American Student Dental Association

e-newsletter for members of the American Student Dental Association 
 May 2011
ASDA Meeting Planner Meghan Keelean
In the Loupe

The Finish Line    

By Meghan Keelean, CMP
Meeting Planner



Around this time last year, I was beginning my training for the September half marathon I had signed up for. I was still doubtful that I could do it. I had never been a big fan of running before, and wasn't sure if my body could handle it. As training continued through the summer, I found myself enjoying the long runs along the lakefront. The best part about Chicago is the summer and the lake, so the long runs were the perfect way to enjoy both while spending time with my sister, my running buddy.


Even before the race in September, I knew I wouldn't stop at a half marathon. I thought if I could train to run 13 miles, I could run 26 miles. September 12 (the big race day) came, and I ran the entire way with my two sisters. We even crossed the finish line at the same time. I felt great because we did it together. But I hadn't convinced them to run the marathon with me. I knew I needed something else to inspire me and keep me motivated like more running buddies if I was going to finish a marathon.


After I registered for the marathon, I signed up to run for a charity program, which includes a group training program. The charity is something that is near and dear to my heart. And thankfully, I convinced one of my sisters to run and raise money with me. It's a huge commitment ---- raising $1,000 each and, starting the first week in June, spending every Saturday morning running. We start at 6:30 a.m., meaning I'll be getting up earlier than I do for work during the week.


The charity program had a meeting a couple weeks ago to talk about the program and fundraising and to get participants excited. I am getting pumped to start the training program. It's a great way to meet new people, and by training with a large group, I'll have more friends to run with and keep me going. There's a big community of runners in Chicago, and I'm excited to get more involved and be a part of that larger group.


A non-running friend asked me the other day what I think about on those long runs. It took me a minute to answer because I don't remember. I think about everything and nothing at the same time. I look forward to that time where I can leave everything at home, and just go out and be a runner. It's fantastic. No stress from a deadline coming up at work or from a fight I had with my brother. I just run. It's important to me to have something to do each week where everything else goes away and I can clear my head.


Constantly worrying about the next exam or patient you have is not the way to live. Give yourself time each week to do something outside of school and work and leave the stress at home. This time around, my training will be more of a social event getting to know the other runners. So maybe 26 miles won't seem so bad when I have a group of friends around to support me and get me to the finish line. 

Member and Faculty Spotlight: Under the White Coat
Each month, ASDA will introduce one of our student members and dental school faculty in a new feature "Under the White Coat." This section will provide a more personal view of others from schools across the country.  Read their full profile here.

Adeola AbisogunDr. Dan Moran

Adeola Abisogun
Columbia University, '13

Personal possession that you can't live without: Definitely the MacBook Pro

Dr. Daniel Moran
Boston University, Clinical Assistant Professor of General Dentistry


What made you pursue a career in dentistry? Not a simple answer. But at the heart, a desire to be of service to my fellow man and use my abilities to their highest purpose.


DHS Approves the Addition of Dentistry as a STEM Degree
On May 19, ASDA received approval from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that dentistry will be added to the list of STEM degrees. With this change, American-trained international dental students will have a 17-month extension of their student visa to seek additional technical training and find a job. Prior to the change, students had 12-months to obtain training post-graduation.

A big thanks goes to Dan Hammer, University of the Pacific '11, who has been a proponent of this change since he started dental school. He was a driving force in rallying ASDA to pass this resolution at the 2011 House of Delegates meeting to move forward with this request.

This change will affect the lives of many of our predoctoral members. This is best stated by Mohammad Faizan Ali, University of the Pacific '11, who is an ASDA member from Indore, India. "This change will affect the lives of many American-trained international dental students. Thanks to ASDA's efforts, [we'll] have more opportunities to choose from. It's a dream come true."

Visit ASDA's website for more information on STEM.
Changes to Application Process for Postgraduate Education Programs
Starting with the 2012 application cycle, all ADEA PASS applications for advanced dental education programs must include an ETS Personal Potential Index (PPI) report. The ETS PPI is a web-based evaluation system designed to provide a more complete picture of an applicant's potential for success in an advanced dental education program. The applicant selects up to five evaluators to rate them on six personal dimensions that have been identified as critical for success in graduate education. The ETS PPI Evaluation Report, which incorporates the evaluations and comments from all the evaluators, is included in the ADEA PASS application sent to advanced dental education programs the applicant designates.

For more information, visit ADEA's website.
National Health Service Corps Scholarships for Primary Health Care Careers
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the opening of the 2011 application cycle for the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Scholarship Program. This year's scholarships are being supported with up to $28 million of the Affordable Care Act funds dedicated to the NHSC, and will help address shortages in the primary health care workforce today and for the future.

Interested students can apply online. The 2011 NHSC Scholarship Program application cycle will remain open until June 9, 2011. For more information about the Affordable Care Act's investments in primary care workforce, visit
2011-2012 Health Insurance Updates and Improvements
UnitedHealthcare is pleased to offer their student health insurance to ASDA predoctoral members again for the 2011-2012 academic year. But, there's better news: The student insurance policy has been improved. Here are the updates:
  • ASDA members that enroll in the UnitedHealthcare student plan will have access to UnitedHealthcare's nationwide network of preferred providers in 2011-2012. This network includes over 600,000 physicians, hospitals and health-care providers who have agreed to provide services at special discounted rates. This means that any healthcare services received in-network may cost you less out of pocket.  
  • Another important update for ASDA members is a shift in the upcoming policy coverage period. The 2011-2012 ASDA Student Injury and Sickness plan will provide coverage from August 1, 2011 - July 31, 2012.
The plan is available in most states* and may meet your school's health insurance requirements. To learn more click here.

*Please note that the plan is not available in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Vermont and Washington.         
Register Now for Regional Meetings
Registration is now open for the 2011 Regional Meetings. Go to the website for dates and cities.

Who should attend?
Dental students who have recently joined ASDA, new and up-and-coming ASDA chapter leaders, students who have not attended a regional meeting or Annual Session, and students looking to get more involved in organized dentistry.

Why should you attend?

  • Network with students and leaders from your region
  • Meet ASDA national leaders and learn how you can become a leader
  • Hear from great speakers within organized dentistry, including the American Dental Association
  • Connect with oral health care vendors and organizations  
  • Learn from other schools about their successful chapter activities  
  • Brainstorm how to solve common chapter struggles

Questions? Contact Meghan Keelean at 312-440-2845.  

ASDA Leader Represents Students at ADA WLC
ASDA's LGN Chair, Veena Vaidyanathan (University of the Pacific '13) attended her first ADA Washington Leadership Conference (WLC) held May 9-11 in Washington, DC. Similar to ASDA/ADEA's National Dental Student Lobby Day, the WLC draws dentists and students from across the nation to the nation's capitol to lobby their representatives and senators on issues important to the profession. Click here to read more.
Can't Make ADA's Annual Session? Access the Webcast for Free.
The 2011 ADA Annual Session will take place Oct. 10-13 in Las Vegas. Highlights include distinguished speaker, Condoleezza Rice, a New Dentist Reception and the World Marketplace Exhibition. But if you can't get to Vegas, the ADA can bring a little Annual Session to your school.

Six live-patient continuing education courses will be available free to U.S. dental schools as a live webcast, and also as a webinar available for six months after the meeting.

Topics include:
  • Live Surgical Demonstration of Root Coverage Grafting of Multiple Teeth in the Maxillary Arch ---- Dr. Edward Allen
  • Active Clinical Treatment, the Art and Science ---- Dr. Frank Spear, Dr. Gregg Kinzer  
  • Minimally Invasive Dentistry: Solving Anterior Esthetic Problems with Composite Resin ---- Dr. Wynn Okuda
Education in the Round offers live-patient procedures in a fully functional dental operatory, with an interactive format between attendees and the speaker. Attendees can view high definition images of the doctor's work while the procedure is in process. Visit to learn more. Education in the Round live simulcasts and webinars are sponsored by Philips Sonicare and were developed in cooperation with the American Dental Education Association.
ASDA Member Benefit of the Month: DAT and NBDE Preparation Courses
Kaplan Test Prep

Kaplan Test Prep & Admissions and Kaplan Medical, divisions of Kaplan, Inc. are providers of educational and career services. Established in 1938, Kaplan provides online offerings, classroom programs and books and software. Kaplan offers preparation for more than 90 standardized exams including the DAT and NDBE.

ASDA members save 10% on Kaplan DAT and NDBE courses and services. Click here to enroll. You must enter the promo code ASDA10 when submitting an order. Or, call 800-KAP-TEST and provide them with the same code. (Please note: it is case sensitive.)


Web Feature of the Month: Volunteer Service Opportunities
Are you interested in an international outreach program? Check out the list of opportunities compiled by the Council on Education to find out which countries you travel to, the costs associated with the trip, how many students participate, and more.
Congratulations to the Graduating Seniors
ASDA extends its best wishes to all graduating seniors! Whether you're embarking on your professional dental career or continuing your education, let us know of any address changes so you can continue to receive your benefits. Remember that the ASDA/ADA membership year is January 1 through December 31 so your membership continues beyond graduation. Don't miss out on the benefits you are entitled to! See the Membership FAQs section for instructions on how to update your address.
How Do I Change My Address with ASDA?
If you are moving or changing addresses temporarily for a clerkship, don't forget to update your address with ASDA so you continue to receive your benefits, such as our monthly publications. When you update your address with ASDA, we notify the ADA of your address change as well.

There are three ways to update your contact information, including email address, with ASDA:
  1. Go online to, login as a member using your last name as your user name and ADA number as your password, and click on Update Your Address under the Quick Links 
  2. E-mail  
  3. Call (800) 621-8099, ext. 2795  
In This Issue
-Member & Faculty Spotlight
-Dentistry Approved as a STEM Degree
-Changes to Application Process for Postgraduate Education Programs
-National Health Service Corps Scholarships
-2011-12 Health Insurance Improvements
-Register for Regional Meetings
-ASDA Leader Represents Students at ADA WLC
-ADA Annual Session Webcast
-Benefit of the Month
-Web Feature of the Month
-Congratulations to Graduating Seniors
-Change your Address

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