exploring and giving back to San Francisco. Stay tuned for updates from future events!


It may be cool and foggy here at the dental school’s campus in San Francisco during July and August, but first-year students got a taste of what the rest of the country considers real summer weather when they travelled to Stockton for University of the Pacific's orientation program for new students.

To take advantage of the sunny weather, they played a vigorous game of Spongeball.

Seriously, if you see only one movie this year about dental students getting whacked with wet sponges, pick this one.


Our student members of ASDA recently hosted a very successful vendor fair at the school, attracting lots of companies (including Apple and Colgate) and attendees. Students got a chance to mingle with each other and the booth staff, learning more about a wide array of products and services for the dental field. Read all about it or watch a video of the highlights below


By Daniel Hammer, ASDA chapter president and Class of 2011

This school year, the leaders of the Dugoni School’s chapter of the American Student Dental Association (ASDA) have been working to ensure that each ASDA member here gains true value from his or her membership. To that end, ASDA has been implementing numerous programs for its members to provide mentorship and tutoring throughout the year.

For example, Helping Hands is a new program that provides free tutoring every other Tuesday to the first-year students for their lab classes. The volunteer tutors are eager to help, and in true Dugoni fashion, the number of volunteer tutors often outweighs the number of those students seeking help. Furthermore, traditional peer mentor programs such as First Year First Aid, clinic transition meetings and ADPAC monthly lunch and learns demonstrate the tangible value of an ASDA membership throughout the year.

Another focus of ASDA this year is to create connections between the classes through social activities. We ended the last school year with a bay cruise to celebrate the numerous accomplishments of all classes. More recently, we hosted nearly 100 students at a Giants vs. Rockies tailgate party and baseball game.

As always, we welcome suggestions or questions. Please feel free to contact any ASDA leader – we look forward to hearing from you!

American Student Dental Association is a national student-run organization whose mission is to protect and advance the rights, interests and welfare of students pursuing careers in dentistry. More than 87% of all dental students nationwide join the association.


Dugoni School students practice yoga on the lawn outside of student housing. Photo by Chris Nelson.
Dugoni School students practice yoga on the lawn outside of student housing. Photo by Chris Nelson.

You might think that dental school is so demanding and so stressful that there is no hope of relaxing and having fun...

From crowns to dentures and lectures to seminars, sometimes that can be true.  Fortunately, many students have discovered a great way to reduce the stress: physical activity!  That's right, Pacific has a lot of athletes!  Volleyball, football, soccer, cycling, rugby, hockey, synchronized ice skating, skiing, snowboarding, and swimming... this is a short list of the many sports played by my classmates.  Additionally, there are a myriad of sports clubs including the surf club, running club, high adventure club, and even a yoga club.

The resounding conclusion is that although dental school is stressful, it's important to maintain physical activity to remain sane.  As the saying goes: healthy body, healthy mind!

Photos of the Yoga Club in action here.