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On February, 18-21, 29 Pacific Dugoni ASDA members traveled to Boston for the Annual ASDA Session. The weekend brings together student leaders from all 65 U.S. dental schools and includes highlights such as an exhibit fair, prominent speakers, an awards ceremony, House of Delegates meeting and elections of ASDA's national leaders.

Pacific’s ASDA chapter president, Steve Truman ‘16, reported back on the session:

It was a pleasure to represent you at the end of February at this year's ASDA's Annual Session that took place this year at the historic (and snow-covered) city of Boston! This conference is the time where ASDA chapters from around the nation gather to vote on ASDA policy that aims to enhance the dental school experience and your future career in this profession. It was an exciting conference for us, and I am happy to be able to report back some of the highlights.

Steve Truman
Pacific Dugoni ASDA Chapter President Steve Truman '16 (at right), represented the school at the House of Delegates meeting.

The most important portion of Annual Session is the House of Delegates meeting where the chapter president and vice president of each respective school comes together and votes on resolutions in a variety of areas. Here is an outline of the more important resolutions:

Education and Licensure:
Needlestick Policy:
It was brought to the attention that it may be necessary for schools to provide increased protection for students potentially exposed to infectious diseases during the course of treatment both in school and at volunteer events.

Oral Health Literacy & Evidenced-Based Dentistry
Resolved, that ASDA encourages incorporating the term “oral health literacy” into CODA accreditation standards, particularly in the standards related to prevention and public health; and be it further
Resolved, that ASDA encourages a multi-disciplinary approach to student education about oral health literacy and usage of communication techniques that are appropriate based on patient level of oral health literacy.
Resolved, that the American Student Dental Association supports dental schools’ incorporation of Evidence-Based Dentistry

ASDA research exhibit
Pacific Dugoni supports its very own Jesse Han (third from right) at the research exhibit during the Annual Session.

Membership & Professional Issues:
Resolved, that the American Student Dental Association encourages Congress to introduce and pass legislation that includes adult dental services in the federal Medicaid program. 

Governance:
The American Student Dental Association supports opportunities for interprofessional education within the dental school clinical and didactic curriculum.

Thank you all for your time. It is amazing to be part of a school that already practices and teaches so many of these resolutions. If you have any questions or would like to discuss anything further, I encourage you to email me or find me in the halls or study room. If you disagree with something that was voted on please remember that this represents the collective voice and not necessarily my own beliefs. However, I would be happy to discuss the merits and or the reasoning behind of each resolutions to the best of my ability.

Pacific ASDA in costume
Pacific ASDA dressed up as The Incredibles for the superhero-themed President's Gala.

AAWD members hold a bake sale.

As the 2013-2014 school year comes to a close, the Pacific Dugoni chapter of the American Association of Women Dentists celebrates its first year and reflects on hopes for the future. The AAWD is a national organization dedicated to supporting and enriching the lives of women through education and outreach. Melissa Styles DDS ’14 and president of the Pacific chapter of the AAWD shares what inspired her to start a chapter at Pacific Dugoni:

“I was able to meet several of the national leaders at a conference for Successful Women last summer, and I was immediately inspired by their stories. At the University of the Pacific, we embrace all of our faculty, students and patients, and I knew a chapter of the AAWD would only bring more positive influence on the relationships of the people within the Pacific Family.

“We have had several meetings now, where the amazing women faculty of Pacific have shared their stories of overcoming obstacles, becoming mothers and striving towards becoming excellent dental clinicians. We've shared tears, we've shared laughter, and more importantly, we are becoming closer in our relationships and providing the support we need in a traditionally male field.”

Many of Melissa’s academic and professional choices have been guided by a heart for service. She was still an undergraduate student when she heard Dr. Arthur Dugoni speak on the importance of serving the community as a dentist, and his words resonated strongly with her. She became active in the community at her university and later served three years with the Peace Corps in a village in the South Pacific. At the Dugoni School of Dentistry, she has been able to serve the San Francisco community as well as her colleagues through various activities, including the founding of an AAWD chapter.

AAWD revised

In collaboration with the Larkin Street Youth, the AAWD reaches out to mentor young women interested in health careers. Melissa hopes to build a lasting relationship with the Larkin Street Center to continue to help young women navigate the path towards health professions.

The AAWD may be the new kid on the block, but it’s intelligent, bold and passionate. We’re looking forward to seeing how this community will grow at our school. Here’s to many more years of women leaders in dentistry!

1

By Ryan Wilgus, Student Body President

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.

Twice a year, our school's student body leadership and the dental school administration/faculty meet together over a nice dinner to join in a night of collaboration. It is a great forum for students to provide feedback, discuss issues, present goals and recognize achievements. Class officers from every year have opportunity to discuss issues with the entire school administration with all department chairs in attendance. Officers come prepared with issues to bring forward while the administration makes note of discussion items to be addressed. Later a report is sent out summarizing the decisions and actions taken regarding the various topics discussed during the meeting.

The Dean's Dinner is a longstanding tradition established years ago by Dr. Arthur A. Dugoni and proudly upheld by Dean Ferrillo. What's great about this event is that everyone in attendance shares in a common theme: how are we doing and how can we improve. This event not only facilitates discussion of important issues, it also effectively bridges the gap between students and administration enhancing the lines of communication.

Naturally, students and administration/faculty do not always agree on how to address every issue, however, the fact that such a collaborative tradition exists sends a resounding message to students/faculty/staff that student concerns are important and that it is a priority of the administration to listen and collaborate.

Events such as the Dean's Dinner are traditions that make students proud to be apart of the Pacific family.

Emerson Lake
Student Body President
University of the Pacific
Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry