Only Together: Meet Sydney and Stephen

Philanthropy plays an integral part in creating that critical margin of excellence for Roseman faculty and students. Only together, with the help of generous donors like Sydney Dang and her husband Stephen Tran, can Roseman University move forward and continue to train highly competent and passionate healthcare professionals.

Sydney and Stephen recently toured both the Henderson and Summerlin campuses where they met with Dr. Renee Coffman, president, Scott Stolte, dean of the College of Pharmacy, and Keith MacDonald, Roseman board of trustee member. “It was a pleasure to have Sydney and Stephen visit us. I was immediately struck by their engagement and ideas,” said Stolte. “It’s so exciting to talk with pharmacists who appreciate Roseman’s dedication to excellence and innovation. We have already had conversations since their visit and I look forward to this being a long-term relationship with mutual benefit.”

While on the tour, Sydney and Stephen saw firsthand the impressive laboratories where Roseman’s College of Medicine faculty are conducting groundbreaking research focused on such diseases as Alzheimer’s and cancer. “When we toured the research lab we were lucky to meet Dr. Ronald Fiscus and hear his thoughts on Alzheimer’s research,” said Dang. “We personally have family members who died from diabetes complications and cancer; therefore, we fully understand the importance of advancement in research.”

Sydney and Stephen recognize the importance of research, but also that it is not enough to have brilliant researchers. Philanthropic gifts and research grants are key components in the success of Roseman and its five academic programs, patient care services, and the scientific and clinical research of its faculty. “It’s their dedication to the healthcare field that helps us advance further, but it’s not possible without the funding from the government or philanthropists,” said Dang. It is important to note that Roseman University focuses heavily on philanthropy because as a not-for-profit private university Roseman does not receive funding from the government. More specifically the University does not receive any taxpayer dollars.

Sydney and Stephen believe in what Roseman is doing and have encouraged family members to apply to the University. With the aging population and the various ailments that individuals encounter, the demand for competent and passionate healthcare professionals is high. Being a healthcare provider is a way to give back to the community. Roseman is continually giving back to the community, whether it be through events such as health fairs or Roseman graduates in the fields of pharmacy, nursing, dental, orthodontics, and business, entering the workforce.

When asked why they believe in Roseman, Dang stated “While visiting the Roseman campus, we witnessed how committed and motivated the administration is in their students’ education. We also toured the labs and saw how dedicated the research staff is in trying to find the cure for the various diseases.” Sydney and Stephen were also impressed with Roseman’s Six Point Mastery Learning Model. The Model consists of Classroom as Teacher, Block Curriculum, Early Experiential Learning, Active and Collaborative Learning, Assessment Learning, and Competency-Based Education. One aspect of Roseman’s Six Point Mastery Learning Model especially stood out to Sydney and Steven, the Block Curriculum, in which students focus on one academic subject at a time, and must demonstrate competency at 90% or higher to pass.

“I feel that by focusing on one topic at a time, the students are able to absorb more information and organize that information for later use,” said Dang. “In addition, to make sure that the student really mastered that topic, they have to get at least 90% on their competency test.”

A second component of the Roseman Six Point Mastery Learning Model, Active and Collaborative Learning, also intrigued Sydney and Stephen. At Roseman, class time incorporates a variety of activities to encourage participation and foster student interest, including discussions, case presentations, simulations, debates, group projects, role-playing, seminars, workshops and more.

“I truly believe that by actively learning something and interacting with other students, the mind is able to retain that information much better. It’s like when a scent or song reminds us of an event that happened years ago. When information needs to be retrieved, the mind can quickly access it. Hand-in-hand with competency testing is assessment learning. By doing assessments and receiving immediate feedback, students are able to master the concepts they are learning,” said Dang.

In addition to admiring the Roseman Six Point Mastery Learning Model and the way it elevates student achievement, Sydney and Stephen were extremely impressed by Roseman’s facilities. While visiting the Henderson campus, they were fascinated by the classroom design.

“The large classrooms are built such that every student is in close proximity to the instructor,” said Dang. “There are also smaller classrooms which allow students to work together during group projects or discussions.”

In their tour of the Engelstad and Flagship buildings on Roseman’s Summerlin campus, Sydney and Steven were captivated by not only the sheer size of the buildings, but the history behind them as well.

“The Engelstad building provides the space needed for biomedical research,” said Dang. “Being that it once belonged to Nevada Cancer Institute, there’s a lot of history behind it and nothing is more fitting than the creation of a medical education facility to preserve and honor that history.”

Sydney is a pharmacy manager at Walmart in Reno, Nev. Sydney and Stephen have worked hard for everything that they have and this has led them to appreciate their accomplishments and inspired them to share the rewards of their efforts.

“Growing up having to struggle to get where we are today, we’ve both became very self-motivated individuals,” said Dang. “We believe that hard work and commitment produce positive results, and we’re continually learning new things every day.”

Sydney and Steven have three children, Madison, 11, Jayden, 9, and Brandon, 6.

“Sydney and Stephen are an admirable couple, a team of successful, dedicated and accomplished pharmacy managers, raising three children, and owning an educational tutoring business, Mathnasium, in Reno, Nev.,” said MacDonald. “In addition to financially supporting Roseman University, they are assisting a niece who begins her College of Pharmacy curriculum this year. They have worked with Roseman pharmacy graduates and they support the educational system as well as the future expansion of the University.” Roseman is grateful to Sydney and Stephen for their generous donation and confidence in the future of Roseman. Only together can we succeed, with gratitude for the support of a caring and philanthropic community.

This article was written by South Jordan Campus Marketing Director Rachael Wadley and published in the Summer Issue of the College of Medicine’s magazine, Discovery Drive.