ASDA Annual Session
ASDA’s Annual Session brings together hundreds of student leaders from all 66 U.S. dental schools. It is the official meeting of ASDA's House of Delegates (known by past attendees as "the best week ever") and the meeting during which association policy is voted on. Attendees hear from prominent speakers both within and outside dentistry addressing hot topics and sharing inspirational lessons. The week's events also include a dental expo where attendees meet vendors and make valuable contacts; the Gold Crown Awards Ceremony where we recognize the achievements of our chapters and our members; and elections of new national leaders. The meeting culminates with a celebration at the themed gala.
This meeting is the high point of ASDA's year!
Annual Session 2019
This past March, our leaders Mark Ash (President) and Malika Malik (Legislative Liaison) attended the ASDA Annual Session in Pittsburgh, PA! Read more about their time there below.
The theme: Hunger Games
Each district had to dress to a specific theme. Our District 6 was Transportation!
Other Hunger Game Themed districts included:
District 1: Luxury
District 2: Masonry
District 3: Technology
District 4: Fishing
District 5: Power
District 6: Transportation
District 7: Lumber
District 8: Textiles
District 9: Grain
District 10: Livestock
District 11: Agriculture
District 12 (Pre-Dentals): Mining
Capitol: ASDA Staff
Reflection from Mark & Malika
What was your favorite thing about Annual Session?
Mark: My favorite thing about annual session is getting to meet the students from other dental schools. This is a place where every single dental school sends their student leaders to organize and advocate for the profession and it is so powerful to see. It is also an absolute blast meeting the students and sharing experiences, trials/tribulations/triumphs, excitement for the future, and maybe even a couple beers ;).
Malika: My favorite thing about Annual Session was meeting students from our district. The first night Aspen held an event for district 6 and I was pretty much inseparable from the Case ASDA thereafter.
What is one thing that you learned from the conference that you want to apply to our chapter?
Malika: During the outbreak sessions I learned a lot about what it takes for chapters to be successful at the national level. Our chapter already does a lot of amazing events and this year I hope we can do a better job at documenting so we can win awards next year!
Mark: I want to win a gold crown. I was on the gold crown committee this year to read over the applications and judge them on specific criteria, which gave me a lot of insight on what it takes for our chapter to be competitive and even win!
What was the craziest/coolest thing you saw at Annual Session?
Malika: At the end of Annual Session ASDA holds a Presidental gala. This years theme was Hunger Games and there were some pretty fun costumes.
Mark: Craziest thing was seeing one of the newly elected Executive Council members wearing a T-Rex suit to the Hunger Games themed Presidents Ball. The coolest thing I saw was thousands of dental students organizing together to advance our profession.
Would you recommend going next year?
Mark: Duh! This is the time and place to meet other students and build life long professional relationships through networking. I have met and become great friends with so many people across the country all thanks to this conference. Consider going and becoming an ASDAlebrity!!
Malika: Yes! Annual Session is unbelievably fun. The house of delegates is something everyone should experience and have the opportunity to speak up about issues facing dental school. You have the opportunity to meet so many amazing people and there are super fun socials at night! Next year Annual Session is in St. Lous!