Thirty-five participants from under-represented minority groups across Florida got an impression of what dental school is like during the Third Annual Impressions Program on July 23, coordinated by the UF College of Dentistry Chapter of the Student National Dental Association.
Students, faculty and staff assisted with hands-on experience for the participants as they learned to take alginate impressions, pour and trim models and wax teeth. Olubisi Aina, D.M.D., an alumnus of the college, volunteered that day, inspiring the participants by sharing her experience as a dental student and a practicing dentist.
“The SNDA does an outstanding job coordinating this outreach effort. It is an excellent program, generating enthusiasm and excitement about dentistry. The program helps us continue to recruit the best and the brightest to our college, and to expose students to dentistry in new and interesting ways. We need to continue to help all talented young people understand the profession of dentistry,” said Teresa A. Dolan, D.D.S., M.P.H., professor and dean of the college.
The Impressions Program was first adopted as a national initiative in 1999 under Dr. Kimberly Edwards Beal (1999-2000 National SNDA President) from Medical College of Georgia which held the first Impressions Program in 2000. Impressions programs are designed to expose pre-dental students from under-represented minority groups to a career in dentistry and the application and financial aid process. This allows them to learn about the hosting dental school network (dental students and admissions committee members) and to become stronger dental school applicants. At the same time it promotes the Undergraduate Student National Dental Association and its potential resources.