By Danny Adler, ASDA President, D.D.S. Candidate Class of 2019
From the Summer 2017 Journal of the Colorado Dental Association
The American Student Dental Association (ASDA) is the largest dental student group in the nation, with over 20,000 members who make up 90% of dental students. ASDA works to protect and advance the rights, interests and welfare of dental students across the country, and Colorado ASDA is the chapter at the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine. Nationally, ASDA hosts events like the Annual Session, National Leadership Conference and National Lobby Day to help develop the future leaders of our profession. Here at Colorado ASDA, we work to advance those same goals at the state and local level. But we’re also working to build a strong, vibrant community at our dental school.
Colorado ASDA’s mission has four pillars: advocacy, service, dentistry and activities. You can catch Colorado ASDA members advocating for student issues at the CDA’s Lobby Day, performing community outreach at the Colorado Mission of Mercy, learning how to manage their future dental practices at our Lunch & Learns, or competing in our annual “Dentathlon”—the Amalgames.
Two years ago, Colorado ASDA was given the Ideal ASDA Chapter Award over 56 other schools across the nation. This award recognizes ASDA chapters that are going above and beyond to create a better experience in dental school as well as recruit dental students for lifelong involvement in organized dentistry. I am fortunate to follow in the footsteps of great student leaders at the dental school. I have been elected to serve as the president for a chapter of students who are motivated by self-improvement and will continue to hold a voice for our profession. We consider ourselves successful in engaging a wide variety of students.
Each year, during the transition to our new Executive Board, meetings are held to discuss goals for the upcoming year. This year, efforts will be made to reach and engage more dental students than years past. Through the use of the business study club, advocacy week, and a new website, we aim to increase the value of a Colorado ASDA membership. We’re lucky, because our national and local dues are paid by generous organizations including the Colorado Dental Association, Metropolitan Denver Dental Society, Dentists Professional Liability Trust, and Colorado Prosthodontic Society. This means every dental student in Colorado is automatically a member of Colorado ASDA—for free.
The 2017-2018 school year is sure to bring excitement and entertainment to all who participate. Shimstock, an annual talent show on campus, always delivers. This event consistently brings out amazing performances from our volunteers and we are fortunate to have three faculty judges each year doing some grading outside of school hours. Colorado ASDA will offer other events such as a 5K for charity, Movember mustache competitions, and a ski trip.
One of the many perks of being involved in Colorado ASDA during dental school is the ability to unite with dental students across the country. This year, we will maintain a strong presence at the National Leadership Conference, National Lobby Day, and Annual Session. Although it’s a sacrifice of school and a weekend of relaxation, these trips provide incredible resources in the form of networking, professional development and increased awareness of the issues facing our profession.
All in all, my goal as president of Colorado ASDA is to ignite a passion for lifelong involvement in organized dentistry. I can only hope that our students continue to represent their state and local components after graduation and reap the benefits of being involved. At the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine, we are laying the groundwork for future leaders and advocates. I am proud to say that the future of dentistry is in good hands. I want to personally thank the CDA for its role in our student dental association and I am looking forward to another great year.