Olivia Nillissen, DDS Candidate 2023, was selected as one of five recipients in the country to receive a scholarship to attend the American Student Dental Association’s (ASDA) National Leadership Conference (NLC) that took place November 18-20 in Chicago.
“I was very honored to have been selected as one of five dental students nationwide to be a scholarship recipient to attend the NLC in Chicago this month,” Nillissen said.
The NLC offers attendees the opportunity to connect with peers from across the country and learn about topics like career planning, leadership fundamentals, advocacy, personal development, wellness, and clinical team leadership. ASDA searched for applicants who demonstrated a commitment to advancing themselves both personally and professionally.
The scholarship recipients were selected by ASDA’s Board of Trustees from a competitive pool of extremely qualified applicants. Recipients of the scholarship received complimentary registration to ASDA’s NLC and a $400 travel stipend to cover things like airfare, ground transportation, lodging, or meals.
Nillissen, who is in her fourth year of dental school, graduated from Duke University in 2019 with a degree in Biomedical Engineering. Raised by both a dentist and dental hygienist, she soon realized her passion lies in dentistry.
Nillissen currently serves as President of the UNC ASDA chapter and will be attending UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry next year for her residency. She will be pursuing an AEGD residency program to learn more specialty procedures and expand her scope of practice, with the goal of comprehensively treating patients in a rural community, much like her hometown in Wisconsin.
“I have had the privilege of attending multiple ASDA conferences, where I have become more competent in my leadership abilities, people skills, and business strategy, which will help me beyond the walls of dental school when I someday have a dental practice of my own”, said Nillissen. “I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to attend NLC and build in my leadership skills to become the best dentist that I can be for my patients. I have truly fallen in love with all aspects of dentistry as this career allows me to combine my curiosity, compassion, and creativity to share smiles and impact my patients’ lives!”