An Indian-American dentistry student from University of Pennsylvania has been made president of the American Student Dental Association (ASDA).
Third-year Penn Dental Medicine student Roopali Kulkarni, who graduates next year, has been elected national president of ASDA, the Penn Dental Medicine department announced March 9. The ASDA’s House of Delegates elected its 2018-19 national president, vice presidents and speaker of the house during its annual meeting earlier this year.
The ASDA is the largest national organization that protects and advances the rights, interests and welfare of dental students and predentals. Representing 92 percent of all dental students, ASDA introduces members to lifelong involvement in organized dentistry and provides services, information, education, representation and advocacy, the press release said.
Kulkarni has served in other capacities at ASDA in the past, including serving as District 3 trustee to the national ASDA Board. Prior to being elected to a national position, she served as District 3 cabinet councilor and as the Penn Dental Medicine chapter’s wellness co-chair.
In an April 3, 2017 post on Facebook, the ASDA described Kulkarni as “our fierce and fearless district 3 leader!” who works with all chapter leaders to create effective programming and foster intradistrict collaboration.
Her commitment to dental student wellness and mental health led Kulkarni to co-found and lead the Penn Dental Medicine Happiness Project, the press release said. This student group promotes happiness, gratitude, encouragement, and mental and emotional health in the midst of life as a dental student.
Kulkarni is completing a dual degree, working towards her Master of Public Health in conjunction with her dental degree. She is a member of both the American Association of Public Health Dentistry and the American Academy of Oral Medicine.
“The best way to move forward in the ever-changing field we have chosen is to relationship-build,” Kulkarni is quoted saying in the press release. “The more we learn from each other and create genuine connections, the more we can cater to the genuine needs of our members.”