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Dental School Celebrates Commencement Weekend

June  16, 2008

Dr. Donald DeRosa, president of University of the Pacific, and Dr. Patrick J. Ferrillo, Jr., dean of the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, conferred degrees upon 188 graduates in the DDS, IDS, AEGD, Graduate Orthodontic and OMFS programs during the dental school's 114th Commencement Ceremony at the Nob Hill Masonic Center on June 15.

Dr. Mark Feldman, president of the American Dental Association, delivered the commencement address, "Living a Life that Matters", to a crowd of more than 2,500 graduates and guests. Student receiving her hood during commencement

"As health care professionals, you have chosen to live a life that matters; and because you have, many individuals will have a better quality of life, go to bed without pain, have a beautiful smile, live longer, healthier lives and walk a little taller," said Feldman.

Dr. Jacob Yetzer, DDS valedictorian, also addressed his fellow graduates, urging them to take time to appreciate each of life's accomplishments.

"I think that as we are barreling toward our next big achievement that it's easy to forget to live in the moment," Yetzer said. "My hope for all of us is that as we continue to pursue lofty goals that we are able to fully enjoy each phase of life, and especially the people around us that make it all worthwhile."

Yetzer, who ranked first in the DDS class of 139 students, received numerous honors and awards for his scholastic achievements. Joining him at the top of the class of 2008 was Dr. Tawfiq Alkilani, who was named valedictorian of the International Dental Studies class.

Alumni/Graduate Banquet

Students with faculty at the alumni banquetKicking off the graduation weekend on Friday, June 13, the dental school's Alumni Association hosted the 71st annual Alumni/Graduate Banquet at The Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco. The event provided an opportunity for the Alumni Association to welcome the graduating class as its newest members. More than 450 guests donned black-tie attire and enjoyed dinner, an awards ceremony and dancing.

Alumni Association President Dr. Darryl Lee '77 greeted the Class of 2008 and Dr. Craig Yarborough, executive associate dean, presented awards to graduating students and residents. Additionally, the following faculty members received teaching awards: Drs. Laura Reid, Nick Kitajima, Dudley Cheu, Gabriela Pitigoi-Aron, Gitta Radjaeipour and Philip Buchanan.

Thanks A Bunch Brunch

A student and his family at the brunchOn Saturday, June 14, graduating students expressed gratitude to nearly 400 family members and friends for their support during the annual Thanks a Bunch Brunch in the grand ballroom of the Fairmont Hotel. Graduates recognized loved ones with Pacific's PhT (Putting him/her Through) certificates. During the event's ceremony, Drs. Russell Woodson, Jeffrey Kirk, Terry Hoover and Eric Salmon, group practice administrators, read special notes of thanks that each graduate wrote for their PhT recipients.

Omicron Kappa Upsilon

Following the brunch, the Delta Delta Chapter of the Omicron Kappa Upsilon national dental honor society held its annual convocation at The Olympic Club in San Francisco. Only 12% of the top 20% of the graduating class are voted into the honor society by current OKU faculty members, based on leadership, character and scholarship.

students at the OKU inductionOKU Chapter President Dr. Alan Budenz and Dean Ferrillo inducted the following Class of 2008 graduates into OKU: Drs. Emanuel Alexandroni, Scott Dault, Justin Goodman, Daniel Haws, Russell Homer, Andrew Michael, Laura Miller, Ben Mishler, Nick Morton, Matthew Nielsen, Marta Parisek, Nicole Sakai, Taylor Stephens, Zachary Van Hilsen, Robert Whiting, Bryce Williams, Jacob Yetzer, Tawfiq Alkilani (IDS) and Pooja Patel (IDS). Faculty membership was extended to Drs. Eugene Santucci, Fred Fendler and James Morris. Honorary membership was extended to Dr. Karl Haden, founder and president of the Academy for Academic Leadership.

Phi Kappa Phi

Phi Kappa Phi, an honor society in higher education, was founded in 1897 at the University of Maine and is the oldest and largest interdisciplinary honor society in existence. Admission is by invitation only and requires both superior scholarship and good character as criteria for membership. The name Phi Kappa Phi comes from the initial letters of the Greek words forming its adopted motto: Philosophia krateito photon

Members selected from the Class of 2008 are: Emanuel S. Alexandroni, Daniel T. Haws, Laura E. Miller, Benjamin K. Mishler, Nicole C. Sakai, Taylor J. Stephens, Jacob G. Yetzer and Pooja D. Patel, B.D.S. (IDS)

Tau Kappa Omega

Tau Kappa Omega, an honor society in dentistry, was organized at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1927 for promotion of honor and service to the alma mater. Students are admitted on the basis of ideals, scholarship and character.

Members selected from the DDS Class of 2008 are: Yejin Ahn, Emanuel S. Alexandroni, Alyson T. Barnes, Keith R. Boyer, Stuart W. Boyse, Sherman Chan, Thomas M. Clements, Scott A. Dault, Lindsay L. Don, Daryl J. Dudum, Mark R. Ence, Ryan J. Everhart, Heidi Ferre, Shawn A. Frawley, Jay T. Golinveaux, Justin R. Goodman, Christopher A. Groat, Daniel T. Haws, Kelly R. Heetland, Russell S. Homer, Cyrus B. Javadi, Bridgit M. Kalebjian, Marcy Kazeminy, Aaron P. McDonough, Andrew V. Michael, Laura E. Miller, Benjamin K. Mishler, Nicklaus A. Morton, Matthew A. Nielsen, Robert S. Palmer, Marta M. Parisek, Aric M. Petersen, Nicole C. Sakai, Erick Y. Sato, Clint T. Shelley, Taylor J. Stephens, Zachary X. Van Hilsen, Robert J. Whiting, Bryce J. Williams, Daniel S. Witcher, Jacob G. Yetzer

Members selected from the IDS Class of 2008: Tawfiq M. Alkilani, B.D.S., Alifiya H. Barodawalla, B.D.S., Sherif A. Gabr, B.D.S., Denys Kovalchuk, Doctor of Stomatology, Beatriz Parra, D.D.S., Pooja D. Patel, B.D.S., Vijaya Lakshmi-Tippireddy, B.D.S.

Category Type: Special Events

Contact:  Office of Public Relations, 415.929.6434, pr@pacific.edu