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Kenny Jones, DDS Class of 2023, is on a mission to help those in his community. Growing up in his hometown and noticing those in his community struggling made him want to make a difference. Read about his journey through dental school and how he hopes to use his position as a leader and a dentist to give basic access to care to those in need.


Our offsite community outreach took new forms as health fairs and other community events shifted to virtual formats. Fortunately, Dugoni School students and faculty found creative new ways to provide oral health outreach to serve the needs of the Northern California community. Students have been involved in a public drive-through event; organized a virtual dental health education event for kids; provided oral hygiene education to elementary school children and their families through Zoom; and facilitated an online workshop on children’s oral health with an opportunity to “Ask the Doctor.”


Our student dentists have fascinating stories and come from a wide range of backgrounds, but they all have one thing in common: a passion for caring for people. Angela Navas, DDS Class of 2022, wanted a career that combined her love of art and science. Read about her journey through dental school and her joy in helping others, whether it’s at community events or on humanitarian trips.


The Dugoni School’s Chapter of the American Student Dental Association (ASDA) recently collaborated with UCSF School of Dentistry’s Chapter to co-host a Virtual Business Symposium for Dugoni School and UCSF dental students. The event, which typically includes a vendor fair and speakers that focus on the business side of dentistry, was moved to an online platform due to COVID-19. More than 200 dental students registered for the event. The speakers were provided by the American Dental Association (ADA) Center for Professional Success. Topics covered included understanding employment agreements; managing debt and wealth; practice management for all dentists; and a networking bingo session.

It was a great day of engagement, turnout and collaboration between the attendees. Special thanks to the event sponsors that included the California Dental Association, The Dentists Insurance Company (TDIC), MedPro and Heartland Dental.

A huge thank you to Dugoni School ASDA Chapter leaders Pedrom Mashaw and Suryadeep Mankatala, both from the DDS Class of 2022, for organizing the event in conjunction with their UCSF counterparts!

Congratulations to the Dugoni School’s ADEA Chapter which was recently awarded a Bronze Level Chapter Designation by the ADEA Council of Students, Residents, and Fellows (CoSRF).

This designation is determined by several factors, including the number of active chapter members, the number of events hosted by the chapter, and representation of attendees at national events. Over the past year, our ADEA Chapter expanded its cabinet, hosted a number of successful fundraisers, and hosted the 3rd Annual West Coast Curriculum Hackathon (read about that event here.)

Thanks to our 2019-2020 ADEA Chapter Cabinet members and to all other students who helped the chapter have a successful year!

The Dugoni School student chapter of the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) recently hosted the 3rd annual West Coat Curriculum Hackathon. More than 80 people from schools across the region participated in the event. At the all-day “design sprint”-type event, students were split into groups to discuss and design a dental education curriculum that addresses an emerging theme in dental education. This year’s theme was “The Nontraditional Dental Student.”

ADEA Curriculum Hackathons are becoming more popular as an innovative approach to addressing the needs for dental school curriculum renewal and the need for future leaders in academic dentistry.


Each year, our second-year DDS and IDS students organize an “Over the Hump” banquet to celebrate the completion of the first half of our dental program. This year the Class of 2021 students hosted a successful celebration at the San Francisco Design Center Galleria on Feb. 1. The celebration is open to all students, faculty and staff and featured a fun night of eating, socializing, dancing and awards.

The Thomas R. Bales Family Endowment Good Samaritan Award is announced during this annual celebration. The award recognizes the student who shows the most kindness to their classmates through the first half of the program. Dugoni School of Dentistry alumnus and benefactor Dr. Thomas R. Bales established the award in 2004 to honor a student who provided inspiration and a sense of purpose to his or her fellow first-year classmates. This year’s winner was Kenji O’Brien.

The event also includes fun “superlative” awards to recognize members of the class, and viewing of dental school parody music videos starring faculty, staff and students.

Congratulations to the Class of 2021 on making it over the hump!

Photos: Maggie Ma, DDS 2022 Historian

Leadership is one of the school’s core values and is defined as “inspiring through vision and challenging others to effect positive change.” Members of the Associated Student Body (ASB) recently gathered for a retreat at the Letterman Digital Arts Center in the Presidio to gain more perspective about leadership and learn new skills. Guest speakers Dr. Karl Haden and Ross Peters presented on the key component of leadership, connections between leadership styles and personality styles, and responsibilities of dealing with conflicts as leaders. It was a day of learning and collaboration for the students who took the opportunity to develop their leadership skills and grow as individuals. The students also had an opportunity to take a picture with the famed Yoda statue outside the meeting venue, since the center is home to the headquarters of Lucasfilm – creators of the Star Wars movie franchise!

Each month the California Dental Association spotlights a student from across the California dental schools. January’s student spotlight is Leah Life from the Dugoni School’s DDS Class of 2020. She shares details about her favorite moment in dental school, how she became interested in dentistry, what she’s looking forward to after school, and more about her life outside of school. Read more >>