Cedric Papa, Class of 2012, is the creator of the Humanitarian Dentistry Organization (HuDen), a new, completely student-run organization at the Dugoni School. HuDen was created to celebrate humanitarian dentistry; serve as a resource for current humanitarian dentistry groups; and publicize ongoing volunteer and service projects at the dental school.
HuDen became Cedric’s brainchild when he realized he had no venue to celebrate and share with his classmates the pro bono dental service taking place all around them.
"There are so many things that our mentors would have us learn during our short time as dental students. I feel that learning to serve altruistically is one of the most important,” says Cedric. “So I went through the appropriate channels and gathered amazing students who share my vision of celebrating and supporting humanitarian dental work."
Currently supported by over 100 students, HuDen is completely student-run with 13 officers organizing various events on campus. The organization plans to incorporate faculty during the coming year as the group continues to grow in size.
"I have always been fascinated by the positive changes that one can bring about in the lives of others via service," says Cedric. "I’ve led multiple groups down to Central and South America and have realized that dental service is contagious and with the proper exposure it can evolve into a lifetime commitment.
“Helping others is limited by your capacity, time, and resources, but there are no limits to the effects of teaching people how to help others. HuDen is about attitude adjustment,” he adds. “If we get several new dentists hooked on the rush and the memories that come from reaching out to those in need, then I believe we did a greater service and accomplished more than just donating our own time to a clinic."
An article about Cedric and HuDen was recently published in the ADEA Bulletin. The article can be found at http://info.adea.org/bde/index.aspx?ID=1889. ADEA login required (free to join).
For more information about HuDen and its activities, contact HuDenUOP@gmail.com.