Penn Dental Medicine

Life at Penn Dental/Diversity

Student Organizations

A number of student organizations and student chapters of professional organizations help to foster the social interaction and professional development of Penn Dental Medicine students. Following are the current active student groups complied by the Penn Dental Medicine Executive Student Council with mission statements and/or planned acitivities for the year provided by each group.

Alpha Omega Dental Fraternity

To offer dentists, oral health professionals, and students a welcoming fraternal community that honors the organization’s Judaic heritage, provides opportunities to attain professional excellence and promotes access to oral health care for all.

Academy of Osseointegration Study Club

Our mission is to provide an enriched didactic opportunity for students who want to learn more about Implant dentistry and implant science. Lectures will survey topics such as: advanced treatment planning and considerations, material sciences, esthetic considerations, collaborative treatment—implants and oral and maxillofacial reconstruction.


The Penn Dental LGBT Alliance (AMALGAM)’s mission is to promote social support and inclusion among the dental professional community at Penn Dental Medicine for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, queer, and more) dental students, faculty, administration, staff, and their supporters. We strive to maintain an alliance among the student body regardless of sexual orientation, gender, or gender identity, as the purpose of this student population is to endorse non-discriminatory policies and actions. The alliance also serves as a resource for awareness and education regarding the health needs of the LGBTQ population.

American Dental Education Association (ADEA)

The ADEA chapter at Penn Dental works to promote and address issues concerning our dental education and dental education as a whole amongst our fellow students, faculty, and administration. It will work to provide more opportunities to PDM students through networking and speaker events, research opportunities, and chances to attend ADEA’s national conferences.

Art Society at Penn Dental

The art society at Penn Dental Medicine promotes art and creativity. We believe that it is important to integrate art outside of the classroom. We aim to uncover all those artists, photographers, writers, sculptors, poets, and art appreciators to build a single creative body composed of individual parts. Let’s provide a healthy way to de-stress and most importantly build a forum for Penn Dental Medicine’s brilliant minds to self-express!

Broad Street Ministry Healthcare Collaborative

The Broad Street Ministry (BSM) Healthcare Collaborative aims to connect Penn Dental Students to help serve the homeless community here in Philadelphia, establish collaborations with organizations that can help better serve the healthcare needs of underserved populations, and to increase awareness of these needs within our communities. Our collaborative with Broad Street Ministry, an already established service cener for homeless and underserved populations, will include events such as regular oral hygiene education to the guests at the center, lunch and learns by experts who regularly work with underserved/homeless populations, as well as donation projects that can meet the needs of such individuals. We currently also have a collaboration established with Temple School of Podiatry to serve the foot care needs of the visiting guests of BSM.

Brown Sugar

Penn Dental’s Brown Sugar strives to bring about awareness on the various forms of Indian dance through weekly practices and performances for the Penn community. Brown Sugar hopes to bring together students of different classes and diverse backgrounds to share and educate on the rich Indian culture. We also strive to learn from other cultures through collaborations with other PDM cultural organizations.

Canadian Student Dental Association (CSDA)

The Canadian Student Dental Association aims to unite those who share a love of all things Canadian. We also hope to strengthen the alumni network back in Canada. Some events include Canadian Thanksgiving, a Maple Taffy Party, Stanley Cup Playoff gatherings (If one of the team’s even makes it this year!) and networking events. We welcome everyone to join our group!

Chinese Dental Association

The purpose of this association is primarily to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and experiences, the establishment of professional and community contacts, service-based outreach to the Philadelphia community, and the discussion of common interests and concerns among its members.
Membership in the CDA shall not be limited to persons of Chinese background, but rather, is open to all students, residents and faculty members interested in Chinese culture. We are planning to host a Chinese New Year’s event intended to both celebrate this occasion and to educate the UPenn Dental community about the traditions and cultural significance of this holiday.
We strongly feel that community-based service outreach should also be an integral part of this club. In the past few year as UPenn SDM representatives, we have participated in the “Chinatown Health Fair” where we worked alongside representatives of the Temple, Upenn and PCOM medical schools in providing health care access and screenings to the people in Chinatown. Building upon last year’s desire to establish outreach to the local Chinese community we have actively sought out existing community service projects that we could become involved in. We also had a good relationship with a Drexel Medicine-run free clinic in Chinatown (The Chinatown Clinic). In addition to providing weekly oral hygiene instruction and referrals to other clinics for those with dental needs, we successfully staged oral cancer screening event where we screened patients and raised awareness of oral cancer. This year we will be performing free oral education and possible screenings under the supervision of UPenn faculty members within the Chinese Community live near the Penn Campus.
Through these events and outreach projects we hope to continue to become more involved in both the UPenn dental community as well as the larger Philadelphia community.

CHOP Foundation

Organization information and Mission Statement

As many of you know, CHOP is right around the corner from us here at Penn Dental Medicine. CHOP was the first pediatric hospital in the US and is now recognized internationally as a leader in research and patient care for children. The CHOP Foundation relies on donations to help save these lives, to help research better treatments, and to help families who cannot afford healthcare.

This is how CHOP Foundation – UPenn Dental Chapter was formed! Our mission is to have multiple fundraising events throughout the year to help the children at CHOP so they can live a more quality life.

Day of Service

Each Spring, Penn Dental partners with multiple organizations on the Penn campus and in the Philadelphia community to host one-day volunteer events open to students, staff, and faculty at the University of Pennsylvania. This day encourages our school to collectively reach out to the surrounding community and celebrate the importance of community service. Past service sites include a YMCA health fair, two Ronald McDonald houses, a Penn Presbytarian health fair, Books Through Bars, Family Field Day, Philabundance, and Morris Animal Refuge Center. Through this event, students have taught children oral education in fun and interactive ways, did basic dental screenings for underserved patients, cleaned and baked at Ronald McDonald houses, packaged and mailed books to incarcerated people, provided volunteer services to a local animal shelter, organized a field day for homeless children and families, and packaged food to be sent to local homeless shelters. At the end of the day, all of our volunteers meet back at the school for a fun celebration of everyone’s hard work and dedication to service.

Dean’s Scholar Society

The mission of the Society is to foster career development through networking, mentoring, and community service. The group’s future plans include a mentoring program among dental students, post-doctoral residents, and alumni.

Endodontics Society

Penn Endodontics Society welcomes all students interested in Endodontics. Through literature reviews, students foster relationships with current Endodontics residents and faculty, as we explore historical and contemporary Endodontics literature. Students who are applying to graduate specialty training in Endodontics are invited to join residents, faculty, and alum at the AAE annual session, where we attend lectures at the largest meeting of Endodontists. Students explore microsurgery and microsurgical training as assistants in Dr. Kim’s course, held several times throughout the academic year.

General Dentistry Society

The mission of the General Dentistry Society is to educate pre-doctoral students on the evidence-based scientific and clinical knowledge underlying general dentistry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. The organization aims to aid students in the preparation and transition into the field by establishing relationships with local dentists and the General Dentistry community. Through residency panels and speakers, we hope to enhance student learning and create highly competent clinicians that understand the importance of continuing education in the complex and advanced field that is General Dentistry. In collaboration with the Academy of General Dentistry,events will also be hosted where students may receive FAGD/MAGD-approved continuing education credit.

Geriatric Dentistry Club

Provides students with the opportunity to get to know what it means to work with and provide dental care to senior citizens. Students will have the opportunity to participate in various local projects including: community service trips to Philadelphia and nearby New Jersey nursing homes to educate on oral health to senior residents and nurses in addition to oral cancer screenings, participation and volunteerism with PENN’s 5K for the IOA (institute of the aging), and to learn from geriatric dentists about their work and career opportunities.

Hispanic Student Dental Association (HSDA)

The mission of the Hispanic Student Dental Association (HSDA) at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine is to raise awareness of Hispanic culture at the school, and to provide an outlet for students and faculty to pursue opportunities focused on the pillars of serving and providing advocacy for the Hispanic community.

Indian Student Dental Association (ISDA)

ISDA strives to promote cultural awareness and celebrate our heritage throughout the dental school and Penn community. We accomplish this through hosting various events, such as Diwali and Holi, as well as collaborating with other South Asian organizations on campus. ISDA hopes to educate and immerse the Penn community in our Indian culture.

Implant Society

Implant Society is a group of PDM students that aims to bring further knowledge and understanding of endosseus implants to their classmates and the entire school through student and faculty-run lectures, seminars, workshops, and shadowing opportunities. By providing upperclassmen a way to further their understanding of surgical and restorative aspects of implants clinically, and providing the theory and building blocks needed to understand implants to underclassmen. The Implant Society hopes to expand the level of expertise of every PDM student upon graduation.

JDSS (Jewish Dental Student Society)

The JDSS organization was founded to provide a close-knit community and resources for Jewish students at Penn Dental, offering lunch and learns with local Rabbis and faculty, Chag (Jewish Holiday) themed events, and more.

Korean Student Dental Association

KSDA upholds the traditions at Penn Dental, organize and participate in events with those interested in the Korean culture, and serve to the communities within and outside of the school as an organization. As a large percentage of the student body at Penn Dental, we would like to expand and inform the culture and build strong networks with alumni and Korean student associations in other dental schools across the nation.

Mindfulness at Penn

The mission of the Mindfulness at Penn organization is to make it easy for students at Penn Dental School to gather and discuss our day to day experience at the school and how to deal with and overcome the somewhat stressful environment in which we are. The organization aims for heightening students awareness of the availability of techniques and methods ranging from discussion groups, meditation to yoga and group therapy sessions in order to equip them with the skills necessary to have a balanced study/life experience. One of the ways the organization will fulfill it’s mission is to have invitees ranging from yoga teachers, to psychotherapists who will facilitate our sessions and train us to acquire the skills necessary to navigate our stressful environment.

Molar Yogis

Our mission is to provide a space and an opportunity for our fellow classmates to take the time to destress. Having so many class, laboratory, clinical and extra-curricular commitments can certainly be very stressful for all of us. Malor Yogis serves to create centering, destressing, and positive experiences for our classmates through the experience of yoga.

Operation Smile

Operation Smile at Penn Dental Medicine is a local chapter of the international charity organization “Operation Smile”. Our mission is to fundraise for life-changing reconstructive maxillofacial surgeries provided by healthcare volunteers in over 60 countries around the world. OSPD also works to promote public awareness of cleft lip and cleft palate, disfiguring and possibly life-threatening conditions that affect every 1 in 700 children. Our goal is to help transform smiles worldwide, one child at a time.

Orthodontics Society

The Orthodontics Society is a student-run organization dedicated to serving the predoctoral students at Penn Dental Medicine who are interested in the orthodontics specialty. By hosting information sessions featuring current orthodontics residents, by holding meetings explaining the orthodontic residency application process, and by aiding students in making connections with orthodontists, the Orthodontics Society helps students learn more about the field. The Orthodontics Society provides a valuable connection between the predoctoral students and the elite orthodontics residency program at Penn Dental Medicine.

Orthodontics Journal Club

The mission of the Orthodontics Journal Club is to enhance student knowledge and appreciation of orthodontics related scientific literature through seminar style discussions with faculty. The aim of this dialogue is alto to help with pre doctoral students develop the necessary skills to assess and critique literature and to expose them to evidence based decision making within the field of orthodontics.

Pan Asian Dental Assembly

Pan Asian Dental Assembly (Panda) aims to unite the dental Asian Pacific (AP) community at Penn Dental Medicine (PDM) through social and cultural activities. By promoting the diverse cultures within the AP community through social events, Panda serves as a network for students to explore and connect with other students from various backgrounds. Together we aim to raise cultural awareness and address the unique challenges within the AP community by planning educational events and outreach projects.


Penn ASDA is the local chapter of the American Student Dental Association, an organization that serves to protect and advance the rights, interests, and welfare of dental students around the nation, while introducing its members to a lifetime of involvement in organized dentistry.

Penn Dental AADMD

To broaden Penn dental students’ exposure to working with children with special needs to be better practitioners.

Penn Dental Book Club

To allow students and faculty an opportunity to discuss literature to gain increased understanding.

Penn Dental Student Garden

To allow students an opportunity to take pride in their school through its beautification with plants.

Penn Perio Club

We aim to garner interest about the field of periodontics throughout the school, to help provoke academic discussion on established and cutting edge research and technologies, to aid students interested in pursuing a career in periodontics, and to connect those interested in periodontics with clinicians in private practice.

Penn Dental Women’s Network (PDWN)

Penn Dental Women’s Network (PDWN) looks to provide networking opportunities for female students, faculty, and alumni in addition to preparing students for life in and out of the office throughout their dental careers. We want to provide an environment for female dentists to voice their concerns and have them answered in a manner that is both realistic and motivating. PDWN will foster relationships both near and far within the Penn Dental community to help smooth the transition from dental school to the real world.

Penn Dental Happiness Project

To promote the mental health and happiness of Penn dental students through creativity, self expression, and supportive social interactions.

Penn Dental Fishing Club

The inspiration behind the Penn Dental fishing club is to provide students with a relaxing, wholesome activity that gets them out of the classroom and allows for a refuge from the pressures and stressors of being a dental student. Fishing can be a wonderful hobby and the purpose of the club is to provide students with the opportunity and resources to pursue it while being in dental school. The ultimate goal is to enrich the Penn Dental community, build a sense of camaraderie between the classes, and provide an informal setting for the strengthening of personal relationships at the intersection of man and nature.

Penn Chapter of AAPHD (American Association of Public Health Diversity)

To be an organization that is closely affiliated with both the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine and the American Association of Public Health Dentistry that is committed to improving the oral health of the public by creating awareness of current oral health issues on the local, state, national, and even international level. We focus on dental education, oral health policy and law, epidemiology, community research, and advocacy.

Penn Pediatric Dental Society

As written in the constitution for the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine Student Chapter of the AAPD: The purpose of the organization is to initiate and promote a better understanding and appreciation of dentistry for children among dental students at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. Our ultimate objectives are to: (1) foster a relationship between the dental students and the pediatric community through educational presentations, screenings, and dental projects, and (2) to foster networking and learning between students and faculty, residents, and other pediatric practitioners in the surrounding area.

Penn Dental Christian Fellowship

Penn Dental Christian Fellowship exists to glorify God by motivating, educating, and equipping Christian dentists and students to serve with professional excellence as witnesses of Christ’s love and compassion, and by advancing biblical principles of healthcare within the Church and to our culture.

Penn Dental Multidisciplinary Medicine Initiative (PDMMI)

Penn Dental Multidisciplinary Medicine Initiative (PDMMI) is established for the purpose of increasing awareness and fostering the interests of students at Penn Dental Medicine in learning about dentistry as a part of the multidisciplinary medical team. PDMMI aims to collaborate with non-profit multidisciplinary medical service organizations (that serve the underserved populations) in order to create a forum for PDM to experience the service learning aspect of multi-professional collaborations. PDMMI hopes to engage students in helping these organizations and to build a network between Penn Dental and the greater Penn community through opportunities such as lunch-and-learns, selective courses and fundraising events.

Penn Palate

Penn Palate is a culinary community of all SDM students interested in food. We plan and host events pertaining to appreciation, culture, science, art, and politics of food.

Penn Dental Outdoors Club

The primary purpose of the Penn Outdoors Club is to provide students with an opportunity to socialize in an environment away from the hustle and bustle of the school and city environment. Our organization aims to provide members with the opportunity to participate in monthly excursions that may include – but are not limited to – activities such as hiking, biking, skiing, and camping. As busy dental students, the Penn Outdoors Club enables students who have a common interest in outdoor activities to come together and promote healthy-living and an appreciation for nature.

Penn Dental Medicine Student Business Organization (PDM-BSO)—Penn Chapter

The purpose of the PDM Student Business Organization is to increase business literacy in a dynamic group to enable application of nascent ideas to real-world scenarios in dental business. We will concurrently work with Wharton’s School of Business to encourage the development and refinement of dental business ventures. We want to encourage exploration of varying routes to the business side of dentistry with the overall objective of helping Penn Dental Medicine make excellent clinicians, scientists, but also dental industry leaders.

Philadelphia Oral Cancer Walk & 5K

Our mission is to increase awareness about oral cancer, as it is a disease that warrants much attention yet seldom receives. Our primary objectives are: 1) Promote awareness throughout the Greater Philadelphia area. 2) Impact public perception concerning oral cancer prevention, detection, and survival. 3) Educate future dentists about the critical need to screen and educate their patients. 4) Organize Philadelphia Oral Cancer Walk and 5K Run where all proceeds benefit the Oral Cancer Foundation. With these goals in mind, we hope you will join us in supporting the great cause.

Quizzo Club

To join together with fellow trivia enthusiasts for fun social/intellectual outings and provide enjoyable study opportunities.

Student Professionalism and Ethics Association in Dentistry (SPEA)

The Student Professionalism and Ethics Association in Dentistry is a national, student-driven association that was established to promote and support students’ lifelong commitment to ethical behavior in order to benefit the patients they serve and to further the dental profession.

Student National Dental Association (SNDA)

Founded in 1970, the mission of the Student National Dental Association (SNDA) is to promote a viable academic and social environment that celebrates diversity among all students; to educate its members in the social, moral, and ethical obligations of dentistry; aiding the advancement of minority students in the field of dentistry; and serving and improving the delivery of oral healthcare to underserved communities. SNDA is committed to its mission through programs such as Impressions and the Randolph School Mentorship Program for high school students.


The SoundBites is UPenn SDM’s very own co-ed acappella group. Our goal is to unite dental students from different musical backgrounds, as we pursue our doctoral degree in dental medicine. We will perform mostly contemporary pop music, as well as other genres around campus. We hope to perform at UPenn SDM’s annual talent show. This is a music group for all dental students & residents who secretly have dreams of becoming the next American Idol.

Taiwanese Dental Association (TDA)

The Taiwanese Dental Association (TDA) is established for the purpose of fostering a forum for SDM to experience the social and cultural aspects of Taiwanese culture. We will establish an environment for natives and non-natives to form networks at the University of Pennsylvania and at an international level. Our mission is to promote student’s interest in Taiwanese culture at the dental school and to also allow students of common backgrounds to form bonds and to better transition to life in Philadelphia.
TDA shall explore Taiwanese heritage and culture, reach out to other student organizations and communities, and establish a supportive and unified network of Taiwanese and other interested individuals at school. We will strive to connect with the other Taiwanese associations within the University of Pennsylvania student body and promote dental health and prevention. We welcome the membership of all persons who shall respect the spirit of TDA. Though TDA serves to foster consciousness of Taiwanese culture, we do not advocate any political viewpoints.

Tau Sigma Lambda – Air Force

Tau Sigma Lambda is an organization for Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) dental school students. The objectives of the group can be generally defined as establishing and developing practitioner/student, student/student, and student/community interactions. Discussion among students and between students and current military dentists will serve to facilitate the students’ seamless navigation through the intricacies of the HPSP. Efforts will also be put towards helping homeless veterans in the West Philadelphia area.

Tau Sigma Lambda – Navy Division

Tau Sigma Lambda, Navy Division is an organization for Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) dental school students and any students wanting to learn more about dentistry in the military. The group is committed to creating a Navy dental community by establishing and developing practitioner/student, student/student, and student/community interactions. Discussion among students and between students and current military dentists will serve to facilitate the students’ seamless navigation through the intricacies of the HPSP. We will coordinate events hosting military officials to share their experiences with members and to spread awareness of the HPSP to non-members. Efforts will also be put towards helping homeless veterans in the West Philadelphia area.

Schoenleber Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Society

As the Schoenleber Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Society, we allow PDM pre-doctoral students the opportunity to enrich their education. We aim to educate students in the scope and practice of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery through technical workshops as well as educational events. Finally, we serve as a network connecting students, residents, and faculty to encourage scholarship and clinical excellence.

Tau Sigma Lambda – Army Club

Tau Sigma Lambda is an organization for Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) dental school students. The objectives of the group can be generally defined as establishing and developing practitioner/student, student/student, and student/community interactions. Discussion among students and between students and current military dentists will serve to facilitate the students’ seamless navigation through the intricacies of the HPSP. Efforts will also be put towards helping homeless veterans in the West Philadelphia area.

Tennis Club

Penn Dental Club Tennis is open to all students whether they played tennis on an intercollegiate level or have just begun to pick up the sport. This organization provides students with the opportunity to socialize with other members in a fun and active environment. In addition to recreational and competitive play at our weekly practices, we will strive to extend our outreach to the Philadelphia community both on and off the tennis court.

The Society of Oral Oncology

The Society of Oral Oncology focuses on enhancing the understanding of dentists’ role in
diagnosing and treating cancers as well as collaborating with other specialties for the
management of cancer and cancer treatment. The Society will focus on increasing the knowledge

1) the etiology of head and neck cancers and cancers that affect the oral cavity

2) the dentist’s role in diagnosing precancerous and cancerous lesions, and knowing when to refer patients to cancer specialists

3) current methods used to treat these types of cancer

4) how to manage the oral implications of other cancers and cancer treatments.

UPenn Prosthodontics Study Club

Our mission is parallel to that of the American College of Prosthodontists: to represent the needs and interests of aspiring prosthodontists within organized dentistry by providing a means for stimulating awareness and interest in the field of prosthodontics. Our goal is to be the global resource for all aspects of the specialty within the Penn Dental Medicine community.

Vernon Brightman Research Society

This society is named in honor of Vernon J. Brightman, former Penn Dental Medicine faculty member and strong supporter of student research. The Vernon J. Brightman Research Society (VBRS) hosts events each year to encourage and support student participation in research, including the Introduction to Research Seminar Panel, Student Research Reception, and the Oral Health Fair/Student Research Day, which includes a vendor fair as well as poster presentations from students who participated in summer research, Bridging the Gaps, and honors programs. We plan to begin a Research Mentorship program whereby students who have participated in research can provide guidance to others through individualized meetings as well as seminars. Since its inception, VBRS has helped numerous students find their niche in research at Penn Dental Medicine. As a student-run organization, VBRS strives to promote interest and participation in basic and clinical oral health research. VBRS is the Penn Dental Medicine chapter of the AADR National Student Research Group.

Vietnamese Student Dental Association

The mission of the VSDA is to raise awareness of Vietnamese Culture at PDM and also serve to reach out to the large community of Vietnamese immigrants, in Philadelphia. VSDA is open to people of all cultures, ethnicities, and backgrounds, and encourages anyone interested in Vietnamese culture to join.

Haim Tawil
“Haim found he loved the learning experience of combining classes in a dual-degree program: ‘Engineering is all about problem solving,” he says. ‘It’s a great way to balance the clinical aspect of dentistry.”
Haim Tawil
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The Robert Schattner Center
University of Pennsylvania
School of Dental Medicine
240 South 40th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6030