Hometown: Hattiesburg, MS

Chapter: University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Dentistry (UMMC)

Graduation Year: 2023

Position Held At Chapter: Treasurer and Class Representative

Burnham, Drew_High Res-2

How has ASDA helped you build your leadership skills? ASDA has given me the opportunity to learn so much about what it takes to lead a team, especially in regards to organization and communication. As a class representative, I’ve been able to act as one of the liaisons between our ASDA council and our class, as well as schedule lunch and learns with various companies for our school. As treasurer, I’ve been able to learn fundraising and financial management skills. It’s been such an incredible experience so far, and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s in store for the future!

What do you think is the most vital quality in a leader? I think the most vital quality in a leader is the ability to listen to ideas that may differ from your own. Listening allows all voices and concerns to be heard and fought for and ensures that all people are being represented adequately.

Why should members get involved with ASDA leadership positions? Members should get involved with ASDA leadership positions because it allows you to see, experience, and appreciate the great things that come from organized dentistry. My favorite experiences with ASDA include attending conferences around the country and learning from various speakers, participating in ASDA advocacy week, and planning local ASDA events within our own chapter. There is an outlet or event for everyone, and I am so thankful for my experiences within ASDA. 

What future leadership roles in organized dentistry interest you and why? In the future, I would love to be involved with one of the many council positions associated with the ADA, such as being a part of the Council on Dental Education and Licensure. I think it’s incredibly important to maintain our high standard of dental education and licensure, as well as adapt to any new ideas that are brought forth. We are charged with being lifelong learners, and along with that comes the need to look at our systems critically to seek out necessary modifications.