Meet an Alum: Dr. Philip Jen Kin

Posted on: Tuesday, 07/14/2020


Double Bruin, Philip Jen Kin ’70, DDS ’74, and his wife, Shirley ’71, recently made a trip to UCLA’s Sculpture Garden to reenact a photo taken over 50 years ago. “With the help of my daughter, Allison, we posed as close to the original photo as possible. Interesting how the sculpture has not aged, but we certainly have!”

Dr. Jen Kin has remained connected to UCLA Dentistry by serving as a past Co-Chair of the Apollonian Society and was a part-time instructor for 22 years. Read more about his time at UCLA.

Question: Can you share with us the story behind the photo?

Answer: I have always had a passion for photography. In 1970, Shirley and I were UCLA undergraduates and one year away from marriage. I set up a tripod in the Sculpture Gardens and took this photo to capture the moment. I always liked it, and have it enlarged in our home even now. It was taken at the time in film and black and white format.

Question: What is one of your fondest memories at UCLA?

Answer: As an undergraduate at UCLA, it was campus life. I enjoyed meeting new friends and attending big time football and basketball events. Remember, this was UCLA's finest moments in sports! I still keep in touch with a core group of my college friends and we even meet several times a year. So many memories of life as a dental student too, and as a part-time dental school instructor for 22 years.

Question: When did you know dentistry was for you?

Answer: I aspired to pursue a dental career as early as high school, although I had no in-depth exposure to it. I had no family members or friends in dentistry. It was a critical health profession that everyone needed, and you would be able to control your working career and environment.

Question: What do you do when you aren’t practicing dentistry?

Answer: I have plenty of hobbies outside of practice, including photography, fly-fishing, cycling, ballroom dancing, cooking, and kung fu. For many years, I also rode cutting horses.

Question: If you could share one piece of advice to current dental students, what would it be?

Answer: My advice to students is to put all your heart and soul into your dental education—both now and in your practicing career. It will pay dividends in being able to be successful as a dentist. Also, a reminder to take care of your body, mind and soul, and pace yourself in your work.