ADA for Educators
ADA Student Ambassador Program
The 6th annual program, with the theme, Increasing Diversity in the Dental Profession: For You by You, reached record high numbers of participants, setting the stage for a host of new programs that encourage diversity in the dental profession. The 2011 program had the highest number of participants (84) and the highest number of dental schools (52) participating—a 39% increase in participants over last year and an 88% increase in participating U.S. dental schools over last year.
The 2011 Student Ambassador Program featured Ambassador Awards, honoring students for excellence in implementing programs in their schools and communities. Award winners included:
- Ms. Natalie Dubek and Ms. Melanie Nesbitt, Marquette University School of Dentistry, (first place)
- Mr. Michael Brooks, University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, (second place)
Ms. Dubek and Ms. Nesbitt created the idea for the Dentist for a Day Mentoring Outreach during the 2010 Ambassador Program. The mentorship program targets underrepresented 8th–12th graders from the Boys and Girls Club, Area Health Education Centers (AHEC), and Native American Research Center for Health (NARCH). The program successfully secured University support/funding and recruited dental student mentors from a variety of campus organizations.
|Mr. Ricardo Lugo (right), HSDA representative, with Mr. Michael Brooks, Jr., one of the 2011 Ambassador Program award winners.|
Mr. Michael Brooks, Jr., with the University of Minnesota’s, Driven to Discovery: Dental Career Outreach Program, played a lead role in implementing over 11 different outreach programs engaging 350 underrepresented students during the 2010-2011 school year. The new effort, with funding provided by a Health Careers Opportunity Program grant, made possible the variety of programs targeting local community groups.
“The Ambassador Program reflects efforts of many individuals, specifically dental students, for successful advancement and promotion of diversity in the dental profession, said Dr. Tariq Javed. He is the Chairperson of the ADA Career Guidance and Diversity Activities (CGDA) Committee which sponsors the Student Ambassador Program. “The program’s well organized and well planned efforts are underway in accomplishing the goals of the program at the state and the national level,” said Dr. Javed.
The Career Guidance and Diversity Activities (CGDA) Committee is made up of dentists, educators and students representing the ADA, American Dental Education Association (ADEA), National Dental Association (NDA), Hispanic Dental Association (HDA), Society of American Indian Dentists (SAID), American Student Dental Association (SNDA) and the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions (NAAHP).
Plans are underway for the 7th Annual Ambassador Program scheduled for Sunday, October 20, 2012 in conjunction with the 2012 ADA Annual Session in San Francisco, CA. For additional information, contact Career Guidance at 312-440-2390.
Students Advancing Diversity
|2011 Student Abassador Program participants|
The program’s focus is to recruit students from underrepresented groups to the dental profession. Ambassadors accomplish this by taking the lead in organizing and conducting student-to-student recruitment activities with predental and high school students. The ADA Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations (CAPIR) provided funding for the 2011 Ambassador Program.
Participants of the ambassador program have successfully developed a collaborative model of student outreach for all student groups as well as partnerships with dental school admission offices and the NAAHP. Additionally, participants have created best practices in student-to-student recruitment. In 2011, the student ambassadors reached out to over 350 underrepresented predental minority students from around the country. Decidedly, the program works because ambassadors (dental students) are committed to reaching out to other underrepresented students and groups inspiring them to pursue dentistry as a profession.