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Fourth Diversity Institute class achieves goals, completes leadership program

In September, 12 dentists completed their year-long participation in the ADA Institute for Diversity in Leadership.

At the same time, the 2008-09 class attended its first session of the Institute, giving the new class members an opportunity to collaborate with the graduates and gain insight into the planning and implementing of leadership projects.

Made possible by the ADA Foundation through generous contributions from GlaxoSmithKline, Procter & Gamble and Henry Schein Dental, the Institute for Diversity in Leadership is a three-part program designed to enhance the leadership skills of dentists who belong to racial, ethnic and/or gender backgrounds that have been traditionally underrepresented in leadership roles.

As part of the program, class members conduct leadership projects that provide hands-on experience in identifying and taking action on a civic or professional issue of personal importance.

Leadership projects carried out by the 2007-08 class addressed a number of community and professional needs, including community oral health education, sealant clinics, connecting Nigerian dental schools with U.S. schools for support, establishing new oral health clinics in Africa, outreach to seniors, a new charitable care organization, innovative dental education approaches, service agendas for a local dental leadership group, nutritional school meals and snacks, dental career mentoring for young African-American males, mentoring urban youth and a new oral health education center to serve area elementary schools.

ADA surveys show that those completing the program have favorable feedback on the Institute. On surveys, all responding alumni rate the program as being valuable or very valuable in their community leadership roles, and all indicate they would recommend the program to their colleagues. In addition, 67 percent of alumni indicate leadership involvement with dental societies and 56 percent report leadership work with other community organizations.

The 2007-08 Institute class members include: Drs. Evis Babo, Atlanta; Friz Diaz, Sacramento, Calif.; Adejoke Fatunde, Grapevine, Texas; Maria Fiocchi, Racine, Wis.; Melanie Mayberry, Rochester Hills, Mich.; Jennifer McCants, Louisville, Ky.; Ruth Ross, Nashville, Tenn.; Mary Satuito, Rolling Hills Estates, Calif.; Laetitia Sery, Huntersville, N.C.; Aamir Sheikh, Baltimore; Tim Verceles, Mountain View, Calif.; and Jehan Wakeem, Saint Clair Shores, Mich.

For more information on the Institute for Diversity in Leadership, visit If you would like to be added to the mailing list for Institute application materials when they are available, call the ADA at Ext. 4699.