In its second consecutive year, the ADEA Workshop and Recruitment Fair for Predental Students and Advisors swelled to nearly 500 attendees. High school and undergraduate students were able to take a preliminary step toward a hopeful future in dentistry.
“To you students who are here today, I would like to applaud you in the motivation and effort you have shown in attending this event. … This journey you are on is in some very significant ways about taking advantage of opportunities,” said National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions, Inc. (NAAHP) President-elect J. Scott Wright, Ed.D. “Don’t hesitate to walk through the doors that are open for you.”
Keynote speaker ADEA President Dr. Leo E. Rouse, Dean of Howard University College of Dentistry, gave the members of the future dental class an insightful glimpse at the impact interprofessionalism will have on their education and career.
“It’s a very exciting time to be in dental education,” says ADEA President Leo E. Rouse. “If you are going to be serious about working with other health care providers, it’s going to require you to appreciate and respect what nurses do, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, pediatricians…all health providers working as a team.”
His moving remarks were later recalled by students as they visited with 33 academic dental institutions and various nonprofits and organizations represented at the predental fair. “[Dr. Rouse] was able to show the softer, more caring side of dentistry. I feel like there are so many facets to dentistry, and sometimes we will see speakers who talk more to the business side, but he really showed the passionate and heartfelt side,” said Mr. Huy Chris Nguyen, recent San Diego State University graduate.
A panel of admissions officers from across the country gave practical preparation advice for applicants. James C. Betbeze, Jr., M.P.A., Director of Admissions, University of California, San Francisco School of Dentistry; Sandra C. Bolivar, J.D., Assistant Dean for Admissions, Minority and Student Life, University of Southern California (USC) Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry; and Eugenia E. Mejia, M.Ed., Ph.D., Director of Admissions, New York University College of Dentistry, were moderated by Rosa Chaviano-Moran, D.M.D., Acting Director of Admissions and Student Recruitment, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and gave a rundown of dos and don’ts from interview etiquette, Facebook warnings, and the importance of the personal essay.
Paul S. Garrard, M.B.A, Founder and President of PGPresents, LLC, made sure that those who have the dream to be a dentist knew that finances should not stand in their way, a point later reiterated by ADEA President Sandra C. Andrieu, M.Ed., Ph.D. His four key messages emphasized that: 1. Dental education is an affordable and worthwhile investment, 2. There are a multitude of financing options, 3. You can minimize the impact of long-term financing implications, and 4. You are ultimately responsible, but lots of help exists.
“The thing that I really enjoyed the best was the financial aid discussion. As a current predoctoral student that would have been something really important to know,” said Mr. Ignacio Calderon, first-year dental student, USC Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry.
The half-day event was an invaluable resource for those interested in a dental education. “I honestly didn’t know what to expect, but I am really glad I signed up,” said Ms. Illiana Ngyuen, predental dental school applicant from the University of California, San Diego. “We actually have finals this week, so it was a comprise—but it was worth it.”