image of lesley pollard

"Only Connect" - Lesley Pollard, Alumni President

Lesley Pollard had no pretensions to become the Faculty of Dentistry’s Alumni Association president, a role she took on in 2015. An 8T7 graduate, Pollard went on to complete a graduate degree in orthodontics at Western University before returning to Toronto to practice. At the same time, she became a Clinical Associate at UofT’s clinics, demonstrating undergraduate orthodontics.

But it was her friends from her school days in the DDS program that has shaped Pollard’s views on the Faculty’s alumni. For Pollard, the social dimension among and between UofT’s graduates are of primary importance.  

“I still see my friends from dental school. One of my best friends is from dental school. We’re always connected because we’ve known each other for 19 years,” she said.

Building and maintaining strong social ties is essential for practicing dentists, according it Pollard. And it’s this that she wants to encourage in her fellow alumni, past and present. In fact, her main goal as president is to help alumni connect as a group and to empower alumni to take ownership of it.

This is our group – it’s up to us how to run it.

What sets Dentistry grads apart, according to Pollard, is their background experience. With common goals and experience in a highly specialized field, Pollard sees an advantage to dentistry professionals sharing with each other.

And that payoff, according to Pollard, is passed down to the patients.

“Dentistry is all about connections – people know they’ll be able to see me and talk to me. That’s what people value, because they’re trusting you.”