Veronica Matthews, DDS Candidate 2015, was recently named a recipient of the American Dental Association‘s Certificate for International Volunteer Service. The certificate is awarded to select dental students and dentists who spent at least 14 days performing dental services in a foreign country. Of the 75 recipients, Matthews was one of only 10 dental students honored.
“I am so grateful to have been nominated for this award, and for the school’s support of the Nepal Project, the Brazil Exchange and the Global Health Students Association international projects,” said Matthews. “Without this support I would not have had the international opportunities I have experienced while in school. I hope that my interest in international projects, which was fostered here at UNC, becomes a lifelong commitment to working with underserved populations around the world.”
During her time at the UNC School of Dentistry, Matthews has contributed to international endeavors as secretary and then president of the Global Health Students Association (GHSA), the student organization that facilitates dental outreach projects in Malawi, Mexico, Nepal, Uganda and Moldova. Matthews herself participated on the 2013 Nepal Project and on the inaugural Brazil Exchange as a member of the first UNC Craniofacial Learning Exchange Fellowship Team (CLEFT), which traveled to Bauru, Brazil in 2014.
“This is a well-deserved honor for Veronica,” said Dean Jane Weintraub. “I am incredibly proud of her work to improve oral health not only here in North Carolina, but around the world.”
Dr. Ron Strauss, executive vice provost of the University and Dental Friends Distinguished Professor in the school’s Department of Dental Ecology, echoed the dean’s comments. “Veronica’s work on global oral health is truly meaningful, and I celebrate her recognition.”