CHICAGO, November 4, 2019 — The American Student Dental Association (ASDA) recognized two dental students for outstanding leadership at the association’s National Leadership Conference in Chicago on November 2, 2019. 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. Recipients were chosen by ASDA’s Board of Trustees.
Anthoula Vlachos, Pacific ‘21, is the recipient of the 2019 Rising Leader Award. This award recognizes an ASDA member who has demonstrated a commitment to leadership development during the first or second year in dental school. Anthoula has been an engaged member of ASDA since she was a predental, and has since served as chapter president and district secretary. According to her nominator, “Anthoula’s enthusiasm and willingness to help wherever needed has helped our chapter and district grow. Her natural charisma and leadership inspire others to participate and lead themselves.”
Jordan Brunson, East Carolina ’20, has been named ASDA’s 2019 Distinguished Leader. This award recognizes a fourth-year dental student who has made significant contributions to his or her ASDA chapter. Jordan was selected for his personable, attentive and invested nature in developing all ASDA members as leaders and making his peers feel valued. While serving as president, he restructured his chapter to draw on members’ strengths; formed a Wellness Committee; and revived his chapter’s advocacy efforts, increasing attendance at the ADA Dentist and Student Lobby Day from two students in 2018 to 13 students in 2019. “Jordan is a unique and compassionate leader who inspires everyone he encounters,” described his nominator.
Both award winners received funding to attend the National Leadership Conference and accept their award in person.
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.