Sunday, March 13

Administrators Share Best Practices for Application Process at the 2016 ADEA GoDental Recruitment Fair

2016 ADEA GoDental Recruitment Fair

For the seventh year in a row, the ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition featured the ADEA GoDental Recruitment Fair before the start of the conference, on Saturday, March 12. Students and admissions officers from across the United States, including attendees from as far away as Alaska and Puerto Rico, convened in Denver for a panel on best practices for applying to dental schools and a recruitment fair that allowed students to learn more about their schools of choice—and maybe ones they have not considered.

Denise Kassebaum, D.D.S., M.S., Dean of the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine, welcomed attendees with enthusiastic words of encouragement as students start on their journey in dentistry. Cecile Feldman, D.M.D., M.B.A., Dean of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, School of Dental Medicine, next addressed the students, sharing her career path. Dr. Feldman advised them to be proactive in searching for special programs offered by their institutions and to shadow dentists to figure out if dentistry is the right career for them. Dr. Feldman also suggested that students visit schools, take advantage of the ADEA Predental Student Virtual Fair and attend the GoDental Recruitment Fair. She shared a variety of tools that allow students to determine if dentistry is the right path and which schools match their career and educational goals. 

A panel of four admissions and recruitment officers from dental schools around the country shared tips for a successful ADEA AADSAS Application. Preparation and research is key to having a complete picture of the application process. The panelists covered the schedule and finer points of the process. Attendees were encouraged to build plans and be strategic once they have decided they want to pursue dentistry. There are many components to the dental school application to take into consideration—personal statements, letters of evaluation, interviews, budgets and deadlines, to name a few. The panelists also shared strategies for navigating the 2016 ADEA GoDental Recruitment Fair to get the most out of the experience.

“Every year, the ADEA GoDental Recruitment Fair offers individuals interested in dentistry the exclusive opportunity to meet one-on-one with admissions officers from over 40 U.S. dental schools. Additionally, the event helps individuals gain first-hand knowledge about dental school and provides insight into why dentistry is a unique health care career choice,” says Elizabeth Reitz, Senior Manager, GoDental, and Co-organizer of the ADEA GoDental Recruitment Fair.

Over 350 attendees were expected this year, including students that attend four-year institutions and community colleges, students pursuing post-baccalaureate degrees and those taking a gap year. This was their opportunity to quiz admissions officers about their institutions and expectations the schools may have for applicants.

Lindsay Thomas, a student from Florida State University, traveled with several of her classmates to Denver for the Recruitment Fair to get more information about dental schools. She cites the opportunity to talk face to face with the various schools as a benefit of attending the event. “I know of a few schools I do want to apply to, and I want to get more information on those programs. Also, I want to find more schools that I have not looked into, but that might appeal to me,” says Ms. Thomas.

After the panel, attendees were welcomed by over 40 U.S. dental schools. They lined up to ask questions about programs, requirements, finances and specialties. Admissions officers were on hand to provide current data and admissions requirements, and to provide advice on this competitive process. “The biggest thing that the applicants have to look at is their applications as a whole and try to be very diverse in putting together a package that shows they are a well-rounded applicant," says Jeffrey Parent, D.D.S., Assistant Director of Admissions at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry. “We look at applicants who have a variety of interests. We want to see that they have done volunteer projects, they’ve done research, they’ve been out in the community, they’ve done some shadowing. We are looking at a bigger picture than just grades and a DAT score.”

Applying to dental school is a complicated endeavor, filled with many important details. From budgeting and interview wardrobe, to grades, community service and shadowing, an individual pursuing a career in dentistry has a lot to consider. The ADEA GoDental Recruitment Fair provided attendees with tools to help them with their applications and their academic and career goals. 



CU SDM Opens Its Doors for a Tour of Their State-of-the-art Facility

Dental School Tour 1

Students in the preclinical lab stay focused on the tasks at hand while visitors explore their surroundings. 

A fortunate few ventured east to Aurora this morning to tour the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine (CU SDM)—one of the nation’s newest facilities for educating students of the health professionals. Many in the dental education community were aware of the campus even before it opened its doors in 2007. Designed to facilitate interprofessional education (IPE), the campus constitutes a living laboratory for the idea that educating students of different professions together will lead to collaboration in practice.  

Denise K. Kassebaum, D.D.S., M.S., Dean of CU SDM, greeted conference goers in the atrium of the school’s new glass and brick LEED-certified building. Student guides then ushered everyone outside again to visit the Center for Advancing Professional Excellence (CAPE), located next door.  

CAPE boasts four high-fidelity simulation rooms and 15 exam rooms where highly trained standardized patients and teaching associates give students the chance to practice their communication and clinical skills before working with actual patients. Standardized patients are trained to provide detailed feedback to students and each interaction is videotaped so students can review their performance. CAPE serves students from across the campus and uses interprofessional scenarios to bring various combinations of the professions together.

IPE begins in the first year with didactic instruction and continues through to the clinical years.  Last March, students from the various schools got support to open a student-run clinic in the community. Two of the dental students leading the tour were heavily involved in that project and are clearly proud of their work. Using a military-style collapsible dental chair, dental students are offering oral health screenings to underserved patients who attend the clinic in search of primary care. They are also connecting them with Medicaid coverage and dental homes. This experience will come in handy in the students’ fourth year, half of which will be spent in community clinics throughout the state.

Dental School Tour 2

Jeff Stansbury, Ph.D. demonstrates photo-polymerization-induced phase separating. His lab is in the campus research building, where he works alongside scientists working on orthopedic bioengineering. Dr. Stansbury and his colleagues have patented several of their discoveries in polymer science and transferred their technology to applications that are now on the market.

Research is also prized at the dental school, which ranks 14th nationally in NIDCR funding. To entice students to consider research careers, CU SDM offers five incoming students the opportunity to work as paid summer research scholars. This chance to work one-on-one with faculty pays off for the school as well. During the next four years, the scholars tend to serve as ambassadors for research, spreading the word among their peers on the value of this pursuit.

Not surprisingly, the school also includes brightly lit state-of-the-art clinics. One of these hosts an unusual program that resonates with the Aurora campus’s history as a former U.S. Army medical center. The Heroes Clinic brings cost-free dental care to 1,000 veterans who are now students on four University of Colorado campuses.

Despite a transportation snafu that led to a late start, those who took the tour felt it was well worth the wait. Like the Anschutz Medical Campus it calls home, the CU SDM appears to be breaking new ground and offered a source of inspiration to this morning’s visitors.

Powering Up with a Powerful Presenter

Brenda J. Allen, Ph.D. 450px

It’s a familiar story to anyone who came of age before the advent of Starbucks. The boss asks for coffee and invariably a woman brings it to him. For a generation of women working in office settings where the role of the boss was only open to men, this ritual came to symbolize the power imbalance between the sexes.

At Saturday’s Evening Plenary on Gender Issues, better known as Discourse and Dessert, Brenda J. Allen, Ph.D., kicked off a lively dialogue with attendees by telling her own “coffee” story.  The Professor of Communication and Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus recalled the day her coworker Betty, who assisted the man in the corner office, asked a 20-something Allen to fill in while Betty went on vacation.  She explained that her duties included getting her boss, Frank, coffee, and she explained how this should be done in detail.

Dr. Allen says she nodded in agreement, but was uncomfortable with taking on that role.  “Surely this task wasn’t listed in the job description.” 

The problem “percolated” in her mind throughout the weekend.  She did not want to get coffee for Frank, but she feared what might happen if she refused.

On Monday, Frank approached her desk and extended the coffee cup in his hand. “Betty always gets coffee for me,” he said softly.  A nervous Dr. Allen replied with equal restraint, “I know.”

Frank got his own coffee that week, and there were unexpected repercussions.  Frank developed a growing respect for the woman who had found a gracious way to say, “no,” and over the years became her ally and supporter.  

Today Dr. Allen’s scholarship focuses on organizational communication, diversity, and power dynamics, and she is the author of a groundbreaking book entitled Difference Matters: Communicating Social Identity.  On Saturday, she encouraged plenary attendees to think about how they communicate differences in power within higher education, and she shared practical techniques and strategies for self-empowerment. Drawing on some of the questions she uses in the empowerment workshop she conducts around the country, she asked:

  • When, if ever, do you tend to use your power?
  • When do you tend to share your power?
  • What are your sources of power?

She also shared her “ABCs” of empowerment:

  • Assess your own empowerment (by observing yourself with love)
  • Believe in yourself (by setting your intention not just to survive, but to thrive)
  • Cultivate empowerment (or as Maya Angelou would say, “Ask for what you want and expect to get it.”)

Why bother to be more empowered? An audience member supplied a ready answer: “To pay it forward.” Dr. Allen agreed. “There’s no better reason to be empowered if you are part of any non-dominant group,” she said.

Despite the evening’s focus on gender, Dr. Allen made it clear that empowerment is important for people of every demographic and social identity.

ADEA Chair of the Board of Directors Huw F. Thomas, B.D.S., M.S., Ph.D., introduced the evening’s speaker by noting that dentistry is experiencing a demographic shift. At his institution, Tufts School of Dental Medicine, women make up 60% of predoctoral students and 60% of faculty under 40. Men, who make up the overwhelming majority of older faculty members, are aging out of the workforce. 

Despite these shifts, as Dr. Allen pointed out, we remain socialized to play certain roles, and gender continues to be a strong predictor of how we will behave in social interactions.  Mindfulness and what she called “empathy all around” can help us all behave in ways that are helpful to others and empowering to ourselves.

Dr. Valachovic Gives Annual Report to the House of Delegates

On Saturday, Richard W. Valachovic, D.M.D., M.P.H., ADEA President and CEO, gave his annual address to the ADEA House of Delegates. He discussed current issues in dental education and provided highlights of ADEA’s activities over the past year. New this year, the 2015 ADEA Annual Report is exclusively online. 




Dental Office Emergency Simulation Lab

Tickets for Dental Office Emergency Simulation Labs are still available for sessions today and on Monday—go to Registration to check availability.

Exhibit Hall

The Exhibit Hall is open from noon – 5:00 p.m. today. A complimentary lunch will be provided from noon to 2:00 p.m., and 20-minute presentations will be given in the New Idea Theater from 12:30 - 4:30 p.m. The raffle will happen at 1:30 p.m.; you must be present to win. 

Get Your Free Professional Headshot on Monday

Get your professional headshot between 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. on Monday, March 14 at the ADEA Showcase, Booth #300.

Office Hours

From 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at the ADEA Showcase, Nadeem Karimbux, D.M.D., M.M.Sc., Editor, will discuss article topics of interest to the JDE.

ADEA TechExpo

From 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., see the latest technology applications developed specifically for dental education by your colleagues at the ADEA TechExpo (located in the Exhibit Hall). ADEA TechExpo abstracts are published in the February 2016 issue of the Journal of Dental Education.

ADEA Poster Presentations

Poster presentations will be given from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. in the Exhibit Hall. Poster presentation abstracts are published in the February 2016 issue of the Journal of Dental Education.

Registration Booth

If you’re arriving today, you must check in at the registration area and pick up your badge and conference materials before you attend any sessions. The registration booth is located in the A Lobby, Ballroom Level of the Colorado Convention Center, and is open from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. today.

Continuing Education Credits

Gain CE credits by evaluating the sessions you attend today using the mobile app or by logging into the program planner

ADEA House of Delegates Booth Hours

Members of the  ADEA House of Delegates (ADEA HOD) can pick up their credentials today between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. The ADEA HOD Booth is located in the A Lobby, Ballroom Level, of the Colorado Convention Center. (If you're arriving today, please be sure to pick up your registration materials first.)