UCLA School of Dentistry Honors Dr. Joan Otomo-Corgel as Alumnus of the Year

Posted on: Wednesday, 01/07/1998

Joan Otomo-Corgel, D.D.S., M.P.H., (Manhattan Beach) was chosen as Alumnus of the Year by the UCLA School of Dentistry at its recent Alumni Day. She was selected for her contributions to UCLA, its alumni association and the profession of dentistry.

"Joan is truly an extraordinary person," praised Dr. Ronald Mito, associate dean of clinical services and the former schoolmate who presented the award. "She was someone we all tried to keep up with in dental school. Of course, most couldn't." He added, "She loves her family, she loves her profession and she loves UCLA."

Otomo-Corgel earned her bachelor's degree in zoology from Cal State University at Fresno in 1972. She achieved her doctorate in dental surgery from UCLA in 1976, then continued her postdoctoral studies by pursuing certificates in general practice dentistry and periodontics at the Wadsworth Veterans Hospital. She went on to earn a master's degree in public health from UCLA in 1980.

In 1993, Otomo-Corgel was appointed by Gov. Pete Wilson to a seven-year term on the California State University board of trustees. Currently, she is finance chair and vice chair of educational policy. She is past chair of audits and past vice chair of government relations; campus planning; and buildings and grounds. Other duties include serving on the presidential selection and chancellor's search committees.

Otomo-Corgel lectures extensively on a wide range of periodontal topics and has contributed to more than 50 journals and medical texts. She is currently an adjunct assistant professor of periodontics at UCLA. She teaches postdoctoral periodontal surgery and treatment-planning at the West Los Angeles Veterans Administration Medical Center, where she is research chair for the dental service. Otomo-Corgel also teaches a course in medical emergencies for West Los Angeles City College's dental hygiene program.

Otomo-Corgel is a past president of the Western Society of Periodontology, the National Veterans Administration Periodontists and the UCLA chapter of Omicron Kappa Upsilon. She serves on several committees of the American Academy of Periodontology and is a member of 10 dental associations.

Otomo-Corgel has private periodontics practices in Montebello and Los Angeles. She lives in Manhattan Beach with her husband, Rich Corgel, a practice director at Arthur Anderson and Company. They are parents to John, 10, and Stefanie, 7.