graduate exudes community spirit
Even before graduating from the Dental School, Octavio Elizondo, D.D.S.,
was already showing a sincere commitment to members of the community.
1996 as a junior, he founded the student chapter of the Hispanic Dental
Association. Rather than have the organization be just a support group
for Hispanic students, Dr. Elizondo wanted his group to focus on
outreach and education efforts. “We had an activity every month,” he said.
recognition of his efforts, the Hispanic Dental Association presented
him with a Distinguished Student Award at its annual meeting in Orlando
a senior, Dr. Elizondo stepped down as head of the student organization
and served as student body president, again concentrating on outreach
Elizondo has worked hard all his life. Born and raised in a small town
in the Valley, he was the oldest of six children. He began working at
age 12, washing the lunch dishes in his school cafeteria to help out his
family. Throughout high school he worked at a grocery store.
Texas A&M University, where he was a member of the Corps of Cadets
and the elite Sul Ross Volunteers, he maintained copy machines, washed dishes and
worked as a nighttime disc jockey, while still managing to get good
grades and drill with the corps at dawn every morning.
Elizondo originally wanted to be a veterinarian. He changed his mind
after attending a presentation given by Joseph Berrong, D.D.S., chairman
of the Department of General Dentistry at the Dental School. That
sparked an interest in dentistry and led to a job as a dental assistant
to learn more about the career.
Berrong continued to mentor him throughout Dental School, and after
graduation asked him to teach part time at the school. Dr. Elizondo was
delighted to accept.
in addition to running a successful private practice, Dr. Elizondo is a
clinical assistant professor. He also is on the planning committee for
the Hispanic Dental Association’s next annual meeting to be held in