The American Student Dental Association (ASDA) chapter in the College of Dentistry at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center recently took home four honors, the most awarded to a student chapter, at the national ASDA Annual Session Gold Crown Awards.
The four awards followed three other honors presented to the UTHSC ASDA chapter at the organization’s District 4 Annual Meeting. The chapter received awards for Excellence in Wellness, Excellence in Community Outreach, and the Chapter Unsung Hero Award for events including their annual Wellness Week, Predental Day, and the Prophy Cup Golf Tournament, which is being held in April at the Mirimichi Golf Course.
Held in Chattanooga in February, the District 4 Annual Meeting was hosted by the UTHSC ASDA chapter, and organized and led by Anna Hill-Moses, D4, who served as the District 4 Trustee. As the District 4 Trustee, Hill-Moses represented the seven dentals schools in the southeast region on the national ASDA Board of Trustees, which is comprised of 16 dental student reps from across the country.
“Being a part of UTHSC ASDA has easily been the most influential chapter of my dental school career,” Hill-Moses said. “I first served as our Gold Crown Awards Chair on the local level and was inspired by the collective voice and passion dental students have as a part of an organized network. I quickly caught what we call ASDA Fever. To be given the opportunity to connect with students across the nation deepened my understanding of barriers to patient care, concerns about our live patient licensure exam, and left me feeling inspired. ASDA has given me public speaking opportunities, a network of lifelong friends and mentors, and the opportunity to advocate on the national level.”
Last year at the Annual Session, the UTHSC ASDA chapter received the Most Improved Chapter award. This year, the chapter took that momentum and their “ASDA Fever” to propel their chapter forward in order to take home four awards at the national ASDA Annual Session Gold Crown Awards ceremony held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
UTHSC ASDA received Gold Crown Awards for Best Chapter Blog, Best Newsletter, Outstanding Predental Involvement, and Solo Editor’s Choice Award in Writing.
Morgan Rebeck, D4, who is on the national ASDA editorial board, served as editor in chief for ASDA’s blog, the Pathfile, and their newsletter, the Tennessealant. “Morgan Rebeck brought our newsletter to new heights in addition to starting our blog,” said Hill-Moses. “She has been a dynamic leader with a clear vision. It is largely due to her extreme dedication that UTHSC ADSA was awarded Best Newsletter and Best Chapter Blog.”
The chapter has seen an increase of 224 percent for their Predental Day event, chaired by Michael Drake, D3, and Connor Denison, D4, which is geared toward undergraduate students interested in pursuing a career in dentistry. Participants at the most recent event represented students from 13 different states with UTHSC ASDA members serving as mentors.
Sharing her personal experience of having celiac disease, Hill-Moses’ article, ‘The Celiac Patient: Our Role in Referral, Diagnoses, and Treatment,’ won the Solo Editor’s Choice Award in Writing.
“I was not expecting to win this and was incredibly honored to have even been nominated,” Hill-Moses said. “This story is close to my heart and was a frustrating experience. By sharing my diagnosis pathway, I hope at least one clinician can help an undiagnosed celiac patient. Sharing stories is a powerful tool and I’m humbled mine was selected for this award.”
Xandria Johnson, D4, who serves on ASDA Health and Wellness Committee said, “What I really love about ASDA is the sense of community that we have. We really are a family community. We go beyond colleagues and you know you can turn to someone in any committee and they are going to help you no matter what. ASDA doesn’t stop when you get your DDS.”