What to expect on the ASDA Predental Advisory Committee

Are you a predental student interested in serving ASDA at the national level? Do you have questions about what it’s like being on the ASDA Predental Advisory Committee? Five current committee members share their experiences and tell how being on the committee has impacted them.

Why did you apply for this position?

Grace Ishak, University of Florida ’20, predental consultant: Because of my desire to get involved with ASDA on a higher level. I was previously a member of the District 5 Predental Committee and loved what I was able to do through that. I was inspired by fellow ASDA members and my experience attending the National Leadership Conference to apply for a position that would allow me to expand my reach and increase my involvement.

Sara Ha, Northeastern University ’20: I had such an enriching experience during my term on the District 1 Predental Committee that I decided to apply for the national committee the following year.

Zane Jenkins, Brigham Young University–Idaho ’21: I attend college in Idaho and our nearest dental school is in Utah, so our interaction with dental programs requires more effort. ASDA is the resource we rely on the most to understand the modern pathway to dentistry. Through ASDA, I received expert advice on questions and concerns I had. After receiving these resources, I realized I had a passion to help others prepare for and obtain a future in dentistry.

Sonali Lallu, University of Central Florida ’22: I applied for this position because my experience at the district level (district 5) inspired me to help out on a national level. Being a member of the committee allows for great collaboration and ideas to be shared and executed through teamwork. Working closely with one another to enrich predental membership is part of our role in ensuring that predental members are taking advantage of all ASDA benefits and receiving new and exciting content and ideas to help them on their journeys to and through dental school. Finally, and most importantly, we strive to ensure that predental ASDA members’ voices are being heard.

Adam Mucci, Marist College ’20: I applied for the PAC because I enjoyed my time as a district 2 consultant. I wanted to continue my efforts toward building a greater ASDA predental presence on the national level. My past experience allowed me to meet a lot of fantastic dental students and colleagues whose diversity helped me grow and expand my ideas on life as an ASDA predental student. I believed the committee would provide me with an opportunity to greatly contribute to the national predental community.

How would you describe the application process?

Grace: It was simple. I was able to submit one application for both the predental consultant and committee member positions. Everything went smoothly, and I was able to express my desire to work in a national position in ASDA.

Zane: The application process actually helped prepare me for the dental school application process! I created a CV that made me look at my resume with a critical eye and answered some short-essay questions that inspired me to start working on my personal statement. I also asked a mentor for a letter of recommendation.

Sonali: I would describe the application process as similar to an application you might submit for jobs. Remain organized while completing it and give yourself enough time to finish so you can clearly express all of the ideas you have. While applications could make you nervous, it is important to focus. Ask for help if needed!

How has your position enriched your life?

Grace: It really shaped my last year as an undergraduate. I gained a new perspective on what ASDA stands for. I also was able to fully embrace the importance of organized dentistry. Through national meetings and conference calls, I was continuously inspired and educated by all the incredible leaders I have met.

The ASDA community holds an energy that encouraged me to continue to grow as a leader and friend. As a current applicant for dental school, I am grateful for the knowledge and understanding I have about dentistry and the initiatives of ASDA. I feel ready and excited to enter my role as a future student dentist because of all that ASDA has given me.

Sara: This position has made me feel prepared to take on dental school applications and introduced me to inspiring students and dentists.

Zane: I have been pushed by this position to develop new talents outside of my comfort zone. Communicating with predental students across the nation and the ASDA staff has given me more confidence. Attacking new problems on the Predental Advisory Committee has allowed me to develop more skills that have made me a more valuable team member. The most powerful lesson I have learned is respect and appreciation for each predental student’s journey, and their drive to help communities and better the health of our nation.

Sonali: This position has allowed me to meet so many incredible ASDA leaders and predental students from across the nation. I’ve honed in on my leadership skills and listened to what predental members are saying in order to plan and execute ideas that will excite and enrich them. I have a deeper love and passion for ASDA and enjoy working so that all predental students continue to learn as much as they can about dentistry and are prepared for every step of their journey.

I love being a part of the Predental Advisory Committee and working with an incredible group of leaders to develop exciting ideas we’re all passionate about. I am excited to see ASDA continue to grow and to stay involved in an organization that has taught me so much and given me the best memories to look back on. I love ASDA!

Adam: The committee provided me with new and more challenging responsibilities within ASDA. Our brainstorming sessions and conference calls have been very constructive, and I often find myself developing new ideas in my personal day-to-day activities. I thoroughly enjoy these new tasks and can’t wait for the future ASDA opportunities in dental school!

National leadership applications are now open. Apply by Dec. 15.

Callista Schulenburg

Callista is in her third year at LECOM School of Dental Medicine. She is currently serving as 2020-21 Editor-in-Chief of the American Student Dental Association and the Wellness Co-Chair for District 5. She enjoys spending time with her friends and family, reading, writing and being outside in the Florida sunshine. Her favorite part about ASDA is meeting and getting to work with dental student authors from all over the country, sharing their voices and stories in ASDA publications.

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