2015-16 ASDA President
2014-15 Editor-in-Chief, Editorial Board
2013-14 Contributing Editor, Editorial Board
Why did you apply for Executive Committee?
Whenever I’m passionate about something, I try to do as much as I can to strengthen it. During my first two-and-a-half years of ASDA involvement, I became deeply dedicated to ASDA’s mission and had some of my most rewarding experiences in dental school. I felt I could to do the most for the association as a member of the Executive Committee, so I decided to run for the position at the 2015 ASDA Annual Session in Boston.
Did you serve as a chapter leader and/or national leader before this role?
Before applying for the Executive Committee, I served Colorado ASDA as an alternate delegate, president-elect and chapter president. I also served at the national level as a contributing editor and editor-in-chief. Each of these experiences taught me something different about organized dentistry and helped me better understand the challenges facing dental students across the country.
What are the skills necessary for national president?
Because the president serves as the official spokesperson of ASDA, they need to be a strong communicator, facilitator and consensus-builder. They should not only be comfortable with public speaking, but should also able to navigate negotiations in small, focused groups of decision-makers without alienating key stakeholders. As chair of ASDA’s Board of Trustees, the president should have the ability to diffuse emotional intensity and unpack dense discussions so board members can make well-informed decisions to guide the association. Perhaps most importantly, the president should be able to put aside his or her own desires in order to listen to the ideas of a disparate group, set goals based on group consensus and mobilize group resources to carry out those goals.
What advice do you have for someone considering applying for Executive Committee?
The Executive Committee runs the association between board meetings, so it’s important to understand the workings of ASDA from multiple perspectives. While it’s difficult to become an expert in every aspect of ASDA’s mission—from communications to membership to advocacy—one can build a working knowledge of ASDA’s key initiatives by seeking out a variety of leadership roles at the chapter, district and national levels. Those considering a role on the Executive Committee should also take advantage of opportunities for public speaking, and will gain a deeper understanding of the challenges facing dental students by reviewing past issues of ASDA News and the quarterly association journal, Mouth.