Spring 2013

The Giving Tree

Minna Kim, D03, says her dental education was first rate

By Heather Stephenson

Minna Kim, D03, doesn’t need to visit campus to stay connected. Two other dentists in the Marlborough, Mass., practice where she works are also alumnae: classmate Ina Daci, D03, and Margarita Panajoti, DI94. Her daughter’s orthodontist, James “Jess” Kane, D74, DG76, G78, DG79, D04P, DG06P, is an active volunteer and advocate for Tufts University School of Dental Medicine.

These connections weren’t the only factor in Kim’s decision to join the practice, or her choice of an orthodontist for her child. But knowing that a dentist was educated at Tufts gives her confidence in that person’s skills, she says. “The quality is just top-notch. It’s high-caliber dentistry.”

Minna Kim, D03. Photo by Alonso Nichols

Minna Kim, D03. Photo by Alonso Nichols

Grateful for her own Tufts dental education, Kim was one of hundreds of alumni who participated in the first Justin Altshuler, D46, fundraising challenge to encourage donations at the leadership-giving level, making her donation just before Christmas 2012. Although she had never contributed at the $1,000 level before, the challenge inspired her.

“It may sound cliché, but Tufts gave me the opportunity to pursue a career that I’m passionate about,” she says. “I enjoy going to work every day. I feel like every day I do something positive. It’s a good feeling, having the skills and knowledge to do that.”

Soon after making her gift to Tufts, Kim decided to run the Boston Marathon to raise money for a nonprofit group that helps students navigate the college financial aid process. “I got a great education,
so I want to give that back to students,” she says.

As a 2003 graduate, Kim qualifies for Altshuler’s new GOLD Challenge, for graduates of the last decade, and says she will give to the Tufts Dental Fund again this year, encouraged once more by his offer of a $50,000 matching gift. Altshuler’s challenges have inspired her to imagine increasing her philanthropy, she says: “I just hope someday I can honor Tufts with a challenge like this.”


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