Dental Hygiene Class of 2024 Celebrates Accomplishments at Pinning Ceremony

at pinning ceremony

The academic and clinical accomplishments of the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry’s Dental Hygiene Class of 2024 were celebrated during a pinning ceremony held on Sat., April 27, 2024 — the 20th such ceremony in the history of the Dental Hygiene program.

Dr. Cindy Lyon, associate dean for oral health education; Dr. Des Gallagher, associate dean for clinic services; and Professor Lory Laughter, program director, welcomed the students and assembled guests. Pins were presented by clinical faculty members Mustafa Radif and Chris Nucho. Representing the San Francisco Dental Hygiene Society, faculty member Michael LaFlamme presented each student with their first professional name badge, which they will be able to wear when they start licensed practice.

Speakers included class president Jeison Velasquez (pictured below), who gave remarks on behalf of the class. Erik Wurster was honored as class valedictorian.

at the pinning ceremony

“Having finished up the hygiene program is one of the biggest accomplishments I've done and I'm so proud not just of myself but for all of my classmates who made it to the finish line,” said Jeison Velasquez. “I still remember my first day in the program, not knowing what to expect but looking forward to it with great excitement. Looking back, I wouldn’t have done it without the support from our professors, instructors, friends and family who were always there for us when needed.”

“I am grateful to have met all these wonderful people and of course, my classmates who at the beginning were just friends, but later became family,” he added. “This program has shaped us as dental professionals ready to face whatever comes in front of us. Wherever we go, we know we will provide the best care possible.”

Many other awards were presented, including fun “Senior Superlatives” honors, as well as accolades from professional organizations and industry partners.

Former program director Deborah Horlak was on hand to participate in the pinning ceremony as part of the ceremony’s anniversary.

Dr. Lyon was honored with a Dental Hygiene Legacy Award for helping to establish the Dental Hygiene program more than 20 years ago and for her enduring support of the program. The award was presented on behalf of the Delta Pacific Hygienists’ Association and the San Francisco Dental Hygiene Society.

Dental Hygiene students will also have the opportunity to participate in the Dugoni School's various commencement weekend activities being held June 14-16 at locations across San Francisco.

Those interested in learning more about the accelerated Bachelor of Science degree in Dental Hygiene are invited to visit the program’s website.

group of dental hygiene students celebrating pinning