Category Archives: Reflections

Recap: Annual Student Leadership Workshop–A Great Success!

On February 21st, Nancy Marks, Dept. of Public Health and Karen Alexander, Student Affairs, hosted the Annual Student Leadership Dinner and Training. With almost 50 leaders attending, evaluations deemed it “a great success”!

The workshop consisted of a series of group activities and discussions led by guest trainer from Tisch College, Mindy Nierenberg.  Mindy immediately made people feel comfortable and set a pace that allowed participants to relax after their long days in clinic and class.

The first exercise involved a self-assessment on communication preferences and styles. Students were able to gain insight on the way they approach situations and conflict in small group discussions, which were then brought together to the entire workshop.

“This was a nice opportunity to take a step back and realize how many aspects of leadership exist and the many different definitions of what a leader is. I throughly enjoyed myself and look forward to applying the discussed concepts to my day-to-day opportunities showcasing leadership,” Joseph Dudlek (D21) reflects.

After group discussions regarding several leadership topics, strategies, and difficulties, the students were able to work together in an active, team-building exercise. Students were randomly assigned into groups of 4-5 and asked to build a tower with limited supplies: tape, paper, a few cups and a paper plate. If that wasn’t hard enough there was another catch: They were only able to discuss a plan at the beginning and during the actual building of the tower no talking was allowed.  What broke the silence? Laughter– as groups endeavored to work together and build a five foot tower that would stand up to Nanc’s ‘huffing and puffing’ on it.

Vendita Correia (D20) states: “There is something special about people working together who span various racial, socioeconomic, and other socially constructed groups. In other circumstances these people would may not be grouped together and that is what was so awesome about this activity.”

Overall, the Student Leadership Dinner and Training demonstrated to many of our student leaders ways that they can improve their roles within their perspective organizations and through TUSDM as a whole. We look forward to next year’s workshop! (Pranali Vyas, reporting for Dental Central)

ADEA Hackathon

On February 24, ADEA chapters at Tufts, Harvard, BU, UConn, Touro, and Stony Brook participated in a curriculum Hackathon held at Harvard School of Dental Medicine! Students were grouped into teams and were given just two hours to design their own innovative dental school, focusing on curriculum topics of their choice. Teams focused on hot topics like Public Health and Community Service, Technology, Public Policy, Interprofessional Education, Research, and many more! Presentations were judged by a panel of deans and professors, including Dean Karimbux.

Here are some students reflections!

Continue reading ADEA Hackathon

El reto para esta semana es practicar nuestro español!

Miren lo que los miembros de HDA hicieron el pasado Noviembre!

El pasado 18 de Noviembre, miembros de la organización de Hispanic Dental Association tuvieron la oportunidad de asistir en la Feria de Salud y Educación para Latinos for Waltham.  En el evento los estudiantes que participaron ofrecieron instrucciones de como mantener una boca saludable. En el evento participaron 20 familias necesitadas de la comunidad de Waltham y se les otorgo pavos y alimentos para las festividades de el Día De Acción de Gracias. Entre las actividades los miembros de la comunidad también pudieron hablar con un abogado de Inmigración, y una especialista financiera para ayudar a las personas y contestar sus preguntas. De parte de los Representantes de la Comunidad de Servicios de HDA le queremos dar las gracias en especial a Christian Mendoza (D20) y a Janelle Diaz (D20) por participar en este evento y hacerlo un éxito.

Para la próxima semana esperen la versión en ingles y ¡actualicen sus habilidades bilingües! (Please check out the English version next week!)

“Many Faces of Mental Health” Exhibit Reflection

This past weekend, a few of TUDSM students visited the “Many Faces of Mental Health” exhibit at the Boston Museum of Science. Check out how it went!

Vendita Correia (D20) reflects: “I recall the words in the movie Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, “be excellent to each other.” On Friday evening January 26, 2018, myself along with classmates Anne-Marie Vu D’19, Brent Mullen D’20, Dora Piedra D’20, Joseph Copeli D’21, and Shannon Walsh D’21, attended the, “Many Faces of Mental Health” exhibit at the Boston Museum of Science accompanied by the artist Lynda Cutrell. This impactful exhibit broke down many of the stigmas and misconceptions concerning mental illness. On the back wall of the exhibit were 99 images of people with mental illnesses and those who love them. These were people who represented various professions, backgrounds, and demographics.

As I reflect on this experience, I realize that we walk amongst many who suffer from various mental illnesses. They are our family, friends, WE are them. The exhibit challenges you to really consider how mental health is often treated in our society, as less of an illness and more of a social weakness. So much so that many groups do not accept or allow their members to adequately deal with what they are facing. This is why the section of the exhibit Census Datawas so encouraging because it showed various shades of brown representing 850 people with various mental illnesses. Mental illness is not exclusive and can truly affect anyone. I was truly grateful to have experienced this exhibit with my classmates and it was a great reminder to “be excellent to each other” because we never know the battles each of us face.  Thanks to Dr. Patterson, Professor Dolan and Nancy Marks for helping to make it all happen.”

AAID 2017 Annual Conference

The American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID) had their annual conference in San Diego, the weekend of October 13-16!

Andrew G. Lum (D19) reflects: “Attending the AAID annual conference was a wonderful opportunity that would not have been possible without the generous help of my mentors and the research department at Tufts. This conference had a more intimate feeling than other meetings I’ve attended in the past and as a result, I was able to hear many of the main podium speakers, and sit-in during some of the hands-on workshops. I highly encourage any interested students who are conducting implant related research to consider applying for the AAID student research grant since it gave me exposure to organized dentistry on a smaller platform and challenged me as as presenter to think critically alongside established clinician-researchers in implant dentistry.”

Alber Schweitzer Leadership Conference Reflections

Reflections from Nine Student Leaders on the Schweitzer Leadership Conference

The Depts. of Public Health and Student Affairs offered Scholarships for nine rocking D20 and D21 student leaders to attend the Spark Event! Their reflections will open your mind to some new ideas in leadership and dentistry. Take a read!

Continue reading Alber Schweitzer Leadership Conference Reflections

Smile Squad & IMANE at Medford Sikh Temple

On November 4th, 2016 Smile Squad members started off their first weekend of November volunteering at the Medford Sikh Temple with Dr. Neela Gandhi where they provided oral hygiene instructions along with oral cancer screenings. We are very fortunate for being able to participate in this event that the India Medical Association of New England (IMANE) organized. It was a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the Indian culture while giving back to the community. Dr. Gandhi lead the Oral Health Awareness and the cancer screening to the local Sikh Community in Medford. Tufts Dental Students, Sangita Murali (D’18), Thais Antunes (D’20), Sandy Lopez (D’20), Ramandeep Kaur (D’20) and Simran Kaur (D’20) assisted Dr. Gandhi at the temple by demonstrating proper oral hygiene techniques, distributing toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss along with teaching the community very important oral hygiene tips.

Continue reading Smile Squad & IMANE at Medford Sikh Temple

7th SPEA Annual Session

On October 19th to the 21st, the Student Professional and Ethics Association (SPEA) members Ian Dickinson (D19), Lauren Hagspiel (D19), Stefane Bourguignon (D20), and Jesse Huston (D19) had the opportunity to travel to Atlanta to attend the 7th SPEA Annual Session.

Ian Dickson (D19) reflects: “Members from all over the country and Canada gathered for a weekend packed with events and presentations from several incredible speakers (including Chris Salierno from The Curious Dentist Blog and ASDA White Paper author Michael C. Meru) on inter-professional teamwork, the changing demographics in dentistry, and dealing with ethical situations in corporate dentistry, to name a few. The session was a truly enriching and inspiring event and we look forward to sharing our newfound skills and experiences with all members of the Tufts community.”

Smile Squad Tufts Community Day

Tufts hosted its 15th annual Community Day on Sunday September 25, 2017. Smile Squad members were there to provide oral hygiene instructions to the various children and families that participated. Our table was a center of attraction. Most families recognized us from the year before. The children enjoyed interacting with our members and learning more about oral hygiene techniques. It was a rewarding experiencing for Smile Squad as it was a busy event with lots of people eager to use the educational tools we had available. The number of families including the children that didn’t speak English at the event made it apparent that it is important to have volunteers that speak many languages. Thankfully, we had Smile Squad members who spoke Spanish and Portuguese at the event which was a great resource. We hope that next year we will have more members present who are fluent in other languages due to the diversity present in Boston and its surrounding areas.

Sandy Lopez ( D20) reflects on her experience:
Volunteering with Smile Squad at Tufts Community day was wonderful experience to be a part of. The opportunity to be a first-time exposure of oral hygiene to various young children and families was very rewarding. Going forward and reflecting on the experience I hope we can have a poster board or even a pin saying “Ask us to how brush and Floss” in various languages that help us provide everyone at the event with oral health instructions.

TUSDM Donations for Hurricane Harvey: Reflection by Jonathan Pierpoline (D21)

As many of you may know, Houston was devastated by what is being called a 1,000 year flood. An event of this magnitude should occur every 1,000 years. Over 500,000 vehicles have been totaled due to flood damage and over 100,000 homes have been flooded.  The donations collected from Tufts School of Dental Medicine with ASDA have been sent to Bay Area Turning Point. Their main mission involves bringing assistance to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. The items that everyone have graciously brought in will be bringing much needed supplies to not only the victims of Hurricane Harvey, but of domestic violence as well.

As a Houston native I personally want to thank everyone that is a part of the Tufts family. The amount of support and love that was brought together by everyone here is truly inspiring. I believe I can speak on behalf of the Houston and say thank you.

– Jonathan Pierpoline (D21) 

ASDA Puerto Rico Chapter is continuing to collect donations to help those affected by the storm get back on their feet . No donation is too small. Every dollar matters. If you’d like to make a contribution please click HERE.