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“This is where I spent my adult life. It’s a good place to be. It’s an amazing school with amazing students, faculty, and staff. The biggest reward is watching people like you, coming here when you were 17 years old, still in high school and follow through [to dental school]. Watching you go from young people to professionals. After over forty years, I have made friends here for 35-40 years. It’s very rewarding; I can pretty much go any place in the country and I have someone to sit down with and have dinner with and talk about what they are up to. When I announced to the faculty that I was leaving, I told them: dental school is hard for the students. The staff do their part, but they don’t always see the full picture. I just mentioned that the value of a kind word goes a long, long way - saying stuff like “nice job”, “good job on that test”, or “your patient seemed really happy”. That goes for the students, too. I think dental students are known on campus for being nice, and that is one of the things we look for [when we interview]. Be nice to people, and they will be nice to you. That’s the old golden rule, and it’s really true.” -Phillip Aftoora