Loma Linda University School of Dentistry (LLUSD) dental student Jason Joo (Class of 2015) was honored with the Academy of Dentistry International’s (ADI) Terry Tanaka Student Humanitarian Award at ADI’s annual awards banquet in San Antonio. The award honors the North American senior dental student who best
exemplifies the humanitarian values and service to others for which ADI is known.
This is the third consecutive year that an LLUSD student has been selected for the Tanaka Award and the sixth LLUSD student chosen since the prestigious award was introduced in 2002.
The award’s namesake, Terry Tanaka, D.D.S., Clinical Professor in the Department of Graduate Prosthodontics, Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of the University of Southern California, presented the award. “To be able to read all the activities and accomplishments of these young students as
they serve others in need is to know that altruism and humanitarian service is alive and well in our future dentists,” says Dr. Tanaka.
Mr. Joo has made service to the underserved a priority in his life. Before entering dental school, he had already participated in more than 56 days of International Field Mission trips. Once he entered dental school, his level of involvement grew to recruiting students and
faculty for mission trips, and organizing logistical support for the trips. Mr. Joo has assisted patients in Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and Brazil, as well as local service learning venues.
Mr. Joo is humbled by the award. “It is a blessing to be at an institution that provides these opportunities to its students. So many people and groups have been supportive of me,” he says. “I'm also thankful for my mentors, Dr. Mark Carpenter and Dr. Tom Rogers, both of whom instilled a
heart of service in me. I'd also like to thank my good friend and classmate, Michael Cho, who served with me on all of our mission trips while in dental school, and who helped me organize our class Honduras project."