Philadelphia – The Penn Dental Medicine Alumni Society Executive Committee has launched a new mentoring program to team Philadelphia-area predental students with regional Penn Dental Medicine alumni, holding the first meeting of students and alumni on April 14.
“Students considering a dental career really need to have some shadowing experience within a dental practice before they apply to dental school to demonstrate their interest in the profession; and with this new volunteer program, we hope to provide such opportunities, while at the same time, build an interest in the Penn Dental Medicine DMD program,” says Dr. Keith Libou (D’84), President of the Alumni Society Executive Board, who is leading the development of this mentoring program.
The kick-off event drew approximately 15 predental students from the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University, and an additional 15 Penn undergraduates who were unable to attend expressed an interest in the shadowing program. Dr. Olivia Sheridan, Assistant Dean of Admissions at Penn Dental Medicine and a 1990 graduate of the School, made a presentation on the School’s admission process, and the alumni in attendance talked with students about setting up shadowing opportunities. In addition to Drs. Libou and Sheridan, those alumni attending this first meeting and volunteering to participate in the shadowing program included Benedict Bachstein (D’07), Melissa Bachstein (D’09), Lee Durst (D’83), Thomas George (D’84), Bernie Kurak (D’73), David Silver (D’85), and Steven Weinstein (D’08).
“We learned from a survey we conducted last year that alumni are very interested becoming more participative and giving back to the School, and we are launching this mentoring program as one way to provide such opportunities for our alumni,” says Dr. Libou.
The Alumni Society Executive Committee is continuing to recruit alumni to participate and plans to reach out to other local colleges and universities to make their predental students aware of the program. Penn Dental Medicine alumni and undergraduate predental students in the Philadelphia region who are interested in the program are encouraged to sign up online.
Looking ahead, Dr. Libou adds that the Alumni Society hopes to look at expanding the mentoring program to engage alumni across the country and even internationally, helping to pair them with predental students in their regions.
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