News for members of the American Student Dental Association
April 2013
In the Loupe  

Learning to step outside your comfort zone          


By Kim Schneider,   

communications editor     


I've lived in the big city of Chicago for the past five years and I'm an urbanite at my core. I take public transportation every day, I live for summer festivals and if I can't walk to something, it's considered "far away." So when my sister proposed camping in Big Sur, Calif., when I flew out to visit her this past month, I was a little hesitant.


I grew up camping, but my family owned a pop-up trailer complete with air conditioning and a screen room. While I love campfires and s'mores, sleeping in a tent and going more than a day without a shower aren't romantic to me. But my sister is a conservation ecologist and avid hiker, so I wanted to explore a bit of her world.


If you've ever driven on California's Highway 1, you know that the Western edge of our country is absolutely gorgeous. Big Sur's section of the highway reminded me of driving around Maui on a previous vacation with my sister. The road winds along the coast with mountains on one side and rocky beaches on the other. But instead of tropical palms peppering the drive,  Big Sur has coast redwoods. This species of tree includes the tallest trees on Earth, growing up to more than 350 feet high. Most redwoods live for more than 600 years but the oldest known redwood is 2,200 years old, meaning it's been in California since before Julius Ceasar was born. Hiking among these living giants is magnificent. When I'm home, I'll often look up at all the skyscrapers and marvel at how small I am in my big city. When I was in Big Sur, I did the same, but this time as the sun shone through the giant redwoods all around me, I marveled at how much grander nature is than anything humans could ever make.


On the last hike of the trip, we had to wade through a stream to access a trail leading to the ocean. The water was clear and cold and ran fast over the rocky streambed. I didn't want to cross the stream and I contemplated skipping that last trail. But like any little sister, I'm extremely competitive with my big sis. So I gingerly waded through the freezing water; all the time wanting to run across but not able to given the sharp and uneven rocks. The trail ended up being pretty but not more spectacular than what we'd already seen. And the beach was socked in with fog making it blustery and chilly. But I'm happy I did it.

How often do we consider not doing something because there's an unpleasant experience in our way? Maybe you declined a volunteer opportunity because you knew it would be a lot of work before you reached the rewarding part. Or maybe you're second-guessing a residency because of the arduous application process. In my case, it was just sheer pride that made me cross that stream. But I came back across the second time knowing it wasn't so bad. It was a few moments of pain and uncomfortable chill for the possibility of something better on the other side. Sometimes dental school might feel like crossing one really wide, cold stream. But the experience makes you stronger and you just never know what's on the other side until you cross it.

Member and faculty/administration spotlight 
Meet this month's student and faculty members to learn their unique hobbies, reasons for pursuing dentistry and more. For their full profile, click here.

Tracy Welc
Southern California '14

Favorite ASDA benefit: Meeting some of the most incredibly driven and funny people ever. And, of course, saving money on my car insurance.

Dr. Wilhelmina O'Reilly
Assistant Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs
Howard University School of Dentistry

What made you pursue a career in dentistry? My father was a dentist and I worked in his office. I was around dentistry all of my life.

Resources to help you through dental school     

Are you aware of all of the resources you could be getting from ASDA? Below are links to ASDA's national communications. If you aren't receiving these, please notify Erin Kato, member relations specialist, at We are probably missing an updated e-mail or mailing address and we'd like to make sure you're getting the most out of your membership.  

Dental student ethics video contest, $2,000 prize     

After you've refreshed your memory about the contents of the ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct, grab your friends, a camera and your best idea for an original drama, comedy, documentary or music video that illustrates the ADA Code's Principles, Codes or Advisory Opinions.  


The grand prize is $2,000 and the first honorable mention receives $1,000. Winner and Honorable Mention videos will be on display at the 2013 ADA Annual Session in New Orleans. You can see the winning videos from previous years here. Only current ASDA members are eligible to participate. For complete rules and participation guidelines, contact Earl Sewell at The contest deadline is July 31, 2013.

American Academy of Implant Dentistry grant application due May 1  
AAID is accepting applications for a David Steflik Memorial Student Research Grant up to $2,500. Several grants are awarded to new investigators and those changing areas of research or resuming research careers. Read more about grant eligibility.
Applications for American Public Health Association award due May 8  
The Oral Health Section of the American Public Health Association is pleased to announce a call for nominations for the 2013 Anthony Westwater Jong Community Dental Health Student Award for pre-professionals. The recipient receives a $200 cash award plus complimentary registration to APHA's annual meeting in Boston, Nov. 2-6, 2013. Apply to be this year's recipient.
Academy of Laser Dentistry scholarship applications due June 1  
ALD announced they are accepting submissions for the Dr. Eugene M. Seidner Scholarship Program to promote the advancement of dental laser education and clinical research. Read more about what the scholarship covers and see deadlines for additional items needed for submission.

No-cost ADA-sponsored life and disability insurance

Dentists need life and disability insurance to safeguard earnings, manage debt and secure loan collateral. Both types of insurance are provided at no cost for ADA student members to get started now.

Your comprehensive student insurance package-a member benefit-includes:

  • $50,000 term life coverage
  • $50,000 accidental death coverage
  • $2,000/month disability income coverage
  • Up to $150,000 to repay student loans

Activate your benefit now at After graduation, you can keep your ADA-sponsored insurance by maintaining membership and paying premiums. For info, call 888-463-4545 or e-mail ADA-sponsored members insurance plans are underwritten by Great-West Financial. For information about insurance costs, coverage limitations, and terms for keeping coverage in force, contact Great-West regarding Policy Nos. 104TLP Term Life and 1108GDH-SDP Student Disability. 

Upcoming Events
Nov. 15-17, 2013
National Leadership Conference
Chicago, IL
Update Your Address

Go to 

Login as a member

Click "View Profile" and update your information 

Quick Links
Quote of the Month

"I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try."

-Roger Ebert



Erin Kato, member relations specialist | 312-440-2640
FacebookMouthing OffYoutubeFlickr