Philadelphia – Penn Dental Medicine students recently welcomed undergraduate students to the School, sharing their perspectives on dentistry and introducing them to the field of dental medicine as a possible career option. The event — hosted by the Student National Dental Association (SNDA) chapter at Penn Dental Medicine — was the group’s annual Impressions Day program, designed to encourage increased interest and enrollment in dental schools among under-represented minority students.
Held June 1, this year’s program drew 34 participants from New York to Maryland, including students from Hunter College, Morgan State University, and University of Maryland. The program was led by rising third-year student and SNDA chapter President -Elect Joanna Ferguson (D’21), the SNDA council, and over 25 Penn Dental Medicine student volunteers.
The day’s activities included hands-on projects in the preclinical lab with alginate impressions and model pouring, exercises in the advanced simulation lab on virtual reality units that simulate dental procedures, a workshop on interview strategies, and tours of the School. In addition, a panel of DMD students answered questions from the attendees and Menty Bayleyen, Associate Director of Admissions, presented information on the dental school admissions process. The keynote address was given by Dr. Charles Champion of Champion Dentistry. Dr. Champion, a Howard University graduate, has practiced as a general dentist for 30 years in Philadelphia.
“Having our dental students interact directly with these prospective students is invaluable in terms of future recruitment and their understanding of career opportunities in dentistry,” says Dr. Beverley Crawford, Director of Diversity and Inclusion and the faculty advisor for the event. “Being able to identify with our students and faculty helps participants see the possibly of pursuing the same path.”