Bulletin of Dental Education

Graduating University of Utah SOD Student Creates Original Masterpiece Bringing Her Classmates Together

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Nestled in Research Park in Salt Lake City, on the south side of campus, the University of Utah School of Dentistry (U of U SOD) boasts an innovative curriculum, some of the most modern teaching facilities in the country and world-class researchers. Grounded in its mission to serve the underserved communities across the state of Utah, U of U SOD compassionately cares for patients in its six clinics. On May 15, the U of U SOD conferred D.D.S. degrees on 46 students. 

Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak, these accomplished graduates safely completed their academic and clinical education. Sixteen are joining prestigious post-graduate residencies around the country. Additionally, they have become national leaders, working closely with their administrators and state officials to advocate for a manikin-based licensing exam next month.

Unable to celebrate together physically, class of 2020 graduate Yuliya Petukhovas, D.D.S., gifted her classmates and the school with an original sketch of all the 2020 spring graduates in their caps and gowns to commemorate their collective achievement. 


In addition to receiving multiple awards for her academic accomplishments, including the 2020 Elizabeth Fuhriman Gardner Prize for the Outstanding Woman Student in the University of Utah Health Sciences, Dr. Petukhova has been accepted to a prestigious six-year dental residency in oral surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. 

When faced with the disappointment of not being able to be together again as a class physically because of the COVID-19 pandemic, fellow graduate Marilyn Sadler, D.D.S., jokingly asked her friend Dr. Petukhova to sketch the class. Known not only for her incredible artistry but for her perseverance, hard work and big heart, Dr. Petukova spent 10 days capturing the joyful faces of her classmates. The result not only left her peers and administrators in tears, but it also proved that in this time of physical distancing, isolation and virtual celebrations, some gifts will endure. 

Courtesy of Christina-Mai Just, Associate Director of Marketing, Communications & Alumni Relations, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives at the University of Utah School of Dentistry

Published on July 8, 2020

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