Penn Dental Medicine Celebrates Class of 2024 Commencement


Philadelphia – Penn Dental Medicine celebrated the accomplishments of the Class of 2024 at its 146th Commencement Ceremony, conferring Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degrees to 181 students, along with 23 master’s and seven Doctor of Science in Dentistry (DScD) degrees. The two commencement ceremonies– one for the DMD graduates followed by one for the master’s and DScD students – were held May 20 at Penn’s Irvine Auditorium.

“An absolutely incredible group of individuals make up the Class of 2024,” said Penn Dental Medicine’s Morton Amsterdam Dean, Dr. Mark S. Wolff, in his remarks. “You are all graduating as accomplished scholars and clinicians, skilled in the healing arts, and I congratulate you.”

This year’s commencement speaker, who spoke at both ceremonies, was Rear Admiral (retired) Dr. Timothy L. Ricks, a clinician who has devoted his career to public service. Dr. Ricks held federal service roles for over 35 years, including military service and more than 23 years as a clinician and administrator with the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS). He was the 20th Chief Dental Officer of the USPHS and served as Assistant Surgeon General from 2018 to 2022. In his remarks, he reminded graduates that resiliency is learning how to adapt to an ever-changing environment, and while they will face challenges beyond their control, the one thing they can control is how they will respond to the challenges and opportunities they encounter.

Along with the guest speaker and remarks from Dean Wolff, the DMD ceremony also included remarks from the Class of 2024 President, Dr. Travis Chirman. In addition, Dr. Sean Meehan, Assistant Dean and Chief Dental Officer at Penn Dental Medicine, commissioned the 17 members of the Class of 2024 who will be joining the military; Dr. Meehan is a retired Captain of the U.S. Naval Dental Corps.

Faculty participating in the hooding and presentation of the DMD diplomas included Dr. Uri Hangorsky, Associate Dean for Student Affairs; Dr. Faizan Alawi, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs; Dr. Sylvia Bauder, Clinical Associate of Preventive & Restorative Sciences; Dr. Len Jensen, Assistant Professor of Clinical Community Oral Health; and Dr. Roopali Kulkarni, Assistant Professor of Oral Medicine. Dr. Katherine France, Assistant Professor of Oral Medicine, led the DMD Class of 2024 in reciting the Penn Dental Medicine Professional Pledge.

Faculty participating in the master’s and DScD ceremony included Dr. Bekir Karabucak, Director of the Division of Advanced Dental Education; and Dr. Esra Sahingur, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Student Research.

Both ceremonies, which were live streamed and recorded, can be viewed online:

View DMD ceremony »

View Master’s/DScD ceremony »

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