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University of Michigan

School of Dentistry


1011 N Unversity 

Ann Arbor, MI 48109

2018 Annual Session

Annual session this year was in Anaheim, California at the Disneyland hotel. This was the first conference I have attended for ASDA and it definitely left me inspired and with an ASDA fever. I had the opportunity to go with 2 D4’s, Aubrey Beeler and Kayla Weatherwax. The three of us had a great time getting to know each other, other ASDA leaders around the country, and how to better ourselves and our chatpers.. ALL FOR FREE BABY!!!! ASDA covered the cost of the flights and hotels. Although our turn out was not as good as other chapters, we still got the chance to show national ASDA that Michigan is a great chapter that is involved and loves to have fun.

During the day, we got to go to meetings with our district (6, which includes OSU, UDM, WVU, and Case Western) and district 7 (which includes UIC, IU, Midwestern, SIU, UK, Louiseville, and Marquette), development workshops, and meet on the house floor. Each chapter has 2 delegates that get to sit on the house floor and participate in debate, as well as voting on issues that concern dental students and electing the ASDA national executive board (President, VPx2, Speaker). Some hot topics for debate was whether or not to support dental therapy students as an organization as well as what happens to students if a dental school shuts down. Each candidate for exec board runs for either president or speaker, and they
have to go to each district and answer crazy questions (ex. if your roof had a child, how would you raise it? What matters more, the size of the caucus or how you use your caucus? Etc.) As well as some serious questions regarding their stance on issues facing dental students. We then vote on the last day and the president is elected, the others running for president automatically are both VP’s and then the speaker is elected as well. In order to run for these positions one must have already been a district trustee, which is the person that all chapter presidents report to. There is no pre-requisite position to acquire before running for district trustee.


At night, there were socials. One social that was put on at a mansion in downtown Disney by Pacific Dental Services was Gatsby themed with free food, drinks, poker, dualing pianos and dentists who worked for PDS. I liked that it was all you can eat/drink and that the PDS people did not try to take your time, they were
just there if you wanted to chat with them. Michigan enjoyed imbibing in the free drinks with the Iowa chapter, which led to a fun night closing down the tiki bar at the Disneyland hotel. Another night there was a social at the Hard Rock Café in Anaheim, which we had all to ourselves with free drinks and apps and music. The last night there was a masquerade ball with a sit down dinner, drinks and dancing in
formal attire.


The biggest thing I took away from the experience was the networking and meeting other inspiring leaders from around the country. I learned a great deal about how they operate their chapters and their vision for ASDA. Notably, we got to know the leaders from UW because we sat next to them on the house floor.

Everyone should go to all conferences they can!!

Reflection by Mark Ash (D3, ASDA President)

Annual Session 2018