Each year, our newest DDS and IDS students join forces with several San Francisco non-profit organizations as part of the first-year student retreat held July 28-29. The volunteer opportunities offer new students a chance to get to know each other better while giving back to the community. This year, students spent the day helping out at the San Francisco Botanical Gardens, Golden Gate Audubon Society, Glide Memorial, Project Open Hand and the San Francisco Food Bank.
Over the weekend of October 30, 2015, 22 student representatives from the Dugoni School attended the National Leadership Conference hosted by the American Student Dental Association (ASDA) in Chicago, IL. This year’s National Leadership Conference (NLC) not only informed ASDA members on dental-related topics including career planning, business, and advocacy issues, but also facilitated the growth of current and future ASDA leaders through leadership-development workshops and keynote speeches given by experts outside of the dental profession.
Pacific’s ASDA chapter president, Ruidan Ma ’17, reported on the conference:
NLC was a weekend full of learning and fun for dental and pre-dental students from across the country. It is truly impressive to see what we and our peers are able to accomplish when united together as one profession. That’s why ASDA and organized dentistry matters.
One piece of good news highlighted at the conference which could benefit many of us is the recently launched exclusive student loan refinancing offer from ADA to its members. This could help dental students and professionals save tens of thousands of dollars. Learn more >>
In addition to current Pacific student leaders, recent Pacific alumni, Dr. Daniel Hammer ’11 and Dr. Yige Zhao ’15, also had a strong presence at the conference as two of the seven NLC planning committee members and speakers for different workshops. Both Dr. Hammer and Dr. Zhao served as ASDA national leaders when at Pacific and their continued involvement as organized dentistry leaders is the great reflection of leadership, one of the seven core values of our school.
Here is why our representatives enjoyed NLC and what they have learned from the conference:
“I was looking forward to NLC since I signed up to be IDS ASDA class rep. Listening to inspiring speakers, providing insight on how we can improve our selves, and enjoying the company of like-minded individuals was everything I thought it would be, and more! So grateful to be part of such a group of great individuals! Thank you ASDA!”
– Kiran Mann, IDS 2016, Pacific ASDA IDS Representative
“Such a phenomenal experience! Meeting students from all over the country doesn’t only teach you more about diversity, but also teaches you more about yourself!”
– Amro Elkhatieb, IDS 2016, Pacific ASDA Representative to Organized Dentistry, ASDA District 11 Advanced Standing Liaison
“I really enjoyed listening to the key note speakers because although not all of them were dentists, they all had really relevant information and inspiration for us as dentists that we could apply to our everyday life both in dental school and in practice. I also really enjoyed the breakout sessions because it was fun to be able to choose what invested you and listen to them speak about their experiences and their failures/successes.”
– Sarah Martinez, DDS 2017, Pacific ASDA Publicity Chair
“The greatest part of NLC was networking with students from other dental schools, in addition to the strengthening of existing relationships with my colleagues from Pacific. Coupling the informative sessions and the lessons gleaned from the conference with the social aspect of having other ASDA chapters in attendance elevated the experience beyond my expectations.”
– Kyle Hing, DDS 2017, Pacific ASDA Community Service Chair
“Pacific ASDA is at the forefront of student involvement and mentorship. Connecting with leaders from other schools motivated me to be a better student and person.”
– Trent Ichiuji, DDS 2018, Pacific ASDA Chapter Vice President