Class of 2019: Who They Are, What They Learned

Columbia's newest crop of dentists went through their final rites of passage on May 22-23, 2019, and became doctors of dental surgery. Although the Class of 2019 excelled as a whole, matching in nearly every specialty at the highest rates in the nation, each student's path to dentistry was unique.

This class of dentists is comprised of accomplished researchers, athletes, musicians, parents, travelers, educators, community health workers, and far more. Their individual challenges, personal successes, and major life changes all deserve highlighting.

Meet a handful of CDM's newest alumni. 

Brandon McDonald

Health disparities start early. Which is why Brandon McDonald will intervene early as a pediatric dentist.

Meet Brandon



Daria Vasilyeva

Daria Vasilyeva Class of 2019 with car

A 'why not' philosophy drives Daria Vasilyeva, a future oral pathologist, educator, and explorer at heart.

Meet Daria




Bobby Chacon 

Bobby Chacon running NYC Marathon

Tissue regeneration research, a debilitating bike accident, and a marathon. Each of these played a pivotal role in shaping Bobby Chacon's path to dentistry. 

Meet Bobby





Ben Wang

Ben Wang, DDS 2019

A farm-to-school program sparked Ben Wang's desire to help transform the field of oral healthcare.  

Meet Ben






Michael Schiff 

Michaell Schiff, DDS '19, with Daniella Moffson, his girlfriend who died in 2016


A tragic loss in his first year of school taught Michael Schiff the true meaning of compassionate care, setting on his path to oral surgery and a life of service.  

Meet Michael