By Austin Tyler, D.D.S. Candidate Class of 2020, Colorado ASDA President
From the Summer 2018 Journal of the Colorado Dental Association
On April 21, over 140 runners and volunteers braved the cold snow to participate in Colorado American Student Dental Association’s (ASDA) inaugural Beat Tooth Decay 5K. The race was organized to raise money for the Dental Lifeline Network. ASDA ended up donating $6,000, exceeding our goal by over $1,000. After seeing photos and videos posted all over social media, leaders from other ASDA chapters reached out to say how impressed they were with the success of our first 5K. “They’re running in the snow!? Colorado is crazy,” was one of the remarks. I smiled with pride, because I know just how crazy we are at CU. We’re resilient, optimistic, eager to learn and highly motivated. And the 5K was only the beginning…
ASDA is a student-led organization that protects and advances the rights, interests and welfare of dental students. With such a diverse student population, Colorado ASDA has a lot to do. To realize our mission, we have expanded our executive board to include 32 members. In May, we gathered as an executive board to establish a vision to guide the development of a strategic plan. That vision is to inspire students and faculty at the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine to engage in organized dentistry by promoting a culture of wellness, unity and excellence.
The dental profession faces serious obstacles, and organized dentistry is the key to overcoming them. Colorado ASDA is rising to meet those challenges. However, to protect and advance the rights, interests and welfare of dental students, we need participation from all parties. At the Colorado ASDA chapter, we’re fortunate to have our membership dues paid for by the generosity of the CDA, Metro Denver Dental Society, The Dentists’ Professional Liability Trust, and the Colorado Prosthodontic Society. This means every student at the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine is automatically enrolled in ASDA. We therefore have no excuses to sit on the sidelines.
At CU, we’re fortunate to have administration and faculty who support our efforts in ASDA. It’s encouraging to see them get involved in organized dentistry, whether it’s with ASDA, the CDA, the ADA or elsewhere. Our student body has a lot of incredible people to look up to and learn from.
Speaking of students, I find myself looking up to my classmates just as much as I look up to faculty. My fellow students are a huge part of why I decided to get involved in ASDA in the first place, and they are why I’m convinced that dental school can be a positive experience. And if dental school can be a positive experience, I’m eager to see what the future holds. I assure you that in the coming years, our great profession will be in good hands. The students who come through CU are talented, motivated, dedicated and of the highest character. With so many of them getting involved this year, the sky is the limit for Colorado ASDA. I can’t wait to see what we accomplish.