A graduate of the Master of Science in Global Medicine program at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, Ara Bakian hails from Newport Coast. He began volunteering at local dental clinics during his undergraduate years at the University of Oregon, where he discovered a passion for serving communities in need. Upon his return to Southern California, Bakian established Dental Kits for SoCal, a campaign that raises funds to purchase dental kits for individuals in underserved communities, as well as local organizations and homeless shelters in the Southern California area.

Through the Global Medicine program, Bakian gained a new perspective on health care by learning about the challenges that different countries face to develop and implement effective health care systems. As a future health care provider, he has found that providing services to those who lack access to proper care is a responsibility he is willing to accept and undertake.

Bakian will continue his passion for dentistry and working in underserved communities as he joins the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC this fall. As he gains more training and experience, he hopes to connect with various organizations throughout Southern California, as well as global organizations, to provide high-quality clinical services to those who do not have access to dental care.