Dental students and faculty from the University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), School of Dentistry recently joined together to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge in support of juvenile diabetes research. More than 40 participants from the two schools took part in the 2011 Walk to Cure Diabetes, an annual event hosted by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The team collected more than $2,300, which will go toward finding a cure for juvenile diabetes.
Participation in the walk was coordinated by students involved in the American Student Dental Association (ASDA) and was spearheaded by Class of 2013 students Ms. Laura Brandson and Ms. Kristen Hann. Ms. Brandson—the team captain—organized the group and walked in honor of her father, who passed away last summer.
Ms. Hann is this year's ASDA Northern California Community Outreach Coordinator, a role in which she is responsible for creating opportunities for students from both Dugoni and UCSF to join together and take part in community service events. This is the second event the two dental schools have jointly participated in this academic year, the first being a shoreline cleanup in August.
Inspired by the enthusiasm of the ASDA students—and Ms. Brandson's story in particular—Dugoni faculty member Dr. Robert P. Ho, who participated in the walk with his family, helped the team reach its financial goal by raising nearly $1,400 for the cause.
"I am glad that I was able to contribute to the betterment of the Pacific family and the students," said Dr. Ho. "I really enjoyed spending quality time with our ASDA members during the walk."
"We had a great time participating in this year's Walk to Cure Diabetes," added Ms. Brandson. "The walk was a perfect opportunity to get to know some of the UCSF dental students, support a good cause, and enjoy a sunny day in San Francisco."
There are additional collaborative ASDA community outreach events planned for 2012. ASDA is a national student-run organization whose mission is to protect and advance the rights, interests, and welfare of students pursuing careers in dentistry. More than 87% of all dental students nationwide join the association. At Dugoni, 100% of D.D.S. and International Dental Studies (I.D.S.) students are members of ASDA.