USC University of Southern California

Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC

The ASPID-DDS Curriculum Uniter

Photo by John Skalicky

Cheryl Park ’07, DDS ’13, PROS ’16


Cheryl Park came to Ostrow to become a prosthodontist. By the time she graduated, she had a slightly different vision for her future. 

Citing a handful of influential faculty members (Winston Chee PROS ’86; George Cho DDS ’87, PROS ’90; and Tae Kim PROS ’01, among others), Park sought to walk in the shoes of the figures that had loomed large over her own dental education by becoming an educator. 

“It was an exciting time,” she says. “Dr. Sillas Duarte had changed the curriculum to incorporate newer CAD/CAM technology, and I saw how forward-thinking our curriculum was in comparison to other schools.”

Continuing that forward-thinking tradition, the assistant professor of clinical dentistry, who teaches pre-clinical modules to both DDS and ASPID students, spearheaded an initiative last year to integrate the indirect restorative curriculum for both groups to ensure they had the same training before they entered the clinic together.

Not only does the integration help supervising faculty in the clinic — they now know every student, DDS or ASPID, is armed with the exact same knowledge — it also helps the students (particularly the ASPID students) whose work is now assessed by several faculty members. 

Park also helped streamline the anterior and posterior fixed prosthodontics module from two trimesters into one and introduced video clips of dental procedures during lectures to better teach today’s tech-savvy millennial generation. 

It’s this type of out-of-the-box thinking that first got Park interested in teaching. She hopes her students will be just as inspired. 

“In the end, I hope to be as influential to my students as my Ostrow mentors were for me and for them to find their paths at what is a fulfilling career for them,” she says.

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This story originally appeared in the TroDent, the official publication for the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC. Read more stories like this in our Spring 2018 issue.



Posted May 2018