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Trio to represent USC at Dentistry Scholarship Dinner

The annual event brings students together with their benefactors

Dental trio
Drew Roberts, Kenneth Smith and Mikaela Goodman, from left (Smith and Goodman photos/John Skalicky)

Nearly 70 honorees will turn out for the 2015 Friends of Dentistry Scholarship Dinner, where Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC students meet their benefactors and celebrate more than $1 million awarded in scholarships this year.

Mikaela Goodman, Drew Roberts and Kenneth Smith will represent USC on Feb. 20 in Hollywood.

Goodman, a full-time student, serves as a USC program ambassador, reaching out to prospective students and alumni as secretary of the Jewish dental fraternity Alpha Omega.

“Dentistry is the perfect career. I love everything about it,” said Goodman, who was married in August.

“I planned a wedding my first year of dental school because I heard rumors about how time-consuming and tough the second year would be,” she said.

Coming to town

For Roberts, a small-town kid from Oklahoma who prefers the bucolic over hustle and bustle, attending dental school in Los Angeles was not a natural fit.

For his undergraduate education, Roberts chose the University of Arkansas — in part because it’s a one-hour drive from the warmth and comfort of his home, family and church.

Roberts admits that LA’s traffic and prices unnerved him at first, but he felt there were kindred spirits among the students and faculty at USC.

“It is a very community-oriented school, and there are many ways for students to get involved in community service,” he said.

A born leader

For his part, Smith has held leadership roles in dental organizations such as the G.V. Black Society and the Psi Omega Dental Fraternity of USC.

He founded a USC chapter of a national organization that establishes dental clinics in underserved areas around the world. And his research poster took first place in the basic science research category at the Ostrow School’s Research Day in 2013.

This spring, the Central California native expects to finish his doctor of dental surgery degree before embarking on an advanced degree in orthodontics.

“In dentistry, a patient can come in and not even have any ailments or symptoms,” he said. “You just get to enjoy interacting with them and providing preventive care.”

John Hobbs, Jamie Wetherbe and Hope Hamashige contributed to this article.

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Trio to represent USC at Dentistry Scholarship Dinner

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