December 12, 2017
Drs. Avni Bhula and Grishma Patel, students in the International Dental Studies (IDS) Class of 2018, were both honored with the annual Dr. F. Gene and Rosemary Dixon Scholarship Award during a ceremony on Dec. 6. The scholarships recognize the recipients' outstanding academic achievements and involvement in student leadership. Each will receive an award of $5,014.96 at graduation.
Bhula earned her degree from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa. She is the IDS Class of 2018 representative for the Student Community Outreach for Public Education (SCOPE) and has been involved in several SCOPE activities. She created the IDS appreciation award, an idea to promote humanism and appreciation among the international students and school staff. In addition to volunteer activities with the California Dental Association and American Student Dental Association, Bhula maintains a strong GPA throughout her academic experience at the Dugoni School.
Patel received her degree from the Government Dental College and Hospital in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. She is involved in the American Association of Women Dentists (AAWD) and pioneered the idea that AAWD present a Female Student Dentist of the quarter award — which will soon be in action. She's the American Dental Education Association Student Representative for the IDS Class of 2018. Patel is an active member of SCOPE and has participated in activities such as Project Homeless Connect and CDA Cares. She is also responsible for creating the IDS mentorship program.
The Dixons, longtime donors and friends of the dental school, created the Dr. F. Gene and Rosemary Dixon IDS Endowment in Spring 2005 to provide scholarships for international dental students at the Dugoni School. Since 2005, the Dixon IDS Scholarship Award has distributed more than $68,000 to 26 IDS students at the Dugoni School on the basis of leadership and academic achievement.
IDS students hold dental degrees from schools outside the U.S., but need accreditation to practice in the United States. By completing the IDS program at the Dugoni School, students earn a U.S. doctor of dental surgery degree and eligibility to sit for any state or regional dental board in the country.