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Advancing diversity student to student

Las Vegas—Dream builders be, ADA President William R. Calnon exhorted dental students charged with “Increasing Diversity in the Dental Profession: For You by You.”

Now in its sixth year, the ADA’s Student Ambassador Program convened 85 diverse students from schools across the nation for pre-session events Oct. 8 and 9 at the University of Nevada Las Vegas School of Dental Medicine and the MGM Grand Conference Center, respectively.

Among their tasks at the 2011 Student Ambassador Program: in teams of four to six students, design a program that could be implemented at their school or in their community that accomplishes the mission of the ADA ambassador program to increase diversity within the dental profession. The program could involve dental students, dental admissions and pre-health advisors.

The students also heard presentations on best practices in student-to-student outreach and recruitment strategies.

Dr. Calnon encouraged their endeavors.

“And when you go out there to talk to someone who might be interested, don’t just talk to them, excite them. Tell them about all the rewards of dentistry but also show them the future, all the technological developments, all the possibilities. You are more than ambassadors. You are dream builders.”

The ADA Student Ambassador Program:

  • dental students take the lead in organizing and conducting introduction to dentistry programs with an emphasis on recruiting underrepresented students to the profession;
  • student representatives from the Hispanic Student Dental Association; Student National Dental Association; American Dental Education Association’s Council of Students, Residents and Fellows; American Student Dental Association; and Society of American Indian Dentists Student Chapter;
  • sponsored by the ADA Council on Dental Education and Licensure Committee on Career Guidance and Diversity Activities comprising ADEA, ASDA, NDA, SAID and student chapters, National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions and GlaxoSmithKline;
  • thanks the ADA Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations for generous sponsorship and support.

IMAGE: Student Ambassadors get acquainted Oct. 8
Meet and greet: Student Ambassadors get acquainted Oct. 8. From left are Chelsea Twohig, University of Iowa College of Dentistry; Alexandra Aponte, University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston; Dustin Altmann, University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Dental Medicine; and Courtney Jacocks, Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry. Photo by EZ Event Photography