The Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry is built around the core value of humanism. We are known for our family atmosphere and the people who contribute to this unique culture. Discover the stories of some of the students, alumni, faculty, staff and administrators that make up "Our Family."
Deanna Lee DDS Class of 2016
"One of the main reasons I wanted to attend Pacific Dugoni was the family atmosphere."
Basil Al Shaikhly IDS Class of 2015
“My motto is determination. If you want to do something, put in your focus, and one day you will reach it.”
Tina Ngo DDS Class of 2015
"I think it’s really important for us to be leaders in the community."
Erin Shah (Meidinger) DDS Class of 2014
“It’s a really supportive environment among the students. Everyone is responsive if you need help and actively engaged in each other’s learning.”
Kristin Heller DDS Class of 2014
"Everybody is so happy and positive at Pacific. It’s like everyone is in it together and working towards a common goal. It’s an environment that helps you grow rather than one that breaks you down."
Brian Baliwas DDS Class of 2014
"You go to this school for three years but you end up being part of the school for your entire life. You don't just receive an education here."
Dan McFarland DDS Class of 2014
"At Pacific, I think it's incredible that professors and heads of departments will sit down and listen to your issues."
Marie Tolarova Professor of Orthodontics; Executive Director, Pacific Craniofacial Team and Cleft Prevention Program; Director, Research Fellowship Program
“This is my lifetime passion. I believe we can save children, we can save their smiles.”
Maureen Valley Associate Professor and Director of the Postgraduate Orthodontic Clinic
"Finding a mentor is a vital step for everyone starting a career or something new."
William Sands Vice Chairperson, Clinical Practice Strand
"The humanistic paradigm of Pacific Dugoni means that we treat every student, every faculty and every patient as a valuable individual."
Parag Kachalia Vice Chair, Preclinical Education, Technology & Research in the Department of Integrated Reconstructive Dental Sciences
"Something I love about Pacific is that we are willing to take calculated risks and reinvent ourselves when appropriate.”
Deborah Horlak Dental Hygiene Program Director
"I feel fortunate every day that I am working for Pacific in general, the Dugoni School in particular and especially our little dental hygiene program."
Allen Wong Director, Hospital Dentistry Program
"I feel privileged to be a dentist and an educator, and I’m very happy to do what I do."
Marc Geissberger Chair, Department of Integrated Reconstructive Dental Sciences
“I have a lot of graduates come back years later and tell me that I’ve taught them more than they realized while they were here.”
Cindy Lyon Chair, Department of Dental Practice
“I love the student interaction that comes with teaching.”
Christine Miller Associate Professor, Director of Community Programs
“Working with people with developmental disabilities transformed and expanded my views as an oral health professional.”
Ove Peters Professor, Department of Endodontics
“The people in this school are filled with a particular spirit that makes it a pleasure to work here. There is a positive attitude here that serves as motivation to get things done.”
Vanessa Bricker Interdisciplinary Manager, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Implant Clinics
“It’s fascinating to see patients who come back for their three-month post-op with a smile on their face and a completely different outlook on life.”
Jan Fricke Dental Auxillary Utilization Teaching Assistant, Pediatric Dentistry Clinic
"I enjoy giving back and I don't see myself stopping."
Raybel Ramos Director, Information Technology & Telecommunications
"All my life, I've set a goal, and then I get there."
Drew Malimban Manager, Building Operations
"I want to improve our facility and help Pacific become greener and more efficient."
Teresa Kuhlman Manager, Integrated Clinical Sciences Curriculum
"I love my position at Pacific because each day I come to work is an opportunity to make a difference."
Torri Keever Senior Admissions Advisor
“I enjoy getting to know the incoming class. I’ve watched some of our students progress from the day they were interviewed to becoming faculty members here.”
Sandra Shuhert Graphic Designer, Design & Photo Department
“When I started working at the dental school, I heard that there were many long-time employees here. Now I know why.”
Robert Trezia Clinic Business/Intake Manager
“We help people in the community in so many different ways.”
Daniel Nam DDS 2002, Dugoni School of Dentistry
"I can’t thank the school enough for its dedication to the humanistic model of education. It taught me the value of serving others with the talents that I was given."
John Kim Board Member of the Pacific Dugoni Foundation
"I think it's rare that dental schools have the caliber of events we do, but I think it reflects the caliber of our Pacific Dugoni family."
Nava Fathi San Jose, California
“There’s a definite family feeling that develops at our school and that feeling doesn’t end after graduation.”
Debra Finney Folsom, California
"I'm grateful for the respect that I was shown as a student which contributed to a positive attitude and a desire to be involved and hopefully make a difference in our profession."
Nader Nadershahi Executive Associate Dean and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
“People wanted to get to know me and cared about my success. That environment is really why I came back to teach.”
Steve Rose Las Vegas, NV
"It truly is a great feeling to donate and I have seen so many alumni give and enjoy doing it."
Karl Brose Santa Cruz, California
“Working with patients involves education. You teach all the time, every day. We’re all teachers all the time.”
Tyler Nelson Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Residency Program, Oakland, CA
"My experience at the dental school was outstanding, and I hope to be an alumnus who helps to make it just as wonderful for future students."
Tom Keller Encinitas, California
“As Dugoni graduates, we understand the importance of giving something back.”
Patrick J. Ferrillo, Jr. Dean
"I have long known and respected this dental school for its humanistic model of education and its strong commitment to patient care, research and clinical education."
Arthur A. Dugoni Dean Emeritus, Professor of Orthodontics and Senior Executive for Development
"At Pacific we build people, and along the way they become doctors."
Craig Yarborough Associate Dean for Institutional Advancement
"The humanistic model was probably the single greatest driver of why I am a full-time educator here."