Winter 2016


Graduating class leaves Tufts with the charge of forging the future of dentistry

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At Tufts School of Dental Medicine’s 147th commencement ceremony, Dean Huw Thomas praised the graduates for their academic achievements as well as their commitment to the underserved and their loyalty to each other and the school.

“The future of our profession is in your hands,” Thomas said, noting that the Class of 2015 matriculated at Tufts the same year he became school dean. “Lift your sails, be engaged in facing the many challenges of that future and be leaders in effecting changes.”

The dean also commended the graduates for their class gift, a scholarship that will be awarded to a student who has faced adversity and has persevered to finish dental school. The students said it symbolizes their class’s unity. Thomas called it “an outstanding example of paying it forward.”

D15 students Sameer Kashyap, Naushin Khandaker,  Tracy Tat Kheradpour and Edwin Kim. Photo: Matt Teutens

D15 students Sameer Kashyap, Naushin Khandaker, Tracy Tat Kheradpour and Edwin Kim. Photo: Matt Teutens

In a heartfelt moment that brought tears to many, Robert Kasberg, associate dean for admissions and student affairs, asked every parent in the audience to stand up and be recognized. After praising the graduates for their work serving the underserved abroad and at home, caring for U.S. military personnel and volunteering to teach and mentor each other, Kasberg asked the students to “think about at least one person who encouraged you when you needed encouragement, who picked you up when you needed it. If you can, reach out to them and share your success with them.”

Class president Austin L. Perera reminded his peers to be unabashed advocates for their patients, the health-care system and the scientific method. “[Patients] trust us with the one face that they have,” he said. “Be among those to burn the snake oil. Evidence-based research must be at the heart of everything that we do. Every decision you make has to be one we could all stand behind.”

At the ceremony, 192 students were awarded Doctor of Dental Medicine degrees, and 15 students received Master of Science degrees.

Nadeem Karimbux, associate dean for academic affairs and professor of periodontology, received the Provost’s Award for Outstanding Teaching and Service. Ala Omar Ali, assistant professor of prosthodontics and operative dentistry, received the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching, and Robert Amato, professor of endodontics, received the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Preclinical Teaching. Jeffrey Marchant, a research assistant in integrative physiology and pathobiology at the School of Medicine, received the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Basic Science Teaching. –Jacqueline Mitchell

Learn about the postgraduate plans of the Class of 2015 as well as the recipients of the 2015 Senior Awards at grads.

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