Nehemiah Lawson, DDS Candidate 2019, has been selected as the recipient of the American Student Dental Association (ASDA) 2017 Rising Leader Award. He will be presented with the award in November at the ASDA National Leadership Conference.
“When I learned of Nehemiah’s selection for this award, I felt that it could not be a more perfect fit,” said school Dean Scott S. De Rossi. “Nehemiah has been a leader here at UNC since he set foot inside our school, so I am not surprised that other organizations are benefitting from his influence. We are incredibly proud of Nehemiah and are thrilled that ASDA is recognizing him in this manner.”
The Rising Leader Award recognizes a student for outstanding leadership qualities, including volunteer service, commitment to collaboration, work ethic and passion for advancing the interest of fellow dental students across the country. Lawson was selected by the ASDA Board of Trustees from a competitive field of candidates nationwide.
“It is an honor and privilege to be selected for this national honor representing UNC School of Dentistry,” said Lawson. “Organized dentistry is one of the reasons why our profession is leading in healthcare today. It is my hope that by continuing to build the UNC Chapter of ASDA, my amazing board and I will help to shape the wellness of dental students, inform on advocacy, and inspire other active future leaders in the profession.”
Lawson, who is entering his third year of dental school this fall, is a 2015 graduate of the University of Georgia. He currently serves as co-president of the UNC ASDA chapter, secretary for ASDA District 4 and secretary for the Barakat Student Ambassadors. He is also active in the Student National Dental Association (SNDA), for which he serves on the Impressions Program planning committee.
Lawson regularly volunteers at one of the school’s student-run free clinics, the SNDA CAARE Clinic in Durham; the North Carolina Missions of Mercy Clinics; and the school’s Give Kids a Smile Day that is held annually in February. Additionally, he plans to travel internationally with a student-led service trip to the Philippines to provide dental care and oral health instructions to children.