Lunch, Launch and Lead

UMKC School of Dentistry was the convergence point for a lot of MDA activity at the end of last week.

It began with LUNCH on Thursday as we held our final Food for Thought offering for the school year. Serving Chipotle always guarantees a capacity crowd. The students heard from MDA Executive Director, Vicki Wilbers, and Legislative Director, Katie Reichard. The dynamic duo pulled back the veil on advocacy at the Capitol and why it’s so important to the profession and their future. It was great to give real-time updates on a very active legislative session and inform the students of an MDA ad hoc committee that is working on a subject near and dear to each of them: debt and loan forgiveness. We wrapped up with the general festiveness of announcements and prizes! It’s only right to thank Jerri Wildhaber and MDIS for their sponsorship and hard work at every FFT. And of course, MDA Membership Manager, Stacey Kloeppel is the mastermind behind it all. We will be back next fall with more Food for Thought for our beloved student members.

The LAUNCH came later that day as we fêted the D4 students with a National Signing Day reception at Teocali. The MDA Board of Trustees and some UMKC faculty joined in to celebrate the soon-to-graduate dentists who only needed a membership application to partake in the food and beverage and fun. The relaxing environment provided a good setting to meet leadership and see their passion for organized dentistry. And of course, the highlight was a rousing game of ‘Lotto or Squatto’ where students choose to either keep their Missouri Lotto scratcher ticket or trade it for a tempting briefcase with unknown contents. Let’s just say it usually pays to trade.

Since the MDA Board was already in town for the reception, they stayed to LEAD. For the first time in anyone’s recent memory, we held a Board meeting at UMKC SOD. It was great way to connect with the education vibe and bring back memories. Several trustees told stories of their own sterling career as a student … embellishment added for sure! Thanks to the school for including us. The Board heard from both Deans about another hot topic – license portability. This is a big value to the current dental student. Much more was covered before mid-afternoon adjournment.

Kudos to all who worked hard and traveled far to make these three events a big success!


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