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Celebrating success, family and futures

Dental graduates hooded by faculty, family and friends

Chelsea Shellhart
Class of 2014 Graduate Chelsea Shellhart

It was an emotional moment for Chelsea Shellhart, DDS when she received her academic hood on the dental medicine convocation stage May 23, 2014. Shellhart, accompanied and hooded by her father, orthodontics chairman William Craig Shellhart, DDS, MS and her grandfather, retired dentist William E. Shellhart, DDS, represented a third generation dentist in the Shellhart family.

“As I stood at graduation, with my father on my left and my grandfather on my right, I was struck by the significance of time as it moves across people’s lives,” shared Shellhart. “I was struck by the huge sense of responsibility, the anticipation of my future ahead of me, and the gift that I have been given to be a part of this profession. My family has shared their heritage with me, and I am going to begin to care for the next generation of patients.”

Shellhart was one of 51 members of the Class of 2014 to graduate at the school’s annual convocation and University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus commencement, also held May 23. The annual ceremony recognizes the graduating class as they are ushered into their new profession.

“The dental profession as a whole is welcoming us, the newest dental providers, to share in the responsibility and privilege of caring for people,” said Shellhart.

Shellhart, whose family has served the profession for a combined 80 years, will now move to Hilo, HI and begin a one-year Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) program.

IMG_5162 (2).jpgLike Shellhart, fellow graduate Marisol King, DDS shared a special moment on stage when she was hooded by her fiancé and Class of 2013 alumnus Bryan Graziano, DDS and her sister Elizabeth Prishkulnik, DDS; while Joseph Crepps III, DDS received his hood from his father Joseph Crepps, Jr, MD. In total, 15 family members and mentors participated in the convocation as hooders, an honor reserved for immediate family members who hold a dental or medical degree, alongside faculty hooders Jack Goodrich, DDS and David Gozalo, DDS, MS.

For those who were first generation dentists, the event was no less of a family affair when their names were cheered loudly by the audience.

Graduate Joshua M. Nardone, DDS, celebrated convocation with the attendance of his family, including wife Lindsey and two children. Nardone, a four-year Air Force scholarship recipient, was one of three CU dental graduates sworn in as U.S. Air Force commissioned officers later that day.

“Immediately after graduation, Ryan Haywood, Ross Johnson, and I were sworn in as Captains in the U.S. Air Force, so that was pretty neat thing that made the day that much more grand,” said Nardone. 

IMG_5192 (2).jpgBeyond the celebration and swearing in ceremony, the day was marked an important milestone for Nardone’s family, as they prepare for his first station of duty. Nardone, whose father also served in the Air Force, choose the branch because of its reputation for being the best branch in which to raise a family. Nardone and his family will now move to Florida where he will begin a four-year assignment as a general dentists on MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fl.

“My 4-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter are excited to live by a beach but we're going to miss hiking in the mountains,” said Nardone. “We are expecting our second son in October, so the changes the next several months should be pretty exciting.”

To all the graduates planning for exciting changes in their lives – congratulations and we wish you well. We hope that your time at the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine served as a hallmark experience in your personal and professional careers.

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