Spring 2015

Double the Impact

Financial Aid Initiative matches endowed scholarship gifts

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When Marina Castellino joins a private practice after graduation, she says she will treat her patients like family. Photo: Matthew Teuten

As a child, Marina Castellino, D15, accidentally pulled out her older sister’s first loose tooth. She has known that dentistry was her passion ever since.

Coming from a small town in northeastern Pennsylvania, Castellino was able to attend Tufts School of Dental Medicine thanks in part to a gift from Ivers Rifkin, D52. Rifkin, who ran a practice for 61 years in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, until retiring last year, made the gift to help deserving dental students get their education with less worry about finances. His gift will be matched by the university’s Financial Aid Initiative, through which Tufts matches any newly established endowed scholarship of $100,000 or more. The initiative has raised more than $55 million since it began in 2013.

In addition to Rifkin’s support, the School of Dental Medicine has received four additional gifts for scholarships through the Financial Aid Initiative from Bill Sellers, A56, D60, J84P; the Tufts University Dental Alumni Association; American Dental Partners (thanks to Greg Serrao, a member of the dental board of advisors) and an anonymous donor. Each gift will be fully matched, doubling its impact. This support helps close the affordability gap.

After graduation in May, Castellino will move back to her home state to join a private practice. One of her goals is to make going to the dentist less traumatic for patients by treating them like family members.

“My most rewarding experience in dental school to date was when one of my patients, a grown man, started crying and hugging me because he was so happy we were able to fix his teeth after years of neglect,” she says. “Moments like that are why I love this career.” —Sarah Garrigan

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