Building momentum

May 10th, 2016

Not just one — but two — awards for college’s emerging ADEA chapter

Just three years ago, a small band of students teamed up to create an American Dental Education Association chapter at the dental school.

With ADEA chapters at 26 of the country’s 66 dental schools, the reasons for establishing a Texas A&M University Baylor College chapter were numerous: Offer guidance to dental and dental hygiene students who plan to teach, and influence key issues such as student loan debt, changing dental school structures and accreditation standards.

Mehrad Sadeghpour, D3 and chapter president

Mehrad Sadeghpour, D3 and chapter president

In the process, the chapter, now led by D3 Mehrad Sadeghpour, president, and D2 Michael Khalili-Tehrani, vice president, has gained recognition for its efforts. This spring, it was honored with not just one but two ADEA honors — The Award for Outstanding Activities and the Distinguished Chapter Award.

Sadeghpour accounts for several factors that contributed to the recognition: lunch-and-learns and informational sessions, full membership among the first- through fourth-year classes, and representation at the fall and spring national ADEA conferences. Special community events, such as the student-organized Miles for Smiles Runathon, in existence for seven years, didn’t hurt matters, either.

Michael Khalili-Tehrani, D2 and chapter vice president

Michael Khalili-Tehrani, D2 and chapter vice president

“Miles for Smiles definitely played an important role in receiving this award. We hope this event can serve as a model for other dental schools in providing treatment for underserved patients in their communities. It’s very exciting to see our efforts recognized nationally,” says Sadeghpour, whose role within ADEA expands with his election as its central regional representative for 2016-2017.

In this capacity, Sadeghpour will work to increase chapter participation within the central region and serve as a liaison for the council’s national administrative board. The leadership position allows plenty of opportunity to network with students from other dental schools — to learn what works and what doesn’t among respective ADEA chapters.

“We are very lucky that our past two presidents, Clint Miller and Jack Pardo, also were elected to this national position,” says Sadeghpour, “and that we are able to keep this tradition alive.”

— Jennifer Fuentes