CHICAGO — The American Student Dental Association’s House of Delegates elected its 2017-18 national president, vice presidents and speaker of the House of Delegates during its annual meeting last week in Orlando, Fla.
Tanya Sue Maestas, University of Texas Health Science Center School of Dentistry ’18, was elected president. Maestas previously served as District 9 Trustee to the ASDA Board and also as president of the Houston ASDA chapter. As an undergraduate at the University of Texas at El Paso, Maestas served as president of the Student Government Association, the UTEP Predental Society and the UTEP American Society of Microbiologists. She served as class delegate to the Texas Dental Society and the Greater Houston Dental Society. In her spare time, Maestas volunteers at a local food bank, sings in her church choir and serves as a translator at dental outreach events in the community.
“We have achieved much as an organization, but we must continue to press forward and take our organization to new heights,” said Maestas. “I am excited to see what direction our profession takes because I know it is entrusted to the brightest minds and most passionate people. Together we can continue to make dentistry the best profession and ASDA the greatest organization to serve its students.”
Also elected were ASDA’s Vice Presidents Danielle Marciniak, Roseman University of Health Sciences ’18, and Alex Mitchell, Temple University Kornberg School of Dentistry ’18.
Marciniak joined ASDA in 2011 as a predental student, and since that time has held leadership positions at local, district and national levels. Most recently, she served as District 10 trustee to the national board. She was one of two administrative externs at ASDA headquarters while also serving as District 10 communications chair. At the Roseman chapter, she coordinated vendor fairs as fundraising chair, launched the Cuspid Cup Interclass Field Days and founded the Helping Hands club that supports local charities through crafts. She was the winner of ASDA’s first Rising Leader Award in 2015 and served as ASDA consultant to the ADA Council on Dental Practice.
Mitchell completed a term as District 3 trustee while also serving as president of the Temple ASDA chapter. Previously, he held positions as District 3 predental liaison and Temple class representative. Since 2016, he has been a student representative to Temple’s admissions committee, collaborating with faculty and administrators to assess and select qualified dental school applicants. He served as ASDA liaison to the ADA’s Council on Ethics, Bylaws and Judicial Affairs and was a member of the ASDA delegation to the 2016 ADA Annual Session. As an undergraduate, he founded the Allegheny College Predental Society. He is a volunteer at Mission of Mercy and the Philly Oral Cancer Run.
Abby Halpern, Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University ’18, was elected speaker of the House of Delegates. Halpern spent two years on ASDA’s Council on Advocacy, first as legislative coordinator and later as chair. She was president of the Georgia ASDA chapter and served as alternate delegate to the ADA Annual Session. She was an ADPAC intern in 2014 and volunteered at Georgia Mission of Mercy. Prior to dental school, Halpern earned a Master of Science in microbiology and immunology at Georgetown University.
The American Student Dental Association is the largest national organization that protects and advances the rights, interests and welfare of dental students and predentals. Representing more than 90 percent of all dental students, ASDA introduces members to lifelong involvement in organized dentistry and provides services, information, education, representation and advocacy. For more information, visit ASDAnet.org. Connect with ASDA on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.