university of the pacific

Arthur A. Dugoni

Student Leaders

Vania received her B.S. in Neurobiology with a minor in Psychology at the University of California, Irvine. As the president of her pre-dental organization, Delta Delta Sigma, she led the efforts in establishing a free mobile dental clinic. From this health project, she had the opportunity to work with Dr. Allen Huang to create a platform that would expand the professional experiences of pre-dental students through community service. With the mentorship of Dr. Huang, she came to understand the true meaning of passing it forward and has been inspired to do the same for others.

Since college, Vania has also served as Vice President of her pre-dental society, danced on the UCI spirit squad, promoted the importance of oral health through the Smile Kit program, and spearheaded a dental mission trip to the Philippines. Her latest research focuses on early detection of oral cancer using a portable fluorescence smartphone probe in developing countries, which she has presented on at the ASLMS national conference. After learning about the scope of OMFS at the Singapore Allergy and Rhinology Conference during her first year as a dental student, Vania realized her passion for oral surgery. Having been inspired by the mentorship of those before her, she is excited to be a part of Passing the Scalpel and she looks forward to establishing a chapter at UOP while carrying out its mission to inspire the next generation of surgeons.

Katherine is a current second year dental student at the University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry. She received her BA in Arts and Applied Sciences at the University of the Pacifc Stockton campus after completing the accelerated 2-year undergraduate program. Katherine has always had a passion for school involvement and working with peers for collective enrichment; she was a General Chemistry Workshop Leader at the undergraduate campus and is currently a Student Ambassador as well as an ASDA Pre-Dental Committee Leader. She is looking forward to continuing her community involvement by teaching others the importance of oral health through the upcoming dental mission trip to the Philippines. Katherine has previously done research comparing the interactions of T. vaginalis RAD51 with those of human RAD51. Currently she is doing research using Geometric Morphometrics to track commonalities in skull development. 


Katherine has had an interest in oral and maxillofacial surgery since high school, but found her passion for it after she was able to observe the full scope of the specialty during college. She hopes to expand the exposure to OMFS with the introduction of Passing the Scalpel at UOP and to help empower her fellow doctors to achieve more. 


R. Christiaan Allen, Jr. is currently a D1 student at the University of the Pacific, Arthur Dugoni School of Dentistry. In his undergraduate education, he studied exercise science and graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Science from Brigham Young University in Provo, UT. 

His interest in oral surgery began while shadowing before dental school, and has grown due to continued exposure in the field. Understanding the importance of early exposure, he looks forward to developing a platform where students and doctors can network, learn, and develop a working relationship. 

Outside of his passion for dentistry, he enjoys competing in Olympic Weightlifting, spending time with his wife and son, and enjoying the outdoors.

Bruce S. Youm is a student at the University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry. A first-generation Korean-American, Bruce was born in Japan and grew up in Seoul, Korea before arriving in Silicon Valley with his family. He had the special privilege to study at UC Berkeley and Columbia University. After graduation, Bruce was admitted to medical school and furthered his education briefly before taking time off to pursue his entrepreneurial ideas. As the founder of the nonprofit Health Guardians of America, Bruce designed, piloted, and scaled a national public health project with the mission of promoting health equity. He is the co-founder of a digital health company that operates a web-based mobile application to encourage healthy behaviors through a rewards program. From his varied experiences in the fields of medicine and health care, he came to realize that the ideal medical specialty for him would be oral and maxillofacial surgery. During his time at Passing the Scalpel, he hopes to learn more about OMFS, make a meaningful contribution as part of the team at Pacific Dugoni and support the mission of the founders in broadening the exposure of OMFS for other dental students.

Greg Polyakov is a first year dental student at University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni school of dentistry. He is from Calabasas, California and studied Psychobiology at UCLA. He joined Passing the Scalpel to help expand the organization at the Dugoni School of Dentistry and create a network for dental students to learn more about oral and maxillofacial surgery. He hopes to become an Oral surgeon and follow in his father’s footsteps. 


 "Inspiring A New Generation  of Oral Surgeons"

© 2023 by Passing The Scalpel. 

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