President's Message

Dear Alumni,

Alfred P. - Alumni Pres.

When I look back at the four years I spent at UCLA in dental school, it is always with fond memories. This is why it is my privilege and honor to serve the thousands of UCLA Dentistry alumni who are scattered across the globe. I have met many of you over the years and most recently at the 2016 Alumni Day at the CDA in May, when I took over as the president of the UCLA School of Dentistry Alumni Association from Dr. Mitra Simanian. I hope that I can serve our fellow alumni as well as she did.

For the 2016-2018 academic years that I will serve as president, it is my goal to bring our alumni closer together. This may be through face-to-face opportunities or through electronic and print communications. Regardless, I want all alumni members to become more engaged and to think about how you can give back to your alma mater that gave so much to you.

School Happenings

The 2015-2016 academic year came to a close this past June, when 107 graduates received DDS degrees at the 49th commencement ceremony. It was also the last commencement ceremony at which Dean No- Hee Park officiated. Effective on June 30, he passed the torch to the new dean, Dr. Paul Krebsbach, who will no doubt continue the excellence that is synonymous with UCLA Dentistry.

Alumni Happenings

As many of you know, the school holds an annual All-School Picnic in the fall as a way to welcome the first-year dental students to UCLA and to bring together dental school faculty, staff alumni, and dental students. This year’s picnic was held on Saturday, October 8; it was a well-attended event and I hope that many more alumni will attend in the future.

Consider the Possibilities

There are many ways to become more involved with UCLA Dentistry. You can apply to become a volunteer faculty member who plays a critical role in the training of pre-doctoral students and residents. You can volunteer to host a “Dinner for Twelve Dental Students”, which brings together alumni, faculty, and students from all generations to enjoy good food and great conversation. You can also volunteer to serve on the Board of Counselors or on a Fundraising Board where you will enjoy a rewarding donor and volunteer experience with an institution known as being a world leader in dental education, research, patient care and community service.

We are very excited to move forward with a student-alumni mentorship program that was recently announced. There is only so much that can be learned from textbooks and in the classroom and clinic, and we believe mentors are what can take us from where we are to where we want to be. Mentors are one of the most valuable resources to dental students, providing valuable advice and guidance that cannot be found anywhere else. Because we have found that additional information is needed to make the program as effective as possible, this message includes a request that you respond to the recent email request to submit a revised survey even if you filled out the previous one. We really appreciate your time and willingness to mentor your future UCLA SOD colleagues.  We look forward to hearing from you. 

If you are a new graduate, please let us know your concerns and we will try our best to connect you with alumni who can reach out to you and help in any way they can. If you have been practicing for a while, please connect with the rest of the alumni and share your valuable experiences. Please don’t be a stranger.

Thank you,

Dr. Alfred Penhaskashi, Class of 1993