Press Release

Simulation Lab Renamed in Honor of Thomas and Nicolina Nasti 

Lab dedicated in recognition of $100,000 gift from Rick and Maura Nasti for Endowed Student Scholarship, matched by Simons Foundation for total impact of $200,000 

STONY BROOK, NY, June 11, 2013 - The Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine (SDM)  on June 3, 2013, renamed its simulation laboratory the Thomas and Nicolina Nasti Simulation Laboratory in memory of the parents of Stony Brook University alumnus and Foundation Board Member Richard Nasti ’78. The event was held inside the SDM’s J. Howard Oaks Learning Center, where nearly 75 friends and members of the Nasti family joined Kenneth Kaushansky, MD, MACP, Dean of the School of Medicine and Senior Vice President of Health Sciences; SDM Dean Ray C. Williams; and SDM faculty and staff at a dedication ceremony. 

The lab was dedicated in recognition of a gift the School received from Rick Nasti and his wife Maura, who donated $100,000 in 2012 to establish the Thomas and Nicolina Nasti Endowed Student Scholarship for incoming dental students. The gift was matched by the Simons Foundation for a total impact of $200,000. 

The Thomas and Nicolina Nasti Endowed Student Scholarship will be available to an incoming dental student enrolled full time in the SDM who has had a high approval rating from the SDM Admissions Committee. A selection committee appointed by Dean Williams will choose one recipient per year.

“We are honored by this generous donation from Rick and Maura, which will make a difference in the lives of so many deserving dental students,” said Stony Brook President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD. “This gift will enrich their training and open tremendous opportunities to the next generation of dental students being educated at Stony Brook.” 

Rick Nasti graduated summa cum laude from Stony Brook University in 1978 with a double major in economics and political science, and obtained his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law in 1981. He has served in a number of private sector and public service positions throughout his career. He is the recipient of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, also known as the Cavaliere, bestowed by the president of Italy; the Stony Brook Distinguished Alumnus Award; and the Stony Brook University Medal. He served as Chair of the Stony Brook Council from 1995 through June 2009 prior to his appointment to the Stony Brook Foundation Board. During the past 25 years, he and his family’s personal and financial contributions have touched many areas of Stony Brook, including student scholarship, medical research, Italian Studies, Journalism, Athletics, University Hospital and the Long Island State Veterans Home. 

“My family and I are thrilled that the simulation lab at the School of Dental Medicine will bear the names of my parents, Thomas and Nicolina. This is one of the few labs of its type in the country that offers students cutting-edge training to develop their critical clinical skills,” said Nasti. “It is our hope that the students who pass through the doors of this lab will adopt the same values embodied by Thomas and Nicolina — a love of learning, dedication to family and profession, and high ethical standards. I applaud Dean Ray Williams and the faculty and staff of the School of Dental Medicine for their hard work in making the School one of the finest in the nation.”

The simulation laboratory opened in February 2011 and is overseen by the Department of General Dentistry. It is a major enhancement to the dental curriculum at the SDM, one of a small number of dental schools in North America in which students enter patient care at the end of their first year. 

Serving as a high-technology teaching classroom, the lab enables approximately 100 students per year to experience a realistic clinical practice environment and close-up viewing of procedures demonstrated by faculty. Rick’s sister, Dr. Ann Nasti, is a clinical associate professor in the Department of General Dentistry and a faculty member who works closely with students in the lab. 

The Northeast Regional Board Licensure Exam and Dental Assisting Program activities are also held within the lab, as well as service-based programs such as ASDA Impressions Day and the weeklong Discover Dental School Summer Scholars Program. 

“It is especially gratifying to be able to name our state-of-the-art simulation laboratory after Thomas and Nicolina Nasti,” said Dean Williams. “Rick wanted his parents’ legacy to be honored in a place where his sister Ann spends time every day — a place close to her heart. The endowed scholarship will support generations of incoming dental students and will be an invaluable asset, especially as we compete to attract and retain the top candidates.”

Photo Caption: Attending the simulation lab dedication were (from left) Rick Nasti ’78 and his wife Maura; Dr. Ray C. Williams, Dean of the School of Dental Medicine; Dr. Ann Nasti, Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of General Dentistry and Rick’s sister; and Dr. Kenneth Kaushansky, Dean of the School of Medicine and Senior Vice President of Health Sciences.  


About Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine: The primary mission of the Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine is to educate caring and skilled dentists who are well prepared to enter private practice or graduate or specialty training programs. The School also serves the profession with its continuing education programs and promotes the mission of Stony Brook University and Stony Brook Medicine through collaborative efforts in teaching, research and service.