February 27, 2023 - The American Student Dental Association (ASDA) elected its 2023-24 national president, vice presidents and speaker of the house at Annual Session on February 17-19 in Seattle, Washington. The national leaders were chosen by the House of Delegates, which represents 69 U.S. dental schools.
Shafa Nathani, Tufts ’24, will serve as ASDA's president. The president chairs the board of trustees, which oversees the development and implementation of the association's strategic plan and approves the annual budget. As chair of the executive committee, she is also responsible for managing association business between meetings of the board. The two vice presidents and the speaker serve alongside her as members of the board and the executive committee.
Nathani most recently served as ASDA's District 1 trustee. She was appointed the first ever Virtual Education Coordinator for Tufts University and worked with the faculty to navigate the virtual learning experience during the COVID-19 epidemic.
“Through someone’s passion, motivation, and inspiration, we can together uncover the greatest ideas and accomplish them. I am the kind of leader who will put my all into accomplishing the goals set by the team because their ideas matter the most to me. Together a fully motivated team can achieve anything.”
Judd Burns, Louisville ’24, and Christopher Elkhal, Oregon ’24, were elected as ASDA vice presidents.
Burns recently completed his term as ASDA’s District 7 trustee.
“As a leader, I go to great lengths to ensure that every member of my team feels they are valued and that their input is thoughtfully regarded. As Vice President I will ensure all parties feel their voices are heard and valued.”
Elkhal recently served as ASDA’s District 10 trustee.
“The position I’ve held were pivotal in gaining insight and the ability to best navigate student concerns. They have equipped me with a better understanding of working with a team and how to work in unison with other members in order to achieve a common goal.”
Joseph Linser, Ohio State ’24 was elected ASDA's speaker of the house. The speaker presides over all House of Delegates meetings, instructs delegates on rules and procedures, and informs delegates and members about the resolution process. Linser has served as the President of OSU ASDA, District 6 Cabinet member, and delegate for the Ohio Dental Association.
“There has been a shift in the dental field, and I aim to ensure every young dentist coming out of dental school is not taken advantage of. You deserve to be educated on all the opportunities that will come your way, especially during your D3 and D4 years.”
Board of Trustees
The 2023-24 Board of Trustees were also elected at Annual Session. The Board of Trustees is responsible for administration and management of the association. Each trustee represents one of 11 ASDA districts.
Tareina Rogers, Tufts ’25
Shivam Jauhar, Buffalo ’24
Samarth Setru, Pennsylvania ’25
Natalie Benkandil, South Carolina ’25
Brooke Badeaux, Louisiana ’25
Mikaela Gisch, Case Western ’24
Chase Perkins, Indiana ’24
Lauren Brown, Missouri-Kirksville ‘25
Loren Matrone, Texas-Houston ’25
Zaki Minas, Arizona ’24
Robert Zhou, Pacific ’24