Awards, DDS, Outreach, Students

Students Receive National Leadership Positions and Scholarships, SNDA Named a Chapter of the Year 

The UNC Adams School of Dentistry’s Student National Dental Association (SNDA) chapter placed second overall for the SNDA At-Large Chapter of the Year at the National Dental Association’s (NDA) 48th National Convention, held virtually.   

“We are excited that our continued innovative initiatives, community outreach and academic excellence catapulted us to national recognition as a chapter,” said Adams School of Dentistry SNDA Chapter President, Erika (EJ) Baker, DDS Candidate 2021. 

The UNC Adams School of Dentistry’s SNDA chapter is truly unique in their ability to show up year after year as the model for ‘beyond excellence’ among other student leaders in our profession,” said Assistant Dean for Inclusive Excellence and Equity Initiatives and SNDA faculty advisor, Sylvia Frazier-Bowers, DDS, PhD.  

“Over the years, and even the decades, the UNC SNDA chapter reflects our school’s commitment to diversity and inclusion in the innovative “award-winning” ways that they present themselves. As I find myself saying so many times before, UNC SNDA never ceases to amaze me! 

Chapters considered for the Chapter of the Year awards are evaluated on their leadership and accomplishments with regard to community service, chapter activity, attendance at events and overall member involvement.  

The Adams School of Dentistry’s SNDA chapter is highly engaged in the local and school community. The chapter hosts its hallmark SNDA Impressions Program for college students twice a year – this year, the Impressions program served 80 students, including students from 11 historically Black colleges and universities. 

SNDA students also lead the patient care and oral health education efforts at the SNDA CAARE clinic in Durham, for which they were awarded a 2017 E. Bud Tarrson Dental School Student Community Leadership Award.  

Other programming efforts include Lessons in a Lunchbox, where students share oral health instruction to school-aged children, and Pearls of Practicesessions for current dental students on tips for entering private practice 

SNDA students also pioneered the now-annual Adams School of Dentistry’s first Black History Month celebration, where they highlight minority trailblazers and leaders in dentistry. 

In addition to the chapter’s award, four students were recognized with leadership positions and scholarships.  

Reina Ransom, DDS Candidate 2022, was selected as president-elect of SNDA. She will serve as the organization  s national leader during the 2021-22 school year. Click here to read more about Ransom’s election. 

Recent graduate Danielle Burgess, DDS ‘20, received the Dr. Bessie E. Delaney Post-Doctoral Scholarship. The $10,000 scholarship is named in honor of Dr. Annie Elizabeth “Bessie” Delany, a 1923 graduate of Columbia University, the only black female in her class and the second black female dentist to be licensed in New York State 

Baker was elected to SNDA’s Corporate Round Table. In her role, Baker will build relationships with corporate sponsors to secure funding for SNDA’s efforts and help these groups advance SNDA and the National Dental Association’s mission by prioritizing representation in their organizations. 

Jamine Ifedi, DDS Candidate 2021, was elected as a representative to the NDA Foundation. As the representative, Ifedi will serve as a liaison between SNDA and the NDA foundation, and ensure SNDA members are aware of funding and scholarship opportunities.   

“I am elated to see that the hard work of so many of our local members is worthy of election and national notoriety,” said Baker. “I am most looking forward to collaborating with other chapters all around the country to propel SNDA and NDA forward as national model organizations for excellence and equality.”