8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Registration
 9:00 – 9:15 a.m. Welcome Remarks
 9:15 – 10:10 a.m.

ADEA GoDental: Inspire, Inform and Guide

Persistence and Perseverance: Pathways to Dentistry

Kathryn Pawlak, D.D.S.
University of Maryland School of Dentistry, Class of 2019
University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, Pediatric Dentistry, Class of 2021

Dr. Pawlak earned her bachelor’s degree from Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Before entering dental school, she began her mission in dental education by founding a nonprofit, Planet Smilez, of which she is Founder and Executive Director.

During dental school at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry, she developed the Planet Smilez Discovering Dentistry Camp to enable middle school and high school students to experience the profession of dentistry and provide mentorship opportunities. Dr. Pawlak pursued her specialty training in pediatric dentistry at the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine and was the recipient of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Resident Recognition Award for her passion in dental education and outreach during her residency training program. Dr. Pawlak is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry.

Money Matters: 10 Questions Every Student Should Ask

Paul Garrard
ADEA Senior Advisor for Student Financial Services

With more than 40 years of experience in higher education and student financial aid, Paul Garrard is one of the most well-known and in-demand educational debt management experts in the nation, especially in the health professions communities.

He has extensive experience in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors of higher education and has served as a consultant to ADEA as Senior Advisor for Student Financial Services for more than 10 years. He is responsible for the financial aid and educational debt management content on both the ADEA GoDental and Financial Services for Students websites.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from Samford University and an M.B.A. from the University of Georgia. Mr. Garrard works out of his home in Shepherdstown, WV.

Planning a Stress-free ADEA AADSAS Application

Chonté James
ADEA Director of the Predoctoral Application Service

Ms. James is a Maryland native and obtained her bachelor’s degree at Morgan State University. She has over 30 years of experience supporting dental education and has been instrumental in connecting and delivering presentations to predental students, health professions advisors and admissions representatives at dental schools across the United States and Canada. Additionally, she serves as a liaison to the ADEA Admissions, Financial Aid and Student Affairs committee and the National Association of Advisors to the Health Professions.
10:10 - 10:30 a.m.

Interactive Networking (snacks included)
Stand up and stretch while meeting others, grabbing a snack and sharing your thoughts on these three questions: 

  1. What person or experience in your life inspired you to pursue a dental career?
  2. What resources have helped inform you about the benefits of pursuing a dental career?
  3. What specific advice has helped guide you through your dental school application journey?
10:30 – 11:30 a.m. Student Stories

One Bite at a Time: My Odyssey to LSU School of Dentistry

David Rainwater, D3
Louisiana State University Health New Orleans School of Dentistry (LSUSD)

Originally from Sheridan, AR, David obtained his bachelor’s degrees in biology and chemistry at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR. Having a strong desire to pursue dentistry, he was grateful to be accepted into LSUSD’s class of 2025. In his past three years at LSUSD, David has found a great passion for participating in admissions, dental volunteer opportunities and numerous other student dental organizations.

Currently serving as the admissions ambassador coordinator at LSUSD, he enjoys organizing school tours, predental days, applicant interviews and other admissions processes for predental students who are applying to LSUSD. When not in class or clinic, David spends his free time fishing, playing golf and embracing the culture of New Orleans with his fiancé and his dental school friends.

How ADEA Helped Shape My Dental School Journey

Justin James Donato, D2,
Western University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine

Justin currently serves as Vice-Chair of the ADEA Council of Students, Residents and Fellows for the 2023-24 academic year. Justin is a first-generation Filipino American and a community-college transfer student. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Molecular & Cellular Biology from the University of California, Berkeley. Through his predental journey, he become involved with ADEA, which has helped foster his interest in academic dentistry.

Eboney Hinds, D2
Western University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine

Being a first-generation student and the first in her family to pursue higher education, Eboney’s path to dental school was nonlinear. She double majored in Biology and Spanish and obtained two bachelor’s degrees from San Diego State University in 2016. After obtaining her degrees, she worked in the fitness industry, social media and volunteered with a few dental organizations, including the U.S. Navy, where she went to multiple countries in South America to provide dental care to those in need. In 2020, she completed a prehealth postbaccalaureate program at Shoreline College. In 2022, she earned a Master’s degree in Medical Sciences from Western University of Health Sciences. In addition to serving as the Predental Liaison for the ADEA Council of Students, Residents and Fellows, she is involved with the American Student Dental Association, the Student National Dental Association and the Pipeline to Health Career Ladders program at Western University of Health Sciences.

 11:30 a.m. – noon


 Noon - 3:00 p.m.

Recruitment Fair

Explore 50+ schools and organizations that are here to meet you. Learn what each dental school has to offer and how you might fit into their curriculum and environment.