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Dean Patrick J. Ferrillo, Jr., was recently appointed to the advisory board of the King Saud University School of Dentistry in Dammam, Saudi Arabia

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Pacific News

Pacific forges new international ties with dental educators

Jun 2, 2014

University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry is celebrating several new international partnerships and cross-cultural exchange initiatives.

Dean Patrick J. Ferrillo, Jr., was recently appointed to the advisory board of the King Saud University School of Dentistry in Dammam, Saudi Arabia. This opportunity will allow Pacific Dugoni to collaborate with other leaders to shape the future of dental education and dentistry in the Middle East. By sharing best practices in faculty development programs, dental education and research, the institutions will help one another stay on the forefront of innovation.

"Cultivating an engaging, interactive learning environment is a continual growth process," said Dean Ferrillo. "Dental schools around the world cannot grow in isolation. Forming collaborative relationships with academic institutions allows us to share what we have learned, collaborate with people from other cultures, and together elevate healthcare on a global level."

This new appointment follows many years of involvement with other universities in the Middle East. The International General Dentist Educator (IGDE) program at Pacific is a collaboration between the Dugoni School of Dentistry, Gladys Benerd School of Education and Kuwait University Faculty of Dentistry. Designed for international students aiming to further their dental education and pursue careers in dental education, the program consists of five years of advanced training and graduate work at Pacific. Participants are required to undergo clinical and didactic training as well as complete a thesis project at Pacific. Two students from Kuwait University, Drs. Fawaz Alzoubi and Hanadi Al Enezi, are currently completing the IGDE program. Upon completion, they will be qualified to teach and practice at Kuwait University, and both scholars plan to return to Kuwait University as dental educators.

As part of another cross-cultural connection in the region, representatives from Pacific Dugoni recently visited with colleagues at Pharos University in Alexandria, Egypt. Read more about that visit and see pictures in this story.

Pacific Dugoni has built strong relationships with dental schools and educators in China and Southeast Asia. Most recently, faculty members from Wenzhou Medical University School of Stomatology visited Pacific Dugoni in San Francisco to meet with faculty and students. The visit further solidified the culture of collaboration between the two schools.

Several leaders from the dental school also serve on the board of directors of the International Federation of Dental Educators and Associations (IFDEA). Dean Ferrillo serves as president of IFDEA; Dr. Nader Nadershahi, executive dean and executive associate dean for Academic Affairs, currently serves as vice president on the IFDEA board; Dr. Anders Nattestad, professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, serves as IFDEA's executive director.

IFDEA is a global community of dental educators who have joined together to improve oral health worldwide by sharing knowledge and raising standards. IFDEA serves as an axis of information, best practices, exchange programs, news and professional development for the many regional dental education associations, academic dental institutions and individual dental educators worldwide. The association provides free online resources for dental educators and IFDEA is free to all dental educators and dental schools around the world. To learn more, visit

The Dugoni School of Dentistry's commitment to global impact stems from the school's Global Initiative in Dental Education (GIDE). As leaders in dental education face new challenges in a competitive global community, it becomes increasingly important to create partnerships to share intellectual resources. Consistent with the Dugoni School's Strategic Plan, GIDE is intended to elevate education and health care standards for the mutual benefit of patients, students, faculty and staff. Click here to read more about GIDE.

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