District 2 Meeting 2018: Saratoga SPRING into Action
All bets were in for a weekend in Saratoga Springs, NY for the American Student Dental Association (ASDA) Annual District 2 Meeting! Over 150 pre-dental and dental students from the New York and New Jersey schools arrived at the Saratoga Hilton on September 7th ready to learn, network, and celebrate. The weekend started off with a bang at the Spa City Tap & Barrel where 13 of our Rutgers ASDA members had the opportunity to mingle with colleagues from all of the schools in attendance as well as explore the quaint, cozy city of Saratoga Springs by night.
The next morning, all attendees were up and at ‘em with a 7am call for breakfast in preparation for a long day. Presentation topics ranged from business planning to implants to dental technology. Opening remarks were presented by Rachel Kim (District 2 Trustee, Buffalo ‘19) and Jack Lupfer & Astrid Salas (District 2 Meeting Chairs, Stony Brook ‘20 and Buffalo ’20), and followed by a crowd-sized ice breaker of Rock, Paper, Scissors. The rest of the morning was reserved for guest speakers. First up was national ASDA Vice President, Alexandra Howell. Her message was about personal development and the variety of leadership roles available in ASDA. Next, Dr. Jordan Reich, DDS from Heartland Dental talked about his experience with Heartland and the latest in modern dentistry, ranging from 3D scanners to sleep apnea management. He was joined by Heartland Dental campus recruiter, Ms. Kelly O’Neill. Last but not least, Dr. Stephanie Zastrow, DDS, a fourth year OMFS resident at Augusta University, took center stage with hot topics and cases in oral surgery. District 2 Wellness Chair, Kristina Petrich (Buffalo ’20), slowed down the pace with a break for mindfulness meditation. Following a relaxing reset, the final guests of the morning included a Crest + Oral-B speaker who introduced a new product and NYSDA/NJDA representatives who caught everyone’s attention with legislative updates.
It was impossible to pull the reins back on the afternoon agenda, which was jam-packed with learning opportunities and workshops. Participants excitedly took on the vendor fair, making sure to visit each table and enter for a chance to win the raffle. Visiting vendors included Aspen Dental, Heartland Dental, Crest + Oral-B, MedPro Group, EDIC, Dental Dreams, NYU Langone Health, plus many more. Awesome prizes included District 2 Chapter baskets, an Apple Watch 3, Oral-B 7000 Series Genius brushes, an Amazon Echo, Figs scrubs, a subscription to Dental Entrepreneur, and an Amazon gift card. For those interested, a CV and Headshot Lounge was set up in the meantime. Following the fair, breakout sessions included Business Planning 101 with Dr. Amisha Singh, DDS from IgniteDDS, Implants by Christian Lebrun from Aspen Dental, and a suture workshop with Dr. Zastrow sponsored by the Resident Organization of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (ROAAOMS). Two lucky Rutgers members were able to attend the suturing workshop. The professional portion of the day came to an end with very informative advocacy round table discussions that tackled some of the major topics concerning dentistry today: student debt, midlevel providers, and human boards examinations.
After business came the real fun. Everyone was “off to the races” to get ready for the evening’s Kentucky Derby themed gala. All attendees put on their best derby attire to arrive in style to the ballroom—fascinators and pastel suits welcome! Amidst delicious food and drinks, everyone enjoyed the costume contest, photo booth, and dance floor. As a new tradition of the District 2 Meeting, the Cabinet also organized an inaugural awards ceremony. Rutgers received four awards/recognitions: Social Media (as a Chapter), District Publications (Tom Viccaro ‘19), District Membership Chair (Nicole Czajka ‘20), and District Wellness Chair (Tina McArdle ‘19). Once the night came to a close for the small group of 13 Rutgers students, all agreed that the historic charm of downtown Saratoga Springs provided the perfect home for a weekend dedicated to personal and professional development. Now that’s what you call a meeting for the books!
Blog Contributor: Nicole Czajka, Rutgers, '20
District 2 ASDA, Membership Chair
The Aesthetics Society at RSDM, Co-Founder and Co-President
RSDM Class of 2020, Secretary
RSDM Academy of General Dentistry, Secretary
Academic & Pre-Clinic Tutor
Gamma Pi Delta, Member
RSDM Business Management Club, Member
RSDM Implant Society, Member
Nicole also enjoys fitness (HIIT and Circuit Training), biking, hiking, traveling, cooking, and playing guitar!