Dr.

Rita Cammarata Named
Chair of UTSD Advisory Council
By Shannon Rasp

H

ouston pediatric dentist Rita Cammarata, DDS ’96, ’99,
provide significant gifts to our research and educational centers
is the new chair of The University of Texas School of
and our community outreach programs,” she said.
Dentistry Advisory Council, effective Sept. 1, 2014. She
“We need to make our educational and research areas known to
succeeds general dentist S. Jerry Long, DDS ’66, who completed
benefactors who may support all of our endeavors to be a leader
his two-year term as chair and continin these areas. The Professional Resource
ues to volunteer as co-director of the
Center, the Center for Craniofacial Research,
school’s Professional Resource Center.
the Biomaterials Center and the Center for
The Advisory Council, which meets
Teaching and Learning could all benefit from
quarterly, advises the administration
developing major supporters. We have to tell
on ways to enhance the school’s deour story to potential donors and alumni who
velopment efforts and reaches out to
haven’t yet participated in supporting the
potential donors. Members include
SOD,” she said.
alumni, supporters, Dean John ValenA large part of the story Cammarata wants
za, DDS and Development Director
to tell will focus on the collaborative spirit of
Beth Wilson.
the school.
Cammarata owns Cammarata
“When I was attending this school, I felt
Pediatric Dentistry Group in the Greencouraged and supported by the faculty and
enway Plaza area (www.kids-teeth.
staff, and both were accessible and nurturcom), a very busy practice with a large
ing,” she said. “I also enjoyed the camaraderie
patient base. A native Texan, she grew
of my fellow students, which was always presup in Port Arthur and graduated from
ent and has continued to this day.”
Lamar University before becoming
Valenza said that, “When it came time to
a pediatric dental hygienist for eight
identify a successor to Dr. Jerry Long, it was
years, moving to Houston in 1985.
apparent the best choice was Dr. Cammarata.
“I was asked to join the council a
Her passion, dedication and support of the
few years ago, and was thrilled to be
school have been a model for so many others.
named the chair,” Cammarata said.
With her as chair, I expect us to build on the
Rita Cammarata, DDS. Photo by Nash Baker
“It’s my goal to lead other alumni on
foundation Dr. Long established to advance
the path to support our school and spread the message to other
our advisory council to new heights.”
Houstonians that we have a world-class local dental school.”
Cammarata said the dental school “has a reputation for providCammarata intends to focus on developing a culture of giving
ing a solid dental education and graduating outstanding dental
back to the school among alumni and foundations. “I hope we can practitioners. It’s my job to help it in any way I can to continue
begin to develop consistent support from organizations that can
that tradition of excellence.”

Outgoing Advisory Council Chair S. Jerry Long,
DDS ’66 (left), accepts an award of appreciation
from Dean John Valenza, DDS, in recognition of
Long’s service. Photo by Rhonda Whitmeyer.

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