Women Leaders' VOICES

The Women Leaders’ VOICES series of articles by five women trailblazers and emerging pioneers explores various topics and issues facing the health sector worldwide. Each article—which is hosted online by the American Dental Education Association’s 5th ADEA International Women’s Leadership Conference—features commissioned Q&A content for the global dental education, research and practice community. Commissioned articles are branded with the ADEA Women Leaders' VOICES series signature design, and content is published consecutively over a period of time. For additional information, please contact Sonja Harrison, M.S.W. at HarrisonS@adea.org.


FatusiMoving Beyond a Traditional Dental Career

With a longstanding research focus on maxillofacial neoplasm, Dr. Olawunmi Adedoyin Fatusi is nationally and internationally recognized for her work in the field. Her collaborations with clinical researchers in different specialties—both within and outside dentistry—has put her on the map as an in-demand speaker.

As Dean of the Obafemi Awolowo University Dental School, Dr. Fatusi is responsible for managing the third oldest continuously operating dental school in Nigeria. She leads a highly dedicated staff of experts who train dental students with the competences required to meet the oral health needs of the public throughout the 21st century. She is also the university’s Vice Chair of the Ethics Committee of the Institute of Public Health and Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial surgery.

We are inspired by Dr. Fatusi’s efforts and wanted to ask her five questions about her journey as one of the world’s few women dental leaders today. Here’s what she had to say.

July 2, 2014


NagdaHarmonizing Professional, Personal and Social Responsibility

There is an old Indian proverb: “There is nothing noble in being superior to some other man. The true nobility is in being superior to your previous self.” India’s proverbs and old sayings reveal many aspects about the cultural traditions of its society. The cultural tilt toward men as the dominant member of India’s society—along with many other countries—allows social barriers to linger for many women who want to shift from the role of a homemaker and take on other responsibilities.

In addition to studying oral and maxillofacial rehabilitation, few people are committed to increasing growth among women dentists in India as Dr. Suhasini J. Nagda. For the last 35 years, the Mumbai, India-based Dean of the Nair Hospital Dental College continues to witness women’s advancement in the dental profession. Dr. Nagda is passionate about teaching women that they can have promising dental careers and that her own journey could serve as a testimony of what it means to “have it all.”

We wanted to learn more from this international health professions educator, so we asked Dr. Nagda a few questions. Here’s what she had to say.

July 28, 2014


GurenlianConnecting Dental Hygienists Around the Globe

If you’re looking for a leader to advocate for dental hygienists, you’d be wise to start with JoAnn Gurenlian, RDH, Ph.D. She is the current President of the International Federation of Dental Hygienists. Dr. Gurenlian is Professor and Graduate Program Director at Idaho State University and an adjunct faculty member at Burlington County College and Montgomery County Community College. She is also an entrepreneur offering consulting and continuing education services to health care professionals.

A strong dental hygiene voice for more than 35 years, Dr. Gurenlian is internationally recognized as a leading dental education leader who addresses issues related to the dental hygiene process of care, oral pathology, oral medicine, diabetes, women’s health, women’s cancers and leadership and professional development.

ADEA asked Dr. Gurenlian to share issues currently facing the profession of dental hygiene. Here’s what she had to say.

August 4, 2014


Jeanne Sinkford

The Importance of Being First

The work of Dr. Jeanne C. Sinkford—the first female dean of a U.S. dental school—continues to inspire generations of women dental professionals around the world. Founder of ADEA’s International Women’s Leadership Conference (ADEA IWLC) and renowned leader in dental education, she is a driving force in cultivating a global community of women leaders that ultimately contributes to better oral health outcomes. Throughout her career, Dr. Sinkford has been a role model for women pursuing a career in dentistry, helping to prepare the next generation of dental innovators and leaders. Dr. Sinkford’s long-term success advancing women's leadership serves as a call to action for all women dental professionals.

Always willing to share her experiences in dental education, Dr. Sinkford answers our questions below with keen insights and reflects powerful lessons learned.

August 18, 2014


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