The American Student Dental Association (ASDA) recognized two dental students for outstanding leadership at the association’s National Leadership Conference in Chicago this week. The awards reflect ASDA’s vision of advancing the dental profession by developing exemplary leaders who demonstrate the core values of passion, community, engagement and integrity.
Makayla Gresham, West Virginia University College of Dentistry ’20, was selected by the ASDA Board of Trustees as the recipient of the 2018 Rising Leader Award. This award recognizes the importance of developing leadership skills and a commitment to organized dentistry early in a dental student's career and is presented to an ASDA member who has demonstrated a commitment to leadership development during the first or second year in dental school. In recommending Gresham for the award, a West Virginia faculty member wrote, “Makayla's individual goals and achievements are counter-balanced by the selflessness she displays through her active engagement in public service and volunteering work. While her academic record is strong, it is her empathy, generosity, kind heart, passion to help others and leadership qualities that make her successful.” She has been an active member of West Virginia ASDA, taking on leadership roles such as president, district secretary, fundraising chair and social media chair.
Kiya Stack, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry ’19, was selected by the ASDA Board as the 2018 Distinguished Leader. This award recognizes a fourth-year dental student who has made significant contributions to her local ASDA chapter. Stack was nominated by her peers at the Nebraska ASDA chapter, who wrote of her, “Kiya exemplifies superior organization, enthusiasm and innovation in every aspect of her involvement. Rather than merely accomplishing her assigned tasks, Kiya constantly searched for areas of improvement and increased efficiency.” Stack served as her chapter’s president-elect, restructured the executive team, chaired an elementary education outreach program, mentored classmates to apply for local leadership positions and singlehandedly executed the dental school’s football tailgates.
Both award winners received funding to attend the National Leadership Conference and accept their awards in person from ASDA President Roopali Kulkarni. ASDA is proud to recognize these outstanding leaders and looks forward to their continued growth and service to organized dentistry.
The American Student Dental Association is a national student-run organization that protects and advances the rights, interests and welfare of dental students. It introduces students to lifelong involvement in organized dentistry and provides services, information, education, representation and advocacy.