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Our school’s ASDA Chapter recently hosted ADPAC Week, an annual campus event. ASDA leaders shared the below recap for the student blog.

Pacific’s ASDA chapter had another successful ADPAC Week this year. If you didn’t know what ADPAC was at the start of this year, you would almost certainly know now. American Dental Political Action Committee (ADPAC) is the legislative branch of the ADA that supports “dental friendly” legislators. The ASDA leadership has made an extraordinary effort to market ADPAC and to promote political awareness on our campus. “It’s very important for us to have a say in the policies that are shaping our profession. Contributing to ADPAC is one way for students to do this,” commented Ivan Chicchon, ASDA’s Legislative Liaison.

The featured speaker this year was Ricky S. Gill, a 24-year old candidate for U.S. Congress. His exciting campaign has made headlines around the nation and his visit to Pacific drew a capacity crowd–the room was so full that people even sat on the floor! “It is quite possibly the biggest ASDA event in terms of attendance that we have had,” says Kristin Hann, last year’s ASDA historian. Ricky shared his thoughts on healthcare reform and spoke about what inspired him to run for Congress at such a young age. Even though much of the audience had rushed in from clinic or previously sat through Anatomy or Pathology lectures, the discussion was both engaging and motivational. An attending faculty member, Dr. Dick Gregory stated, "As an educator and a dentist in private practice for the past 31 years I was pleased that Mr. Gill took the time and political initiative to visit our dental school. Moreover, I was impressed that he was interested enough in his audience and the health of his future constituents to pursue more accurate information about some of the issues impacting the dental profession."

The officers in charge of planning ADPAC week this year, Ivan Chicchon and Rob Costisevschi, took a novel approach. Rather than trying to appeal to dental student’s sense social responsibility or taking an aggressive salesman-like approach, they tried to make the process fun and exciting. They set up a spin-the-wheel type app on a big LCD screen and also raffled off cool prizes such as Pac-Man stress balls and Marvel Heroes Bobbleheads. Once they caught a student’s attention, they would give them a ‘spin’ or a cookie and then take time to explain to them what ADPAC is and why it is important. “They definitely did a great job of marketing it,” said classmate Gurshawn Sahota. “I mean, who wouldn't want to approach their table with all their gizmos and gadgets?”

Their approach paid off. By the end of their campaign, over 80 students signed up as ADPAC members equaling to roughly 20% of the student body. “I’m really pleased with our turnout this year,” said Costisevschi. “With a little extra effort and a little incentive we were able to get the highest enrollment rate we’ve had in a long time. I feel like we’ve set a high bar that subsequent years can emulate and hopefully surpass.”

As co-editors, we are pleased to release the latest version of The Articulating Paper. Bigger and better than ever, many thanks go out to those who contributed to this issue, which for the first time is being distributed online. To check it out, simply click here.

For those who may be unfamiliar, The Articulating Paper is currently in its 10th year of publication. It is a student-run, student-produced newspaper created to update the dental school community about student affairs and activities. Enjoy!

Mark Christie and Sam Liu
DDS 2013

Our school boasts some of the best and brightest dental students around. Many of these students, in addition to their rigorous course load, decide to take on leadership positions at the Dugoni School. Be it in student government, as representatives to national organizations, or members of committees and clubs, these students embody what it means to be a leader at our school.

Officers and elected positions were recently announced for the 2011-2012 school year. In the coming year, these students will take on new projects, support and guide their classmates, plan events and improve their communities. We’re looking forward to the year ahead!

Check out a full list of leadership positions and the students that currently occupy them here.

A few times each year, dental students from San Francisco's two dental schools join forces to give back to the community. On August 13 Dugoni School students gathered with students from UCSF to clean up a shoreline of the San Francisco Bay.

ASDA students will be coordinating another event with UCSF later in the fall, so stay tuned for information about upcoming service activities!

In the meantime, here's a short video recap from the shoreline clean up!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjfJz_CwJIs&w=450&h=350]

How would you define yourself in only one word? Recently a group of DDS and IDS students participated in a personal reflection exercise and photo shoot for the Dugoni School's pilot involvement in Pacific's One Word Project. Students chose one word to describe their ideal or best self. Check out a video compilation of Dugoni School students and their word choices below!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHdj0XSaagE&w=450&h=350]

To learn more about the Pacific One Word Project, visit: http://pacificoneword.org.

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In this post, Class of 2012 student Veena Vaidyanathan shares some information about her national position with the American Student Dental Association (ASDA).

As the Chair of ASDA's Legislative Grassroots Network (LGN), I oversee all of the legislative related activities around the country. However, I do not do it alone! I have a council packed with passionate, driven individuals from around the country who all help in making the LGN an effective and efficient council. This year, ASDA has nationally instituted a 5-year Strategic Plan in which each council has their own goals and action items to meet.

Two of the main goals pertaining to the LGN are to increase student involvement in state and national lobbying efforts and to educate members on issues important to dentistry. In order to help with the first goal the LGN is starting a $500 State Lobby Day Scholarship to ASDA chapters in need of resources. We hope this scholarship will aid with the daunting task of starting a State Lobby Day, especially with chapters that do not have an established relationship with their state dental associations. In order to follow through with the second goal the LGN is going to continue the Legislative Ledger. The Legislative Ledger is a monthly e-publication sent to all members that is a short synopsis of pertinent issues covered in the ADA State Government Affairs Report and the ADEA Capitol Update. We will be contributing legislative articles to ASDA News on a monthly basis as well.

Another large part of my job is to plan National Dental Student Lobby Day, which takes place in Washington, DC every year. Dental students from across the country come together on Capitol Hill to lobby for various issues impacting the dental community. A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the ADA's Washington Leadership Conference (WLC). This is the conference that National Dental Student Lobby Day is modeled after. I was given the opportunity to meet my hometown legislators of Florida and to meet leaders in the dental community of the my state, which is a rare occurrence since I go to school 3,000 miles away from home! I hope to foster the same enriching experience I had at the WLC at the next National Dental Student Lobby Day.

To read an article about Veena’s recent experience at the ADA’s Washington Leadership Conference, visit: http://www.ada.org/news/5787.aspx

A few weeks ago the ASDA Chapter at the Dugoni School of Dentistry hosted a very successful vendor fair and fundraiser. This year 32 vendors attended the fair to demonstrate new products and network with students and faculty. Check out a video from the event below!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgbUiuKDp3I&w=450&h=350]

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Like most organizations, the ASDA chapter here at Pacific takes a step back periodically to reevaluate what its goals are and what it should be focusing on. This year ASDA settled on a theme that is a constant undercurrent in everything that happens at Pacific – improving the dental school experience for each dental student.

ASDA has been organizing community outreach events as well as acting as advocates in national meetings. It has been guiding and mentoring the talented and energetic first-year class with First-Year First Aid and Helping Hands. Additionally, it has been keeping the student body abreast of NBDE information and has released issues of “The Condenser” to keep the students updated on what is happening with ASDA.

“The Articulating Paper” is also a part of ASDA’s goal to keep students connected with pertinent information. Lunch and Learns are commonplace at Pacific with many of them put on by ASDA. ASDA representatives look forward to hearing from students about speakers, vendors or topics that they would like to hear about in an ASDA Lunch and Learn. ASDA also works hard to disseminate information about the legislative issues that are facing the profession right now and how they will affect students when they graduate. DDS’12 Veena Vaidyanathan has been a coordinator and is doing valuable things as far as organizing voices so they can make a difference while lobbying in Washington, D.C.

The IDS classes have had great involvement in the way of advocacy and mentorship, and a very entertaining Bridge Builders event is anticipated later in the year. ASDA has sponsored fun social events and has reached out to predental students at several undergrad programs to encourage and serve them as well.

Mentioning these activities does not do justice to all the behind-the-scenes work that goes on with so many ASDA officers. In addition to the large Pacific Dugoni workload and other extracurricular interests, they give freely the greatest resource in dental school: precious time. Next time you see an ASDA leader, make sure to tell them they are appreciated!

Posted by Mike Rice
Class of 2012
ASDA Chapter President