Six faculty members honored with chair, professorship appointments

Such appointments are the highest honor a university can bestow.


Six Ostrow faculty members are slated to be inducted into chair and endowed professorships at an official ceremony taking place in early 2020.

“Endowed faculty positions represent one of the most prestigious and permanent investments that philanthropic partners can make in any university,” said Dean Avishai Sadan in a schoolwide announcement sent out in early November. “We are delighted to celebrate each of these individuals and their impact on our USC Dentistry community.”

The faculty members are:

Sillas Duarte portrait
Sillas Duarte

Sillas Duarte

Associate Professor of Dentistry Sillas Duarte has been inducted into the Rex Ingraham Chair in Restorative Dentistry. “I am profoundly honored,” said Duarte, who referenced Ingraham’s contributions to restorative dentistry for inspiring him in his own career. “Our focus on tooth preservation through minimally invasive dentistry, adhesion and cutting-edge digital technologies has provided our students a unique experience to develop their knowledge and skills that can only be found at USC.” Duarte earned his doctor of dental surgery degree in Brazil before going on to pursue  a fellowship in operative dentistry and a master’s and PhD in restorative dentistry. He joined Ostrow in 2011 and has served as chair of the Division of Restorative Sciences since 2012. He is also the director of the advanced program in operative and adhesive dentistry.

Portrait of Sunny Fereshteh
Sunny Fereshteh

Sanaz “Sunny” Fereshteh DDS ’09

Assistant Professor of Clinical Dentistry Sunny Fereshteh has been inducted into the USC Associates Assistant Professorship of Dentistry. “I cannot tell you how much this accolade has touched my heart,” Fereshteh said. “I will work extremely hard to be deserving of this endowment and represent this incredible institution for the coming years.” Fereshteh earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania. She went on to earn her DDS from USC in 2009. Afterward, she began working in Ostrow’s externship community clinics, teaching dental students to provide the best quality dental treatment to underserved populations. In 2015, she became director of the USC Mobile Clinic program.

diane melrose portrait
Diane Melrose

Diane Melrose MA ’11

Professor of Clinical Dentistry Diane Melrose has been inducted into the inaugural Violet S. Bonney Professorship in Dental Hygiene. “I’m extremely honored,” Melrose said. “My heart is warmed knowing my husband [the late Professor Emeritus Raymond Melrose] would be so happy and proud of me.” Melrose earned her bachelor’s degree and a certificate in dental hygiene from the University of Iowa. She joined Ostrow in 1976 as an assistant clinical professor in the dental hygiene department and steadily worked her way up the ranks. In 2006, she was named director of the dental hygiene department. While working at USC, she earned a master of arts degree in gerontology from the USC Davis School of Gerontology.

Cheryl park portrait
Cheryl Park

Cheryl Park ’07, DDS ’13, PROS ’16

Assistant Professor of Clinical Dentistry Cheryl Park has been named the inaugural Carl Rieder Professor of Restorative Dentistry. “This moment gave me a chance to reflect on what it means to have a career in academics,” Park said. “ I feel tremendously grateful for all the guidance and support that I’ve received, and I feel lucky that I can be part of students’ building blocks in their lifelong careers.” Park is a triple Trojan graduate, having completed her bachelor’s degree in biological sciences, her doctor of dental surgery and her advanced residency in prosthodontics at USC. She joined USC as a faculty member in 2017 and currently directs the DDS and ASPID modules in fixed prosthodontics. (116 words)

Gelareh Ronaghi Portrait
Gelareh Ronaghi

Gelareh Ronaghi PROS ’14

Assistant Professor of Clinical Dentistry Gelareh Ronaghi is the inaugural holder of the Robert K. Avakian Endowed Professorship of Restorative Dentistry. “This is a real honor,” Ronaghi said. “It also brings with it in an immense sense of responsibility to achieve the highest results and pave the way for the next leaders in our field.” Ronaghi earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of British Columbia, followed by a bachelor’s degree of dental surgery from the University of Sydney. In 2014, she received a prosthodontics certificate from Ostrow. She is the the director of the integrated restorative dentistry preclinical module. 

Doug Solow portrait
Doug Solow

Doug Solow

Professor of Clinical Dentistry Doug Solow has been inducted into the G. Donald Montgomery Professorship of Dentistry. “Dr. Montgomery contributed immeasurably to the dental profession and the development of the USC School of Dentistry,” Solow said. “I am honored to become associated with someone who has been so impactful on the history of our school.” Solow earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from New York University, going on to earn a doctor of dental surgery from Stony Brook University and a master’s of business administration from Duke University. He joined the Trojan Dental Family in 2014 as the associate dean of clinical affairs. The G. Donald Montgomery Professorship of Dentistry was formerly held by Sigmund Abelson.

Posted 11.19.2019

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