Awards, DDS, Outreach, Students

SNDA Earns Chapter of the Year Distinction; Smith Named President-Elect 

The UNC Adams School of Dentistry’s Student National Dental Association (SNDA) chapter was named second overall for the SNDA At-Large Chapter of the Year at the National Dental Association’s (NDA) National Convention.  

“Among the more than 30 active chapters of SNDA across the country, the UNC chapter has yet again managed to rise to the top. And they did so all while navigating one of the most difficult periods in our nation’s history – grappling with both a pandemic and social justice crisis,” said Assistant Dean for Inclusive Excellence and Equity Initiatives and SNDA faculty advisor, Sylvia Frazier-Bowers, DDS, PhD.  

“I simply cannot say enough about how tremendous this recognition is and how proud the Adams School of Dentistry is of the entire chapter, and especially the SNDA leadership.” 

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 150 students in the fall, and 100 students in the spring, 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.  

Kamal Smith, DDS Candidate 2023

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

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

At the annual meeting, Kamal Smith, DDS Candidate 2023, was named the national organization’s president-elect. He will succeed Reina Ransom, DDS Candidate 2022, who is serving as president of SNDA for the 2021-22 term.

For nearly 50 years, the longstanding goal of the Student National Dental Association has been to promote, aid and support the academic and social environment of minority students. SNDA strives to establish opportunities for its members to develop stronger alliances amongst one another while developing a sense of community, aiding in the advancement of minority students within the field of dentistry. 

Photo of SNDA taken February 2019