USC University of Southern California

USC dental students find opportunities and make connections with the larger dental Trojan Family

An ambitious group of USC School of Dentistry students wants to bring all the benefits of being in the Trojan Family to current dental students.

The student founders of the newly formed USC Future Dental Alumni Association hope to bring current students and the School’s alumni closer together in order to give students a better perspective on what comes after dental school.

“We’re interested in promoting alumni-student relations, something that the student body feels is a necessity,” sad Lawrence Fung, member of the DDS Class of 2011 and President of the Future Dental Alumni Association.

One of the biggest goals of the new organization is to create a mentorship matching program between alumni and students, said Payam Zamani, member of the DDS Class of 2012 and the Future Dental Alumni Association’s Vice President.

“With their mentors, students will hopefully be able to ask questions, intern, and learn what being a dentist is all about,” Zamani said.

The mentorship connections will also be a great way for students to apply and improve their skills outside of the School, said Sumeet Srivastava, Treasurer for the Future Dental Alumni Association and member of the DDS Class of 2013.

Such a mentorship program is a natural fit for a school like USC, which has an extensive network of caring, invested alumni, Zamani said.

“One of the best reasons to come to USC is the connections that you make through the Trojan Family, and we also hope students will ‘pay it forward’ and mentor other students after they graduate,” he said.

While supported by the School, the Future Dental Alumni Association is fully student-run, said Tracy Tran, the group’s Social Event Coordinator and member of the DDS Class of 2011. The group’s first social event will be a tailgate party at the USC-UCLA game on November 28.

“We hope that the tailgate will be a great way for both students and alumni to get together, form connections and sign up for the mentorship matching program,” Tran said.

The tailgate party will begin four hours prior to kickoff in Alumni Park on the University Park Campus and is free for all dental students. The admission price for alumni, faculty and staff is $10 and the price for additional guests is $15. Tailgate sponsors include the USC School of Dentistry Associated Student Body, the USC Graduate and Professional Student Senate, and TWAY Orthodontic Laboratory. The event will be fully catered by Burger Continental of Pasadena with a Texas style barbecue; alcoholic drinks will be served for those over 21 years of age.

The FDAA is always seeking the help of supporters, whether established or recent alumni of the School of Dentistry. Currently, the group is looking for alumni who are interested in establishing a student/alumni bridge. For more information, contact Lawrence Fung at lawrencf@usc.edu.