Dear students, residents, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends,
Fall is always an exciting time at the School of Dentistry. This time of year means that we have welcomed a whole new group of eager, bright, and talented first year dental students. I am continuously impressed by the scholarly achievements and background of each entering class and the Class of 2017 is no exception.
We, once again, held our annual , a ceremony to congratulate the students on their acceptance into dental school and to give them a white coat, courtesy of the Apollonian Society. The White Coat signifies their entrance into the field of clinical health sciences. I look forward to getting to know each member of the Class of 2017.
The School as a whole was very busy over the summer months, especially in the areas of and . The School received a $5 million boost in research funding from the National Institutes for Health to study the biological markers in saliva in an attempt to develop a tool for detecting stomach cancer. Also, our nanodiamond research was featured in several publications and was heavily covered by leading around the globe.
Our pre-doctoral students were very busy with community outreach, Clinic Pride Day, meeting with a Congressman, and many other worthwhile activities. We also had several new , promotions, awards, and accolades to celebrate.
Around this time, we recognize individuals who have supported the School, and this year I am especially pleased to announce the recipients of the . As the Honorary Alumni of the Year, we have recognized Mr. and Mrs. Ralph and Shirley Shapiro. In 2009, the Shapiros established the Dr. No-Hee Park Endowed Chair in Dentistry and have funded several scholarships for dental students. As the 2014 Alumni of the Year, we have recognized Drs. Douglas Yoon and Adam Chen, co-owners of XDR Radiology and members of the Class of 1983.
At the end of July, our patient care and public service efforts received support from a new community partner, Wilshire State Bank. The bank pledged $100,000 over the next 5 years to the School to help provide free dental care to the community. In turn, we have committed $100,000 of gifts in-kind, which include faculty time and expertise, additional supplies, and staff support. I couldn’t be more pleased with this new development and would like to take this opportunity to thank Wilshire State Bank for their generous donation.
Finally, it is with great pride that I share with you that although the UCLA School of Dentistry is among the top dental schools in the nation, it is the least expensive dental school in California. I want to wish everyone a successful and productive fall quarter.
No-Hee Park, D.M.D., Ph.D.
Dean & Distinguished Professor