Celebrating 2018 Commencement

“We get by with a little help from our friends. Dental school is not easy. It is blood, sweat and tears. It is a journey of hardships and sacrifices. During our journey, we learned that when you study, work, volunteer, laugh and commiserate with your colleagues, you become family; and today we have 90 bonus brothers and sisters.” — Class of 2018 President, Dr. Will Baldock, Jr.

Graduation celebrationThe University of Florida College of Dentistry celebrated its 43rd commencement ceremony May 18 at the Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts on the UF campus, conferring 91 D.M.D. degrees, 16 master’s degrees and 43 certificates in advanced dental education programs.

Drs. Craig Oldham, Cesar Sabates, Isabel Garcia, David Guzick

Drs. Craig Oldham, Cesár Sabates, Isabel Garcia and David Guzick

On a celebratory day, and in front of a packed house at the Phillips Center, Dean Isabel Garcia, D.D.S., M.P.H., presided over commencement ceremonies, while UF Senior Vice President for Health Affairs and President of UF Health, David Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., was also a part of the ceremony to show his support for the College of Dentistry and its graduates.

Dr. Will Baldock, Jr., speech

Class President, Dr. Will Baldock, addresses his classmates.

“We get by with a little help from our friends. Dental school is not easy. It is blood, sweat and tears. It is a journey of hardships and sacrifices. During our journey, we learned that when you study, work, volunteer, laugh and commiserate with your colleagues, you become family; and today we have 90 bonus brothers and sisters,” Class of 2018 President, Will Baldock, Jr., D.M.D., said in addressing his fellow classmates.

The Class of 2018 bestowed its hooding honor to Drs. Maria Caraballo and Alex Delgado, while students, friends and families recognized Dr. Veena Gosai for serving the United States as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy.

Dr. Cesár Sabates, past president of the Florida Dental Association, guided all dentists in reciting the Dentist’s Pledge before all joined in singing the University of Florida Alma Mater.

“When I look at you, our bright, talented and caring graduates, I hope that you will always cherish this day and remember that service to others is job number one,” Dr. Garcia concluded. “I am proud to be your dean and will be proud of the career you build, the lives you change and the way you will represent the profession of dentistry.”


2018 Commencement Ceremony Special Guests

  • Craig Oldham, College of Dentistry Alumnus and Past President of the Academy of Alumni & Friends.
  • Cesár Sabates, Past President of the Florida Dental Association
  • Joy Wang, Clinical Sciences Teacher of the Year
  • Shannon Wallet, Basic Sciences Teacher of the Year.
  • Ana Dias Riberio, Excellence in Teaching Awardee
  • Alex Delgado, Sustained Excellence in Teaching Awardee
  • Luisa Echeto, Sustained Excellence in Teaching Awardee
  • Steve Howard, Sustained Excellence in Teaching Awardee

2018 Commencement Highlights

  • Four students: Coty Granatosky, Daniel Popper, Greta Smidt and Emily Tan, opened UFCD’s commencement ceremony by singing the National Anthem.
  • The D.M.D. Class of 2018 selected Maria Caraballo and Alex Delgado to have the honor of placing their academic hoods.
  • 2018 Commencement Marshals: Dr. Alex Delgado, faculty advisor for the DMD class of 2018, Roberta Pileggi, director for the School of Advanced Dental Sciences and associate dean for Advanced Dental Sciences and Dr. Rodrigo Souza, program director of the Internationally-Educated Dentist Program in Hialeah.

Heartwarming Note

Class funds check being handed over

2018 Class President, Dr. Will Baldock, hands over a check to Ryan Clance, Class of 2020, for Super Sealant Saturday.

The Class of 2018 donated the remainder of its class funds to Super Sealant Saturday, the college’s student-run event that annually provides free preventative dental care and education to the children of Gainesville and surrounding areas.