This year's graduation marks the celebration of the 50th year of the dental assisting program at DVC. For the graduation ceremony, all the students receiving certificates of achievement, as well as the two who will also receive their A.S. degrees, and the dental assisting faculty will wear turquoise colored sashes made by the mother of one of the students.
The department's pinning ceremony, when the students receive their Registered Dental Assistant pin and take their pledge, was held May 16 at Poppy Ridge Golf Course in Livermore. The event started with a breakfast buffet, followed by the ceremony. Guest speaker was Jeff Zolfarelli, deputy fire chief for Livermore/Pleasanton, who has been a guest lecturer for the dental assisting program's medical emergency course each spring semester since 1991.
DVC's dental assisting program is accredited by the American Dental Association, and is approved by the state of California. All the students who graduate from the dental assisting program may sit for their national written board exams, as well as the state written and practical exams. After passing the state boards, they are licensed in the state of California, which allows them to perform procedures on patients within their scope of practice.
Marylou Pineda, who has been teaching in the department for 28 years and for the past 26 years has served as program coordinator, has passed the baton of leadership to Linda Bartolomucci Boyd, who started teaching dental assisting part time in 1985 and became full time in 1990.