Author Archives: Angelique Bannag

Touching Lives

It is amazing to think about the thousands of lives that members of the Dugoni School family impact each year. From here in the Bay Area to around the world, our students, residents, faculty, staff and alumni are making a difference in many meaningful ways.

In this issue of Contact Point, we’re spotlighting a few of our long-time patients who have entrusted their dental care to the Dugoni School. Since two of the profiled patients have been coming to the school’s clinics for decades, some of our readers may even recognize their faces. You’ll also read about Dr. Dan Tanita ’73 and his professional colleagues from Russia who together have cultivated a relationship to help improve care and raise oral healthcare standards in that country. We also feature our Dental Hygiene program, which recently graduated the first class to complete their clinical portion of the program at our San Francisco campus. And we showcase other members of the Dugoni School family who are making a difference in their own unique ways, both at the school and in their communities.

The Honor Roll of Donors included in this issue names many of you who have donated to support our people and programs during the last academic year. Your gifts, involvement and encouragement help the Dugoni School touch the lives of more and more people with each passing year. We are grateful for your ongoing support and what every member of the Dugoni School family does to help people lead healthy lives.


Nader A. Nadershahi ’94, DDS, MBA, EdD

Dr. Edward Bryan ’57: Breaking Down Barriers with His Smile

By Marianne Sampogna Jacobson

Reaching his 90th birthday on August 12, Dr. Edward Bryan ’57 had a lot to celebrate. A charismatic, people person, “Dr. Ed” exudes positive energy in all that he does. He didn’t set out to be a trailblazer, but his charm and good luck led him to achieve many firsts. Dr. Ann Marie Silvestri ’75, past president of the Alumni Association, who recently spent time with Bryan, remarks, “He is an intriguing, knowledgeable and charming man who really knows what he is doing.” Joanne Fox, director of the Alumni Association, calls him “an uplifting, inspirational, positive and generous spirit.”

An only child raised in the Back Bay section of Boston, Bryan had a happy childhood and has vivid recollections about his summer jobs. In what he calls a “highlight of my life,” in the summer of 1944, his cousin got him a job selling sandwiches on the train from Boston to New York City. With his youthful confidence, upon seeing Eleanor Roosevelt on the train one day, he introduced himself. She told him, “Make sure you get an education; without it you have nothing.” He took that message to heart, attending University of California at Berkeley, followed by the College of Physicians & Surgeons; and has never stopped learning.

Other significant influencers were his godfather, one of the first African Americans to attend Tufts University, who steered Bryan toward dental school, and a College of Physicians & Surgeons alumnus for whom Bryan worked as a dental assistant in Fort Riley, Kansas, in 1952.

After graduating in 1957 from the College of Physicians & Surgeons as only the third African American to do so, Bryan began his career in the U.S. Air Force. He then opened a private practice for three years, but not having a “taste for it” he returned to government service. Under the Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Prisons, he became the chief dental officer at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Los Angeles where he worked for more than 20 years and treated notorious prisoners, including Charles Keating and Heidi Fleiss. He found the work at MDC rewarding and was appreciated by the inmates. One patient, a mobster serving a 55-year sentence, sent Bryan two dozen roses to thank him for the great dental care he received.

“an uplifting, inspirational, positive and generous spirit.”

Bryan’s people skills have served him well. He first encountered “bitter honey,” as he refers to prejudice, in Texas while serving in the military. Years later, while working at MDC, he encountered a bigoted patient who needed his tooth pulled. A convicted bomber addressed Bryan with the “N” word. Quick on his feet, Bryan adopted an Indian accent and convinced the inmate that he was a doctor from India so he would accept his care.

Bryan met his future wife, Barbara Grischott, at UC Berkeley, where they were two of the few African Americans on campus at the time. “She had four boyfriends who all went overseas and I was the only one that came back alive, so I guess I was the last man standing,” he chuckles. They had a marvelous marriage for 57 years and had two children. Barbara was a dancer who opened her own studio and Bryan boasts she was the “greatest cook in the world.”

Bryan has many interests, particularly golf, which he has been playing since the 1970s. He enjoys telling funny stories, peppered with great impressions and accents. When he was younger, Bryan was an avid runner. Although he did not attend, he qualified for the 400-meter hurdles in the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Finland. His classmate, Dr. Jim Cavan ’57, recalled how excited Bryan was when Roger Bannister broke the 4-minute mile in 1954. “He jumped up and down and hollered at the radio.”

Bryan’s ethnic background is a colorful mix of “white Virginians to Madagascar blacks,” and he says he has always been comfortable in his own skin. “I never got uptight about racial issues; why should I bother with someone else’s ignorance?” In spite of this quiet activism, Bryan made great strides for himself and other African Americans who followed. He was the first black person to join both the Psi Omega dental fraternity and the exclusive Los Angeles Athletic Club. He admits that achieving such “firsts” reflected his outgoing, positive nature and resulting friendships rather than a directed campaign towards equality. He calls it “lucky.”

He continues to keep his cool and remain productive, positive and in good health with an inspiring “daily credo” for better living. This includes embracing forgiveness, exercise, sleep and poetry and avoiding cigarettes, complaints, inflated ego and greed. “The list I go through every day reinforces who I am.”

Bryan continues to move forward with zeal. He still works part time at the prison four days a week treating patients. “I have to keep the motor running,” he quips. And he has maintained his connection with his alma mater. The dental school “gave me something and I wanted to give something back,” so he recently set up an endowment fund for $50,000 to help African American students. Bryan’s endowment will be doubled to $100,000 thanks to the University’s Powell Match program.

To those entering the profession today, the advice he offers is “it doesn’t cost a cent to smile.”

Marianne S. Jacobson, BA, MBA, is a freelance writer from Marin County.

The Future Looks Bright

By Christina Boufis

On June 17, 2018, 20 University of the Pacific dental hygiene students made history when they walked across the stage along with their graduating Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry dental student peers to receive their diplomas. This year’s graduating hygiene class was the first to begin and end their training in San Francisco at the dental school’s campus in the South of Market area.

Since its inception in 2002, University of the Pacific’s baccalaureate Dental Hygiene program has always held its graduation ceremony in San Francisco, but their home program was located 90 miles away on the Stockton campus. The move to San Francisco was several years in the making, says Deborah Horlak, RDH, director of the Dental Hygiene program and associate professor in the Department of Periodontics.

The main reason for relocating the program? “We’re part of a dental team, and we weren’t really experiencing that teamwork as part of the curriculum,” explains Horlak. “Our dental hygiene students had been going on rotation to San Francisco for a week two times during their senior year, so they had a little bit of connection with the dental school, but it was really difficult to feel part of it when they were two hours away.”

In addition, while the Stockton campus had a small dental clinic where hygiene students worked with Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) dental residents, the residency program moved a few years ago. “So, there was just a dental hygiene program alone with no dental support,” says Horlak.

And the reverse was also true. Back on the San Francisco campus, “Our dental students didn’t really have appreciable exposure to working with dental hygienists as team members,” says Dr. Cindy Lyon ’86, associate dean for oral health education, and the founding director of the Dental Hygiene program. “The hope was that in moving the dental hygiene students here, both would gain experience working with each other. And integrating them into the larger student body offered some interesting opportunities for faculty development as well—and for the dental hygiene students to be a greater part of the dental school culture,” says Lyon.

History of the Dental Hygiene Program

Originally, Pacific’s Dental Hygiene program was born out of a need for more hygienists in the Central Valley. Market supply was small, and alumni in Stockton and the Central Valley had advocated for a hygiene program there, explains Lyon.

The Dental Hygiene program was the first 36-month program leading to a bachelor of science degree in dental hygiene in the United States. It prepares students for positions as clinicians, educators, researchers, public health and industry professionals. About 235 dental hygiene students have graduated from the program so far, according to Horlak.

Growing Pains

As with most new ventures, there were some growing pains when the program moved from Stockton to San Francisco. “I knew that since we were the first class, there would be a lot of changes and things we would have to work through,” says Nadine Mendoza, ’18 DH, who served as hygiene class president.

“Professor Horlak made it clear that we were going to be pioneers and trailblazers for the program. Granted it wasn’t an easy process for us,” Mendoza says. “It took a lot of different ways for us to integrate, including attending huddles with the dental students and hosting “lunch and learns” to educate them about what we do as hygienists. It was also important for us to learn how the dental students function in the clinic. The collaboration ended up being one of the highlights for me.”

Classmate Allison Shea Yochim ’18 DH says that blazing a new path was worth it. “The program demanded a lot of us,” Yochim says. “Because the faculty taught us well, and we showed that we were competent, friendly and collaborative, we earned the trust and respect that’s so crucial to delivering the best patient care.”

Several Firsts

Since the program is now based on the San Francisco campus, hygiene students are paired with second- and third-year dental students in group clinics with the goal of mirroring the relationship they might have in private practice—communicating about ideal patient care, diagnoses, treatment plans, ongoing re-care and the timing of dental and dental hygiene visits, explains Lyon.

“Being able to work alongside the dental students and get a real taste for what it would be like working in practice was a highlight for me,” says Yochim. “And I also don’t think many other programs offer such state-of-the-art facilities,” she adds. “Everything was new and high quality, and very clean and modern. It immediately conveys a sense of professionalism to patients.”

Virtual Dental Home

Another first was the opportunity to participate in the school’s Virtual Dental Home program, where hygiene students travel to remote facilities, such as schools, group homes or nursing homes, to provide oral health care. Students typically see one or two patients per session, conduct an exam, provide onsite care, such as prophylaxis, X-rays or sealants, and collect as much data as possible to send back to the dental students offsite who would review the patient’s chart and create a treatment plan, explains Mendoza.

The Virtual Dental Home program is a public health model of care, explains Horlak, and “a way to help more people.” It’s also a win-win-win for patients, dental hygiene students and dental students alike. Patients who may not be comfortable receiving care in a clinic can be treated in familiar surroundings. “The dental students are learning how to be the dentists back at home,” says Horlak. “And, the hygiene students are learning how to be hygienists who go out to remote sites.”

Being part of the first class to be integrated with the Virtual Dental Home was a unique experience and one that helped shape her future career, says Mendoza. “It was one of the things that continues to draw me into public health and to go out into the community to serve people who can’t necessarily access dental care.”

After getting her license, Mendoza plans to work in private practice to gain more experience. Then, she’d like to pursue public health or potentially even go into teaching. “My main goal is to work in underserved communities,” she says, “whether in the United States or in different countries to teach oral health and the prevention of periodontal disease.”

Unforeseen Benefits

In addition to the goal of working more collaboratively with dental students, there were unexpected benefits of moving the program to San Francisco. As the alumni and California Dental Hygiene Association (CDHA) and American Dental Hygienist Association (ADHA) representative for her class, Yochim was so inspired by the passion and generosity of donors to the dental program that she helped create the first-of-its-kind Dental Hygiene Excellence Scholarship.

The scholarship, started jointly with the DH Classes of 2018 and 2019, will be awarded to those students most in need of help with end-of-year expenses, such as testing and licensing fees, which can really add up, says Yochim.

“No other dental hygiene class has started a scholarship,” she says. “And I think being in San Francisco and near the dental students not only provided the obvious benefit of having a realistic private practice working relationship, but it also provided a lot of opportunities that weren’t anticipated at the outset, such as knowing how we can do something about decreasing the financial burden for dental hygiene students.”

While she is interviewing for a dental hygienist position in the Bay Area, Yochim continues to be involved with the CDHA. “I’ve learned that it’s so important for people to be involved in their professional associations, whether dentists or hygienists, because it really determines the future of our profession,” she says. And she sees a future for herself in both private practice and advocacy work.

Planning for the Future

What’s next for the current matriculating and future dental hygiene classes? “Moving forward, I hope that our Virtual Dental Home program becomes even more robust,” says Lyon. “That’s a program that not many dental hygiene students in the country have the opportunity to participate in, so it would be great to see it expand.”

“I think we would all love to see more courses where our dental students and hygiene students can participate together,” says Lyon. “The curriculum is currently going through some exciting updates, and I hope the content and sequencing are such that dental hygiene students can learn right alongside our dental students.”

As for the DH Class of 2018, they not only helped smooth the transition for their program but also kept their eyes on making things easier for future classes, says Horlak. “I think we could not have had a better first class,” she says. “They had a lot of good ideas about how things could operate better. And they were always thinking about the next class. They were a big part of the reason the transition to the San Francisco campus was so successful.”

For recent graduates and future dental hygiene students, the future definitely looks bright.

Christina Boufis, PhD, is a freelance health and medical writer from the East Bay.

Dan Tanita Global Ambassador Local Philanthropist

By Louise Knott Ahern

It is, of course, a quip. But friends and colleagues of Dr. Dan Tanita ’73 like to say that if you see this longtime Dugoni School of Dentistry volunteer headed your way, guard your wallet. Because the minute he leaves, you’ll discover you handed it over at some point in the conversation without even realizing it.

Tanita, a board member of both the Dugoni School Foundation and the Alumni Association, has earned a reputation over the past three decades of having the innate ability to raise more money for the dental school and other community service projects than five other people combined. From public schools to the local YMCA, Tanita is the go-to guy when a cause needs cash.

“When he comes to my side of the clinic, I know why he’s there, and it’s not to invite me to lunch,” laughed Tanita’s longtime friend, Dr. Bill van Dyk ’73. The two graduated from the Dugoni School of Dentistry together and purchased a dental practice in San Pablo, California, after van Dyk finished a three-year ROTC commitment to the U.S. Army. They’ve been business partners ever since. “He’s not at all pushy. I think that is also why he’s such a good dentist, ” says van Dyk. “It’s not a technique or something he developed; it’s his natural easygoing personality. He makes you feel as if you ought to do it because it’s a good cause.”

But joking aside, those same friends and colleagues say Tanita is successful at fundraising because he understands that money is only one piece of philanthropy. He also devotes his time to many causes. One of his most impactful projects, for example, is now in its 21st year—a free dental clinic inside Peres Elementary School in Richmond, California, where Tanita himself treats the children. What began with a Healthy Start grant and a few donated pieces of equipment is now a fully functional dental clinic that treats 300 children a year and is named after Tanita.

“He epitomizes what we in philanthropy call the three Ts: time, talent and treasure,” said Dr. Craig Yarborough ’80, associate dean for institutional advancement. “The easiest thing in philanthropy is the last one. Just throw money at it. But Dan will give everything in each of those areas.”

Most recently, that devotion of time and resources had an unexpected outcome—a prominent write-up of the Dugoni School of Dentistry in a Russian dental magazine and a supporting role for Dugoni School alumni in the creation of a professional association for Russian dentists. Yarborough, the former speaker of the house for the California Dental Association (CDA), recently returned from speaking at a seminar in Russia along with a colleague, Carrie Gordon, chief strategy officer for the CDA.

“It speaks to our reputation as a school,” Yarborough said. “We’re known for being a family and for our humanism, one of the virtues that all dental schools should have. It also shows how progressive the California Dental Association is. They were willing to meet with these people even though they had no connection with them. It’s just fascinating how our reputation continues to be extended.”

And it all started 18 years ago when Tanita, in typical fashion, said “yes” because someone asked him for a favor.

How It Started

In 2000, the Rotary Club in Richmond was looking for a local dentist to help host a visiting group of Russian dentists and dental clinic owners for a trip around Northern California. It was a rather routine professional exchange that the Rotary Club promotes internationally.

Tanita, of course, agreed to help. That one trip became an annual excursion, and over the years Tanita has recruited his friends and colleagues to speak to the group, give them tours of the Dugoni School of Dentistry and local dental practices and even join them on wine tastings in the Napa Valley.

“The Russians kept on contacting me, and every year they had another group of dentists who were interested in coming to San Francisco,” Tanita said. “We’ve given them different tours, taken them to the dental school and just tried to give them as much of an experience as we can.”

Last year, Tanita asked the California Dental Association to meet with the Russian group to discuss how the CDA works. Yarborough took part in the meeting, which was followed by an invitation for Yarborough and Gordon to speak in Russia at a seminar for Russian dentists.

And that’s where Yarborough discovered the magazine. The funny thing is, it’s possible no one would have even known that the Russian Dental Club magazine had featured the Dugoni School if Yarborough hadn’t had a little bit of extra time while packing to go home.

All attendees and speakers were given a conference swag bag, most of which Yarborough planned to throw away, including the magazine. It was too heavy to take with him, and it’s not like he could read it. It was in Russian. But a twinge of guilt—it was a beautiful publication that someone had obviously wanted him to see—made him decide to flip through it before throwing it away.

“And suddenly, I saw a picture of the dental school,” Yarborough said.

Though he couldn’t read the words, he could tell there was an entire, six-page article about the Dugoni School of Dentistry and the California Dental Association with photos.

“And Dan Tanita is the guy who brought these people to our school and to the CDA,” Yarborough said. “That’s just Dan. He has the time and talent to bring people together. Thanks to him, the private sector—especially Moscow dentists—will probably become associated with and follow the model of the CDA, which is full of leaders from Pacific, because of Art Dugoni’s vision.”

A Lifetime of Service

Though Tanita never seeks recognition for his many years of service, it has found him anyway. He’s been honored with dozens of major dental and service awards throughout his career.

In 2014, the Northern California section of the American College of Dentists honored Tanita with the Dr. Willard C. Fleming Meritorious Service Award in recognition of the Peres Elementary School dental clinic. That same project also earned him a James M. Pappenfus Award from the Contra Costa Dental Society, as well as a Bay Area Jefferson Award for outstanding community service.

The dental school has honored him as well with a Medallion of Distinction, the Alumni Association’s highest honor, which recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the dental profession or their local community.

Tanita credits, in part, the Dugoni School of Dentistry’s humanistic approach for his devotion to service.

“The alumni develop a closeness and a loyalty to the school that is a lot stronger than at many other schools around the country, and that reflects Dr. Art Dugoni’s leadership,” Tanita said. “The identity of the school, the values and philosophies and the quality of the education reflect who he is as an individual, a leader and as the former dean. The quality of the people at the school and the commitment they have is so genuine and so passionate that once you get involved with them, it makes you more passionate yourself.”

Friends say it’s just who Tanita is. He became a dentist because he so enjoyed the family-like atmosphere at his childhood dentist’s office in Arizona that it seemed like a great career.

“Dan might be the most benevolent person I’ve met,” Yarborough said. “He is selfless and patient. Somehow, he unlocks the passion in other people.”

Tanita plans to continue working in private practice for a few more years, but even once he retires, he says he will stay involved with the community and the Dugoni School.

“I love the school so much,” he said. “I live very close by. I’m still on the Alumni Association board. If I can make a contribution, I’ll do that. I enjoy staying involved. I just want to see the school continue to stay at the top of its game.”

Louise Knott Ahern is an award-winning journalist, fiction writer, editor and writing coach, and is the founder of LKA Publishing in Williamston, MI.

Dr. Richard Fredekind | Keep Moving Forward

By Ashley Musick

Keep moving forward. For Dr. Richard E. Fredekind, recently retired executive associate dean of the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, this motto encapsulates his constant drive for self-improvement. As highlighted by his numerous awards, a few of which include the Dr. Arthur A. Dugoni Faculty Award, Drs. Eugene and Noelle Santucci Humanism and Service Award, the Medallion of Distinction and his most recent Order of the Pacific, the University’s highest honor, Fredekind’s exceptional motivation and passion for improvement have led to an enduring and meaningful connection with faculty, staff, students and patients alike.

In the words of Dean Nader A. Nadershahi ’94, “Our school has benefited greatly from his more than 30 years of involvement with us as an instructor, leader, administrator, mentor and friend. He exemplifies our humanistic spirit through his caring, wisdom and thoughtful and friendly approach to issues large and small.”

Born in Spokane, Washington, as one of two children, Fredekind inherited both his mother’s reserved nature and his father’s humor. He recalls a supportive and educational upbringing that provided the foundation for his future aspirations; namely, his interest in dentistry, which originated at a young age, inspired by childhood trips to the dentist’s office.

After receiving his undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Idaho, Fredekind completed his dental degree in 1979 at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts, before returning to the more temperate West Coast to work at a general practice residency in Oakland, California. Two years later, he purchased a private practice with partner Dr. Robert Bonahoom in Foster City, California, where he proceeded to practice for the next five years.

Motivated to engage himself outside of work, after graduating from dental school, Fredekind became an avid nonfiction reader and potter, at one point owning his own pottery wheel and kiln. Though he no longer actively pursues pottery, Fredekind is considering taking it up again during retirement. That being said, he is also looking forward to exploring new mediums of art that will push him outside of his comfort zone.

In 1984, Fredekind began teaching part-time at the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry as an instructor in the Emergency Clinic. Five years later, he switched to teaching full-time as a group practice administrator which allowed him to explore the complexity of dental practice while working with faculty members to maximize the educational experience of students. When asked to describe his career as a group practice administrator, he explains, “Every day was full of lots of work, each day different from the previous day. It was busy, hectic and challenging, but I enjoyed all of that—it was my favorite job.”

Fredekind adds, “Working with students, staff and faculty was a great experience for me, and helped me understand that staying at the Dugoni School was the best opportunity for me, for the school and the people at the school. I enjoyed being a part of the school community and working together to make the school as effective as it could be.”

Colleagues agree that Fredekind is a kind, unassuming person who has devoted years to the dental school and its students without seeking the spotlight.

“A graduate of Tufts dental school, Dr. Fredekind embodied and lived the humanistic model that is the core value of dental education at the Dugoni School. He always demonstrated the values of integrity, kindness and fairness,” says Dr. Arthur A. Dugoni ’48. “His commitment to excellence was second to none. Many generations of graduates are demonstrating Dr. Fredkind’s inspirational leadership.”

“Dr. Fredekind is a cherished friend and colleague who is one of the most dedicated, principled and hard-working people I know,” adds Dr. Eddie Hayashida, former associate dean of administration.

In 2000, Dr. Ron Borer, associate dean for clinical services, whom Fredekind had worked with for the previous 11 years, retired, and Fredekind was offered the position, which he gladly accepted.

“Paying attention to how Ron worked with people taught me so much about education and helping people reach their full potential,” Fredekind said of his experience under Borer’s mentorship. “That means not only the students, but the staff and faculty who work at the school.”

Fredekind served in his role as associate dean for clinical services for 15 years and then in 2015, Dean Nadershahi appointed him to executive associate dean.

“The three deans Richard worked for tasked him with many daunting responsibilities which he completed with an exemplary level of excellence,” says Hayashida. “He stayed on point, inspired and collaborated with others and finished projects on time all while inspiring, challenging and bringing out the best in others, leading by example and striving for the best. His successful completion of many critical assignments, such as the coordination of the move from Webster Street to Fifth Street, the digitizing of patient records, working on the strategic plan and accreditation and upgrading the clinic model, are just a few examples of his tireless work.”

Following his retirement on June 30 of this year, Fredekind and his wife of 29 years, Linn Brown, took a much-deserved vacation to visit family in upstate New York. They are making more plans to travel, with hopes to visit Ireland and Scotland. When asked why Scotland, Fredekind disclosed two reasons: the cooler weather and the many distilleries Scotland has to offer.

In addition to travelling, Fredekind is looking forward to exploring new forms of creative expression using media he is unfamiliar with, such as food. He hopes to develop his culinary skills—as cooking is an activity he describes as something he “does virtually none of and knows nothing about,” despite maintaining a health-conscious vegetarian diet. His other interests include biking, walking and the Golden State Warriors.

Though undecided on which new activities he wishes to pursue in retirement, Fredekind is determined to continue to challenge his current perspective, push outside of his comfort zone and remain both active and engaged in the world around him.

“He is deeply admired by our students, alumni and staff,” says Hayashida. “During my travels to meetings such as CDA and ADEA as a representative of the dental school, Dr. Fredekind is one of the people who alumni ask about the most and share fond memories. He has been a cornerstone of the success and reputation of the School of Dentistry.”

Fredekind’s determination and commitment to self-improvement formulate a legacy that will continue to inspire both those he has touched and those he has yet to encounter to keep moving forward.

Ashley Musick is a freelance writer from Los Altos, CA.

Pac Ave Records CD Release Benefits Santa Rosa-Area Fire Victims

Pac Ave Records, University of the Pacific’s student-run record label, released their new compilation CD, “Rose Gold: Songs for Sonoma,” in April featuring performances by student artists. The students also elected to use this year’s release as an opportunity to help victims of last October’s fires in Sonoma County, including one of their very own Pac Ave artists.

“I think it really shows a great deal of love from the school, Pac Ave and all the people who came together to make the album possible,” said Connor Devlin, a Pacific music industry studies student and Sonoma County native who was one of two Conservatory of Music students who lost their homes to the October fires.

Pac Ave staff made a unanimous decision to donate the proceeds from their new release to fire victims in fall 2017 just after the tragic fires hit. Their efforts brought in more than $3,600, which was donated in August to the Santa Rosa Junior College Fire Relief Fund to benefit students affected by the fires.

The students elected to use this year’s release as an opportunity to help victims of last October’s fires in Sonoma County.

“The charity receiving the proceeds distributed the funds to students to purchase school supplies and necessities like backpacks, bicycles or books lost in the fires,” said Olivia Valentino, Pac Ave’s marketing coordinator.

Each of the nine artists appearing on the CD performed a Grammy song of the year from the past decade, including tracks such as “Royals,” “Rehab” and “Hello.” Staff and artists promoted the fundraiser through a series of local concerts and a social media campaign to raise awareness.

Pac Ave is an independent record label and provides a comprehensive experiential learning opportunity for students in the Music Industry Studies program. More than 30 Pacific students helped create the new album, from musicians to sound engineers to Pac Ave Records’ 11-member staff and three faculty coaches. “Rose Gold” was released on CD, as well as on iTunes, Amazon and CD Baby for digital download. This is the sixth release by Pac Ave Records since it was founded in 2012.