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Houston Represented at HDA’s First Regional Student Conference

Friday, May 16, 2014 - 12:13pm

A contingent from UT School of Dentistry at Houston traveled to the HDA Regional Dental Student Conference in San Antonio.  Pictured from left are Francisco Nieves, Anale Dovalina, Wajiha Khan, Rubi Perez, Jose Gonzalez, Lourdes Tavarez, Paola Salazar, Nemesio Rodriguez, Ruby Salinas, Patricia Lopez, Diana Carrillo, Diana Reyes, faculty advisor Margo Melchor, RDH, MEd; Natalie Carrizales and Jeanette Salazar.

A contingent from UT School of Dentistry at Houston traveled to the HDA Regional Dental Student Conference in San Antonio.  From left are Francisco Nieves, Anale Dovalina, Wajiha Khan, Rubi Perez, Jose Gonzalez, Lourdes Tavarez, Paola Salazar, Nemesio Rodriguez, Ruby Salinas, Patricia Lopez, Diana Carrillo, Diana Reyes, faculty advisor Margo Melchor, RDH, MEd; Natalie Carrizales and Jeanette Salazar.

Students and faculty from The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston got up before dawn to travel together to San Antonio for the first Hispanic Dental Association Regional Dental Student Conference. The March 29 event was hosted by UT Health Science Center at San Antonio Dental School.

The event was free to all attendees and made possible by the Hispanic Dental Association, in partnership with Crest Oral-B. The HDA even sponsored the round-trip shuttle that picked Houston members up at 5 a.m. to arrive in San Antonio by 8:30 a.m. After a full day of events that ended with a closing reception sponsored by the San Antonio Hispanic Professional Chapter, the shuttle brought them back to Houston that evening.

The workshop brought HDA’s student chapters together in a dynamic workshop with speakers to help prepare dental and dental hygiene students for leadership and community engagement.

Hispanic Student Dental Association Faculty Advisor Margo Melchor, RDH, MEd, served on the organizing committee and as a dental hygiene panelist. HSDA President Paola Salazar also served on the organizing committee.

Other HSDA members from Houston in attendance with Melchor and Salazar included students Francisco Nieves, Anale Dovalina, Wajiha Khan, Rubi Perez, Jose Gonzalez, Lourdes Tavarez, Nemesio Rodriguez, Ruby Salinas, Patricia Lopez, Diana Carrillo, Diana Reyes, Natalie Carrizales and Jeanette Salazar.

Dovalina, a first year dental hygiene student, said the conference was a great event that encouraged and motivated her to continue “playing a part in improving the oral health of the Hispanic community.”

HSDA President Salazar said she was grateful to learn about the HDA and what it entails. “It was a great opportunity to continue to grow as a leader,” she said. “I hope to take what I’ve learned and incorporate it into our HSDA chapter.”