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



You Are Where You Were Meant to Be       


By Ellen Ryan   

accounting manager   




Summer is my favorite season. It's the ultimate time to chill. Each year I ask myself, why didn't I go into teaching? I daydream about what I would do all summer long. I would sleep in a little, get a fantastic workout to jump start my day and then I would lounge by the pool with books and magazines and grill out for dinner. I would be outside all day, every day.


The truth is, being a teacher wouldn't have been a good career choice for me. I chose accounting and throughout my career, I've had some satisfying and not so satisfying roles. I learned some things about myself throughout my career that have led me to where I am today. I learned I do not particularly care for managing people because I try to avoid conflict at all cost. I'm also more of a hand's-on worker and I've never been comfortable delegating. I don't like asking people to do things for me if I can just do them myself. But like many jobs, it's difficult to move up in your career without having direct reports. I was able to avoid it for a while, but in my previous job it was my main responsibility to manage others and I truly did not like it.


On one particularly trying day, an e-mail was sent to me that said, "You are exactly where you were meant to be." It really caught my attention and I wondered what did that mean? It took me years, but I was finally able to come to the realization that everything we do is a learning experience. And I learned the hard way that if you try to run from a difficult situation, it will continue to find you until you learn what you're supposed to from it. And sometimes, the only take away from a difficult situation is acceptance.


After pondering that quote, I decided to stop looking for a way out of managing others and embrace it (I use that term loosely). My entire outlook changed when I decided to accept the position I was in. And then one day, it happened. About a year later (when I wasn't actively looking), a job posting was e-mailed to me for an Accounting Manager with the American Student Dental Association. I am so grateful for finally being able to accept where I was so I could then move forward. For the past two months I have fully enjoyed the work I have done for your organization. I had the pleasure of meeting some of the leaders at the Spring Council meeting in April and I look forward to meeting more of you at National Leadership Conference this November.


No matter what is going on in your life, just know that "you are exactly where you were meant to be." And if you happen to be lounging by a pool, soaking up the summer sun while reading this, then more power to you (I'm jealous)!
Member and faculty/administration spotlight 
Meet this month's student and faculty member to learn their unique hobbies, reasons for pursuing dentistry and more. For their full profiles, click here.

Ojas A. Parikh
Maryland '15
Unique hobby: beatboxing
Michael S. Reddy, DMD, DMSc 
Dean - The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry

What made you pursue a career in dentistry?
At the time, I entertained the idea of all health care careers. What was so appealing about dentistry was the opportunity to have long-term relationships with patients while impacting their lives.

Congratulations ASDA Award of Excellence and Advocate winners   

At the end of each academic year, ASDA calls on deans to select one student from their school who demonstrates exceptional involvement in service to the local community and the cause of organized dentistry. In turn, delegates are asked to select a faculty or administrative member of their dental school who supports and motivates their local ASDA chapter. We recognize and celebrate these leaders!  


Whether or not you serve as a leader right now (at your ASDA chapter, school or other student group), you are on your way to becoming one. Dentists serve as role models and team leaders in their offices, communities, and within their local and/or state dental associations. 

Need help transitioning from student to doctor?         

ASDA's National Leadership Conference, Nov. 15-17 in Chicago, will give you the skills needed to be a people manager, team motivator, outside-the-box thinker and well-rounded dental professional. You can't always pick up these traits though lectures or clinics. The schedule and other details are online at

  • Predoctoral students: Tell your chapter leaders that you're interested in attending
  • Predentals: Register here for daily and full conference rates (save $25 when you sign up by July 12)

Watch this video from NLC planning committee member Dr. Aruna Rao to find out how NLC can help you transition from student to doctor:


Transitioning from dental student to doctor
Watch transitioning from dental student to doctor
ADEA AADSAS accepting applications for prospective dental students
The ADEA Associated American Dental Schools Application Service application cycle will run June 3, 2013 - Feb. 3, 2014. This service allows for prospective dental students to submit one application to be reviewed by their top choice of dental schools. Complete your application.
UnitedHealthcare benefit change

UnitedHealthcare StudentResources recently notified ASDA that they will no longer offer a health care insurance plan to our members. The current plan expires July 31, 2013. Contact Nancy Ojeda at UnitedHealthcare StudentResources for additional information at 800-237-0903 x6261 or If you need health care insurance, contact your school's health center to see what services and/or insurance they provide. Under the new health care rules, you can also be insured through your parent's plan until the age of 26.   

ASDA benefit of the month: GEICO

ASDA members could receive a special discount of up to 8 percent off GEICO Auto Insurance rates. Visit or call 800-368-2734 for a free, no-obligation rate quote and see how much you could save today. GEICO offers low rates and exceptional 24-hour sales and support nationwide to more than 12 million policyholders. GEICO can also help you with homeowners, renters, condo insurance and more. Not available for international members.

Attend the ADA Annual Session for free

Dental students receive free registration for the 2013 ADA Annual Session in New Orleans, Oct. 31-Nov. 3. Note: even though your registration is free, all courses are ticketed, so advance registration is strongly encouraged.

Register today at To learn more about everything Annual Session has to offer, download a preliminary program here.

Upcoming Events
Nov. 15-17, 2013
National Leadership Conference
Chicago, IL
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Quote of the Month
"Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science."
- Edwin Hubble



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