Elections for ASDA's next Executive Committee, including the President, two Vice Presidents, and the Speaker of the House, will take place at Annual Session. Delegates will have the opportunity to hear from the candidates, discuss with their caucus, and cast votes.

Candidates for President/Vice President

Justina Anigbo, Indiana ’23

Anigbo-JustinaASDA is unequivocally the largest and most impactful dental student organization. If given the opportunity to be one of the leaders of this association there are three goals that I would like to see realized or begun during my time in leadership.

First, ASDA has a national initiative on health and wellness that drives to make an impact in 5 dimensions - Emotional, Physical, Intellectual, Occupational, and Environmental. During my time in leadership, I would like to expand our efforts on emotional/physical wellness by focusing on mental health and wellness. It is my goal to utilize ASDA's buying power as a large organization to minimize dental students financial barriers to mental health care and encourage dental schools to provide quality, affordable mental health support to their students. Tangible ways this can be accomplished is by partnering with one of the mental health apps and creating group coupon codes that can be utilized by any dues-compliant ASDA member.

Second, ASDA has a national D&I task force directive that has already made incredible strides towards their priorities one being establishing training for national leaders. During my time in leadership, I would like to continue the momentum of this task force by focusing on another one of their priorities - outlining member-training framework - and bringing that training to the chapter level. Tangible ways this can be accomplished is by streaming highly rated and well vetted content to our members in the form of a webinar that can be wildly accessible and creating grants that chapters can apply for in order to bring this initiative to light on their campus.

Third, during my time in leadership, I would like to encourage inter-professional collaboration with our colleagues in other organized dentistry organizations like SPEA, SNDA, ADEA, AAWD, etc. I believe that their is strength in numbers and by collaborating with these organizations, we can elevate our collective voices for the betterment of the student dental experience as a whole. Because the mission and vision of these organizations aligns with our mission as well, often times initiatives that these organizations are advocating for are things we have already put our efforts behind. By combining these efforts we only strengthen our ability to effect change. Tangible ways inter-professional collaboration can be realized is by focusing on sustainability in dental schools. Creating a more sustainable dental practice is not only better for us, but for our patients. This is an initiative that is not at the forefront of any association, but is integral to the future of our profession. This is a topic that will take some time and strategic planning to come to fruition but by making it a priority and beginning the collaborative efforts now, we can change the way our colleagues will interact with the topic in the future.

Justina Anigbo Short Answer Questions

Sammy Huynh, South Carolina ’23

Huynh-SammyIn 2017, I attended the ASDA District 4 conference in Charleston, SC as a pre-dental student. That was a defining moment. ASDA has given me purpose and a family throughout my dental school journey. In recent years, I have been privileged to serve on our district cabinet and on the board of trustees representing District 4 as we navigated the pandemic and strategized our return from it. This involvement revealed a vision for our future and a drive to achieve our common goal in advancing the rights, interests, and welfare of dental students. ASDA has revealed its strength through the voice of its members and the way that we have advocated for our profession. Our navigation and achievement into normalcy does not yet define an end, but rather a step into our future.

Of the numerous ASDA members across the country, I am particularly excited about the enthusiasm of our first and second year dental students. Considering that one of our main concerns this year was our student member engagement, I am pleased at the initiatives we have pushed forth to address that. It is important to realize that member outreach is not a one and done mission, but rather an ongoing effort and that is something I am committed to strengthening on all levels.

When I think of ASDA, it was the community that brought me in. Let us work together to share that welcoming experience. If elected to the Executive Committee, I will dedicate this upcoming year to empower our ASDA membership, make strides in our push to reform dental licensure, and navigate our cohort back into reality. Let's ride the ASDA fever we felt from The Summit and take advantage of this exciting time to make a difference. We will work together as leaders to promote the value we offer and inspire new membership by starting at the roots.

I am honored by this opportunity to run as a candidate and I welcome the notion to serve ASDA in this capacity. I am passionate about organized dentistry and the influence that we students can have on our profession and will bring forth to you a powerful can-do attitude. I believe that my extensive experience on multiple levels of ASDA have prepared me to make a significant contribution to our organization. The mentors I have made within ASDA have taught me my greatest lesson in leadership - to lift as we climb. That is what ASDA is about. Everything I have learned about leadership and advocacy for dentistry has started with you, and now it is time that I repay that debt. Together we will meet the challenges we face and conquer. I very much look forward to the opportunity to serve us, to witness what accomplishments we will make, and am grateful for your consideration.

Sammy Huynh Short Answer Questions
Ryan Kaminsky, Pennsylvania ’23
Kaminsky-RyanASDA altered the trajectory of my professional journey long before I began dental school. As a pre-dental, I began to understand the dental school experience by connecting with dental students across the nation. As chapter president and district trustee, I worked alongside students to influence our profession through grassroots advocacy. As an ASDA leader, I recognized something powerful: a community teeming with students who build upon each other’s voices. If elected to the Executive Committee, I will dedicate myself to strengthening our community so that through a unified voice, we can better our collective experience.
Strengthening Community: The Power of a Unified Voice
Through community, we can create solutions to problems that students are facing. As chapter and district leader, I encouraged the exchange of ideas, explored diversity, and thought critically from all perspectives to create sustainable initiatives. Initiatives within wellness facilitate membership engagement and better administrative relationships. I will encourage chapters to work with administration and schools’ counseling services to create a national Wellness Task Force. My chapter has taken steps to establish a task force based on successful past models. Collaborating on wellness initiatives would provide members an avenue to connect on our varied experiences.
Living through a pandemic has shed light on our collective losses. This has meant many sacrifices, especially in-person events. Our virtual world has emphasized the importance of mental health and wellness. Creating a network in which all students feel welcome is my priority. Many students have not had the opportunity to gather on a personal level. As we transition to more in-person events, I will capitalize on opportunities to increase membership engagement. I will promote a hybrid system of virtual and in-person attendance at national events to increase member value. This will enable students who cannot attend in-person remain active on the national level.

Advocacy: Our Greatest Member Benefit
My views on membership and advocacy have been shaped by my perspective as chapter president and district trustee. ASDA has made advancements in licensure reform efforts based on our L-1 policy. I will emphasize compacts to increase portability, employ State Licensure Liaisons to advocate for the complete elimination of live-patient exams, and utilize our partnerships on the Coalition for Modernizing Dental Licensure.

Tackling student debt from a different perspective is necessary. While past initiatives focused on student responsibility to manage debt, I believe that schools have a financial obligation to increase cost-effective sustainability efforts to reduce tuition rates.
By serving the organization as both a chapter and district leader, I have learned what issues affect all levels of the association. The communities I built influenced my personal journey in school. Through these experiences, I strengthened my understanding of policy, witnessed the importance of team motivation, and developed leadership skills. My dedication for ASDA is unparalleled and has shaped my career. It would be an honor to serve an association that has given me so much. I want to be a part of shaping how this organization impacts our journeys, from pre-dental to dentist.

Ryan Kaminsky Short Answer Questions
Tommy Lau, Michigan ’24
Lau-TommyMy mission as the National President is to reach all ASDA members and dental students to make sure they are aware of ASDA benefits. Whether they go to dental school that is an auto-enrolled chapter or recruited chapter, I want all dental students to know the disability insurance and life insurance that to offered to ADA student member, all the speaker resources that can help them navigate their post-dental school life during district and national conference, and most importantly, to understand that serving in the dentistry profession cannot be done alone.

When I started dental school in the summer of 2020 completely virtually, I was able to sleep in and learn solely by watching videos after videos, which was something I had never imagined. I craved for like-minded individuals, a dental family, and unforgettable dental school stories and experiences. I found these people and experience through ASDA. ASDA is a place where me and thousands of dental students across the country voice our concerns and advocate for what we believe in--lower dental students loans, mannequin-based clinical examination, licensure reform portability. I came to realize the meaning of what being a dentist means. With our different stories and backgrounds, we come together for our profession and patients.

We always stress about how dental schools don’t teach us the business aspects of dentistry or running a dental office. In a parallel sense, dental students are not exposed enough to the role we play in society. Some tangible tasks that I hope to push forth under my term to increase our effort is permanent acceptance of mannequin-based examination for dental licensure. As for the catalytic effects of pandemic slowly fading, there is no time to reserve. This is time-sensitive and I want more student leaders to get involved in this important belief of our association.

Being a dental student now is also very different from being a dental student twenty years ago. I want to continue to strengthen our effort in diversity and inclusion for all voices. Whether it be from different cultural and educational backgrounds, or different paths within dentistry, I want all students in ASDA to showcase our passion through who we are. As a young leader who got involved in ASDA and elected as a District Trustee early on, I want to inspire others to other incoming leaders to contribute to organized dentistry by leading.

In the upcoming year, the unpredictability of the new norms will continue to be a challenge to us. That applies to our advocacy effort, initiatives, and local, district, and national meetings. I am determined to make ASDA a reliable resource for our members to enrich their dental school experience by listening to their needs and giving them the best experience possible while being safe.

Tommy Lau Short Answer Questions

Candidates for Speaker of the House

Victoria Carroll, LECOM ’23

Nicholas Koutrakis, Columbia ’23
Kasey Schock, Midwestern-IL ’23