D4 Jesus Patiño and D3 Jonathan Collins have been recognized for their participation in the American Dental Association (ADA) Student Ambassadors Program.
Explains Patiño: "I have been involved with planning the Ambassador program for the past two years as part of my national position with ADEA. I was a member on the ADA Council on Dental Education and Licensure, Career Guidance and Diversity Activities Committee, which plans the ambassador program, and which is held yearly at the ADA National Conference - this past October, in Las Vegas. The Ambassador Program invites dental students from across the nation to attend a one-day seminar that provides the attendees with resources, contacts, and support that will aid them in creating outreach programs targeted towards recruiting underrepresented minorities into dentistry when they return to their respective schools. Jon Collins was selected as the UCSF student ambassador, and I was also a student ambassador representing UCSF because I help plan the program. This year there were over 90 attendees from a variety of dental schools. The Ambassador program continues to grow yearly and new outreach programs are being developed throughout the nation because of these student ambassadors."
Adds Collins: "The ADA Student Ambassador program brought together students from all over the country to discuss how we as students can increase diversity in dental education. Through small group discussions, presentations, and brainstorming sessions,representatives from each school took home ideas on what can be done. The ADA President and other national leaders in organized dentistry presented and encouraged participation to help make the dental profession as diverse as the population that it treats. I got the most out of the small group discussions, and saw that while there are many different ethnicities, our goals and motivations to help improve the oral health of our communities were the same. When students with a diversity of experience, cultures, and background get together about a specific issue, really good ideas are generated. It was a great event."
Above: Jonathan Collins, Dean Featherstone, and Jesus Patiño (courtesy Burton Ober, Student Services Manager, UCSF Dentistry)
Below: Student participants at the ADA National Conference in Las Vegas, October, 2011 (courtesy Jesus Patiño)