The Alumni Association is here to support, guide and mentor Dugoni School alumni. That's how family works.
As a young girl, Kimberly LaRocca '06 DH and her family would travel from Southern California to San Francisco every March for a meeting her father, Dr. F. Paul Senise '65, attended. "I never knew, as a child, what this meeting was and never asked," she says. Fast forward to 2016, where LaRocca not only attended the spring meeting-the Annual Meeting of the Alumni Association-but served as its president during the 2016-2017 term. Her father also served as president of the Alumni Association.
In addition to being the first daughter of a previous president to hold the position of president herself, LaRocca is the first dental hygiene graduate to head the Alumni Association. "I started in 2007 as a board member, and I served six years," she says. "During the last year, I didn't want to leave, and to continue on you have to move up the ladder."
LaRocca didn't necessarily plan to pursue a career in dentistry. She graduated from University of the Pacific in 1989 with a bachelor of arts degree in communication, along with her twin sister, Dr. Kristina Cameron '98. She then spent 13 years working in San Francisco in technology as a human resources staffing manager, responsible for more than 400 job orders, including international and domestic hiring. It does get a little emotional, adds LaRocca. "I don't think my father ever thought any of his daughters would follow in his profession, and to share this experience with him has been very touching."
In 2001, LaRocca went back to school, spending two years taking science prerequisites, before being admitted to Pacific's Dental Hygiene Program in Stockton, and then graduating in 2006. Since then, Kimberly has been working full time in private practice.
During her time as Alumni Association president, LaRocca continued to foster a lifelong relationship between the dental school and its graduates. "We want alumni to be involved in the school-giving back, participating in events and, of course, coming back to attend our Alumni Association Annual Meeting in March," she says. Also on the agenda was increasing participation among dental hygienists.
In addition to building and maintaining relationships, another goal for the Alumni Association is to address the use of technology in communicating with alumni. "We're more time poor today," says LaRocca. "I think people definitely want information faster, and technology has changed the way we think about providing service to our members." But there's not a one-size-fits-all way of communicating, adds LaRocca. Instead, it's about discovering the ways members are comfortable communicating.
The Alumni Association is not just an organizational presence for students after they graduate. "We welcome new students at the Cioppino Dinner during the first week of school, we're part of the White Coat Ceremony the second year and we host the Alumni/Graduate Banquet during graduation weekend. We're here to support, guide and mentor Dugoni School alumni," says LaRocca. That's how family works.