By School of Dentistry - February 16, 2012
Since 1996, in a tradition suggested by then fourth-year dental student Polly Sprague-Nichols, late on the Friday afternoon of each annual School of Dentistry Alumni Student Convention there is a dedication service for the first year and graduating class students. As gifts from the School’s Alumni Association, first-year Doctor of Dental Surgery, Dental Hygiene, and International Dentist Program students are presented, one-by-one, a leather-bound Bible embossed with the student’s name; while the graduating class members from each of the three programs also take the platform individually to receive (and don) a white lab coat embroidered with the student’s name and the School’s logo.
Dentistry class of 2012 lab coat recipients (L-R) Andrew Elmarsi, Scott Ellis,
and Mo Dossantos.

In an expansion of this tradition, the 2012 dedication ceremony included the presentation of personalized Bibles to nine new School of Dentistry faculty members.

Ron Dailey, PhD, executive associate dean, reads the names as Dean Charles Goodacre, DDS, MSD, presents Debra Zawistowski, BS, assistant professor, dental hygiene with an embossed Bible and Graham Stacey, PhD, associate dean, student affairs assists.

This year’s dedicatory homily was presented by Michael Knecht, MDiv, project manager, Department of Mission and Culture, Loma Linda University Medical Center. “Do the things that make you proud,” said Pastor Knecht, in a brief address that focused on the story of Eddie “the Eagle” Edwards, Britain’s greatest ski jumper, and his last place finish in that event at the Winter Olympics of 1988.

Michael Knecht, MDiv, project manager, department of mission and culture, Loma Linda University Medical Center, presented the dedication message.


Aaron Tenzer, dentistry class of 2012, receives the Award for Christ-like Service award from Dr. Mike Boyko.

Aaron Tenzer (dentistry class of 2012), credited with 463 local and international service learning hours, was the recipient of the Award for Christ-like Service presented by Mike Boyko, SD75-A, MPH, assistant professor, department of oral and maxillofacial surgery.

Musical praise was provided by (L-R) Elizabeth Ordelheide, D4 (piano), alumnus Andrew Ordelheide, SD’08 (violin), and Douglas Baasch, D2 (cello).

The ceremony was graced musically with Felix Mendelssohn’s Andante Con Moto, Piano Trio in D Minor through the artistry of LLUSD alumnus Andrew Ordelheide, SD’08 (violin), and School of Dentistry students Douglas Baasch, D2 (cello), and Elizabeth Ordelheide, D4 (piano).

Dave Srikureja, senior dental student, holds his lab coat as classmates applaud the motorcycle accident victim’s perseverance. His wife, Alexis (left) and Tania Kurunathan, secretary, Student Administration, assisted as he received his coat.

Additional photos from the Dedication Service:

Chanise Bragg, dental hygiene class of 2012, receives congratulations and a lab coat from Steven Morrow, DDS, MS, professor, endodontics, and director, patient care services and quality assurance.
Class of 2015 dental student Ryan Becker with his Bible
Class of 2012 dental students in their white lab coats
Yara Abdulla, international dentist program class of 2012, is congratulated by Dean Goodacre as her class representative, Saad Sagman, looks on.
Sara Cheek, dental hygiene class of 2013, receives her Bible as in the background her classmates, class chaplain Mone Citró (left) and class president Angela Hemenway (right), assist.


The 2012 School of Dentistry Alumni Student Convention Dedication Service drew a large crowd of loved ones, friends, and well-wishers. 
Krissa Mickelwait, dentistry class of 2012, arrives to receive her lab coat.