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Today's News: Tuesday, March 16

Innovation and Adaptation in Teledentistry:
A Q&A With Chair of the Board Symposium Panelist Dr. Mayank Kakkar

Today’s ADEA Chair of Board Symposium will focus on innovation and adaptation, particularly in the dynamic field of teledentistry.

During the educational session at 1:45 p.m. Eastern Time, Utilization of Teledentistry for Children and Adults With Developmental Disorder, panelists Mayank Kakkar, B.D.S., M.H.A.; David F. Fray, D.D.S., M.B.A.; Allen Wong, D.D.S., Ed.D.; Michelle Cornachia, M.D.; and Steven Perlman, D.D.S., M.Sc.D., D.H.L., will discuss several topics related to teledentistry, including the role teledentistry plays during a pandemic, which offers a prospect to deliver uninterrupted clinical care and the opportunity to triage the urgent disorders that need onsite visits.


Kakkar PhotoMayank Kakkar, B.D.S., M.H.A.

Below, Dr. Kakkar shares what attendees can expect to learn about teledentistry for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and the profession in general.

Why is teledentistry relevant to patients with developmental disorders?

Dr. Kakkar: Teledentistry has a wide scope and is relevant to a broader aspect of dentistry. However, in this presentation, we are covering its role and utilization on people with special health care needs.

Do you think dentists and dental education are developing a growing interest in teledentistry? If so, why?

Dr. Kakkar: Absolutely! There definitely has been increased interest in teledentistry due to more information that is now available. Also, teledentistry has opened eyes during this pandemic by playing a very significant role. However, there is more education and advocacy required.

Do you think this topic will continue to be of interest when the COVID-19 pandemic ends? If so, why do you think so?

Dr. Kakkar: Yes, I think this topic is going to continue growing, even after the pandemic ends since teledentistry can bridge the oral health disparity gap for persons with intellectual/developmental disabilities and improve access to care and to facilities with a more friendly environment.

During this session, what conversation or topic are you particularly looking forward to having with the other speakers?

Dr. Kakkar: We will be talking about the utilization of teledentistry for people with intellectual disabilities, workflow, billing, documentation, virtual dental homes and Special Olympics Healthy Athletes screening.

Who would be the ideal person to attend this session?

Dr. Kakkar: Honestly, I think this topic will be of interest to all the dentists, dental students, hygienists, hygiene students, academicians, educators, care coordination teams, case managers and many more.

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Plenary and Chair of the Board Symposium Stress
Advocacy for Access, Diversity and Inclusion

Emmitt Smith PhotoEmmitt Smith
#1 Leading Rusher in NFL History
Bestselling Author

On Monday, March 15, access, diversity and inclusion were the themes of the day and the starting points of discussion at both the ADEA Tapestry Table Plenary with NFL legend Emmitt Smith and the ADEA Chair of the Board Symposium—Missing at the Table: Exploring Administrative Pipeline Gaps and Solutions.

During the plenary session, sponsored by The Procter and Gamble Company and GSK Consumer Healthcare, the NFL Hall of Fame running back, three-time Super Bowl champion with the Dallas Cowboys and winner of Dancing with the Stars shared with ADEA Diversity Officer Sonya Smith, Ed.D., J.D., not only what motivates him to break records. Mr. Smith also shared the role athletes are playing in social justice movements, race relations and increasing the representation of women and LGBTQIA+ in sports.

The last few years have witnessed the rise and prominence of the Black Lives Matter and anti-racism movements as well as social unrest and protests in response to police brutality. Mr. Smith said his own household has not been immune to the uncomfortable conversations that have occurred as a result.

“My kids did not grow up like I did,“ Mr. Smith said. “I had to stand at the plate, swing the bat, try to get to the third base and then, eventually hope to come home. My kids grew up on third base.“

But he said that when it comes to being pulled over by police, he has had to remind his eldest son, E.J., “that you still are a Black man.... Even if you tell them your name, they aren‘t going to recognize who you are. Be compliant. Don‘t be combative. Understand what your rights are, but just make it home. The goal is for you to just make it home.“

Mr. Smith said he supported civil rights activist and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in the stand he took to kneeling during the National Anthem and, if given the opportunity, he would have knelt with him.

“He was a sending a message that there is a systemic problem that needs to be addressed,“ Mr. Smith said. “He wasn’t saying that all police are bad.... He was saying that there was a systemic issue and underlying issue that has been among the police force for many, many years.“

He said the problem lies with police training and how officers are taught to respond to communities of color, but some have tried to “deflect from the real issue. People don’t want to address the issue that they need to address because it forces them to look themselves in the mirror. They may have to ask themselves the question, and if the answer is not right, they may not like what they see.“

Mr. Smith also reflected on more gender diversity on the sidelines in football now that there are eight women coaches in the NFL.

“What was once a male-dominated sport... [a male-dominated] arena is quickly shifting, and they are making adjustments and they are starting to try to become more inclusive,“ Mr. Smith said. “Women love watching football and there are a lot of women who know the game.“

He pointed to his own 17-year-old daughter as an example. She “loves the game as well,“ he said.

When asked by Dr. Smith if the NFL has been just as accepting of its openly LGBTQIA+ players, Mr. Smith said he thinks the league is making progress.

“I think the league is evolving and has evolved,“ Mr. Smith said. “The more people are comfortable with revealing who they are ... we can make adjustments.“

Dr. Smith also asked Mr. Smith what the dental workforce could do to diversify and recruit more dental students of color, particularly Black men. Mr. Smith said the recruitment efforts must start as early as high school and junior high.

“Back in my day, we used to have people come in from different types of professions and talk about their profession and students could ask questions,“ Mr. Smith said. ”Those people need to be seen in the classroom and have a Q&A just as much as an athlete.”

Knowing That You Belong

The panelists during the ADEA Chair of the Board Symposium, Missing at the Table: Exploring Administrative Pipeline Gaps, not only discussed broadly the barriers that remain for inclusion of underrepresented minorities and women in dental school and academic leadership—one of which are pipeline gaps—but also the barriers they have faced in their own careers.

Before the roundtable began, many shared examples of being overlooked for promotions even though they seemed to have the credentials, not always feeling welcomed or supported in academia or having to constantly prove themselves. To surmount these obstacles, they often had to advocate for themselves or even change schools or career paths.

Kim Perry, D.D.S., M.S.C.S., FACD, Associate Vice President of University Strategic Partnerships at A.T. Still University Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health, said that while serving in the U.S. Army Dental Corps, she learned early on to not let people undervalue what she brought to the table, “but also to know that I belonged at the table.“

“When people like us are missing at your table, it is a missed opportunity for everyone to grow," said Herminio Perez, D.M.D., M.B.A., Director of Student Affairs, Diversity and Inclusion at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, School of Dental Medicine.

Missed these sessions and want more details? You can view the presentations, the ADEA Tapestry Table and Missing at the Table: Exploring Administrative Pipeline Gaps, now and for 60 days following the 2021 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition.

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Moving Up the Faculty Ladder: How to Navigate the Promotion Process

Moving up the faculty ladder in dental education—whether it is from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor or being promoted to Dean or securing tenure—can require a tremendous amount of research, hard work, planning and understanding of the intricacies of the promotion process, which can vary from dental school to dental school.

During two educational sessions on Sunday, March 14, Pathway to Promotion for Early Career Faculty and The Path to Upper Administration, a Tale of Two Deans, panelists shared their real-life experiences of how they navigated this complex process in their careers and offered advice to help others along the way.

Establishing a Roadmap

During her opening remarks as moderator of Pathway to Promotion for Early Career Faculty and The Path to Upper Administration, Thaisa Bordin, D.D.S., Assistant Professor in the Department of Prosthodontics at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, admitted that “navigating and understanding the promotion process can be confusing.” But she emphasized that experienced mentors could help educators seeking promotions by offering guidance on how to develop a roadmap and cultivate the necessary resources to be successful.

Panelist Carroll Trotman, B.D.S., M.A., M.S., Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Professor and Chair in the Department of Orthodontics at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, also said mentor relationships are important. “It should be positive and beneficial for both the mentee and mentor,” Dr. Trotman said.

She said early career faculty seeking promotions should make sure they are in “a collegial and positive work environment” that “fosters your creativity,” have a clear understanding of promotion requirements and make sure their skills “are valued and properly utilized. Your values should sync with those of the department and school.”

Dr. Trotman also said early career faculty should have “flexibility in the creation in academic paths. This year alone, we need to be flexible and prepared for change.”

Sophia Saeed, D.M.D., Associate Dean for Patient Care and Professor in the Department of General Practice and Dental Public Health at the University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston, said she had a unique perspective on the promotion process as a clinical educator rather than an academic educator or researcher. For clinical educators, the academic education requirements were probably “more than what you may have anticipated,” she said.

She continued, “as a clinical educator, you may think scholarship isn’t important. I would advise you not to take that mentality. If you ever want to move to another school, that school could have different requirements as to what qualifies you as an Assistant Professor or Associate Professor.” She said its always good to have a mix in your dossier and it is important not to lose your clinical skillsets as you move up the ranks, especially into administrative positions. "Keep your skills sharp,” Dr. Saeed said.

When it comes to compiling dossiers, the panelists had very practical advice.

“This year, I’ve seen many faculty members scrambling to try to pull all the pieces together, in a hectic haste for what they need,” said Lynn Johnson, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Institutional Effectiveness and Professor of Dentistry in the Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. “Start collecting things right away and then over time, you’ll be able to write. When you do write your dossier, this is your time to shine,” Dr. Johnson said. “Please, don’t be shy. This is when you promote yourself.”

“It generally takes five to seven years to get to that promotion stage,” Dr. Trotman said. “I say give enough time to prepare that dossier. You at least need a year. It’s meant to be reflective.”

Cultivating Mentors and Broadening Focus

The importance of mentors was emphasized again during the educational session The Path to Upper Administration, a Tale of Two Deans, moderated by Cherae Farmer-Dixon, D.D.S., M.S.P.H., Dean at the Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry. The session panelists are trailblazers at their respective institutions—Kenneth B. Chance, D.D.S., Dean of Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine is the school’s first African American dean and Carol Anne Murdoch-Kinch, D.D.S., Ph.D., FDS, RCDS(Ed), Dean of the Indiana University School of Dentistry, is the first woman dean at her school. Both said there were many mentors who helped them along the way.

“You can build multiple mentors in different times and points of your career,” Dr. Murdoch-Kinch said. She noted that these mentors are not “always going to be ahead of you.” Some could be on the same level professionally but have different skills than you have, or they could be younger than you, she said.

She said a great way to meet mentors is through dental organizations. “If I hadn’t joined organized dentistry, my career wouldn’t be where it is today,” Dr. Murdoch-Kinch said.

Dr. Chance said faculty members shouldn’t wait until their careers begin to get a mentor. “You need to find them as soon as you can,” he said. “You need them for recommendations.” He encouraged faculty members to “build your own pit crew” and that pit crew should have at least 100 years of cumulative professional knowledge, he said. And don’t forget to reach out for help.

“If you have an issue, go to someone. Over time, you build this relationship and it’s essential in your growth,” Dr. Chance said.

While in your early career as a faculty member, your focus may be on building up your credentials and raising your profile professionally, but when you get into upper administration, your focus must broaden to a much bigger picture, the panelists insisted.

“We need to think more of ‘we’ than ‘me’,” Dr. Chance said. “As faculty, we’re focused more on our research time. As a dean, it’s ‘What is my school doing?’”

“If you want to move up, as you learn new skills, competency and broaden your knowledge, you open yourself up,” Dr. Murdoch-Kinch said. “Be willing to take on more and focus on the school and advance initiatives at the school.”

Missed these sessions and want more details? You can view the presentations, Pathway to Promotion for Early Career Faculty and The Path to Upper Administration, a Tale of Two Deans, and access the presenters’ handouts for 60 days following the 2021 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition.

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Using Data to Guide More Thoughtful
Submissions to the Journal of Dental Education

The Journal of Dental Education (JDE) receives over 500 manuscript submissions annually, but last year, only 22% of those submissions were ultimately published. What factors should potential authors take into consideration to increase their chances of getting their manuscripts reviewed and, hopefully, accepted for publication?

Michael Reddy, D.M.D., D.M.Sc., JDE Editor, and Romesh Nalliah, B.D.S., M.H.C.M., JDE Associate Editor, provided potential authors with insights into the types of manuscripts, topics, and study designs that historically have had the greatest publication success in the JDE. They gave attendees a glimpse “behind the scenes” of the journal’s publication and editorial processes. They provided historical information on publication rates for the various manuscript types (e.g., original research articles, systematic review articles, Advancing Through Innovation articles), a global breakdown of manuscript submissions and acceptances, and acceptance rates and trends by manuscript category (e.g., Allied Dental Education, Predoctoral Dental Education).

JDE Session Image

This background information laid the groundwork for a deeper dive into the JDE’s manuscript data. Dr. Nalliah analyzed JDE manuscript titles and abstracts going back to 2010. He provided a list of the most frequently used key words and topics and, more interestingly, how often these key words appeared in accepted manuscripts and in rejected manuscripts.

Dr. Nalliah went on to discuss the types of research studies and which study designs were more likely to be accepted. For example, over the past 10 years, only 13.7% of studies that used a questionnaire to collect data were accepted for publication. Of the manuscripts that used surveys, 36% were accepted. In the same time period, 39.2% of longitudinal studies were accepted, and 35.3% of randomized control studies were accepted. The bottom line? Authors should submit manuscripts with outcome data related to testing a novel health care education hypothesis.

Following Dr. Nalliah’s data deep dive, Dr. Reddy presented the JDE reviewer checklist to help early- to mid-career authors understand the factors JDE reviewers take into consideration when reviewing manuscripts. He encouraged potential authors to use this checklist to evaluate their own manuscripts (and ask their colleagues to use it to evaluate authors’ manuscripts) prior to submitting an article for consideration. This form is available on the JDE manuscript submission site in the Instructions & Forms menu at the top right of the screen. It can also be downloaded from this session in the online program planner on the 2021 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition virtual platform.

If you missed this session and would like to view it, you can access all ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition content for the next 60 days.

If you have follow-up questions about publishing in the JDE, please email the Editors at or Sue Kimner, ADEA Director of Publishing, at

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Combatting Burnout and Building Resilience in Dental Education

Academic dentistry—it's not just a few hours in the classroom or the clinic each week. Faculty often have wide-ranging responsibilities in addition to their classroom duties. Add a pandemic to the mix and the dental professions are facing extraordinary challenges, leading to extraordinary stress and burnout. The shift to teledentistry, endless Zoom calls, a lack of PPE and new technologies add to this new kind of exhaustion.

Burnout Article Image

Burnout syndrome is not new. It characterized by three things—overwhelming exhaustion, feeling of cynicism or detachment from the job and a sense of ineffectiveness or lack of accomplishment. It can manifest as combativeness, fatigue and questioning one’s purpose.

The need to comply in the quickly shifting COVID-19 landscape accelerated trends in burnout. One of the greatest contributors to burnout is loneliness, defined as “... the gap between the social connections you would like to have and those you feel you experience.” Social isolation, forced on the entire population throughout the pandemic, has a great impact on mental health. As people were asked to abandon personal and professional networks for the sake of public health, they were forced to get creative to avoid loneliness and remain connected to their world.

How do we bounce back? Resilience is defined as the capability to successfully adapt despite experiencing adversity, tragedy, trauma or significant threat. It takes a number of different forms, but it’s about growing and learning from experiences.

Stressors are all around and increase in number and pressure as one grows in their career. The importance of learning resilience and developing skills to combat burnout early on has taken on greater importance in these extraordinary times. The American Psychological Association recommends numerous ways to start building resilience. These recommendations include relying on your relationships (friends, family, trusted peers); building confidence; pursuing hobbies outside of work; and relying on self-care by maintaining a healthy diet, consistent sleep patterns and exercise routines.

Institutions are also accountable for building a culture of safety—both psychological and physical. Engaging the institution’s community via professional development, mentoring, establishing clarity around roles and responsibilities and creating opportunities for people to interact can take eliminate pressure and give people a sense of stability.

A collaborative approach among institution and faculty, staff, students and residents can only be beneficial. An institution that takes care of these groups encourages wellness among the ranks, allowing resilience to thrive. Driving change from within will help reduce burnout experienced by dental educators and help prevent future burnout by providing them with the tools to navigate stressful times.

Missed this session and want more details? You can view the presentation, WE Create a Culture of Resilience: Overcoming Dental Faculty Burnout, and access the presenters’ handouts for 60 days following the 2021 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition.

Post-COVID Admissions: Meeting Students Where They Are

Admissions is always changing. There can be changes to the applicant pools, pushes for greater equity in education, shifts in socioeconomics or global pandemics—or all of the above. This past year, students and institutions have faced great challenges from COVID-19 and a racial reckoning, with impacts to everything from what the applications look like to long-term impacts of online coursework to struggles few could ever imagine.

Institutions are beginning the task of mapping out the profile of future applicants, considering how COVID-19 has shaped them in terms of education, experiences and social development. It is anticipated that starting three years from now, there will be a change in how schools evaluate applicants based on these experiences. These students will have spent the better part of a year learning from home, and not always from a place of equity.

In 2020, many undergraduate admissions went “test optional,” where standardized tests were optional. This means that the first standardized test a student takes is the Dental Admission Test (DAT). Standardized tests can be daunting for some students, and without prior experience, performance could be impacted. Also, there are implications for the dental school application itself—how will it be addressed in the application process?

Class image

Along with testing, coursework changed as well. Most schools moved to online coursework at both the graduate and undergraduate levels once the pandemic forced closures. Questions are now arising around academic performance in prerequisite classes like labs, as well as a consideration for how online coursework is noted in transcripts.

It remains to be seen how an online course affects work through undergraduate studies, and into dental school—especially if students are from disadvantaged backgrounds and have shortcomings in technology.

Shadowing, an important part of a student’s application, has taken on new dimension. Dental schools are forced to redefine it and reconsider what counts as shadowing. Does it count if it takes place in a virtual environment? What are students missing with a virtual-only experiency? Will these students be at a disadvantage in the longer term? Schools have the opportunity to decide what it looks like, but also be willing to accept that students had meaningful experiences in virtual scenarios.

Many students have been touched by issues of racial equity over the past year. This is a critical issue for admissions. The impact can be felt years down the line, and students may be reticent to talk about the post-traumatic stress syndrome they are experiencing as a result of what they have seen and witnessed in person and on the news, and via increased activism. Admissions departments will need to prepare to address these issues and be ready with answers and resources for these students to support them on their paths.

There are more questions than answers. Schools and admissions committees will need to change to meet the challenges that students have faced over the past two years as a result of COVID-19. While there will be challenges, these extraordinary times are providing admissions counselors with an opportunity to look at admissions in a new light as they evaluate this group of students.

Missed this session and want more details? You can view the presentation, Post COVID-19: The Future Dental School Applicant, for 60 days following the 2021 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition.

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Today's News: Monday, March 15

Access, Diversity and Inclusion in Dental Education: A Q&A With Chair of the Board Symposium Panelists Drs. Smith, Perez and Southerland

Today’s ADEA Chair of Board Symposium will focus on access, diversity and inclusion in dental education, specifically in the area of faculty recruitment.

During the educational session at 1:45 p.m. Eastern Time, Missing at the Table: Exploring Administrative Pipeline Gaps and Solutions, panelists Carlos S. Smith, D.D.S.; Tawana K. Lee-Ware, D.D.S.; Herminio Perez, D.M.D., M.B.A.; Kim Perry, D.D.S., M.S.C.S., FACD; Kelton Stewart, D.D.S., M.S.; and Janet Southerland, D.D.S., Ph.D., M.P.H., will explore varying narratives of academic leadership, describe barriers to success and present best practices for overcoming barriers to the recruitment and retention of underrepresented and marginalized faculty.

Below, some of the panelists—Drs. Smith, Perez and Southerland—give a preview of today’s discussion, sharing how their professional and personal backgrounds help give them perspective on access, diversity and inclusion in dental education.

Smith Perez Sutherland Panel

Carlos S. Smith, D.D.S.; Herminio Perez, D.M.D., M.B.A.; and Janet Southerland, D.D.S., Ph.D., M.P.H.


For our readers, can you share how your background is relevant to the topic of administrative pipeline gaps and solutions for underrepresented and marginalized faculty/what would you like them to know about you regarding this topic?

Dr. Smith: My background is particularly relevant given that my journey into dental education really began with my participation in the ADEA/W.K. Kellogg Foundation Minority Dental Faculty Development and Inclusion Program as a dental student at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry from 2003 to 2007. The specific program at Michigan at that time was a precursor to the current ADEA Academic Dental Careers Fellowship Program. My being in the dental education space today is a direct result of pipeline programs that can and do work. There are simply not enough of us.

Although I have been in practice as a general dentist for just shy of 15 years, I have been a full-time educator for the last six years. I am currently the Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry and my role is a member of the Dean’s executive committee and leadership team. I also serve as Director of Ethics Curriculum. I have been involved nationally with ADEA in the areas of inclusive excellence, faculty and student wellbeing, as well as ethics and professionalism.

Dr. Perez: We live in a community that is diverse by race, ethnicity, beliefs, etc. It is essential for others to be aware not only of the importance of representation, but also of what we have to bring to the table when it comes to advancing the mission of an institution. This is extremely important in health care if we want to strengthen the health care workforce and make a significant impact when it comes to access to care for the black and brown communities.

I want people to know that I am more than what they see physically. I have a set of values, skills, knowledge, experiences and cultural perspectives that are essential to anyone and to any institution.

Dr. Southerland: My background is very relevant to the topic as I am one of 10 children raised by a mother with a ninth-grade education and a father who had a third-grade education and was functionally illiterate. I am a first-generation college student and would not have achieved what I have without access to pipeline projects and mentors.

In my pursuit of becoming a faculty member, I was not welcomed and was even discouraged from following this path. There were few minority mentors or role models available during my time of pre- and postdoctoral training and as a faculty member. I was fortunate to be mentored and sponsored by an outstanding colleague who understood the challenges I would face as a minority and female in academic dentistry. Having been in this profession for over 25 years, I am encouraged to see much more diversity in the dental profession, but still significant gains are needed to improve challenges with parity/equity for minorities and women.

Why is this topic so important to dental schools?

Dr. Smith: This is a vital topic for dental schools for a myriad of reasons. There is robust literature supporting that historically underrepresented minority students thriving, and their experiences in dental school environments, is connected to the presence of, or lack thereof, historically underrepresented minority faculty. Demographics in the United States continue to change, and we continue to experience issues of access to care, health disparities and inequities, as well a myriad of ever-evolving clinical issues. Dental education must do better in not only representational diversity, but also to take the opportunity to embrace and model inclusive leadership… to actually leverage our collective differences for good and promote respect, innovation, success and a sense of belonging.

Dr. Perez: In the same way that it is important for the community to receive care by a diverse health care workforce, dental schools need to understand that representation matters and plays a vital role in supporting diversity. It is time for dental schools to take an active role in providing opportunities to a diverse group of oral health care providers.

Dr. Southerland: This topic should be important to dental schools because of their responsibility to educate future oral health/dental providers who will be charged with the care of more diverse patient populations throughout the lifespan. The new paradigm in dental education will see emphasis on interprofessional education, integration of oral health into primary and medical care, and vice versa, as well as technology-driven care models.

Even though higher education institutions have tried to diversify faculty and student populations, why have they fallen short of their goals?

Dr. Smith: This is a truly multifaceted question, requiring a multitiered approach to solving. While many of our institutions have embraced principles and commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion, there remain some that have not, or not in a significant or meaningful way. There are also societal and systemic issues that frame our perspective as dental education leaders, administrators, faculty, residents, students and even predental students. We must understand and embrace inclusive leadership holistically and honestly, hold a mirror to our profession and ourselves all on a journey to positive change and optimal faculty, student and patient outcomes.

Dr. Perez: I take into consideration that there are challenges in the educational system to academically prepare a diverse student population, which is an essential aspect of the educational pathway. However, dental schools should also make an effort to allocate resources to support a diverse dental student population.

Dr. Southerland: Attempts have fallen short because efforts are typically driven by the institutional mission and vision, which is not always aligned with diversity and inclusion. Also, the amount of resources dedicated to programs and initiatives that would remedy some of the challenges have been fleeting at best. Sustainability of any efforts is key to success in diversifying faculty and student populations. If there is little to no commitment to change, then there will be none.

Who would be the ideal person to attend this session?

Dr. Smith: I cannot think of anyone in the spectrum of the professions of dentistry, dental hygiene or dental education that would not benefit from this session and learn more from the personal narratives and leadership experiences of this awesome panel. Those who are looking to learn more about inclusion, being a positive change agent and being catalysts for moving dental education forward are ideal attendees and participants for this session.

Dr. Perez: This presentation is for everyone who would like to understand and to make a difference in dental education. Each one of the panelists will share their unique experiences and challenges. Despite everything, they continue contributing to the dental education mission by preparing the next generation of oral health care providers.

Dr. Southerland: The ideal attendee for this session is any faculty member who is interested in changing the status quo and would like to see their institution embrace diversity as a core principle. This session will also provide examples of minority faculty who have experienced challenges, but also have been able to chart successful careers in academia. Finally, the session will serve as a networking opportunity to connect with other faculty with similar interests and goals.

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Plenary and Chair of the Board Symposium
Explore the Challenges of Transformation

Shankar Vedantam PhotoShankar Vedantam
Science Desk Correspondent for NPR

Change isn’t easy to come by on either a micro or a macro level, but if you’re strategic in your approach and understand the terrain, it can be accomplished, was the message of Sunday’s Opening Plenary Session and the ADEA Chair of the Board Symposium.

During a wide-ranging question and answer session, Chair of the ADEA Board of Directors Ryan Quock, D.D.S., and Plenary Speaker NPR Commentator Shankar Vedantam discussed how to bring about transformation as individuals and within organizations and dental education. They also discussed the ins and outs of the “Hidden Brain,” which is not only the name of Mr. Vedantam’s NPR podcast, but also one of human beings’ greatest obstacles to change.

Mr. Vedantam said he coined the term “hidden brain” some years ago after realizing there was a whole body of research that had accumulated in the past 20 years showing that this brain exists.

“I think of my own mind as very conscious, deliberate,” he said. “But without our awareness, there are systems in our heads that influence us in our biases, senses and perceptions…. It’s our subterranean brain that affects us all the time that we aren't aware of.” He went on to explain that the hidden brain “might seem to be nefarious and biased, but the picture that’s emerged in more recent years is a much more benign phenomenon.”

Mr. Vedantam compared it to a theater performance where the audience can see what’s on stage, but they also may be aware on some level that are things are going on backstage that are influencing what they see. “There are people who design the clothes, the sets and who are operating the lighting,” he said.

Mr. Vedantam said that even though human beings are the most adaptable creatures on the planet, our hidden brain seems prefer inertia.

“As humans we are really, really good at being adaptable,” he said. “We live in very warm, very cold places. We live in high altitudes and at sea levels. Some of us live in islands, some are in crowded places. We even live in space.” But, he noted that in our day-to-day lives, we don’t often embark on radically different behaviors. We become set in our routines. “We have the capability to change, but we also can seem set in inertia,” Mr. Vedantam said. “We can see the need for change, but we can be so resistant to it.”

Mr. Vedantam said to override this, we must be “more aware of our biases and inertia” and understand that “logical, intuitive and rational answers don’t largely influence our behavior in our lives.” If you want to produce change on any level, “you have to enlist the hidden brain.”

What it Takes to Transform a System

Mr. Vedantam said one example on a micro level of using the hidden brain to produce positive change is New Year’s resolutions. “Statistics show that by the end of a calendar year, 85 to 95% of people have not kept their new year’s resolutions,” he said. “One of the ways to change this is to think about the role habits play. It might start with a logical insight, but we have to think about unthinking rote behavior. The very same inertia that kept you from doing something will keep us focused.”

“Once you get the wheel rolling, the wheel will continue to roll,” he said.

He also noted the role that social norms play on the hidden brain. If you can establish the norms to go where you want, it’s a great force in pushing people to go in the direction, we want them to,” he said. He gave the example of the decline in smoking in the United States. Being in a room full of non-smokers has a much more powerful influence than any Surgeon General’s warning. “You don’t want to be the one person to light a cigarette,” Mr. Vedantam said.

So how can all this be applied to organizations or to profession like dental education? Instead of trying to force changes, Mr. Vedantam said, focus on integrating new routines or rote behaviors into existing systems so everyone is doing it collectively. This is how new systems start.

It also helps to enlist a few “true believers” and eventually, a “committed minority” who would be invested in the long-term changes to help start the wheel rolling—and those believers may not be from the top tier or center of an organization. “We often make the mistake of assuming, that change comes from the center of systems,” he said. “We see instead that those who have driven social changes or movements, have come from the periphery—not from the center.”

He also said that is why younger people often can push social change because they have “less connections” in the existing system and aren’t “held by the bonds of the existing system.”

It’s also important to practice a reframing of changes. “Ask people to focus on the things they have in common rather than focusing on what has to change,” Mr. Vedantam said. “This is true for our political disagreements and true for organizations.”

And this commonality can be the communal vision of what the group is collectively trying to accomplish. “There is a shared understanding of the vision we have and the dream that we have rather than the areas of disagreement,” Mr. Vedantam said. “It doesn’t mean the point of conflict or disagreement disappears. We’re just focusing on what we’re trying to achieve.”

And finally, organizations will get more buy-in if the participants trust where they are going. “You have to ask if these people have been burned before? Do they trust the system?” he said. Then ask, “How can I rebuild the trust and hear what they’re saying?”

Applying These Principles to Dental Education

During the ADEA Chair of the Board Symposium—A Two-way Street: Primary Care and Oral Health Integration Training, Christine A. Riedy, Ph.D., M.P.H.; Shenam Ticku, B.D.S., M.P.H.; and Tien Jiang, D.M.D., M.Ed., took up the baton by narrowing the focus from the broader area of transformation within organizations to how to transform health care training by integrating oral health more into curriculum.

Dr. Ticku even echoed back to Mr. Vedantam’s talk by saying micro changes, even in an individual school’s curriculum, are also important. “He really stressed on individual change where big changes can seem so daunting.”

“I would like to suggest to you all to really push the limits of how you get the information out there,” Dr. Jiang said, who appealed for dental educators to advocate more for integration of oral health and develop their own “committed minority.”

Continue the conversation about transformation on ADEA Connect and by joining our Conversation Channels on the 2021 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition virtual platform.

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Fostering a Psychologically Safe Environment in Dental Education

In this session, “Safe to speak: Fostering a Psychologically Safe Teaching Environment,” the presenters provided information on psychological safety and how it impacts collaboration and learning, ways to assess psychological safety and perceptions among individuals as well as teams, and how to apply strategies to foster psychological safety.

“Psychological safety is something we consider necessary for effective learning and collaboration,” said Michael Wolcott, Pharm.D., Ph.D. “Dental programs can be really challenging, and it’s important that we create inclusive learning environments.”

This presenters showcased research about psychological safety and offered reflective questions throughout that invited participants to identify what contributes to and diminishes psychologically safety. Participants assessed their perceptions and were asked to apply strategies to case examples to prepare them to foster psychologically safer learning environments.

“Research suggests that perceptions of psychological safety is one of the most significant factors necessary for effective collaboration and teamwork, which has impacts on learning in educational settings,” said Dr. Wolcott.

Dr. Wolcott, and his co-presenter, Jennifer Brame, R.D.H., M.S., both from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Adams School of Dentistry, presented a framework for their discussion based on Timothy Clark’s four stages of psychological safety.

SP-101 Image

“This concept is not new to education,” Prof. Brame said, “but talking about it is new in education.”

Prof. Brame then provided a broad overview of Clark’s four stages, and the two presenters provided some overarching principles before they dove more deeply into each area of safety and how we can continuously build to create and foster more psychologically safe environments for students and faculty. While they addressed all four of Clark’s areas of safety, their presentation focused more Exclusion and the areas of Inclusion Safety and Learner Safety, as the two later stages, Contributor Safety and Challenger Safety, are more advanced techniques applicable to later stages of learning. For each area of safety, Dr. Wolcott and Prof. Brame provided an overview, a reflection question, and tips for the attendees to consider while they absorbed and processed the information.

To learn more about how to foster psychological safety in education settings, attendees can access the handouts, PowerPoint slides, and watch the presentation recording.

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Healthy People: Improving Well-being One Decade at a Time

For the past few decades, a group of subject matter experts at the federal level has convened to develop goals and objectives to address public health priorities. The Healthy People initiative develops these with the overarching goal of improving the health of all Americans, tracking progress over the course of a decade.

The Healthy People initiative was the result of a 1979 Surgeon General’s report, Healthy People: The Surgeon General’s Report on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. Released under Julius Richmond, M.D., Assistant Secretary for Health and U.S. Surgeon General, it was the first report to establish national objectives to be achieved in a specific time frame. Goals have ranged from engaging leadership at the state and local levels to improving quality of life and decreasing mortality to achieving health equity across populations.

Healthy People 2020 included over 1,000 measurable objectives. Of those, 33 were focused on oral health. Overall, there were improvements across the board in reducing untreated dental decay and caries in children and adults. School-based preventive services were also shown to improve over the course of the decade, with increases in the numbers of school-based health centers offering dental services to children. There was improvement as well in the adult population, with reductions in permanent tooth loss and moderate or severe periodontitis.

While there were great successes over the decade, data showed that there are shortcomings. Areas for improvement include oropharyngeal cancer early detection, tobacco cessation, community fluoridation and access to care.

Of the 355 measurable objectives set forth in Healthy People 2030, 11 focus on oral health. They include goals to reduce the proportion of children with lifetime, active and untreated caries experiences; to reduce the proportion of adults with active or untreated tooth decay and address decay issues in the geriatric population; and to focus on increasing the proportion of oral and pharyngeal cancers detected early stages. Healthy People 2030 also aims to increase usage of the oral health care system, with an additional focus on increasing preventive visits among low-income youth and to increase oral and craniofacial health surveillance systems across the states and the District of Columbia.

What can we do to achieve the objectives of Healthy People 2030? Promoting evidence-based prevention methods, improving access to care for underrepresented populations and those in rural America, and providing education to improve skills of general dentists to provide care for patients are all key to closing gaps. Using an integrated model approach across health professions will help treat the whole person, allowing for greater well-being across all age groups.

Visit Healthy People 2030 to learn more about the goals and objectives for the next decade.

You can also download the PowerPoints or view this session, presented by Timothy Ricks, D.M.D., M.P.H., FICD, of the U.S. Public Health Service and Gina Thornton-Evans, D.D.S., M.P.H., of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division of Oral Health.

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Today's News: Sunday, March 14

ADEA Recognizes Individuals for Exceptional Service to Dental Education

During the ADEA Opening Ceremony, the Chair of the ADEA Board of Directors, Ryan Quock, D.D.S., awarded Citations to those who have demonstrated exceptional service to ADEA and the dental education community.

ADEA Information Technology Team
Bryan Aldridge, Sean Carter, Satyan Ramanna, Carolyn Vincent

ADEA Meetings, Conferences and Educational Technology Team
Aby Barry, Donna Casimier, Nirah Forman, Krisa Haggins, Audra Johnson, Shalonda King, Gina Koo, Renée Latimer

Dr. Melanie Mayberry
University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry

Dr. Monty MacNeil
University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine

Rear Admiral Dr. Timothy Ricks
U.S. Public Health Service

Prof. Donna Warren-Morris
University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston


Star Award and the ADEA Distinguished Service Award

In addition to these awards, the Star Award was given posthumously to the late Henry Gremillion, D.D.S., MAGD, ADEA Immediate Past Chair of the Board and Dean of Louisiana State University Health New Orleans School of Dentistry. Dr. Gremillion’s award was accepted by his wife, Mrs. Karleen “Mackey” Gremillion.

David Johnsen, D.D.S., M.S., Dean of The University of Iowa College of Dentistry & Dental Clinics, received the ADEA Distinguished Service Award. The ADEA Board of Directors presents this award to an ADEA member who has made an extraordinary contribution to dental education through research, teaching or service. Below, Dr. Johnsen takes a look back on his early days in the profession and what he expects for the future of dentistry.

See a full list of all the 2021 ADEA scholarship, award and fellowship recipients.

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A Q&A With Dr. David Johnsen


Why did you get into the profession of dentistry? What started you on this career path?

Dr. Johnsen: Health care and education have always been interests from childhood. My dad was a school superintendent and we had dentist friends who were role models.

Have you had any influential mentors along the way? Can you describe how they influenced you?

Dr. Johnsen: Too many mentors to count—both inside and outside of dental academia! In dental school my research mentor was Dr. Jim Avery, a career-changing experience followed by Ulf Karlsson at Iowa. Also, David Nash and Don Enlow at West Virginia. At Case Western Reserve, my mentors in field studies in the inner-city were formative. Also, in the Faculty Senate and in the Children’s Hospital, colleagues from different disciplines showed the essential nature of collaborative work and the danger of silos. 

Working with the national WIC and Head Start programs and getting into child advocacy were also formative in building and using networks. An interesting “passage” is when you notice the people mentoring you are younger, especially on technology! And as always, students mentor us in ways we may not realize right away.

How have you seen the specialization of pediatric dentistry evolve over the years?

Dr. Johnsen: In the 1970s, a part of “pedodontics” was the management of children too difficult for the general dentist and “handicapped” children. Then, “pediatric dentistry” began to include more with pediatrics—anesthesia and pediatric medicine rotations, for example. Closer work with the pediatrician led to a referral base shift to include healthy children starting at a young age. A general awareness of the importance of oral health starting early gained acceptance and pediatric dentists became busy for some of these reasons.

In the 1980s, the notion that fluoride would put pediatric dentists out of business didn’t happen! Use of allied dental personnel has expanded the delivery of care. Pediatric dentists have also become effective advocates for the health of children, expanding the visibility of the specialty in the political arena. Today, pediatric dentistry is thriving.

How do you see ADEA helping in the evolution of dentistry, overall?

Dr. Johnsen: ADEA will continue to be a focal point for the profession of dentistry and not just dental education by the students we admit, but also by the way we shape their minds and by the scholarship and policy positions we develop. Dental education led by ADEA is the gateway for the entire dental profession.

A big part in advancing the technology and methodology of dental education is through the Journal of Dental Education, the marvelous ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition and the numerous ADEA-sponsored meetings throughout the year. Not only do the substantial content of the meetings move dental education forward, but also the extensive networking through all these venues will enhance teaching and learning, often in unexpected ways.

What accomplishment are you most proud of? (Professionally or personally)

Dr. Johnsen: That’s easy—the people! A profound joy comes in dental education by watching students and colleagues over the years “take it to the next level.” Whether seeing former students from previous years or decades accomplishing great things, or watching colleagues grow into transformative activities—in practice, teaching, research, leadership, service, etc.—you will have “make it all worthwhile” moments.

The venues can be project collaborations, task groups, committees, formal organizations, advocacy efforts or just plain hanging out and picking each other’s brains. The results—sometimes years later—can go way beyond any expectation and may be completely unexpected.

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Transforming the Health Care System: A Q&A With Chair of the Board Symposium Panelists Drs. Riedy, Ticku and Jiang

Today’s ADEA Chair of Board Symposium will focus on transforming the health care system through primary care and oral health training programs.

During the educational session at 1:45 p.m. Eastern Time, A Two-way Street: Primary Care and Oral Health Integration Training, panelists Christine A. Riedy, Ph.D., M.P.H.; Shenam Ticku, B.D.S., M.P.H.; and Tien Jiang, D.M.D., M.Ed., will discuss the Center for Integration of Primary Care and Oral Health as well as national trends in interprofessional education, among other related topics.

In the following Q&A, Drs. Reidy, Ticku, and Jiang give a preview of the upcoming panel and what subjects they are hoping to discuss with each other and attendees at today’s event.

Transformation Panel

Christine A. Riedy, Ph.D., M.P.H.;  Shenam Ticku, B.D.S., M.P.H.;  Tien Jiang, D.M.D., M.Ed.

For our readers, can you share how your professional background is relevant to the topic of primary care and oral health integration training, and what would you like them to know about you regarding this topic?

Dr. Riedy: As the lead Principal Investigator (PI) of the Center for Integration of Primary Care and Oral Health (CIPCOH), my Co-PIs, faculty and colleagues have spent the last five years examining the integration landscape. Our work within CIPCOH not only addresses integration and interprofessional education, but also our group embodies it with members trained in family medicine, internal medicine, general dentistry, prosthodontics, health policy, evaluation, nursing, behavioral sciences and public health. As a behavioral scientist and public health researcher, I come with a different perspective and frame—to understand the entire context of the patient—and I feel that this should be part of health professions training as well.

Dr. Ticku: Over the last five years, as a faculty at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM), I conducted research with the Health Resources and Services Administration-funded CIPCOH and the HSDM Initiative to Integrate Oral Health and Medicine (Initiative). My research has spanned the integration of oral health competencies in primary care training, and the inclusion of behavioral health and social determinants of health in dental education. With the Initiative, my research includes studying the role of national stakeholders in oral health reform, including medical-dental integration.

Dr. Jiang: About a year ago, a first-year dental student came to my office to hear more about my career journey. At some point in the conversation, he asked if I ever felt like my research and clinical specialty diverged. Even though he didn’t know me well yet, he had asked me the same question I had asked myself just a few years prior to that conversation. But what I’ve come to realize is that while pediatrics, geriatrics and periodontics are often seen as the specialties with the most synergy with public health and/or integrated health care, that doesn’t mean that prosthodontics doesn’t have a place. In fact, I’m motivated to break the idea that prosthodontics is all about full mouth reconstructions and esthetic dentistry. At the end of the day, it is my job to provide whole person care, regardless of my specialty. And as a dental educator, I’m even more excited to be in a position where I can teach and model what I’ve learned about the intersection of dentistry, including prosthodontics, education and integrated health care.

Why is interprofessional education so important in dental schools?

Dr. Riedy: Inclusion of interprofessional education (IPE) in dental school is important as it establishes a foundation for the future dentist to develop skills in teaming and cross-discipline communication to better provide patient-centered care. Learning about and from other health professions and building these skills will hopefully translate to actual team-based practice upon graduation. In thinking about integration of oral health into primary care, what we would hope to see is primary care programs including dentistry as an IPE member just as they do with nursing, pharmacy and behavioral health.

Dr. Ticku: I think the dental community acknowledges that interprofessional education (IPE) is important for many reasons, such as comprehensive care of the patient, working with other members of the health care team, etc. That is no longer a point of contention. I think the questions we now need to ask is, “Does the paradigm include behavioral health and social determinants of health? Also, how do we make sure that IPE leads to interprofessional practice?”

Dr. Jiang: To me, the question isn’t about WHY interprofessional education (IPE) is important. I’m very sensitive to the fact that IPE is a “hot” topic in all of health care professional training. And I know that many individuals and institutions have been innovative and very successful in this space. But I also recognize through personal experience and research at the Center for Integration of Primary Care and Oral Health, that true IPE that leads to improved health care outcomes is very challenging. Not only is it difficult logistically to bring health care professionals together but it is also hard to teach our trainees to practice integrated care when our health care system isn’t set up to promote this type of care. We will talk about this during our session, but it is easy to think that we are successfully participating in IPE when we put trainees from different professions in one room. However, as our research shows, this is not enough—we can do better.

Could primary care professionals do a better job of integrating oral health into their patient services? Are you seeing improvements, and will you explore examples of what is being done currently during your session?

Dr. Riedy: Yes, with a caveat. We know that some primary care disciplines have done a tremendous amount of work in moving their professions to incorporate oral health into their curricula; for example, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, pediatric and family medicine programs. My co-presenters will discuss some of the findings from CIPCOH’s multidiscipline environmental scan on how well these schools/programs have done. And, per our title, we will explore the two-way street of integration; that is, what are dental programs integrating into their curricula in order to train dental providers to think about the entire context of their patients.

Dr. Ticku: Yes, definitely. In this session, we will describe CIPCOH’s research on the current landscape of oral health integration into primary care training. Our research did not delve into practice patterns of primary care professions, but if we use training as a proxy, we can see that greater effort is needed in the inclusion of oral health into primary care for some disciplines. Having said that, other disciplines are doing much better across several metrics. We will discuss these metrics in our session.

Dr. Jiang: Yes, there is room for improvement. While we are seeing improved integration of oral health curricula in primary care training programs, some disciplines are outperforming others. We will cover our research findings around this in our session. However, I want to be clear that the responsibility isn’t just on primary care. It’s a two-way street: dentistry has lots of room for improvement as well in terms of integrating topics such as chronic medical conditions, behavioral health, and social determinants of health. We will take a deeper dive into these topics in our session.

During this session, what conversation or topic are you particularly looking forward to having with the other speakers?

Dr. Riedy: As a behavioral scientist the topic that sparks joy in me is talking about how people make changes—at the individual, institutional and societal level. I, along with my co-presenters, look forward to finding out from the audience how they have made shifts, even small ones, in their curricular content to incorporate oral health in primary care training and/or primary care topics in oral health training.

Dr. Ticku: My co-presenters and I acknowledge that the policy changes needed to integrate our compartmentalized system will take time. During our discussion with the audience, we want to delve into some of their success stories. We would like to have a conversation about how they have been able to surmount the multiple barriers to integration in their settings.

Dr. Jiang: I’m particularly looking forward to hearing ideas from our audience around how to bridge the gap between interprofessional education and practice. We will lay out in our session the successes and challenges around integrated training. However, with a fragmented health care system, the big challenge for us educators to address is, “How can we prepare our students to close gaps in care when our health care system sometimes works against this type of work?”

Who would be the ideal person to attend this session?

Dr. Riedy: I think that anyone who has an interest in or a curiosity about interprofessional education and practice would be an ideal person to attend. While educators may feel the topic is only relevant to them, we know that making curricular changes takes a team. Laying out the road map of integration and its value to the educational team, administration, and the learners will promote buy-in and sustainability.

Dr. Ticku: We encourage everyone to attend this session. As mentioned earlier, one of my recent areas of research is to understand the role of stakeholders in health reform. In this session, we are talking about the need for change and change can only happen when we have ALL stakeholders—clinicians, researchers, educators and administrators—at the table.

Dr. Jiang: All conference attendees of the ADEA Annual Session should attend our session because if we really want to “shake things up” as Dr. Ryan Quock mentioned to us in preparation for our session, we need EVERYONE at the table. And we all must be open to change in order to begin to mend our broken health care system.

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Advocacy in Action: The Student Diversity Leadership
Program Welcomes its Class of 2021

As a master’s student in Dental Hygiene at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS), Tammy Marshall-Paquin is hoping to make a difference. While at MCPHS, Ms. Marshall-Paquin has focused her research and master thesis on transgender individuals and oral health care.

“Peer reviews and assessment of my work by professors has allowed me to increase awareness of the disparities faced by transgender individuals in health care and society,” Ms. Marshall-Paquin says. “My research has also prompted sensitive and open conversations with colleagues, peers, friends and families about diversity and inclusion. I have also made wonderful connections with staff at the university who identify as LGBTQ and support and encourage my research and discussions on LGBTQ health care, especially oral health care.”

For her efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in oral health care, Ms. Marshall-Paquin was one of several students chosen to participate in ADEA’s Student Diversity Leadership Program (ADEA SDLP), a two-day event held virtually this year at the 2021 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition. There, students were encouraged to explore advocacy and the importance of their voices in helping address the oral health care needs of underserved communities. Organizers also provided programming that showed participants how to develop mentors and sponsor relationships as well as create a culture that supports one’s own well-being as a dental professional.

This year’s sponsor of the ADEA SLDP was The Procter & Gamble Company.

Ms. Marshall-Paquin was ready and willing to participate and learn at the 2021 ADEA SDLP and present her unique perspective as a experienced clinician with over 30 years of patient care, as well as several years in management.

“I have seen how culture can influence patient care and interactions with others,” Ms. Marshall-Paquin says. “I am also older than the average student—53. With age comes valuable experiences. In addition, some may believe that mature adults cannot change or are not as flexible in their thinking. I think being part of this program could help demonstrate that learning is a life-long process and we, as humans, are capable of change at any point in life.”

Eager to Learn and Share

Like Ms. Marshall-Paquin, Addie Pardi, a senior dental hygiene student from the Pacific University School of Dental Hygiene, looked forward to sharing her perspective during the 2021 ADEA SDLP.

“I think that as a student, I am already heavily immersed in the mindset of learning and personal growth,” Ms. Pardi says. “Additionally, I am a dental hygiene student, not a dental student, so I feel I will bring a unique perspective to the program.

The 2021 ADEA SDLP focused thematically on examining social determinants of health. Students discovered their strengths as they were led through a social justice lens.

“Through this program, I want to learn about the development of leadership skills that are especially necessary for effective work in a multicultural environment,” said Sukhpreet Singh, dental hygiene student at The Canadian Academy of Dental Health & Community Sciences, days before 2021 ADEA SDLP would begin. “I want to learn how to focus on my weaknesses and how to draw on my potential.”

This is the first time the event was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But the participants were still eager to learn.

“While it may be harder to do virtually than in person, I’d like to be able to connect with fellow students who share similar goals,” said Mohammed Alabdoulsalam, a first-year dental student at Dalhousie University Faculty of Dentistry. “Together, we can make the future of dentistry more diverse and inclusive for our peers and communities.”

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House of Delegates Opening Session Highlights the
Path Forward for ADEA and Dental Education

Reflecting on the various challenges posed last year, the resilience of ADEA and dental education during those hard times and the opportunities the future hold were reoccurring topics during the ADEA House of Delegates (HOD) Opening Session on Saturday, March 13.

Quock photoRyan Quock, D.D.S.
ADEA Board of Directors  

Chair of the ADEA Board of Directors Ryan Quock, D.D.S., opened the ceremony with an explanation of the 2021 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition theme of “WE” and how he came up with the idea as it relates to ADEA, its members and dental education.

“The visual motif of a tapestry took root in my mind for the concept to coalesce around,” he said. “Our journeys individually and collectively weave this tapestry.”

To harken back to this visual motif, a multicolored tapestry appears on almost all the 2021 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition graphic images.

“Our theme ‘WE’ is about how we will transform together,” Dr. Quock said.

Inspired by the Past to Uplift the Future

Mays PhotoKeith A. Mays, D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D.
Chair-elect of the ADEA Board of Directors

According to Chair-elect of the ADEA Board of Directors Keith A. Mays, D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D., Dr. Quock’s theme was quite prescient. “Dr. Quock’s theme of ‘WE’ was perfect for this year as we came together to interpret and manage an ever-changing landscape,” Dr. Mays said.

As COVID-19 and social justice movements gripped the United States and the globe in 2020, both ADEA and dental education had to respond collectively. “The emotional toll of COVID-19 and the social justice movement is real.... We must continue to advocate for those whose voices have been marginalized and, in some cases—silenced,” he said.

Dr. Mays said despite next year likely being another challenging one as the country tries to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, he is “confident in our power and resilience. ADEA is The Voice of Dental Education and there is no greater time than now for our voices to be heard.”

Along with reflecting on what has been happening on a national stage, during his remarks, Dr. Mays also reflected on his own life. “My journey has been filled with twists and turns, ups and downs and I’ve navigated a myriad of experiences and milestones,” he said.

Dr. Mays said he grew up in a lower middle-class family with parents “who lovingly sacrificed for their children.” He said one of his father’s first jobs was that of a “shoe-shine man.” His father then became an elevator operator, and eventually one of the first black salesman in Detroit and finally a union representative. His father even took out a loan to help pay for Dr. May’s college tuition.

Dr. Mays said during his formative years his parents had “unconditional love” and propelled him by giving him the “opportunity to dream.” They enrolled him in every after-school activity possible and the experiences were character-building, though he remarked laughingly that as someone with a serious allergy and asthma condition, "to do this day, I’m still confused why my mother signed me up for football.”

It was during his teen years that Dr. Mays would first become inspired to go into dentistry. He said when he was 15 years old, he had a severe toothache and was amazed at how quickly a dentist relieved his pain.

The theme for the 2022 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition will be Lifting as We Rise. Dr. Mays said one of the inspirations for this theme was two of his black dental mentors, who taught him that “it was always important to give back and help someone make the journey you have made.”

During his year as Chair of the ADEA Board of Directors, he wants to continue to embrace ADEA’s mission to develop of future dental educators.

The Art of Listening and Being Thankful Despite Hard Times

West PhotoKaren P. West, D.M.D., M.P.H.
ADEA President and CEO

ADEA President and CEO Karen P. West, D.M.D., M.P.H., also reflected on the challenges of the past year during her remarks. She said one of those challenges was the hard decision to cancel the 2020 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition in National Harbor, MD, due to the pandemic, but she acknowledged that many organizations and institutions have had to make hard decisions as well.

“The impact of the ongoing pandemic has been particularly acute, with many organizations facing financial pressures,” Dr. West said, but she was “proud to say that ADEA and its dental educators have met the moment.... Each one of you should be proud of what you’ve done to elevate the profession and improve health care overall.”

Dr. West said that there are many lessons to be learned from the past year. “If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that change can come fast and furious,” she said.

In addition, she said she has learned anew the value of listening, particularly to ADEA members. “Your voices give us our voice,” Dr. West said. She said she also has “developed a greater appreciation for the power and value of gratitude.” She extended her thanks to all the House of Delegates. “Your perseverance this past year has inspired me,” she said.

Dr. West also highlighted several of ADEA’s achievements in 2020, despite the challenges the organization faced last year due to the pandemic. She pointed to the release of the ADEA Faculty Diversity Toolkit and Facilitator’s Guide, ADEA’s advocacy at a federal level in securing the COVID-19 vaccine for dentists as well as COVID-19 relief funding for dental institutions, significantly growing the ADEA eLearn platform to offer more than 100 free educational courses and finally, ADEA’s joint initiative with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Henry Schein, Inc. to distribute more than 3 million 3M-made, KN95 masks to dental schools and allied dental education programs for free.

Dr. West then referred the HOD to a full rundown of ADEA’s accomplishments in the now available 2020 ADEA Annual Report.

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Students and Faculty Present at the ADEA Poster and TechExpo

On Friday, March 12, ADEA Posters and TechExpo presentations took place virtually, showcasing a wide span of topics from 3D-computer Simulation Technology for Teaching Pre-clinical Skills to Assessing Readiness for Dental Residency Programs. Attendees were able to chat live with presenters.

Dentsply Sirona sponsored the student poster competition, which took place from 2:30 − 3:30 p.m. The student competition posters are PO-001 – PO-064.

The poster winners are:


PO-042: Interprofessional Dental Education/Practice: UConn Dental and Medical Student Perspectives

Students: Elyse Estra, B.S.; Kathryn Forth, B.S.; Eric J. Beltrami, B.S.
Faculty: Eric R. Bernstein, J.D., Ed.D.; Zita Lazzarini, J.D., M.P.H.; Douglas E. Peterson, D.M.D., Ph.D., FDS RCSEd
University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine
Judge’s comment: “The poster, the recorded explanation of the poster and the live chat were all excellent. I believe the topic is extremely timely. The fact that the medical students did not respond as favorably as the dental students did, further indicates the need for this type of collaboration.”


Second place—a three-way tie:

PO-027: Effectiveness of an E-module on the Subject of Bone Growth

Students: Alivia Focken, Allie Koth
Faculty: Shayla D. Yoachim, Ph.D.
University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry
Judge’s comment: “Very nicely executed research project. The topic is timely and of great relevance to dental education.”

PO-035: Gender Differences in Preclinical Self-assessment Skills

Students: Ruchika Agrawal; Eshani Patel; Jacqueline Harris; David L. Kornmehl
Faculty: Hiroe Ohyama, D.D.S., M.M.Sc., Ph.D., D.M.D.
Harvard School of Dental Medicine
Judge’s comment: “Strong poster presenting the influence of gender on preclinical assessment skills. Very professional video providing great insight into rationale for study, methodology and discussion, including relevant theories and suggested next steps. Kudos!”

PO-059: The Gluten Free Endodontic Dental Visit

Students: Miranda Boynton; Djenane Lemaire, M.S.
Faculty: Driss Zoukhri, M.S., Ph.D.; Kerith Rankin, D.M.D.; Britta E. Magnuson, D.M.D.; Shruti Jain, B.D.S., M.P.H.; Melissa E. Ing, D.M.D.
Tufts University School of Dental Medicine
Judge’s comment: “Very well-presented.”


PO-029: Effectiveness, Efficiency, User Experience in 3D Virtual Tooth Identification Test

Student: Esther Suh
Faculty: Elisabeta Karl, D.D.S.; Vidya Ramaswamy, Ph.D.; Hera Kim-Berman, D.D.S. MMSc.
University of Michigan School of Dentistry
Judge’s comment: ”Well presented, participant answered all questions confidently.”

Congratulations to the poster winners! And thank you to our judges, who are the leadership team from the ADEA Section on Educational Research/Development and Curriculum (ERDC): Dr. Yun Saksena, Dr. Selim Oh, Dr. Laureen Zubiaurre Bitzer, and Dr. Vidya Ramaswamy.

Missed the event?

ADEA Poster/TechExpo PDFs along with voice recordings are available in the Program Planner. Log in with the access code listed on your registration confirmation, then look for “ADEA Poster” or “TechExpo” in the left-hand navigation bar.

Want to ask the presenters questions?

Then reach out to them virtually on our Networking platform. Log in with the email address you used to register for the 2021 Annual Session & Exhibition and the access code listed on your registration confirmation. You can search for the name of the presenters.

Poster presentation and TechExpo abstracts were published in the February 2021 issue of the Journal of Dental Education. To access, log in at with your ADEA username and password and follow the prompts.

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Today's News: Saturday, March 13

ADEAGies Foundation® Celebrates Eight Trailblazers at Gies Awards @HOME

Gies@Home photo

The 2021 William J. Gies Awards for Vision, Innovation and Achievement were presented virtually on Friday, March 12 at the Gies Awards @HOME event. The Gies Awards, named after dental education pioneer William J. Gies, Ph.D., debuted in 2008 and honor individuals and organizations that exemplify the highest standards in oral health and dental education, research and leadership.

“Through their extraordinary contributions, our Gies Awardees are moving the needle forward in dental education and oral health” says Marsha Pyle, D.D.S., M.Ed., President of the ADEAGies Foundation. “The Gies Awards honor future-ready initiatives that advance dental education and elevate the dental profession.”

The eight honorees were chosen by a distinguished panel of industry experts, including the ADEAGies Foundation Board of Trustees.

The 2021 Gies Awards recipients are (in alphabetical order):

Mert Aksu, D.D.S., J.D., M.H.S.A.
Gies Award for Vision – Dental Educator

California Dental Association
Gies Award for Achievement – Public or Private Partner

M. Franklin Dolwick, D.M.D., Ph.D.
Gies Award for Innovation – Dental Educator

Paul Gates, D.D.S., M.B.A.
Gies Award for Achievement – Dental Educator

Irvin Silverstein, D.D.S., M.Sc.Ed.
Gies Award for Achievement – Dental Educator

Texas A&M College of Dentistry
Gies Award for Vision – Academic Dental Institution

University of Toronto Faculty of Dentistry
Gies Award for Achievement – Academic Dental Institution

Mary Williard, D.D.S.
Gies Award for Achievement – Dental Educator

ADEA Awards Ceremony Celebrates Virtually

Each year, ADEA recognizes achievement and distinction among its members at the ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition. This year, ADEA reimagined the celebratory in-person gatherings and plenary session presentations with a well-received virtual event on March 4.

The ADEA Awards Ceremony highlighted dental educators, researchers and students, and their important work in furthering dental education. ADEA leadership joined the Zoom event, along with the sponsors who generously support various scholarships and awards. Awardees, sponsors and ADEA leadership were given the opportunity to meet and have meaningful conversations about their efforts.

During the event, Ryan Quock, D.D.S., Chair of the ADEA Board of Directors, shared these words of encouragement and thanks: “I want to give my hearty congratulations to all of the awardees on your accomplishments. I want to thank you in advance for what this may mean for spurring you on to greater contributions in dental education. Thank you for what you do and what you will continue to do. I want to give my recognition and thanks to all the sponsors. Thank you for believing in dental education and in the individuals here. I can tell you as someone who lives in the trenches that it is often a thankless existence and these little sparks provide inspiration to be bigger and better than we already are. Thank you so much.”

ADEA would like to thank our sponsors, whose generous support made these awards and scholarships possible:

  • American College of Dentists
  • American Association for Dental Research
  • American Association of Endodontists
  • Colgate-Palmolive, Co.
  • GSK
  • National Dental Association
  • The Procter & Gamble Company
  • Sigma Phi Alpha

This presentation highlights the dental educators, researchers and students that were honored during the 2021 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition.

For more information about ADEA scholarships, awards and fellowships, please visit

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Dr. Nadershahi Answers Questions at Virtual Town Hall

Nadershahi photoOn Friday, March 12, Nader A. Nadershahi, D.D.S., M.B.A., Ed.D., Dean of the University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry (Dugoni School) and nominee for Chair-elect of the ADEA Board of Directors, held a virtual town hall where attendees peppered him with questions on a wide range of topics, from ADEA’s mission to the future of dental education.

Dr. Nadershahi opened the session with a speech acknowledging ADEA’s impending centennial anniversary and introducing himself and his vision. He emphasized that he looked forward to not only sharing his own ideas for ADEA and dental education, but also hearing ADEA members’ ideas on how to respond to the challenges posed in the present, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the path forward into the future. He said success would require everyone to work together.

“There is an old African proverb that says if you want to go fast, go alone,” Dr. Nadershahi said. “If you want to go far, go together.”

A Lively Q & A

Dr. Nadershahi received a lot of questions from town hall attendees, many of which focused on the integration of oral health in overall health and interprofessional education. 

“ADEA will continue to advocate for the future of interprofessional education,” he said.

He said the role dentists are playing in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in the United States is yet another example of how oral health is becoming even more integrated into overall health.

When asked for his top three initiatives as Chair-elect, Dr. Nadershahi said they were social justice and equity, the financing of dental education, and the development of current educators and continuing to grow future educators.

He said ADEA’s greatest strength “is in our members and the collective knowledge that they bring” and the organization’s most significant challenge is “the financial pressures our programs are facing.” He said the resources for dental education “need to be there and the reimbursements for clinical care need to be there.”

Dr. Nadershahi circled back to this topic when asked how he thinks the high cost of dental education should be addressed.

Through clinics, dental schools “provide such an incredibly important safety net” for low-income and special needs communities, he said. “We are happy to do it and take care of all these individuals, but we have to make sure they are reimbursed appropriately so we can take away more of the burden of the cost on students.” He said dental schools can also reduce cost with more collaboration and sharing of resources between schools and organizations.

When asked how he as Dean is making sure diversity and inclusion (DI) is integrated into his programs at the Dugoni School, Dr. Nadershahi said equity, diversity and inclusion is not only a priority for him as a Dean, but also would be as Chair-elect of the ADEA Board of Directors. He said the focus shouldn’t be on just having one person, task force or committee at an institution responsible for holding schools accountable.

“We should make sure it’s part of the fabric of education in all of our programs,” he said, remarking that as an immigrant to the United States, he is particularly cognizant of DI and wants to make sure everyone feels they have a place and belongs.

Also, in regard to equity, diversity and inclusion, Dr. Nadershahi said ADEA can be a great resource in helping schools teach students about social determinants of health care.

“We can't tell schools what to teach or the curriculum decisions they make,” he said, but ADEA can “bring resources forward and listen to members about where the needs are.”

Dr. Nadershahi was also asked about his position on training dental faculty.

“We are all part of dental education,” he said “We’re all sitting on the same side as learners. The teachers aren’t on one side, with the students on the other side: we’re all on the same side of the table. We’re all continuing to learn.” He went on to say that ADEA offers training to dental faculty, pointing to the ADEA Leadership Institute and the recent 2021 graduates as an example of available resources.

In regard to looking forward to the future and learning lessons from the past, one attendee asked if ADEA had any plans to create a task force on lessons learned from the pandemic.

“Yes, we’re working on it. We are looking into getting members and member organizations together to get that information,” Dr. Nadershahi said.

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Congrats to Leadership Institute Class of 2021 Graduates!

On Wednesday, March 10, the ADEA Leadership Institute Class of 2021 held its commencement ceremony virtually, marking the conclusion of a year-long program designed to develop the nation’s most promising individuals at academic dental institutions to become future leaders in dental and higher education. On Thursday, the incoming Class of 2021 also held its orientation, signifying the start yet another year of this innovative program.

Since 1999, nearly 400 faculty and administrators from predoctoral, allied and advanced dental education have participated in the ADEA Leadership Institute. Fellows who have graduated from the Institute hold positions ranging from department chairs to program directors to deans of dental schools.

Congratulations to this year’s graduates!

The Leadership Institute Class of 2021 Graduates (in alphabetical order)

View the Class of 2021 bios on the ADEA website.

Kathryn Bell, RDH, M.S.
Associate Professor, School of Dental Hygiene Studies
Associate Dean for Interprofessional Education
Pacific University

Ana Carolina Botta Martins de Oliveira, D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of General Dentistry
Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine

Marco C. Bottino, D.D.S., M.Sc., Ph.D., FADM
Associate Professor, Department of Cariology, Restorative Sciences and Endodontics
Director, Postgraduate Program in Regenerative Dentistry
University of Michigan School of Dentistry

Sheri A. Brownstein, D.M.D.
Director of Preclinical Faculty
Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine-Arizona

Whasun Oh Chung, Ph.D.
Research Professor and Director of SURF Research Program
University of Washington School of Dentistry

Theodora Danciu, D.M.D., D.M.Sc.
Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine
University of Michigan School of Dentistry

Mojdeh Dehghan, D.D.S.
Associate Professor and Chair, Department of General Dentistry
University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Dentistry

Kim Fenesy, D.M.D.
Vice Dean
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, School of Dental Medicine

Bridget Ferguson, D.D.S.
Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Columbia University College of Dental Medicine

M. Nathalia Garcia, D.D.S., M.S.
Department Chair, Applied Dental Medicine and Head of Periodontics
Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine
Adjunct Clinical Professor, Graduate Periodontics Program
Saint Louis University

Daniel A. Givan, D.M.D., Ph.D., FACP
Professor and Interim Chair for the Department of Restorative Sciences
University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry

Lance W. Godley, D.M.D., M.Ed.
Vice Chair, Restorative Clinical Sciences Department
Director of the Somers Clinic
University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry

Susie Goolsby, D.D.S., M.S.H.A.
Associate Professor, Department of General Dentistry, Director of Student Recruitment and Course Director for Cariology
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry

Colin M. Haley, D.D.S.
Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Director of Group Facilitation
University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry

Zsuzsa Horvath, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Dental Public Health
University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine

Faizan Kabani, RDH, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Texas A&M College of Dentistry

Sophia Khan, D.D.S.
Director of Student Affairs and Professionalism
Assistant Professor, Department of Restorative Dentistry
Co-Director of the Comprehensive Care Clinic and Cariology
University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine

Afsheen Lakhani, D.M.D.
Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of General Dentistry
Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine

Sean McLaren, D.D.S.
Associate Professor of Dentistry and Pediatrics
Eastman Institute for Oral Health

Neeraj H. Panchal, D.D.S., M.D., M.A.
Section Chief of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Penn Presbyterian Medical Center
Section Chief of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Philadelphia Corporal Michael J. Crescenz Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center
Assistant Professor of Oral Maxillofacial Surgery
University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine

Karin Quick, D.D.S., Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Director of the Division of Dental Public Health and Director of Global Programs
University of Minnesota School of Dentistry

Ana Paula D. Ribeiro, D.D.S., Ph.D., M.S.
Director of Curriculum, Department of Restorative Dental Sciences
University of Florida College of Dentistry

Gildo Santos, D.D.S., Ph.D.
Professor and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Dental Education
Western University Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry

Stefanie Seitz, D.D.S.
Associate Clinical Professor and Assistant Dean for Students
UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry

Paul Subar, D.D.S., Ed.D.
Associate Professor, Chair of the Department of Diagnostic Sciences and Director of the Special
Care Clinic/Hospital Dentistry Program
University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry

Ethelyn Thomason, D.M.D.
Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Restorative Dentistry
University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine

Dharini van der Hoeven, M.Sc., Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Diagnostic and Biomedical Sciences
University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston

Rick Walter, D.D.S., M.S.
Associate Professor, Department of Comprehensive Oral Health
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Adams School of Dentistry

Pamela C. Yelick, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Orthodontics
Tufts University School of Dental Medicine

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Welcome to the 2021 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition

On behalf of ADEA President and CEO Karen P. West, D.M.D., M.P.H., welcome to the 2021 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition where WE create the future of dental education!

The Session Daily is your one-stop source for program highlights, special events and general news about the ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition. Watch your inbox for a new issue of the Session Daily tomorrow, Monday and Tuesday mornings.

Though we are not in person, this year still offers a multitude of educational sessions, networking opportunities, special events, and a virtual Exhibit Hall that will make the conference a rewarding experience.

Virtual Venue

Want to join an educational session, find out more information about a speaker, view the TechExpo/Poster presentations or peruse the Exhibit Hall? Then go to our virtual venue. Log in with the email address you used to register for the 2021 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition and the access code listed on your registration confirmation.

The virtual venue also features the Ask ADEA virtual assistant “chatbot” where you can ask any question you have about the conference, from “What’s going on now?” to information about session evaluations to everything in between.

Exhibit Hall

From noon until 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Sunday and Monday, the virtual Exhibit Hall will be open to attendees. (Must log in to access this page.) Visit our nearly 40 exhibitors, including the ADEA Showcase, on the Exhibit Hall “floor.”

There, you can learn more about each exhibitor, see videos of products, schedule a meeting and leave a virtual business card with exhibitors.


This year, ADEA is offering attendees an opportunity to network virtually, using a feature that employs predetermined criteria and artificial intelligence- (AI-) powered matchmaking.

This AI-powered matchmaking offers appointment and meeting planning opportunities. It also generates for each attendee an individualized list of personal contacts, personalized suggestions and recommendations for networking candidates based on your profile and the intelligent algorithm adapts to your profile.

We hope you will take advantage of all that the 2021 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition has to offer! And thank you for all that you do to advance the cause of dental education.

A Message from the Chair of the ADEA Board of Directors

Dear Friends, Colleagues and Partners,

As Chair of the ADEA Board of Directors, please accept my warmest greetings to the 2021 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition, held for the first time in a completely virtual format. Many thanks are due to the numerous members of the dental education community and ADEA staff who have contributed time, talent, resources and content to this important gathering.

It’s possible that this year’s Annual Session will be unlike any you’ve experienced before. Certainly, the digital format, live as scheduled, is an exciting exploration of access possibilities. But the true heart and innovation of the meeting is its theme—WE. A celebration of who WE are, and of what WE together collaborate to accomplish. WE are entrusted with the future of dental education.

This is both exhilarating and humbling at the same time. Because from my vantage point, this Annual Session really is an invitation—perhaps an exhortation—for our community to transform. I humbly ask you to engage the content and your colleagues with a reflective heart and open mind. WE will be challenged by this Annual Session. WE will feel uncomfortable. WE will be inspired. WE are lifelong learners whose privilege it is to model self-assessment and growth. WE are the tapestry of dental education, and the future is ours to write.

It is out of the sincerest and utmost respect for your competence, compass and commitment that so many have worked tirelessly to bring you this purposely introspective Annual Session. I count it a privilege to be a part of this community and to learn from you. WE can do it!

At your service, 

Dr Quock small

Ryan Quock, D.D.S.
2020-2021 Chair of the ADEA Board of Directors
Distinguished Teaching Professor
University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston

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