Student Spotlight

Becoming a ‘Rising Leader’

My path to #ASDAfever is a wild one. I believe dental students are “wild” in so many diverse ways — we are wild about Friday nights, wild about advocacy, wild about self-reflection and wildly focused on creating a brighter future. Together, we are all wild about dentistry. As the 2019 ASDA Rising Leader Award recipient, I desire to contribute to something greater than myself and continue encouraging students in a positive, inspirational role as we create memories by building upon our leadership skills. 

Prior to attending University of the Pacific, I was an event coordinator in Las Vegas where I directed international conferences for interior floral designers. I developed marketing strategies for large conventions that led to an increase in sponsorships and company net worth. Additionally, I managed a Greek food booth selling gyros at music festivals across California. Operating this business drilled a strong work ethic in me, providing a solid foundation of leadership and management qualities that has brought great value as class vice president for 2018-2019, chapter president and district 11 secretary for 2019-2020. 

Earlier this year, I attended my fourth ASDA Annual Session. It was a pivotal opportunity to be mentored by experts and acquire strategies for positive social change. My ASDA role models (Dr. Christian Piers, Dr. Dan Hammer and Letitia Edwards) inspire me by modeling sterling examples of leadership efforts highlighted in outstanding national service. As a team leader, I enjoy opportunities to listen and provide a greater sense of direction for unifying others in the pursuit of a common goal. I always encourage peers to attend ASDA national conferences to meet the movers & the shakers of organized dentistry.

I am constantly involved with ASDA because it supports dental students in impacting in dental health care. I plan to apply for a national leadership position within ASDA, and I want to be involved because I thrive in being part of a team that has a vision that can impact so many people. 

I hope to continue involvement in organized dentistry after graduation. I look forward to opening my own practice and traveling the country giving talks for continuing education and playing a role with the American Dental Association. I love to travel, so doing that while being involved with dentistry would be amazing. ASDA encourages dental students to expand their leadership potential and become passionate advocates. The Rising Leader Award and the National Leadership Conference highlights ASDA’s commitment to creating a powerful foundation for positive change.

~Anthoula Vlachos, Pacific ’21

Anthoula Vlachos

Anthoula Vlachos is a fourth-year student at UOP Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry and has previously served as ASDA chapter president and ASDA district 11 trustee.

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