Philadelphia — Third-year Penn Dental Medicine student Roopali Kulkarni (D’19) has been elected national president of the American Student Dental Association (ASDA). ASDA’s House of Delegates elected its 2018-19 national president, vice presidents and speaker of the house during its annual meeting, held Feb. 21-24 in Anaheim, Calif.
Kulkarni has been active in ASDA in a variety of roles, previously serving as District 3 trustee to the national ASDA Board. Prior to being elected to a national position, she served as District 3 cabinet councilor and as the Penn Dental Medicine chapter’s wellness co-chair. Her commitment to dental student wellness and mental health led her to co-found and lead the Penn Dental Medicine Happiness Project. This student group promotes happiness, gratitude, encouragement, and mental and emotional health in the midst of life as a dental student. Kulkarni is completing a dual degree, working towards her Master of Public Health in conjunction with her dental degree. She is a member of both the American Association of Public Health Dentistry and the American Academy of Oral Medicine.
Kulkarni is enthusiastic about the power of collaboration and conversation to help ASDA grow, stating, “The best way to move forward in the ever-changing field we have chosen is to relationship-build. The more we learn from each other and create genuine connections, the more we can cater to the genuine needs of our members.”
Also elected were ASDA’s Vice Presidents Alexandra Howell of Georgia, and Jeffrey Kerst of Louisiana. Ryan Twaddle of Marquette was elected ASDA’s speaker of the house.
ASDA is the largest national organization that protects and advances the rights, interests and welfare of dental students and predentals. Representing 92 percent of all dental students, ASDA introduces members to lifelong involvement in organized dentistry and provides services, information, education, representation and advocacy.