The gathering in Room 301 of 100 East Newton Street on August 15, 2013, was characteristic of many student interactions at Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM): upperclassmen with experience at GSDM welcoming and taking newer students under their wing. This particular event—the first general body meeting of the GSDM chapter of the American Association of Women Dentists (AAWD) for the school year 2013–2014—introduced first year students to the organization, its mission, and to its activities throughout the year.
The current AAWD board members are President Alanna Yip DMD 14, Vice President Natalie Alsup DMD 14, Treasurer Neelam Shah DMD 14, Secretary Sirisha Rao DMD 14, PR Chair Dalal Alhajji DMD 14, Social Chair Jaspreet Wirring DMD 14, Community Outreach Chair Amanda Yip DMD 16, Community Outreach Vice Chair Michelle Li DMD 14, Fundraising Chair Courtney Knapik DMD 16, and Fundraising Vice Chair Nora Nakshabendi DMD 16. Professor of General Dentistry and Director of the Geriatric Fellowship Program Dr. Paula Friedman is the faculty advisor for AAWD at GSDM.
The chapter will be opening a position on their board for Vice PR Chair to work closely with their current PR Chair Dalal Alhajji promoting their events and the organization.
AAWD President Alanna Yip DMD 14 lists the many benefits of being involved in the organization:
- It allows for a sense of belonging and involvement within GSDM.
- As an organization, we support each other throughout the stresses and successes of dental school.
- Personally, I have benefited from the mentorship of caring upperclass colleagues that I met through AAWD and have made lifelong friendships with these women and men.
- Dr. Friedman is an excellent advisor and has always been very supportive of our efforts.
- Through AAWD you can give back to the community, network with various dentists in the MA area, and develop lifelong friendships while having fun!
In 2012–2013, AAWD had 58 members. At the meeting, the board members welcomed new members, whom they believe will provide new ideas and energy to the organization and allow for continued growth and expansion into larger projects.
AAWD has many community service events planned for the 2013–2014 school year. The organization will continue to provide opportunities to volunteer monthly with Women to Women at Rosie’s Place, which is a sanctuary for poor and homeless women. They also plan to expand mealtime services at Rosie’s Place with Global Works. Said AAWD chapter President Alanna Yip, “We are very proud that AAWD is the only organization that provides a monthly volunteering opportunity with the Women to Women Community events.”
AAWD also hosts many social events. On September 5, they plan to attend the Museum of Fine Art’s First Friday event to enjoy some live music and refreshments. They also hold casual meetings at the tapas bar Estragon, visits to the SoWa market, among many others. AAWD also holds their Annual Women in Dentistry Brunch in the spring.
There are many leadership opportunities within the organization at this time and AAWD welcomes any new members, both male and female, to join.
Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter said, “I strongly support the AAWD and its chapter members at the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine. The organization is beneficial both to its members and to the community.”