Students in the NYU chapter of the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) have introduced a new lecture series designed to encourage students to pursue careers in dental education and research. Entitled "What It Means to Me," the series, which began in November 2010, has featured faculty members who share stories about their personal lives and their journeys toward careers in academia.
Sam Bae, Class of 2012 and president of the NYU ADEA chapter, explained that "one of our visions as a chapter is to bring students and faculty closer together by sharing mutual motivations and aspirations. The 'What It Means to Me' lecture series allows us to do that by inviting notable faculty members to speak, those who we believe have had significant influence and made important contributions to the students' learning experience over the course of their studies at NYUCD."
Faculty speakers to date have included Dr. Ivy Peltz, clinical associate professor of cariology and comprehensive care; Dr. Maureen McAndrew, clinical associate professor of cariology and comprehensive care and director of clinical faculty education; Dr. Kathleen Kinnally, professor of basic science and craniofacial biology; Dr. Martin Roy, professor of basic science and craniofacial biology; Dr. Anthony Vernillo, professor of oral and maxillofacial pathology, radiology, and medicine; Dr. Charlie Larsen, clinical assistant professor of pediatric dentistry; and Dr. Wayne Kye, clinical assistant professor of periodontology and implant dentistry.
"Talking with students at the 'What It Means to Me' event about how I developed my own academic career was a wonderful opportunity to interact in a very different way from that of a formal talk," said Dr. Vernillo. "I was able to share my unique, personal challenges of pursuing a goal that was very different from what most did in dentistry at the time. I truly enjoyed the questions and conversations that came afterward, and I hope that my talk will help others along their own way in our profession."
Hans Hsu, Class of 2013, noted that "the lecture series has been a wonderful opportunity for students like me to get firsthand accounts of just some of the possible career opportunities that are available outside of the traditional private practice setting. It was a tremendously inspiring experience to listen to Dr. Roy's and Dr. Vernillo's accounts, not only to witness their dedication to teaching and the advancement of science, but also to feel encouraged, supported, and challenged by them to pursue my interests in academia and research. I know now that I want both of those areas to be a part of my professional life in the future."