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Access, Diversity and Inclusion — June 2013

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Following the sunset of the American Dental Association’s (ADA) Student Ambassador Program in December 2012, ADEA’s Access, Diversity, and Inclusion (ADI) portfolio initiated plans to expand student engagement and diversity efforts.The ADA Student Ambassador Program was a training program that assisted dental students in organizing and conducting outreach activities that targeted pre-dental, high school, and elementary students with an emphasis on recruiting underrepresented minority students to dentistry. ADI’s goal was to adapt and retool the ADA Student Ambassador Program into its leadership development portfolio. Partners in this new collaboration include the National Dental Association (NDA), Hispanic Dental Association (HDA), and Society of American Indian Dentists (SAID) and their composite student chapters.

Over the next six months, ADI will facilitate several town hall events where students and seasoned professionals can work together and share resources for educational and professional growth for students.

The new program, Student Diversity Leadership Program (current working title), will facilitate partnership among the three organizations on a range of student-driven educational outreach activities, while enhancing the focus on leadership skills development for a cadre of dental student leaders.

Students will receive leadership training and ongoing peer support through connections with the ADEA Council of Students, Residents, and Fellows (ADEA COSRF). Partnering organizations will host a day-long conference for dental student leaders at the ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition each year. ADEA, in partnership with NDA, HDA, and SAID, proposes hosting town hall meetings for student chapters/members of the three organizations and the ADEA COSRF.

The facilitated town hall will focus on building leadership capacity. Throughout the educational pipeline, students gain knowledge of the work and discipline of dentistry from formal coursework and training, as well as through formal and informal networks and interactions with current students. Graduates from dental schools must exhibit the knowledge, experience, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, professionalism, ethical values, and technical and procedural skills necessary to provide high-quality care to the public. Dental school graduates need to the ability to function successfully as the leader of the oral health care team and also to serve as leaders in education, research, industry, professional organizations, and their communities.

ADI will host Town Hall Meetings:

National Dental Association
July 26–30, 2013
National Harbor, Maryland

Hispanic Dental Association
September 26–29, 2013
Boston, Massachusetts

2013 ADEA Fall Meetings
ADEA Council of Students, Residents, and Fellows meeting
October 24–26, 2013
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma