Graduating Class of 2019

On June 6 and 7, we celebrated the completion of orthodontics and MS orthodontics residency program for the Class of 2019. As with the years past, this was the culmination of three years of dedicated efforts on the part of our graduates with help and support of our faculty, staff and alumni, and encouragement of their families and loved ones. The graduation of dinner was held at the Arganout Hotel June 7 with lots of fanfare and fun. As our new graduates and now alumni enter the world of the practicing community, it is a great opportunity for us to congratulate and introduce them to you.

Judy Choi
Judy was born in Seoul, South Korea, but didn't stay too long. Her parents, like many other first-generation Americans, uprooted themselves from everything and everyone they knew in the pursuit of a better life for their family. Seeing her parents' persistence, sacrifice, and hard work for a better life despite immigrating to a small town in Georgia and facing difficulties were life lessons learned every day. The Choi family ultimately settled further up north in Philadelphia, where she spent the bulk of her childhood (Go Eagles!). Judy went on to graduate Magna Cum Laude from Boston College's Psychology Honors Program for her independent research on cross-cultural studies on emotion interpretation. She returned to Philadelphia to pursue a career in dentistry, attended the UPenn School of Dental Medicine, and made the cross-country move to attend UCSF Orthodontics. Judy is relocating to Dallas to finally stop a 4-year long distance relationship with her husband, who is currently a resident at UT Southwestern.

Marianne Demirdji

Marianne Demirdji
Marianne grew up in Southern California wanting to be an orthodontist since she was 13 years old. She attended La Sierra University in Riverside, Calif., where she earned a B.S. in chemistry with a minor in biology. After college, she went to Loma Linda University School of Dentistry to complete her dental training. Ready for a change in location, she ventured to Northern California for her orthodontic residency at University of California, San Francisco. Marianne truly loves her profession not only for providing beautiful smiles to people, but also for getting to know the people behind those smiles. She has enjoyed all aspects of her profession ranging from serving in organized dentistry to serving on dental mission trips — local as well as international. Marianne is staying in San Francisco and associate at various offices in the Bay Area. She is looking forward to continuing to enjoy exploring coffee shops and restaurants, hiking all over the Bay Area, weight lifting, baking sweet treats, and spending time with her fiancé. She hopes to one day open a coffee shop next to her practice.

Robert Lee

Robert Lee
Robert will be returning to Southern California where he is from originally. Several years ago, he helped co-invent the INBRACE lingual system and has continued to work at the since-established company throughout residency. For the next few years, he will spend half of his time working for INBRACE where he will help with doctor education and the R&D of the bracket system, virtual setup software, and clinical protocols. With the other half of his time, he plans on practicing orthodontics as an associate in private practice. In addition, he plans on continuing to teach about clear aligners and INBRACE at UCSF as a volunteer faculty. In 2-3 years, he will determine whether to continue this work plan or start a private practice.

Tera Poole

Tera Poole
Tera Poole was born in raised in Cincinnati, Ohio and attended Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, where she earned a B.S. in Psychology, Chemistry and Biology. After college, Tera moved to Baltimore, Md., and attended University of Maryland-Baltimore School of Dentistry. She completed her dental training in 2016 at the top of her class, graduating as the valedictorian. Ready to venture to another coast, Tera moved here to San Francisco to attend orthodontic resident at University of California, San Francisco. While Tera has enjoyed her experiences in various locations, she is excited to be moving back home to Cincinnati post-graduation. She will be entering private practice and is excited to now have the free time to travel, spend time with family and enjoy her various hobbies.

Ricardo Luis Vargas

Ricardo Luis Vargas
Ricardo attended Holy Names University on a soccer scholarship, and then received his DDS from UCSF in 2016. He grew up as a Mexican-American in the Central Valley of California (Modesto) and has plans to return to the Central Valley to help with underserved farming communities after completing his orthodontic residency. Ricky will be working part time in the East Bay where he and his family currently reside. He loves spending time with his wife, daughter, family, and friends. He enjoys the outdoors (fishing, hiking, exploring new terrain, etc.), and he continues to play soccer in his free time.

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  • Orthodontics