Development & Alumni News

Posted on: Monday, 10/31/2016

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Alum Receives Honorary Degree for Giving Back

Dr. Mark Lisagor, D.D.S. Class of '73, P.D. '77, and the immediate past president of the Friends of Pediatric Dentistry support group, received an honorary doctorate degree at the 2016 Cal State Channel Islands commencement ceremony. He received the honor due to the generous amount of volunteering he has done with numerous community, state, national, and international boards and organizations. He also currently serves as the president of the Ventura County Board of Education.

Dr. Lisagor travels to Guatemala, northern India, and Nepal three times each year, where he leads five teams of volunteers helping children and families with no access to dental care. A recent highlight of his volunteer work was Spring of 2015 when he led a team of 14 dentists to Nepal during the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit the country.

Dr. Lisagor received his Bachelor of Science (Public Health) degree, his D.D.S. degree and a pediatric dentistry certificate, all from UCLA. He spent the majority of his career practicing pediatric dentistry at his own private practice in the Camarillo area. He has since retired.

Photo credit: David Yamamoto/Ventura County Star

Board Chair & Alum to Head "Women & Philanthropy at UCLA"

Dr. Naomi Ellison, D.D.S. Class of ’81, will be serving as this year’s president for Women & Philanthropy at UCLA – a group that was established in 1994 to promote giving and prepare women to make the greatest impact on areas that matter most to them.

Dr. Ellison stated, “Our group represents so many different passions. Through our outstanding programming opportunities, I have been introduced to areas of campus I never knew existed. From watching third graders sit in Royce Hall to learn about opera, to viewing Susan Sontag’s complete collection in the UCLA Library, I’m grateful that the passions of other women inspire me to grow. We are stronger when we learn from one another.”

Whether it’s North Campus or South Campus, or across nations and borders, Women & Philanthropy members are making an impact at UCLA. For more information, please visit the group's website.

Dr. Ellison also serves as the chair of the School of Dentistry’s board of counselors as well as a cabinet member of the Centennial Campaign for UCLA. We thank her for her many years of support for the dental school as well as the entire UCLA campus.

Pediatric Dentistry Alum Appointed to CDA Board of Trustees

Dr. Oariona Lowe, P.D. '84, was installed as a California Dental Association (CDA) Board of Trustee at the House of Delegates meeting in Newport Beach on November 13, 2016. She represents the Tri-County Dental Society. The CDA Board of Trustees is comprised of 52 members, 43 of which are trustees representing the 32 component societies and nine are the officers and ex-officio members of the Executive Committee.

Along with her position as CDA Trustee, Dr. Oariona Lowe is the current president of the Western States of Pediatric Dentistry, past-president of the California Society of Pediatric Dentistry, Board Member of UCLA Friends of Pediatric Dentistry and a member of the UCLA Dentistry’s Board of Counselors. She received her Pediatric Dentistry certificate from UCLA in 1984 and just completed a Masters in Public Health from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health in 2016.

Youngest President of Los Angeles Dental Society

Dr. Michele Frawley, D.D.S. Class of '06, was elected as the 2017 President of the Los Angeles Dental Society (LADS). The 81st Annual Installation and Volunteer Appreciation dinner took place on October 29, at Loyola Marymount University, her alma mater. Dr. Michele Frawley was installed by her father, Dr. Kevin Frawley, D.D.S. Class of 1982. He held the title of LADS president in 2003. She is the youngest president and together, she and her father have the honor of being the only parent/child duo in LADS history.

Dr. Michele Frawley enjoyed her time at UCLA and gave back by being a clinical instructor for many years. She currently practices with her father and brother, Dr. Shawn Frawley, at Beverly Hills Dentistry,  where they "create the smile you were meant to have." She is looking forward to a great year as President and encourages everyone to get involved in organized dentistry. We congratulate Dr. Michele Frawley and wish her much success!

Professor Emeritus and Alum Receives Award of Merit

Dr. Patrick Turley, D.D.S. Class of '75, was honored with an Award of Merit from the Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists during their 80thAnnual Session in October. Dr. Turley was chosen because of his strong leadership skills and passion and talent for teaching. He served the society as one of its past presidents in 1996 and also a past editor of its monthly bulletin.

Dr. Turley came back to Southern California after receiving dual training in orthodontics and pediatric dentistry at the University of Washington. He was then recruited to teach at UCLA Dentistry. He started in 1979 at the dental school and achieved emeritus status after 23 years of dedicated service when he retired in 2002. He currently maintains a private practice in Manhattan Beach.

DDS Alum Receives CDA Foundation Grant to Help Pay Off Debt

Dr. Habiba Ismail, D.D.S. Class of 2013, was awarded the CDA Student Loan Repayment Grant. The CDA Foundation grants this award to one new dentist every year, to help repay the dentist’s educational loan in exchange for a commitment to care for the underserved. Since 2002, the program has enabled 17 dentists to provide more than 80,000 patients in underserved communities with more than $22 million in care.

Dr. Ismail is currently licensed to practice in California and employed at Metro Health Station in Los Angeles, where she provides 40 hours per week of hands-on clinical services. Ismail moved to the United States at the age of 19, graduated from dental school and then worked briefly in a private dental office. But it was only after serving in a community clinic that Ismail felt fulfilled in her career.

Prosth Alum Installed as President of American Board of Prosthodontics

Dr. Arthur Nimmo, AP '83, was recently was recently installed as the 67th president of the American Board of Prosthodontics. He serves on the Commission on Dental Accreditation Review Committee on Prosthodontics Education and prior to his installation as president on the American Board of Prosthodontics, Nimmo served as an examining member and director on the board.

Dr. Nimmo is currently a faculty member of the University of Florida College of Dentistry and also serves as the director of the Predoctoral Implant Dentistry Program.

Photo credit: UF College of Dentistry


Ortho Alum Receives Distinguished Service Award

Dr. Michael R. Ricupito, O '87, received the 2016 California Association of Orthodontist’s “Distinguished Service Award” at their regional meeting on November 15, 2016. The distinguished service award is given to one orthodontist in the state that makes “significant contributions to orthodontics in the state of California. The state wide organization has over 2,200 members and is associated with the American Association of Orthodontists.

Dr. Ricupito maintains private practices in Fremont and Danville and also serves as an adjunct associate professor of orthodontics at the University of the Pacific Dugoni School of Dentistry. During his orthodontic residency at UCLA, he gave many lectures on facial growth and development.

A native of Fremont, Dr. Ricupito received his bachelor’s degree with highest honors for San Jose State University. He went on to complete his D.D.S. degree from the UOP School of Dentistry. 

Recent D.D.S. Alum Talks About Veterans Making an Impact in the Community

Dr. Tigon Abalos ’16, was a featured speaker during a “Storytellers” event, hosted by Got Your Six and The Television Academy on Tuesday at the Los Angeles TV Academy. Dr. Abalos gave a different perspective on being a veteran, reversing stereotypes that veterans are unemployed, undereducated, homeless and suffering from mental health issues. The event was live streamed on Facebook. Her story can be seen from this link, with a timestamp of 1:07.

At UCLA, Dr. Abalos helped co-found the UCLA program, Operation Bruin Smiles, which provided subsidized dental care to UCLA veterans and foster youth. She currently works in Fresno, Calif.

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