Category Archives: Reflections

Tufts Students Collaborate with St. Francis House and Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program

Evan Gallegos Reflects: “Chris Hines (D22) and Evan Gallegos (D21), provided preventative techniques to the St. Francis House community. There is a large and growing community at this shelter who attend our workshops to learn more about their oral health. Our presence is imperative to educating the large vulnerable St. Francis House population, so that they develop good oral hygiene and prevent oral disease.”

AAPD Volunteers with Room to Grow!

Pictured (from left to right): BACK ROW: Samatha Guan (D21), David Alpert (D21), Samatha Sauers (D20), Allie Penta (D21), and Lauren Lubowitz (D21)
FRONT ROW: Simran Kaur (D20), Kaitlyn O’Connell (D21) and Sophia Heitsmiller (D21)

On October 30, AAPD volunteered with Room To Grow. The organization serves families from just before their child’s birth through age 3. They provide high-quality material items (like clothes, books and toys), individualized parenting education, and specialized referrals to community resources to ensure a healthy and secure start to the child’s life. The AAPD team helped to sort through donated clothing, supplies and books.

Volunteer Sophie Heitsmiller (D21) reflects: “With a group of nine people, we were able to organize an entire room of donations within a few hours. It’s was rewarding to see how teamwork can help a non profit organization that will help mothers and children in need.”

Everyone had a great time and look forward to working with this amazing organization again in the future!

AAPD Members Teach local Children about Oral Hygiene!

On November 3, AAPD sent volunteers to three different locations across the city for Boston Center for Youth and Families’ Family Gym Day. This weekly event serves as a  free play program for families with children ages 3 – 8 to get up, out, and moving together on Saturday mornings. The volunteers played games with children, then made a short presentation about ways to keep their mouths healthy and general oral hygiene instruction. Each group brought new toothbrushes and toothpastes for all children in attendance. All groups had a great time volunteering with this amazing organization!

In the Roxbury Location: Shalin Shah (D22) and Lauren Lubowitz (D21) 
In the Dorchester Location: Laimarie Alas (D22), Romina Aznavaleh (D22), Elizabeth Banister (D22), Kathryn Sierra (D22)
In the South End Location: Emily Thomas (D20) and Samantha Sauers (D20)

AADMD’s outreach to students with special healthcare needs

On November 2, two members of AADMD, Lauren Lubowitz (D21) and Pranali Vyas (D21), worked with Professor Dolan at the Joseph Lee School in Dorchester to help give oral health screenings to students with special healthcare needs. The Joesph Lee School features a specialized program for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Professor Dolan, Lauren and Pranali saw 5 patients and provided oral hygiene instruction, fluoride varnish, extra oral and intra oral exams and made referrals to Tufts Dental for treatment!

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