Hometown: Salt Lake City, UT

Chapter: KCU-Joplin

Graduation Year: 2027

Position Held At Chapter: President


How has ASDA helped you build your leadership skills?
Being the inaugural class for a new dental school comes with a unique set of challenges, and in addition, helping start a brand new ASDA chapter adds even more complexity. I have found that it is absolutely vital to be able to delegate and collaborate with all those around me- whether it be fellow KCU ASDA members or leadership from other chapters. Our current and future achievements here at KCU-Joplin are not merely individual achievements, but a collective product of all those involved.

In many of my previous leadership roles, I have always had the tendency to take on more than I can handle, effectively burning myself out and making it exponentially harder to reach our goals. I knew immediately that if I wanted to succeed academically in school, as well as laying a strong foundation on which our chapter is built, I needed to trust in all the amazing individuals who share our collective objectives, as well as seek the advice of those who have been in a similar position.

From my experiences thus far with ASDA, in addition to my previous leadership roles, I have personally learned that motivation has to come intrinsically. A good leader isn’t one to “rule” and make policies to get us where we want to go- a good leader is a constant supporter, reminding us who we are and where we want to take ourselves. ASDA has helped me realize that my job as a leader relies on increasing my skills as a supporter and as a motivator- being able to inspire our members to find it within themselves to actively want to contribute towards our shared goals.

What do you think is the most vital quality in a leader?
Humility. Being cognizant of your own weaknesses and shortcomings is vital in being a leader. This

self-awareness not only grounds us, but it keeps us mindful of who we are and what we are capable of, while keeping perspective of what we aren’t, what we have worked for, and what we have been given. By fostering humility into practice as a leader, it effectively establishes a philosophy of compassion and vulnerability- enhancing a leader’s ability to effectively lead. Humility teaches us that leadership is not about possessing certain qualities that make a good leader from the beginning; rather, it is the role of leadership that cultivates these qualities from within us.

Why should members get involved with ASDA leadership positions?
One of the most surprising benefits that I did not expect with a leadership position within ASDA is the extensive inter-school collaboration it offers. We all know that dentistry is a relatively small world, and the connections you make within this career don’t begin after graduation- rather during your time as a student. In my short time as an ASDA member, I have had the privilege of meeting and befriending numerous students from all over the country. Many, if not all, have become mentors I constantly seek advice from- offering guidance on both ASDA-related activities and academic challenges. These connections not only enrich our student lives, but also lay the groundwork for our future professional networks. Engaging in ASDA leadership offers a glimpse into the collaborative nature of our future careers and successes.

What future leadership roles in organized dentistry interest you and why?
When I attended the last ASDA annual session, I was pleasantly surprised to see the amount of change that unraveled within a single weekend that directly affected our student lives. Even though there isn’t a specific role or title I would like to pursue, the experience I had at annual inspired me to want to pursue future leadership positions whether at the state or national level that would not only affect the lives of us as dental professionals, but more importantly, affect the lives and care of the patients we will serve.