This year Andrew Sholudko, Ashley Phares, Chrissy Shaw, Viviane Trinh, Mike Gibilisco, Joseph Whitney, Sean O’Brien, Kris Cooper, Lane Mahoney, and myself traveled to Atlanta to represent UConn at ASDA’s 2013 Annual Session. On a national scale, it was a great experience to see how ASDA works to advocate for its members. Daily meetings with our district caucus helped identify the relevant issues and prepare the involved students for the election of next year’s ASDA Executive Committee. Some of the major topics discussed this year were: who should define the quality of oral health care (specifically in reference to the issue of mid-level providers), the ethics of patient-based board examinations, and the effects of newly opening dental schools. If you are interested in reading more about ASDA’s current statements on policy, I would encourage you to visit their website: http://www.asdanet.org/statementsonpolicy.aspx. It was exciting to learn how parliamentary procedure works in the House of Delegates Meetings, and how ASDA’s policy statements and bylaws can be amended. On Friday night, ASDA held the third Annual Gold Crown Awards Ceremony to honor outstanding ASDA national leaders and chapters. Congratulations again to our very own, Chrissy Shaw, District 1 Delegate of the Year!
Annual session was a fantastic way to network and learn more about dental schools across the country. Several events were specifically designed to meet other students, especially students interested in pursuing similar specialties. Additionally, ASDA and its sponsors had organized countless small group seminars on relevant topics such as Digital Dentistry and the Future, Alternative Workforce Models, Getting Into a Residency (our very own Ashley Phares was a speaker!), and Managing Your Dental School Debt. Outside of the ASDA events, we did have some fun traveling around Atlanta, especially visiting some great restaurants (shout out to Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint), Centennial Olympic Park, the Coca-Cola Factory, and the Georgia Aquarium!