San Diego State University

Pre-Dental Organization

Name of Site

age title

FALL 2020

TOOTH LOVER TUESDAY MEMBER SPOTLIGHT 

Brianna Peraza

“I’ve been a member since Spring of 2020, but I wish I had joined sooner! Honestly what I think I drew me to dentistry is having to go through having braces twice when I was a kid. Every time I would go into my office I would get so excited, this didn’t seem like a normal thing for a kid but I guess my love for teeth just started early! 
I like to practice my manual dexterity by working on macrame and painting, as well as practicing yoga poses and inversions 🧘‍♀️ I’m planning to apply next cycle which is why I’ve been trying to focus on putting my skills to the test! I know it’s a stressful process, but I also know we can all do it! Our drive is the reason we are in this position right now, so whenever you’re feeling doubtful please remember your love for teeth!!”

"Hi everyone, my name is Matthew Bazzi and this is my first year as a member of the SDSU Pre-Dental organization.  I chose dentistry as my pre-health field after shadowing a dentist and realizing it is something I want to have a career in. I don’t do as much as I would like to contribute to my manual dexterity, but I frequently go fishing and find myself having to tie fishing knots for the friends that I go with. I also occasionally draw when hanging out with some of my younger cousins, but I definitely look foreword to strengthening my manual dexterity as I work towards becoming a dentist. I plan on applying to dental school after I graduate in 2022. My words of wisdom to some followers of the SDSU Pre-dental org would be to stay in contact and grow those relationships with the people that have the same interests as you because you can help each other reach your goals and hopefully some day become a great dentist."

Kelsey Choy

“My name is Kelsey Choy and I went to my first PDO meeting last semester but only went to 2 before the pandemic :(. I’m a fairly new member and I’m excited to see what this org has in store for me! I’ve always wanted to do something in the sciences, and I decided that dentistry was for me after I shadowed my uncle for a summer in high school. To practice my manual dexterity, I sew a lot of thrifted clothes (like this shirt in the picture that i made out of a bedsheet). I’m also really into pottery and I love throwing on the wheel! I plan on applying to dental school after I graduate in 2022. Some words of wisdom that my uncle shared with me that I’d like to pass on are to just enjoy your youth and time in school, because you can’t relive your undergrad years! :)”

Treasurer

Vincent Duarter

"My name is Luciano Manotas Isasi and I’ve been a member since last year. I chose dentistry as my pre-health profession because 
it’s very important to have a good smile and feel comfortable with your own smile since that is one of the first things people notice about others. I recently started a succulent garden at my house and I  have taken up painting as a side hobby. I plan on applying to dental school next cycle. Some words of wisdom I'd like to share with our members would be that the key to success is to start before you are ready. This is very important, especially in most pre health fields.”

Luciano Manotas Isasi

Sabrina Cesare

"Hi everyone, my name is Sabrina Cesare and I’ve been a member for a year and a half. I chose dentistry as my pre-health profession because dentistry is a combination of all my passions including science, art, and more! I play piano, water color paint, and do embroidery as a way to practice my manual dexterity. I'm planning to apply to dental school after graduation, summer '22. My words of wisdom would be: you’re going to be in school a long time no matter what so don’t rush! Take your time, do well, and enjoy it :)”
 

Ryan Ordaz

Matthew Bazzi

"My name is Ryan Ordaz and I’ve been a member of PDO for a year and a half now. Having the opportunity to start rebuilding ones health, smile and confidence is why I want to pursue a career in Dentistry. Other than assisting, in my free time I started tying different variations of fishing knots and am going to learn how to knit after the semester ends. I a going to be applying to dental school this upcoming cycle, which is in June! Remember,  your attitude will always determine your altitude, stay positive!"

Spring 2020

TOOTH LOVER TUESDAY MEMBER SPOTLIGHT 

Alyssa Ongley

1. How long have you been a PDO member?
🦷 I have been a member since last year!

2. What made you choose dentistry as your pre-health field?
🦷 I’ve always been interested in science and helping people, so I figured going into dentistry is a great way for me to do both.

3. What are some hobbies/activities that you participate in that can contribute to your manual dexterity?
🦷 I started learning ASL and painting with my little sister in my free time.

4. When do you plan on applying to dental school?
🦷 I plan on applying after I graduate next year.

5. Words of wisdom to our members/followers :)
🦷 Don’t forget to give yourself time to relax and just breathe!

Amielene Garon

1. How long have you been a PDO member?
🦷 I’ve been a PDO member for about two semesters now 🤓

2. What made you choose dentistry as your pre-health field?
🦷 I chose dentistry as my pre-health field because ever since I started working with my mom at her dental office since my senior year of high school I just started to become more interested and found myself wanting to learn and know more. I also grew very fond of my coworkers and all of the patients. And once I started assisting, I realized I wanted to give people their smile back and follow in my mom’s footsteps 🦷🪥

3. What are some hobbies/activities that you participate in that can contribute to your manual dexterity?
🦷 Some hobbies I would do once in a while is draw or paint.
As for practicing my manual dexterity I’ve been assisting for about 3 years now, so I hope that counts for practicing 😅

4. When do you plan on applying to dental school?
🦷 I plan on applying to dental school this fall for the next cycle! 😆

5. Words of wisdom to our members/followers :)
🦷 Some words of wisdom that I constantly use to help me keep moving forward is to never lose sight of your dreams and to just take everything one step at a time. Because things will get overwhelming, so the best we can do is try and handle things on a day by day basis

Mia Coleman

1. How long have you been a PDO member?
🦷 This is my second semester as a PDO member! I received active membership status last semester and plan on keeping this status until I graduate. :)

2. What made you choose dentistry as your pre-health field?
🦷 I have known that I want to be in the field of dentistry, more specifically, have a career as an orthodontist, ever since I was seven years old and walked into the office of my own orthodontist when I was getting my first round of braces. The tools that dentists use have always interested me, and I love the fact that I have the opportunity to make a difference in a person’s life and help their teeth be a source of confidence! Choosing dentistry as my pre-health field was only natural, and I believe it will allow me to successfully prepare for my dream career as an orthodontist.

3. What are some hobbies/activities that you participate in that can contribute to your manual dexterity?
🦷 I have not worked on my manual dexterity as much as I would like to, with the exception of working as a dental assistant, which helps me begin to understand and practice the fine motor skills required to become a successful dentist/orthodontist. I would also love to start painting, sewing, or participating in a hobby that is more hands on and allows me to practice and develop these skills even more in a way that also provides relaxation and leisurely enjoyment.

4. When do you plan on applying to dental school?
🦷 I plan on applying to dentistry school during my senior year of college, which is 2022-2023. As of right now, I don’t plan on taking a gap year, but I will ultimately do what is most beneficial and practical in the long run.

5. Words of wisdom to our members/followers :)
🦷 Do what is best for you personally, no matter what everyone else is doing. You will be the happiest when you remain true to yourself and focus on your own personal goals. Also, surround yourself with people that support you unconditionally, prioritize your physical and mental health, and watch yourself thrive!

1.Please introduce yourself! (Name, Year, Major)
🦷 My name is John Lawrence Pureza and I’m a third year biology major

2.How long have you been a PDO member?
🦷 I joined SDSU’s Pre-Dental Organization last semester, so this semester will mark my first year at PDO.

3. What made you choose dentistry as your pre-health field?
🦷 I chose dentistry because when I was a kid, I used to love going to the dentist with my late grandfather and the way that his confidence instantaneously changed after one visit and how happy he got really inspired me to help people feel the same way and lead me to this path. That’s also where I developed my passion in helping underserved communities which is why when I become a dentist, I plan to help people in lesser developed countries and give them back their smile and confidence.

4. What are some hobbies/activities that you participate in that can contribute to your manual dexterity?
🦷 I’m really big into drawing and lately I’ve been trying to relearn how to play the keyboard/piano. I also enjoy creating origami with my friends as a pass time on some occasions.

5. When do you plan on applying to dental school?
🦷 I plan on applying to dental schools this coming cycle to hopefully be admitted by Fall 2022.

6. Words of wisdom to our members/followers :)
🦷 Being in STEM can be very draining, but if you surround yourself with people who are as motivated and driven as you, studying can actually be fun. Just make sure to set time aside for fun activities because taking breaks is necessary.
 

John Lawrence Pureza

1.Please introduce yourself! (Name, Year, Major)
🦷 Chloe Fairman, Junior, Biology

2.How long have you been a PDO member?
🦷 I have been a PDO member since Spring ‘19

3. What made you choose dentistry as your pre-health field?
🦷 I chose to become a dentist because I am very passionate about helping people with their confidence! I truly love the idea of helping someone become more confident by creating a beautiful smile.

4. What are some hobbies/activities that you participate in that can contribute to your manual dexterity?
🦷 I worked as a camp counselor for an entire summer and I learned how to make key chains and friendship bracelets! I am also a member of Camp Kesem on campus which has allowed me to practice more of my friendship bracelet making skills. Making key chains and friendship bracelets has helped me improve on my manual dexterity!

5. When do you plan on applying to dental school?
🦷 I plan on applying in the 2021-2022 cycle. I am hoping to attend dental school after I graduate in 2022 :)

6. Words of wisdom to our members/followers :)
🦷 Remember to take a deep breath and remind yourself that everything will work out just the way it’s meant to be

Chloe Fairman

1. Please introduce yourself! (Name, Year, Major)
🦷 My name is Tait Hollis and I am a 3rd-year general Biology major with a minor in interdisciplinary studies.

2.How long have you been a PDO member?
🦷 I joined PDO this semester so I've been a member for about 3 months now.

3. What made you choose dentistry as your pre-health field?
🦷 I came into college fixated on going to medical school. Once the pandemic hit and everyone got sent home from campus I spent a lot of time thinking and came to the realization that if I wanted to achieve my career goals I was going to need to start gaining experience outside of the classroom. I spoke with a few older friends that I had from SDSU who were on the dental path (I didn't know anyone who was pre-med) and learned about the different organizations and how to get involved. Since then I have genuinely enjoyed every aspect of learning the field and meeting others who share the same passion.

4. What are some hobbies/activities that you participate in that can contribute to your manual dexterity?
🦷 Admittedly I don't engage in a lot of the creative activities that many of the other pre-dental students do. I do play video games from time to time which can aid in manual dexterity. Other than that, I have been considering picking up some sort of musical instrument, maybe a bass guitar, that would work to further improve my skill.

5. When do you plan on applying to dental school?
🦷 I plan on applying to dental school in June of 2022.

6. Words of wisdom to our members/followers :)
🦷 Considering that I'm relatively new to pre-dental, my best advice would be to get involved and gain experience as early as possible. It's not that deciding later on necessarily has a negative impact on you, but I feel as though if I decided on pre-dental in my first or second year, I would have been able to log more hours early on and network to a greater degree.

Tait Hollis

1.Please introduce yourself! (Name, Year, Major)
🦷 Hello! My name is Abi Diaz. I am a second year biology major.

2.How long have you been a PDO member?
🦷 I am a new member this semester, and I can’t believe how much I missed out on my first year!

3. What made you choose dentistry as your pre-health field?
🦷 I always knew I wanted to be a dentist because my mom raised me in her dental office. I love the idea of helping people with their smiles because it’s usually the first thing people notice (or maybe that’s just me!).

4. What are some hobbies/activities that you participate in that can contribute to your manual dexterity?
🦷 I love to crochet and play guitar

5. When do you plan on applying to dental school?
🦷 I plan to apply next cycle

6. Words of wisdom to our members/followers :)
🦷 Nike said it best with, “Just do it”! The pandemic made college go by a year faster, so if there is something you want to try, now is the best time before starting a career!

Abi Diaz

FALL 2021

TOOTH LOVER TUESDAY MEMBER SPOTLIGHT 

1. Introduce Yourself! (Name, Year, Major, Hobbies/Interests)
🦷 Hi PDO! my name is Raha Rafie, and I am a first year public health major. Some of my hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, painting or doing film photography


2. How long have you been a PDO member?
🦷 I just joined this year, so reach out! say hi!


3. What made you choose dentistry?
🦷 I interned at a dental office my junior year of high school and was immediately intrigued. I knew I wanted to work in health care but the art of dentistry and the ability to connect with patients in my day to day interested me. I also liked that in dentistry the sky in the limit! You have the ability to run your own business or establish multiple offices/clinics anywhere in the world.


4. When do you plan to apply for dental school?
🦷 Post grad in 2025


5. Any advice/words of wisdom for our members/followers?
🦷 Don’t be afraid to try new things and “stand out from the crowd”. Sometimes walking alone brings the best growth and opportunities.

Raha Rafie

1. Introduce Yourself! (Name, Year, Major, Hobbies/Interests)
🦷Hi PDO! My name is Izzy Luff, and I’m a first year biology major. Some of my hobbies include going to the beach, finding cute restaurants to try good food at and hanging out with my friends.

2. How long have you been a PDO member?
🦷I just joined PDO this year, i’m excited to meet everyone!!☺️

3. What made you choose dentistry?
🦷I chose dentistry simply because i love teeth! I find it so rewarding to be able to fix someone’s smile and improve their confidence! I also love the idea of daily patient interaction.

4. When do you plan to apply for dental school?
🦷I’m planning on applying to dental school in the beginning of my senior year (2025)!

5. Any advice/words of wisdom for our members/followers?
🦷Submerge yourself in as many dental opportunities as you can find early on! I think this is important because it gives you experience in the field that you can use on your application and also gives you experience that can help solidify your decision to spend your life working in dentistry.

Izzy Luff

1. Introduce Yourself! (Name, Year, Major, Hobbies/Interests)
🦷Hi everyone! I’m Nathan Elisha, and I’m a fourth year general biology major. I spend a lot of my free time either skateboarding around San Diego with my roommates, or trying to hone my crocheting skills with my girlfriend.


2. How long have you been a PDO member?
🦷This is my first semester as a PDO member and I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve really enjoyed meeting so many people who share the same interests as me.


3. What made you choose dentistry?
🦷With both parents being in the healthcare field, I grew up knowing I wanted to somehow follow suit. After spending a lot of time shadowing my childhood dentist, I realized that dentistry provided a great opportunity to let my loud personality shine while being an integral part of a community.


4. When do you plan to apply for dental school?
🦷My current plan is to apply in the summer of 2023 after I have worked in an office for about a year post-grad.


5. Any advice/words of wisdom for our members/followers?
🦷Throughout college I have found myself burnt out and definitely lacking self confidence in regards to my pre-health journey. Because of that I think it’s incredibly important to let yourself celebrate the little victories that come just as much as you would the big ones. This really helped keep me centered and would often give me the boost I needed to keep going.

Nathan Elisha

1. Introduce Yourself! (Name, Year, Major, Hobbies/Interests)
🦷 Hi everyone! My name is Bahar and I am a second year, studying biology. I spend a lot of time with my dog and going on new adventures with him.

2. How long have you been a PDO member?
🦷 I have been a part of the SDSU pre dental org for only this semester but I am definitely planning on continuing my membership for the remainder of my undergrad.

3. What made you choose dentistry?
🦷 One of the main reasons that I want to do dentistry is because dentists are given the opportunity to give their service and help people with their health and work with them to improve/maintain a good smile. To me, that is one of the first things that I notice when I meet someone new. I also love working and interacting with people on a daily basis.

4. When do you plan to apply for dental school?
🦷 I am planning on taking a gap year after I graduate so I can have some time to relax and gain more experience before I apply and enter dental school.

5. Any advice/words of wisdom for our members/followers?
🦷 One piece of advice I can give is don’t give up. Yes we are all striving towards something that takes a lot of hard work but don’t forget why you’re doing it.

Bahar Poursohi

Yazen Sabri

1. Introduce Yourself! (Name, Year, Major, Hobbies/Interests)
🦷Hello, my name is Yazen Sabri and I am a senior studying Microbiology. Some of my hobbies include playing golf and trying out different varieties of restaurants and food!

2. How long have you been a PDO member?
🦷This is my first year as a PDO member and I personally loved my experience. I plan to continue to be a part of this organization next semester and definitely recommend fellow pre-dental to join.

3. What made you choose dentistry?
🦷One of the main reasons I chose dentistry was through my love for orthodontics, in which I became a general dental assistant and began to work my way towards this specialty. I continued my work until meeting one of my favorite dentists whom introduced me and coached me through this field.

4. When do you plan to apply for dental school?
🦷I plan to continue my bachelors degree this year and begin my masters degree by fall of next year. From there I plan to continue my journey by taking the DAT and begin the application process for dental schools.

5. Any advice/words of wisdom for our members/followers?
🦷“When you get tired, learn to rest, not to quit.”

1. Introduce Yourself! (Name, Year, Major, Hobbies/Interests)
🦷 TJ Kord, senior, kinesiology, I love everything outdoors and sports related. I love just spending time snowboarding or doing water sports or fishing or playing basketball. Pretty much anything active and nature related is fun for me.

2. How long have you been a PDO member?
🦷 Just joined PDO this school year.

3. What made you choose dentistry?
🦷 After working in my mom’s dental office I realized that I want to do dentistry for my life and that it is something I am passionate about. I love the artistry behind it.

4. When do you plan to apply for dental school?
🦷 I plan to apply in the next cycle.

5. Any advice/words of wisdom for our members/followers?
🦷 Stick with it and keep chugging along it will be worth it when you get the acceptance. (I hope and think haha)

Spring 2022

TOOTH LOVER TUESDAY MEMBER SPOTLIGHT 

TJ Kord

1. Introduce Yourself! (Name, Year, Major, Hobbies/Interests)
🦷Karis Creath, 5th Year, Biology, Iovvvvvee to bake and do crafts.

2. How long have you been a PDO member?
🦷This is my first year participating in PDO and I’m so excited.

3. What made you choose dentistry?
🦷Dentistry, made a huge impact on me when I had my braces taken off. My level of confidence increased so much that I knew at that moment that I wanted to be able to make the same impact in other peoples lives.

4. When do you plan to apply for dental school?
🦷 I plan to apply this cycle.

5. Any advice/words of wisdom for our members/followers?
🦷 My advice is to take your time and to be ok with it. I think everyone is always in a hurry to apply and get into school. Enjoy the journey, take your time and give your all. Don’t let obstacles stop you, break and push through.

Karis Creath

1. Introduce Yourself! (Name, Year, Major, Hobbies/Interests)
🦷 Hani Gorgis, senior, biology, soccer.


2. How long have you been a PDO member?
🦷 I am a new member of PDO.


3. What made you choose dentistry?
🦷 After exploring different careers, I have fallen in love with dentistry when I saw the impact on people’s smile and encouragement.


4. When do you plan to apply for dental school?
🦷 I am in the process of planning to dental school this summer 2022.


5. Any advice/words of wisdom for our members/followers?
🦷 It is a long route to achieve your goal, but is a great and fun experience. Stay focused and motivated.

Hani Gorgis

1. Introduce Yourself! (Name, Year, Major, Hobbies/Interests)
🦷 Hi, my name is Chana, 3rd year Biology major. I like going to the beach and trying out new food.

2. How long have you been a PDO member?
🦷 I have been a PDO member since Spring 2021.

3. What made you choose dentistry?
🦷 I had bad teeth growing up and I was also really shy. When I got braces, I started becoming more confident in myself and that confidence even got me involved in leadership and gained friends and connections. That boost of confidence is something I want to provide to other people through their smile.

4. When do you plan to apply for dental school?
🦷 I plan to apply in the 2023-2024 cycle.

5. Any advice/words of wisdom for our members/followers?
🦷 Never think that you are less than anyone else.

Chana Lasola

1. Introduce Yourself! (Name, Year, Major, Hobbies/Interests)
🦷 Hi! I’m Tina Ton. I am a Freshman and a Public Health major. One of my hobbies is to hike or, overall, take walks in pretty places, such as the beach, national parks, lakes, etc. I also love trying out new restaurants and cafes.

2. How long have you been a PDO member?
🦷 I am a new member of Spring 2022.

3. What made you choose dentistry?
🦷 I’ve always had an interest in the medical field growing up. After exploring different careers, I found dentistry to be the most interesting as I felt fulfillment from seeing people grow confident in their smiles like I did when I was younger.

4. When do you plan to apply for dental school?
🦷 I plan on possibly taking a gap year, therefore, I would apply around the 2025-2026 cycle.

5. Any advice/words of wisdom for our members/followers?
🦷 I don’t quite have any words of wisdom because I just started my dental journey. However, I’ve talked to many dentists and doctors during my exploration and they all agree that you should never rush yourself. Instead, take in the journey of college because your path is different from others.

Tina Ton