By Daniel Hammer, ASDA chapter president and Class of 2011
This school year, the leaders of the Dugoni School’s chapter of the American Student Dental Association (ASDA) have been working to ensure that each ASDA member here gains true value from his or her membership. To that end, ASDA has been implementing numerous programs for its members to provide mentorship and tutoring throughout the year.
For example, Helping Hands is a new program that provides free tutoring every other Tuesday to the first-year students for their lab classes. The volunteer tutors are eager to help, and in true Dugoni fashion, the number of volunteer tutors often outweighs the number of those students seeking help. Furthermore, traditional peer mentor programs such as First Year First Aid, clinic transition meetings and ADPAC monthly lunch and learns demonstrate the tangible value of an ASDA membership throughout the year.
Another focus of ASDA this year is to create connections between the classes through social activities. We ended the last school year with a bay cruise to celebrate the numerous accomplishments of all classes. More recently, we hosted nearly 100 students at a Giants vs. Rockies tailgate party and baseball game.
As always, we welcome suggestions or questions. Please feel free to contact any ASDA leader – we look forward to hearing from you!
American Student Dental Association is a national student-run organization whose mission is to protect and advance the rights, interests and welfare of students pursuing careers in dentistry. More than 87% of all dental students nationwide join the association.
Among the various personalities and backgrounds of the students at the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry lies true enthusiasm and ability. As we continue into the 2009-2010 school year, I am consistently amazed by the talent of our Associated Student Body (ASB).
After two years of American Student Dental Association (ASDA) national involvement, I have had the opportunity to meet with student leaders from almost every dental school in the country. Through these encounters it was made clear to me that our ASB collectively is unlike any other. The organizations that comprise the ASB do not compete for membership and resources as they do at most other schools. Unity and creativity is enhanced by the freedom to develop organically and be progressive. The most notable difference between our student body and others is that we have an “open door” policy between the ASB and our faculty and administration. Not only are we able to voice our concerns, but in most cases, they are heard and acted upon.
Throughout this school year we will accomplish many goals and encounter many challenges as individual students, classes, clubs and organizations. At the heart of these accomplishments and challenges are learning experiences. With recent events like the addition of axiUm, our new electronic records system, we have been challenged as a student body. Changes like axiUm, although difficult, are part of the innovation and advancement that makes Pacific one of the top dental schools.
The culture of our school is centered on constantly striving to be the best while always evolving for the betterment of the institution. By learning from our experiences we will continue to grow as students and dentists, and as an organization.
We will soon break for the holidays and return refreshed and ready to continue our studies. As we do, I look forward to seeing continued personal and scholarly growth throughout the remainder of the school year.
You might think that dental school is so demanding and so stressful that there is no hope of relaxing and having fun...
From crowns to dentures and lectures to seminars, sometimes that can be true. Fortunately, many students have discovered a great way to reduce the stress: physical activity! That's right, Pacific has a lot of athletes! Volleyball, football, soccer, cycling, rugby, hockey, synchronized ice skating, skiing, snowboarding, and swimming... this is a short list of the many sports played by my classmates. Additionally, there are a myriad of sports clubs including the surf club, running club, high adventure club, and even a yoga club.
The resounding conclusion is that although dental school is stressful, it's important to maintain physical activity to remain sane. As the saying goes: healthy body, healthy mind!