School News

Posted on: Tuesday, 10/01/2013

White Coat Ceremony

On Monday, September 16, in Schoenberg Hall, the School gave a warm UCLA welcome to the incoming DDS Class of 2017 at the annual White Coat Ceremony.


The ceremony signifies the start of the student’s 4-year academic dental career at the School and for those who pursue post-graduate studies, a little longer. To kick-off the ceremony, Dean No-Hee Park gave an inspirational and motivational speech, which was followed by a few words from Dr. Ronald Mito, Associate Dean of Academic Programs and Personnel. 

The students were then given a white dental coat, courtesy of the Apollonian Society. After each student made the ascent to the stage, they introduced themselves and named their most recent alma mater to fellow students, family, friends, faculty and staff.

Following the procession, the Class of 2017 recited the Dental Student’s Pledge and enjoyed an outdoor reception. 

School Welcomes Governor Gray Davis (Ret.) and Anthony Pritzker

The School of Dentistry was visited by two VIPs on Friday, September 6, 2013. Former Governor Gray Davis and businessman and philanthropist, Anthony Pritzker, toured several of the School’s research labs, clinics, and offices.

The purpose of their visit was to cultivate a strong relationship between the School and prominent business leaders in the Los Angeles community.

Discussing cutting-edge research projects in the Weintraub Center for Reconstructive Biotechnology, pictured left to right, Dean No-Hee Park, Former Governor Gray Davis, Anthony Pritzker, and Dr. Ben Wu.

Dean’s Leadership Institute

For the past nine years, the School has offered the Dean’s Leadership Institute to approximately 14 exceptional pre-doctoral students who are in their third or fourth year of dental school. The individuals chosen for the 2012-2013 Institute showed talent and drive that so many of our pre-doctoral students have displayed throughout the years.

Over the course of 12 weeks, students are exposed to a number of leaders, who discuss topics as diverse as professional ethics, improving patient satisfaction, strategic planning, entrepreneurship, and wealth management. The 12 sessions, led by Dean No-Hee Park and Dr. Ronald Mito, help prepare the future dentists to meet the demands of the profession, whether in private practice, organized dentistry, academic dentistry, dental science, or the entrepreneurial realm.

The students, pictured below, are being recognized for their participation in the Institute and we wish them well as they complete their training at the School of Dentistry.

Dean's Leadership Institute

Front row, left to right: Laura Pashkowsky, Sapna Lohiya, Insoon Chang, Dean No-Hee Park, Hayley Cox, Minakshi Gupta, and Jessica Pack. Second row, left to right: Allison Inouye, Salina Massei, Ryann Walker, and Sandra Yen. Third row, left to right: Barrett Nordstrom, Alex Wooram Lee, Jay Ponto, Jeffrey Diamond, and Matt LeCheminant.

Celebrating Scholastic AchievementEric Chen '16

Eric Chen, Class of 2016, was one of 40 recipients to receive a 2013 Tylenol Future Care Scholarship. With more than 25,000 applicants, the scholarship awards students pursuing an education in healthcare who have a balance of academic excellence, leadership, and community involvement.

Eric was also awarded the North American Taiwanese Medical Association scholarship award, which is given annually to five students, residents, or fellows in medicine or dentistry, and is awarded for academic excellence, public service in healthcare, and contributions to Taiwanese American community.

Congratulations to Eric on these two scholarship awards.

Spreading Their Wings

From July 25th to 28th, School of Dentistry pre-doctoral students, Loliya Bob-Manuel, Class of 2015, Lourdes Moreno, Class of 2014, and Linda Onyejiji, Class of 2015, attended the 41st Annual Convention for the Student National Dental Association. The convention took place in National Harbor, Maryland and brought together dental students from around the country. While at the convention, the UCLA students attended seminars regarding liability insurance, balancing life outside of practicing dentistry, and the new dentist experience. In addition the students had the opportunity to hear Maya Angelou as the Keynote Speaker. For more than 40 years, SNDA’s goal has been to promote, aid, and support the academic and social environment of minority students.

The students wish to extend their gratitude to Dean No-Hee Park for sponsoring their attendance at the convention.

Christmas in July

On Saturday, July 13, 2013, pre-doctoral students volunteered their time and services at the annual “Christmas in July” – an event that celebrates literacy, health, and wellness in Los Angeles’ 54th District. The event, hosted by Assemblymember Holly Mitchell, featured a Health Zone where attendees could access free health screenings. Eleven dental students provided oral health screenings and oral hygiene instruction to 75 children and three adults.


Discussing Politics

On June 9, 2013, the School received a special visit from Congressman Paul Gosar, who represents the 4th District in Arizona. After meeting with Dean No-Hee Park, Congressman Gosar met with several DDS students to discuss issues facing organized dentistry. Topics discussed were access to care, mid-level care providers, and student loans.

The meeting shed light on topics facing the students and the dental profession, today and in the future. Congressman Gosar is one of two dentists in Congress and serves as the voice of dentistry in Washington D.C.

Pictured, left to right: Quinn Yost '16, Jay Ponto '14, Barrett Nordstrom '14, Congressman Paul Gosar, Adrien Hamedi-Sangsari '15, and David Lindsey '15.

Dental Students Impact the Community

Four dental students from the School were selected for the 2013-2014 class of Los Angeles Schweitzer Fellows. As of May of 2013, Ryan Brennan, Clark Knowlton, Jared Kenney, and Nidhi Taneja have been learning to effectively address the social factors that impact health and developing their lifelong leadership skills.

Since 2007, the Los Angeles Schweitzer Fellowship Program has supported nearly 80 Schweitzer Fellows in delivering nearly 15,000 hours of service. The program is funded entirely through charitable donations and grants. Read the full press release.

Promoting Opportunities in Dentistry

Andy Marquez and Christopher Wilson, students enrolled in the School's Pre-College Science Education Program, won third place in the research poster competition at the 94th annual session of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Pacific Division. The pair’s research topic on the “Effect of Grainy Head Like-2 knockdown on Carcinogenesis of Squamous Cell Carcinoma 4,” looked at the gene, Grainy Head Like-2, and its role in other cancer cell lines.

The Pre-College Science Education Program is a 2-year program that introduces university-level, bench research to underserved high school students in the Los Angeles area. At the culmination of the program, participants travel to Las Vegas to compete in a research poster competition against other students from around the country. Andy and Chris were part of the School's sixth cohort to go through this program.

Clinic Pride Day – Saturday, August 10th, 2013

Thank you to all the students, staff, and faculty listed below for devoting a Saturday to cleaning up the third floor laboratory and the general clinic.

The participants' unselfish spirit and generosity of their time are highly commended and appreciated.

Class of 2014

Jay Ponto

Barrett Nordstrom

Eddie Jung

Matt LeCheminant

Scott Hiramoto

Allison Inouye

Ryann Walker

Dan Herrera

Sandra Yen

Hayley Cox

Mike Pace

Lydia Hou


Class of 2015

Christine Leung

David Sheen

Chih Hsuan Chou

Adrien Hamedi-Sangsari

Paul Kim

Chih-Kai Chang

Class of 2016

Anthony Fioretti

Lance Peery

Catherine Pham

Norman Chen

Kimberley Bui

Jessica Ma

Andrew Levin

Danielle Ploussard

Jonathan Drew

Eric Chen


Staff and Faculty

Dr. Jeff Goldstein

Dr. James Kelley

Hillal Latif