Kate McPherson and Justin Groody, both Doctor of Dental Surgery degree Candidates 2020, were recently appointed to national leadership roles in the American Student Dental Association (ASDA). McPherson is the incoming Council on Advocacy chair, and Groody is a Council on Professional Issues associate. Currently, McPherson and Groody serve as the legislative committee chair and co-president in the UNC-CH Adams School of Dentistry’s ASDA chapter, respectively.
As chair of the Council on Advocacy, McPherson will lead the council’s efforts to represent the interests of dental students on legislative and regulatory issues that impact the dental profession. The council launches grassroots initiatives in support of dental students and the profession and works to establish a legacy of action-oriented advocacy on behalf of our members’ patients and the practice of dentistry.
“I am so excited to begin serving as ASDA’s Council on Advocacy chair,” said McPherson. “Advocacy has given me a voice in dental school to positively impact both the profession and our patients in a different way than conventional care. I cannot wait to bring my passion for dental advocacy to a national scale and begin overseeing major initiatives.”
McPherson is also the advocacy chair for the Fourth District ASDA Chapter. She was named the ASDA National Legislative Liaison of the Year during last year’s American Dental Association National Dentist and Student Lobby Day for her efforts motivating and organizing the UNC-CH ASDA chapter in the legislative arena, and getting the chapter involved in advocacy efforts.
As an associate on the Council on Professional Issues, Groody will serve as a resource on dental practice administration and issues such as ethics, barriers to care and public health in dentistry. The Council on Professional Issues also reviews ASDA’s Code of Ethics and administers the five $500 Dentistry in the Community grants.
“My plan on this council is to further the efforts of the National Outreach Initiative,” said Groody. “I will strive to specifically encourage UNC ASDA to incorporate this initiative into its practices and benefit the Chapel Hill community. I am enthusiastic for what is to come and look forward to enlighten the students here at the dental school with all that I learn.”
Last year, the council participated in World Diversity Day by sharing stories from members on the importance of diversity and implemented the National Outreach Initiative proposed by the ASDA Board of Trustees. The council coordinated a national event to feature community services work done by individual chapters as part of the initiative and their success brought in Colgate as a new national sponsor.
McPherson and Groody expressed appreciation for the growth and development of the Adams School of Dentistry’s advocacy committee and the chapter in the last two years. They attribute the chapter’s success to the leadership of past co-presidents, Nehemiah Lawson and Sarah Strickland, Doctor of Dental Surgery degree Candidates 2019, and the hard work of the entire chapter.
“It is a tremendous honor to be chosen to serve this upcoming year,” said Groody. “I have worked extremely hard with an amazing ASDA team as co-president and being appointed is so rewarding after a year of hard work.”
“I have been overwhelmed with how much our UNC ASDA advocacy committee has grown into a powerful and knowledgeable group of students,” said McPherson. “In just the past two years, we have considerably influenced legislation through lobbying and grassroots initiatives. I hope that Justin and I can continue to pave the way for our future chapter success through our involvement on a national scale.”
The American Student Dental Association is a national student-run organization that protects and advances the rights, interests and welfare of dental students. It introduces students to lifelong involvement in organized dentistry and provides services, information, education, representation and advocacy.