Bulletin of Dental Education

Highlights From the 2010 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition

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Gaylord National Harbor Convention CenterAt the 2010 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition in Washington, DC, a variety of topics, discussions, and seminars was presented under the theme of Assessment: Portraits of Change. From public policy to student affairs, educational trends to change and innovation, here are highlights of several popular events.

In addition to the wide range of discourse and discussion, ADEA also allowed registrants and members abroad to join the 2010 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition from afar, including daily posting of photos, the Live Learning Center, and YouTube video interviews. (For a full index of links, visit the 2010 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition Online webpage.

ADEA Recruitment Fair for Predental Students and Advisors Sees Large Turnout

The line builds outside registration for the ADEA Workshop and Recruitment Fair.It was standing room only as triple the expected attendees were present at the American Dental Education Association Recruitment Fair for Predental Students and Advisors. Over 400 attendees from across the country came to the 2010 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition to hear what dental school is like, get admissions tips from health advisors from the mid-Atlantic region, and visit with more than 30 schools from across the country.

The highlight for many students was the chance to hear from a panel of four speakers who spoke about obstacles they overcame to become dental students. "It really opened my eyes about things that I can do and coming from different background, coming from [a] disadvantageous background, it's good to meet other people who have been through things," said Justin Gist, a junior predental student at Old Dominion University.

Dr. Leo E. Rouse addresses a crowd of dental student hopefuls.Prior to the career fair, Dr. Leo E. Rouse, Dean, Howard University College of Dentistry and 2010-2011 ADEA President-elect, explained the many different opportunities available in dentistry. "I enjoyed the introduction where the Dean of Howard University Dental School explained his story and gave a background on the dentistry field. He spoke of the different types of dentistry which gave me an overall understanding of all aspects of dentistry," said Briana James, a senior at Bowie High School. "After this experience, I have clear understanding of dentistry, dental schools, and careers in this field. This valuable information will assist me as I decide on a career in dentistry."

Admissions officers Dr. Lisa P. Deam, Associate Dean for Admissions, Diversity, and Student Services at Temple University Kornberg School of Dentistry; Dr. Andrea M. Morgan, Assistant Professor, Dental Recruitment Coordinator, and Director of Student Advocacy and Cultural Affairs at the University of Maryland Dental School of Baltimore; and Dr. Carolyn L. Booker, Assistant Dean for Students, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry answered questions and calmed fears about applying to dental school. From the review process to what should be included in a cover letter, the admissions officers were able to give students concrete advice on the process that is applying to dental school.

Trends in Dental Education: Three Things You Should Know

Dr. Eugene Anderson and Dr. Ifie Okwuje presented Trends in Dental Education: Three Things You Should Know. Research was compiled from data from dental institutions over the last two years. Such data is important, showing what is happening in the dental community.

"There are more than three important things to know," said Dr. Anderson, "but three important facts that we see from the data year after year." This data is collected, compiled, and presented from the perspective of ADEA as it may or may not affect the dental profession.

The number of dental school applicants is flattening out and is a trend that will continue for the next ten to twenty years. The number of available slots at dental schools has made it more competitive to get into dental school programs. Data from 1995 to 2008 showed that Hispanics received the highest number of bachelor of science degrees at 92%, followed by 51% Asian Americans, 43% African Americans, and 8% Caucasians. While there is a flattening out, the applicant pool has become more diverse.

The fact that dental institutions are losing faculty highlights the next trend: a focus on retention in an effort to solve the faculty shortage. For many academicians, clinicians, and researchers the lack of support has been a top reason why there is a high turnover at dental institutions. Faculty members are not able to foster a real sense of community within the dental realm. There are some who retire but the shift has shown that many leave academia to work in private practice where they may receive a salary increase of roughly $84,000. Others leave for a new position and responsibilities with a new school.

This is not to say that private practitioners never leave their practice. Many who do cite intellectual stimulation, conducting research, and educating the next generation as their top reason for doing so.

The last trend, spiraling debt, is a common problem among college students; for dental students, the average amount of debt incurred is $170,000. This encompasses all debt educational expenses while in a dental program and does not include the student's personal debt. The data shows that 60% of students entering dental school has no debt but will incur the same amount. This will continue to increase each year at 7.4%, which is higher than annual inflation.

This data and other information are available from the Center for Educational Policy and Research.

Evening Plenary on Gender Issues: Discourse and Dessert

Dr. J.C. HaywardWhen Dr. J.C. Hayward first started in the news business women were the minority. "It wasn't easy getting an anchor position because there were those that said why aren't you home in the kitchen cooking, doing something, making babies," Hayward reflected at the 17th annual ADEA Evening Plenary on Gender Issues: Discourse and Dessert.

In 1972 Hayward became the first woman to anchor a newscast in the DC market, but it wasn't an easy road getting there. By sharing her history, she hoped to teach women how to survive and thrive. From the beginning she faced opposition from many in her traditionally male field. A general manager once told her that he didn't understand how she got her job. He saw her as nothing, with no talent, and no personality. Hayward knew better. She believed in herself and didn't let his comments defeat her. The general manager was later fired and Hayward continued on her illustrious career and recently celebrated her 36th year at WUSA 9.

"When you come across stumbling blocks you really have to turn them into stepping stones and not let them stop you if you believe in yourself," said Hayward.

She could have let that general manager label her as an "untalented nobody," but Hayward doesn't believe in labels. She encouraged Discourse and Dessert attendees to defy them. To not let any other people tell them who they are as they travel on their paths to achievement.

It would have been the easy choice to give it all up and go home, but Hayward knew this was her passion. Being an anchor and telling the stories of the world were what made her get up in the morning.

"One of the things that I found that I need to have ... and I try to tell women in particular is you have to have persistence. You just have to be made of steel. If there is something you want, you have to go after it and not be deterred," said Hayward.

Hayward works to inspire the next generation of women through her J.C. Girls program, where she exposes young women to cultural activities, the possibility of college, and much more in hopes of guiding them to a better future. Her charitable work continues as a past Vice-President for the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington, Board Member of the Legal Defense Fund of the NAACP, and a past recipient of the Dr. Edward C. Mazique Memorial Award for her support of the Greater Washington Boys and Girls Clubs.

Ms. Amber MacArthur Paints Portrait of the Future

Ms. Amber MacArthurCo-founder of MGI Media and Arktyp, Ms. Amber MacArthur is a Web consultant and leading voice of the social media generation. During the ADEA Plenary Session: Portrait of the Future, Ms. MacArthur addressed the rise of social media and how its tools can be adapted and used in the educational setting. Citing various statistics, she discussed the rapid rise of social media among students and how, when properly tailored to specific needs and direction, the use of social media can enhance the learning experience.

When approaching the use of social media, Ms. MacArthur recommended three key points for successful integration: authenticity, bravery, and consistency. Being authentic and honest to the audience, it makes the message more accessible within the defined community. A willingness to step forward and invent and innovate shows creativity and forward-thinking. By maintaining a consistency to an established direction or vision using relevant tools and shared metrics creates a stronger brand identity and establishes a solid online presence across platforms.

A variety of tools and web links were provided and discussed by Ms. MacArthur on topics such as blogging, social networks, video, podcasting, and mobile communications. She also recommended further reading and research to help define a personal social media strategy. By embracing a defined strategy, educators can only enhance the learning experience for students and prepare them for the changing future of their chosen profession.

Email: amber@mgimedia.ca
Twitter: twitter.com/ambermac

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