A group of Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry students recently participated in the Pacific One Word Project, a successful initiative originally started on Pacific’s main campus in Stockton to encourage personal reflection.
Twenty five students went through the One Word exercise this past May as part of a pilot project organized by the school’s Office of Academic Affairs. Student leaders were asked to select a word that describes themselves at their “ideal or best” self and write a short explanation of their choice. Students also participated in an interpretive photo shoot coordinated by the One Word Project creative team.
Dugoni School students selected a variety of terms such as “contentment,” “courage,” “blessed,” “all-in,” “habitat” and “unrelenting.” Some students also chose words in a foreign language (Sanskrit, Hindi, Arabic), or made up a word to appropriately describe their ideal self.
Class of 2013 student Peter Ingoldsby chose “progress” as his one word.
“I believe that every day is a new chance to improve, a new chance to say we are a better person than we were yesterday,” he explained. “Some days, progress may be slower than others, but as long as we strive to better ourselves we know we are moving in the right direction.”
The Pacific One Word Project originally began as a way to provide first-year students a shared means of expressing self awareness and connecting to future aspirations. The project is aimed at developing students’ social and emotional competencies, which are considered essential in preparing students to enter a global community as responsible leaders.
Many faculty, staff, alumni and current students from the wider Pacific community have participated in the One Word Project since it began in 2008. The project celebrates people and spotlights the diverse cultures, individuals and ideas in the University of the Pacific community.
All the photos, words and reflections from participating students are combined into a community mosaic that is being displayed as a photo tapestry on campus and an online presentation.