News and Events

Japan Native Named IDS Valedictorian

June  11, 2007

Dr. Keiko Watanabe, daughter of Dr. Kunikazu and the late Mrs. Yukiko Watanabe of Osaka, Japan, received a doctor of dental surgery degree with highest honors from the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry during commencement exercises held June 10 at the Nob Hill Masonic Center. Pacific named Watanabe valedictorian of the school's International Dental Studies class for achieving the highest overall grade point average in didactic and clinical courses during the two-year program for foreign- trained dentists.

Watanabe received a DDS and PhD degree from Osaka Dental University with a specialty in pediatric dentistry in Osaka, Japan, prior to entering the IDS program at Pacific. Watanabe has received numerous accolades for her academic accomplishments, including being inducted into Omicron Kappa Upsilon and Tau Kappa Omega dental honor societies. Watanabe also received the Herbert K. Yee Scholarship Award and was named to Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities.

"The humanistic model of education utilized at Pacific creates an environment that inspires students to strive for a high degree of success," Watanabe said. "As a result of the supportive atmosphere and family-like environment at Pacific, a diverse group of students are encouraged to share their unique perspectives, and this changes lives. I feel truly indebted to Dean Ferrillo, Dean Emeritus Dugoni, and all members of the administration, faculty and staff who adhere to this model."

Watanabe plans to work as an associate in a private dental practice in San Francisco and will be looking for work as a part-time dental educator. In the near future, Watanabe is considering working in private practice in Oahu, Hawaii. Watanabe and her husband Neil have a two-year-old son, Joshua.

Category Type: Honors and Awards

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