TUSDM Commencement Ceremony focuses on service and advocacy

TUSDM ushered the Class of D2014 into the world of dentistry on May 18, during the 146th Commencement Ceremony.

The ceremony took place at the Medford/Somerville campus, directly after the Tufts University-wide Commencement exercises. This year, 192 students received Doctor of Dental Medicine degrees, and 13 received Master of Science degrees. Dr. Nadeem Karimbux, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, emceed the ceremony, and Dr. Kathleen O’Loughlin, Chair of the TUSDM Board of Advisors, was the on-site Trustee. Dean Huw Thomas addressed the graduates, commending them on both their academic achievements and their commitment to service.

“Your compassion to address the needs of underserved populations and to be sensitive to complex public health issues are exceptional,” he said. “Your accomplishments and service bring honor not only to yourselves but also to the School.”

Dr. Robert Kasberg, Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs, praised the students’ myriad accomplishments as well as the way they dealt with various transitions within the school and the university during their four years at Tufts.

“Guided by four years of outstanding student leadership, the Class of D2014 weathered massive change in the school and around the university with dignity, professionalism and humor,” Dr. Kasberg said. “They witnessed the hiring of a new university President, a new school Dean, five new associate deans, and seven changes in department chairs. And they helped plan and prepare for accreditation, clinic restructuring, curriculum revision, global service learning, and a new strategic directive.”

D14 class president Andrew Tonelli and DIS14 president Mina Zaki also addressed their classmates during Commencement. Dr. Cherie Bishop, President of the Dental Alumni Executive Council, presented the Alumni Association Award in honor of Dr. James “Jess” Kane, D74, DG76, G78, DG79, DPX2, to Matthew Cannavo, the top student in the D14 Class. Dr. Paul Stark, Professor and Director of the Division of Advanced and Graduate Education, and Dr. Carroll Ann Trotman, Chair of the Department of Orthodontics, presented the Master of Science candidates. As part of a long tradition allowing family members who are alums or active faculty at the school to “hood” their graduating student, 17 graduates were hooded by their loved ones.

TUSDM faculty awards celebrate dedication and teaching excellence

The Commencement season is also a time to honor faculty members for their work and commitment to the school. Four faculty members received faculty awards this year: Dr. Michael Kahn, Professor and Chair of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Oral Medicine, and Craniofacial Pain, received the Provost’s Award for Outstanding Teaching and Service; Dr. Timothy J. Hempton, Adjunct Associate Professor of Periodontology, received the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Preclinical Teaching; Dr. Quinn Chan, Clinical Instructor of Prosthodontics and Operative Dentistry, received the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching; and Dr. Rebecca Lufler, Lecturer in in the Department of Integrative Physiology and Pathobiology, Tufts School of Medicine, received the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Basic Science Teaching. The faculty award winners will be celebrated during the Faculty Recognition Luncheon on August 7.

New alumni welcomed at Annual Graduation Dinner

The Class of D2014 had the opportunity to celebrate and mingle at the TUSDM 21st Annual Graduation Dinner, which took place on May 9 at the Westin Copley Place in Boston. More than 400 students, faculty, staff, alumni, family and friends attended the event. The occasion gave the Tufts Dental Alumni Association a chance to welcome the students into the ranks of TUSDM’s 7,000 alumni, and distribute 35 awards to students.

Tonelli and Zaki presented a check from the graduates to Dean Thomas for the Senior Class Gift, in honor of Shoji Inomata, D15, a fellow student who underwent a heart transplant during his second year. The D14 class had a 93 percent participation rate for the Senior Class Gift, with a record 95 percent of gifts at the Dean’s Inner Circle level. The class ultimately contributed nearly $5,500 to the school. Their contributions were matched by the Dean and the Tufts University Dental Alumni Association, and added to non-class giving for a total of $16,075. The gift will be used as a scholarship for a current student during the next academic year.

Honos Civicus honors students in service

The Honos Civicus Society inducted 20 new members from the D14 class on May 13. The Honos Civicus Society, launched in 2009 by the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service, inducts graduating students who embody commitment to public service and community engagement. Students who are recognized will join an alumni network of health professionals committed to active citizenship throughout their careers. The D14 inductees are:

  • Israel Adeloye
  • Alexandra Bassett
  • Yusuf Bhatti
  • Audra Buckley
  • Stephanie Brue
  • Jenny Citrin
  • Vyacheslav Dmytruk
  • Alyssa Ebright
  • Khristy Fontillas
  • Nicholas Gordon
  • Khara Gresham
  • Judyth Lee
  • Kelly Leong
  • Jaskaren Randhawa
  • Kimberly Kocak Schlam
  • Leslie M. Slowikowski
  • Andrew Tonelli
  • Michelle Webb
  • Riley Wedlake
  • Alan Wong

The students were inducted, along with students from the School of Medicine, the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, and the Public Health and Professional Degrees Programs, during a Luncheon on the Boston campus.