By: Rachel Donohue
The UF College of Dentistry does not lack in opportunities professional development for students, faculty and staff. Every year, the college hosts Spring Synergy, a multi-day event that includes research presentations, academic speakers and a vendor fair. This year’s event took place from March 31 to April 1 and over 300 students were in attendance along with faculty, staff and alumni.
The event encourages dental students to connect with researchers, alumni and others in the dental profession. While third and fourth year students are required to attend, first and second year students are encouraged to stop by and take advantage of all that the event has to offer.
The first two days of the event featured speakers on research topics including management of acute dental pain and clinical studies on orofacial pain mechanisms.
Friday included research poster presentations, a speech from keynote speaker Kenneth M. Hargreaves, D.D.S., Ph.D., and a vendor fair for dental students to interact with representatives from key companies in the industry.
“As incoming dental students, we want to know more about up and coming products,” said Jenna Starkey, second year dental student and co-director for ASDA vendor fair. “For the vendors, they get the opportunity to show us their products so that we remember them once we’re practicing.”
Professor and Chairman of the Department of Periodontology Ikramuddin Aukhil believes the event to benefit more than just the students.
“[Spring Synergy] is a nice opportunity because professors are so busy throughout the year,” he said. “This gives us an opportunity to view everybody’s research while also interacting with the vendors that we are often working with.”
Vendors are also excited to attend the event each year. Judy O’Brien, R.D.H., represented Colgate at the fair and has been coming to Spring Synergy for 10 years.
“This is always a great event,” she said. “Good attendance, students and faculty members seem to be very interested, and that interest is really important. It’s not just about giving people real things, it’s about creating a one-on-one experience for the students and the vendors to really connect.”
The 2017 UFCD Spring Synergy is scheduled for Friday, March 31, so please mark your calendars and join us!
Congratulations to the winners of the research competition. In addition to a cash prize, each winner received a special gold, Gator medallion.