USC University of Southern California

Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC

Carol Summerhays tapped to lead Ostrow’s Board of Councilors

Left to right: Ralph Allman, Chair Emeritus and Carol Summerhays, Chair.

After 20 years at the helm of the Board of Councilors, Ralph Allman to step down, take on prestigious chair emeritus title. 

BY JOHN HOBBS MA ’14

There’s a change in leadership of Ostrow’s Board of Councilors as Carol Gomez Summerhays DDS ’78 takes the reins from longtime chair Ralph Allman Jr. ’57, ’60, DDS ’62, MS ’66 to lead the dental school’s governing body. 

The Board of Councilors is a group of 22 faculty, alumni and friends that advises Dean Avishai Sadan on all matters related to the dental school’s vision and mission. Allman has been its chair since 1999. 

“Ralph and his wife Sigrid have been — and will continue to be — some of the dental school’s staunchest advocates,” Sadan said. “In the nearly 10 years in which I have worked alongside Ralph, he has become a dear friend and a mentor, giving me the type of sage advice that can only be gained through years of experience.”

A giant among Trojans

Ralph Allman Jr. 57, ’60, DDS ’62, MS ’66 began teaching in 1960, starting as a teaching assistant while pursuing his DDS degree.

After graduation, he joined the dental school’s faculty as a clinical professor of orthodontics and co-director of the undergraduate orthodontic program.

During his 50-year tenure, Allman educated generation after generation of dental professionals and worked tirelessly to make USC’s orthodontics curriculum one of the best in the nation.

Over the years, he remained very active in the Trojan alumni community, serving as president of the USC Alumni Association, a USC Trustee and a member of the Board of Councilors for USC Athletics. He sat at the helm of Ostrow’s Board of Councilors for 20 years.  

“It has been said that those who follow a great leader are able to do so only by standing on the shoulders of giants. Dr. Allman is one such giant at USC,” Summerhays said. “It has been a privilege to be one of his students and later a colleague on the Board of Councilors. I am humbled to follow him.”

A life of exceptional service

Summerhays graduated from the USC dental school in 1978, having attended dental school on an Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship. After graduation, she was named a Lieutenant in the United States Naval Reserve, a position she held until 1982, when she opened her private practice in San Diego, Calif.

During her nearly four decades-long career, she has been actively involved in many professional dental organizations, including the Academy of General Dentistry, the American Association of Women Dentists and the Hispanic Dental Association.  

She was the president of the California Dental Association from 2008 to 2009 and the American Dental Association from 2015 to 2016.

Summerhays aims to use all this experience to lead the Board of Councilors. 

“My goal is see the Board expand its potential to ensure Ostrow remains a global leader in dentistry while producing outstanding dentists and dental hygienists,” she said. “Additionally, I would love to see construction of a new dental school that supports 21st century dental education and research.”

In addition to the leadership change, the Board of Councilors also welcomed four new members, Thomas Han; Samir Batniji ENDO ’87, M.Ed ’87; Alexandre Amir Aalam PERIO ’03; and Alina Krivitsky DH ’00,DDS ’05, PERIO ’08. 

For a complete list of all Board of Councilors members, click here.

Posted 02.27.2019