The dental school’s secret weapon: Admissions Outreach Ambassadors

AOA DSC_0249 copyThe UF College of Dentistry Office of Admissions has a secret weapon in their quest to attract the highest quality applicants and students to become the next generation of Gator Dentists – the Admissions Outreach Ambassadors (AOA). This group, started in 2012, is comprised of 30 dental students who are committed to help get the word out about the excellence of UF’s dental education program and encourage the best and brightest future dentists to commit to become Gator Dentists.

Members of the AOA actively recruit prospective students helping establish nearly 5,000 connections with pre-dental students during the 2014-15 academic year by attending and helping organize multiple outreach and recruitment events including college’s Pre-dental Fair, pre-dental forums, interview day tours, and recruiting events at UF and other universities and colleges in Florida.

“The college would not be able to keep pace with other dental schools in attracting the best candidates without the assistance of these professional and passionate students who share their pride for UFCD and the Gator Nation,” said Pamela Sandow, D.M.D., assistant dean for admissions and financial aid.

Sandow added that the AOA members also demonstrate strong leadership skills and a commitment to the college’s mission and values, making them exceptional representatives to future dental students.

In May, 12 of the AOA’s original members are graduating but the mark they leave on the college will persist after graduation in the work they did to help establish the AOA as well as helping shape the makeup of the DMD classes who come after them. Graduating senior AOA members are Nourhan Abdel-rahim, Melissa Dixon, Jacqueline Dorociak, Patrick Fitzgerald, Toni-Anne Gordon, Paul Martin, Suzanna McAninley, Alexis Meyers, Matthew Novak, Stephen Obeng, Yesha Patel, and Jonathan Scott.

“My involvement in AOA was important to me because I care about the future of the college and want to help attract the highest quality applicants. I have enjoyed the experience of meeting with prospective students because it adds to my dental school experience by reminding me how far I’ve come and it helps me appreciate where I am,” said Jonathan Scott, president of the D.M.D. class of 2016 and co-chair of AOA.

Scott said his favorite part of being involved in AOA is seeing how excited the applicants are to have a chance to become a Gator Dentist.

“I joined AOA because I remember how excited I was when I was interviewed and how influential the students were in my interview experience,” said Suzanna McAninley, vice president of the class of 2016.

“I love this program,” said Kristen Dreyer, AOA co-chair and member of the D.M.D. class of 2018. Among the several outreach initiatives within AOA, Kristen enjoys reliving the excitement of her acceptance into UFCD by reaching out to accepted students and serving as a mentor in preparation for dental school, “I couldn’t wait to call accepted students shortly after they received word of their acceptance into UFCD.”

The Office of Admissions welcomes applications for Admissions Outreach Ambassadors from rising sophomores, juniors and seniors annually in early summer. For more information email or call the Office of Admissions at 352-273-5955.