The Student Ambassador Program provides an opportunity for interviewing DDS candidates to connect with current dental students and their student organizations. The Program’s goal is to share information about several organizations within the school and provide candidates the chance to learn more about the student experience at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry.
For the 2017-18 cycle, five student organizations are highlighted. Below you can review a description of each organization and will find directions for making direct contact with a Student Ambassador.
More information on all student groups at the School of Dentistry can be found on our Student Life page.
Alliance for Inclusion
Alliance for Inclusion (AFI) is a group of dental students, dental hygiene students and faculty who share a common interest in increasing awareness and advocating for the LGBTQ community. Collectively, we aim to educate dental students, staff, faculty, and dental professionals about diversity issues in hopes of encouraging awareness, mentoring students, as well as providing perspectives in treating a diverse patient population.
The Purpose of Our Organization
To provide a safe and supportive environment for diverse dental students, with a focus on the LGBTQ+ community, advocating for their rights, and providing resources to help make their dental education a positive experience. To educate the dental community in issues relating to the LGBTQ identity and foster relationships with other gay-straight alliances within the greater UofM community.
Kelsie earned a Bachelor of Science in biology at the University of Michigan before beginning dental school at UMSoD. She chose the University of Michigan School of Dentistry to pursue her D.D.S. degree because of her love for Ann Arbor and the quality of education that UofM has to offer. Her passion for social justice combined with a perceived need for a more vivacious and accepting community for LGBTQ+ individuals within UMSoD, inspired her to join Alliance for inclusion and be elected president for the past 2 years. Some of Kelsie's favorite spots in Ann Arbor include the farmer's market, Swift Run dog park (with her partner in crime, Delilah), and Blue Tractor BBQ.
Aaron graduated from Alma College with a degree in Biochemistry prior to matriculating at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry in 2015. Growing up in a conservative town, he sought an open and accepting community to complete his graduate studies. Within the school, Aaron found Alliance for Inclusion to be an excellent group through which he could grow and utilize his enthusiasm for expanding care to underserved or poorly treated populations such as the LGBTQ+ community. For the past two years, Aaron has served as the group’s treasurer and looks forward to expanding Alliance for Inclusion’s membership within the school. Aaron’s favorite locales within Ann Arbor include Mani Osteria, The Last Word, and the Michigan Theater.
American Association of Women Dentists
Our National Mission: Our goal is to continue being the leading resource for advancing, connecting, and enriching the lives of women dentists. We serve our members by offering a variety of programs and services that benefit the special needs of the busy woman dentist. True to our purpose we are guided by the following core values:
We are PRISMATIC:
Our Mission at U of M school of Dentistry is mentoring and networking with other women dentists at the dental school and the surrounding community.
Hi! I'm Amanda Beck-Slumka, I was born and raised in the great state of Michigan. I graduated from Hope College in Holland, MI before attending dental school. I absolutely love my home state so I knew I had to go to Dental School right here in Michigan. After applying, interviewing and being accepted to both Michigan Dental Schools I chose the University of Michigan because of the amazing faculty, community outreach, and the ability to start in the clinics my second year. My first semester here at UMich I joined AAWD. It gave me the opportunity to learn from and connect with many other woman dentists who were more experienced than me. They guided and mentored me in my first few years and I would not have been as successful as I have been if it were not for the wonderful mentors that AAWD provided me with. Now in my third year at the Dental School, I have taken on the role as President for the AAWD group, and I cannot be more excited to welcome new members to our club.
Hi I'm Marisol Seys and I am D3 ('19) at UMich. I attended Northwestern College in Iowa and received my B.A. in Bio Health Professions prior to coming to UMSoD. I joined AAWD because I wanted to be part of an organization that wasn't super big and that would allow me to form close relationships with my fellow women dentists and peers. This year I am very excited to be serving as Vice President for the org and am excited to continue the org's creative and volunteer endeavors. I'm originally from Holland, Michigan but moved around a lot because of my parent's jobs and for me coming back to the great state of Michigan has always been a dream of mine. I'm a born Wolverine fan and have bled Maize and Blue since day one, so for me it was a natural fit to attend the University of Michigan. As the #1 dental school in the country, I have been fortunate enough to have great faculty and the opportunity to give patient care very early on in my dental career - all of which are reasons I chose to attend the UMSoD and I am so excited to see what doors will open upon graduation. Go BLUE!
Bridge of Disciplines
Bridge of Disciplines is a project-based organization that aims to diversify the learning process through student-led, sustainable entrepreneurial initiatives involving interdisciplinary collaborations in academic, professional, and clinical avenues.
Bridge of Disciplines is operated under the student leadership of the Board of Directors and a body of Faculty Advisors. The only requirement in place for a member to earn a Directorship at the Board is an ownership of a project operated under BD. A project may be an execution of a Director’s own idea, an adaptation of an existing project, or an inherited establishment from a previous Director. We also host a variety of socials and professional development opportunities. Come enrich your student life and build an experience with us!
Geraldine O' Mara
My name is Geraldine O’Mara and I am a 2nd year dental student at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. I am from California where I attended the University of California, Santa Cruz earning a Bachelor of Science in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology. I chose to attend the University of Michigan because of their outstanding reputation for clinical training and diverse faculty. Because I am passionate about Michigan’s mission to help students reach their goals, I became director of the Bridge of Disciplines – 1st Generation Project. The reason I joined Bridge of Disciplines was because I wanted to work side by side with fellow dental student whom share the same passion for collaboration and using their talents to give back to the community. As director of the First-Generation Project, I help to match first generation undergraduate and prospective dental students to UMSOD student-mentors who will provide guidance, resources, and opportunities to those seeking a career in the field of dentistry.
Hispanic Student Dental Association (HSDA)
As the leading voice for Hispanic oral health we provide Service, Education, Advocacy, and Leadership for the elimination of oral health disparities in the Hispanic community. The national organization, formed in 1990, is the only national organization of dental professionals dedicated to promoting and improving the oral health of the Hispanic community and providing advocacy for Hispanic oral health professionals across the United States. The UMSOD chapter is small group looking to revive the HDA at U of M. We are always looking for new members that are interested in the advancement of the oral health in the Hispanic community.
Check out our Facebook page for more information
Student National Dental Association
The Student National Dental Association (SNDA) originated from concerned dental students at Meharry Medical College in 1970. Since it's inception, SNDA plays an integral part to increase underrepresented student populations in dental schools as well as promote the access of dental health services to underserved communities.The University of Michigan chapter of the SNDA is rich in tradition. Our mission is to foster a community of belonging, academic success, and professional development among students of color. In addition, UM-SNDA thrives to remain active on a national level. This chapter plans to continue its commitment to the national organization by participating at the national conventions, providing leadership at the national level, and recruiting alumni to future conventions.
Visit the SNDA website
My name is Briana Lung and I am a D2 at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. I graduated from the University of Michigan College of Literature, Science, and the Arts in 2015 where I studied biology. I am social co-chair for our chapter of the Student National Dental Association (SNDA) and I made the decision to be more involved with this organization because I identify with its values of promoting diversity, creating community, and engaging in community service. As social chair, I have the pleasure of facilitating inclusiveness and designing events that will bring us closer as a community and support one another during our studies. This position lets me coordinate with groups of people at the dental school that I wouldn't normally talk to and also allows me to interact with faculty on a more personal level. I joined SNDA because when I was applying to dental schools, SNDA members supported and mentored me and made me want to give back and do the same for other students. I decided to come back to the University of Michigan for dental school not only because we are leaders in the field of dentistry, but because I felt that I would be supported by both SNDA members and faculty. The University of Michigan holds a special place in my heart and there is nothing quite like receiving a world class education with so many opportunities for research, leadership, scholarship, and volunteerism.
My name is Jordan Brown and I am a D2 (2nd year dental student) at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. I attended Morehouse College where I earned a degree in Biology. Since Morehouse College is a small all-male institution I was interested in a large and robust campus for dental school. The interactive and diverse infrastructure of the University of Michigan attracted me. Furthermore, the resources and environment of the dental school transcended the school to the top of my list. One of the positions I hold is Fitness Chair of the Student National Dental Association (SNDA). As fitness chair, I ensure our members do not forego their overall health and well-being whilst pursing their doctorate. I design meal plans and workout regimens for our members so they can live long healthy lives as successful dentists! I joined SNDA for several reasons including the access to meaningful service opportunities and the opportunity to interact with other knowledgeable individuals with similar interests as me!