Students ready to be leaders in ASDA

Members of the American Student Dental Association attend recent meetings

Friday, October 20, 2017

The mission of the ASDA chapter at WVU is to introduce students to lifelong involvement in organized dentistry and provide services, information, education, representation and advocacy.

Every student in the WVU School of Dentistry is a member of the local chapter.

WVU ASDA is made up of approximately 220 students.

Members of the WVU American Student Dental Association pose while at a regional meeting in Sept.

Upon returning from ASDA district meetings in Louisville, Kentucky with students from Case Western, Detroit Mercy, Michigan, Ohio State, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, Marquette, Midwestern-Illinois, Southern Illinois, WVU ASDA members had the following thoughts to share.


Brooke Dolin:

"Being an active member of ASDA allows you to represent your fellow classmates and advocate for your profession while also developing leadership skills that dental school alone doesn’t provide. The district meeting September 22 – 24 has shown us the importance of participating in organized dentistry and how being involved with ASDA can serve as the first step in doing so.

The most important thing I believe I brought back from the district meeting was a desire to lead and become involved. Being surrounded by so many passionate students urging to work together toward a common goal was incredibly empowering."

Layne Veneri:

"Being able to meet other students from around the country who are passionate and excited about dentistry was very inspiring. I want to bring that energy back to WVU SOD."

Shayla Stear:

"The most important thing I brought back from the weekend is that we are not alone. Throughout school so far, countless people have mentioned that we are going to bounce ideas off each other and look to each other for information for the remainder of our careers in dentistry. As other dental schools presented, we were able to take notes on how they are working and what they are doing within their school to make improvements. We used each other to increase our knowledge and better ourselves just like we will do for the rest of our careers. We are not alone in this journey. We are all colleagues and often times rely on each other when we need a little extra push to get where we need to be. We are all the future of dentistry."

Nick Balash:

"The most important thing I took from the weekend was the power of networking and working as a whole to accomplish common goals. I came back with a wealth of knowledge about ASDA and how to improve our ASDA chapter by using ideas that have been implemented in other chapters within our district."

Paru Gopala (WVU ASDA student spotlight):

"The ASDA District meeting served as an opportunity to meet students from different schools and exchange ideas. Several dental schools are fighting to automatically enroll students in ASDA rather than have students pay an additional fee, not included in tuition costs, to be a member of ASDA. The dental schools that are going through the rigorous process to auto-enroll students in ASDA argue that by automatically being a member in ASDA, students feel compelled to participate in the organization and, in turn, positively impact both the university and the field of dentistry. Since WVU does participate in auto-enrollment, we were able to encourage students from other universities to continue fighting and reassure them that it will be worth it to have 100% enrollment in ASDA. It almost felt like the weekend was filled with an overarching theme of unity. In fact, there was a breakout session regarding the importance of advocacy and it was amazing to hear about the various ways to increase engagement and promote student issues regarding licensure reform and student debt. It is safe to say that the D1s left their first ASDA conference feeling particularly inspired by all the ASDA fever!"

Carlie Enns

"Being an active member of ASDA allows you to push yourself further as a student dentist and community leader. You are placed in situations that allow you to network and further develop the skillset needed to be a phenomenal dentist. I brought back a lot from the district meeting: stronger friendships with students at our school and new friendships with students from other schools, a greater understanding for what ASDA is and the doors that can be opened through the program, and a new appreciation for the things I can accomplish in my career as a dentist."

Students attended the Districts 6 and 7 meeting September 22 - 24.

ASDA Mission 

-ASDA is an organization that is a resource for students who are interested in dental school and those who’ve already been accepted.

-ASDA can help guide students through the application process and licensure for graduates.

-ASDA also offers guidance and study materials as students prepare for national board exams.

-ASDA monitors legislation that would impact the dental industry and patients and often lobbies for changes.