SPEA Spotlight: UMKC

SPEA Spotlight:
Regency: Two
Regent: Abby Jewell
Local Chapter: University of Missouri-Kansas City
Location: Kansas City, MO
– President: Abby Jewell
– Vice President: Brad Matthes / Pete Ziegler
– Secretary: Camille Smith
– Treasurer: Matthew Fry
This past weekend at the Midwest Dental Conference, here in KC, I was invited to attend the Kansas ACD meeting and had the privilege of speaking briefly on behalf of SPEA on a national and local level to the members of the Kansas ACD. Here is a picture of Dr. Charles Squire, ACD Regent for Regency 5 & Dr. Oettmeier, ACD President.–Abby Jewell

SPEA Spotlight: USC

SPEA Spotlight

Regency: One

Regent: Judy Naziri

Local Chapter: Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry at USC

Location: Los Angeles, CA


Judy Naziri

Daniel Adelpour


2017 Class President- Mishaun Sahebi

2018 Class President- Ambika Parti

2019 Class President- Moji Ghalambor

2020 Class President- Sai patadia


Krista Sue

Event Title: Ethical Throwdown

Our event was a lunch-and-learn which included a 4 person panel: the class presidents from each graduating year. Two panel members gave their answers to various ethical dilemmas. These dilemmas were then opened to the audience where a discussion was initiated. The dilemmas were examples taken from the ACD website and ranged from patients who want the “Whitest Teeth” to an adolescent patient who wanted to conceal her pregnancy from her mother. Each panel member was given a pair of SPEA safety glasses for participating. To purchase one of these glasses please contact any one of the SPEA board members!

Krista Sue Natalie Inoue Lindsey Williams Benjamin Garai Judy Naziri Daniel Adelpour Neelab Anwar

SPEA Spotlight: IUSD

SPEA Spotlight:
SPEA Chapter Highlight:
Regency: Four
Regent: Joshua Bussard
Local Chapter: Indiana University
Location: Indianapolis, IN
– President: Jill Stetzel
– Vice President: Patrick McIntre
– Secretary: Jennifer Wu
– Treasurer: Chase Ellinwood
-Social Media Chair: Maria Veronica Contreras
-Director of Hospitality: Stephanie Bowers
-Thank you note-writing: Katherine Ferry
Event Title: Professionalism Panel
As students waited in the lecture hall for Dr. Kelton Stewart to arrive and present for the monthly SPEA event, the speakers started blaring with rap music. In walked a man dressed in baggy sweat pants, a black hoody, a flat-brimmed hat, and a shiny gold grill. The student’s eyes followed the man as he strutted to the front of the room, slouched into a chair and said, “My name is Dr. Stewart and I am your orthodontist.” The crowd laughed as Dr. Stewart took off his costume to reveal a pressed suit with a perfectly positioned bow-tie. Dr. Stewart asked the audience to decide which person was the professional? Who would they want as their orthodontist?

Dr. Stewart’s presentation, “The Portrait of a Professional,” not only challenged students to define what constitutes a professional but also encouraged students to reflect on how our behaviors play a role in patient care and management. For example, having good communication skills and showing patients empathy develops trust and a positive rapport with our patients. He tested students to define traits of a professional; factors like compassion, humility, and integrity. Dr. Stewart also asked us to look inward to evaluate our own biases towards professionals and to understand that our patient’s will also have biases based on their own experiences. We were given a list of the “Top 10 Professional Don’ts” and discussed how those behaviors impact our patients. “The Portrait of a Professional” presented by Dr. Stewart showed students that by understanding what influences a professional we can create a better environment for patient care and in turn, influence how patients perceive us and the care we render.

Top 10 Professional Don’ts
#1 Don’t stop learning
#2 Don’t smoke
#3 Don’t lie or play down a condition
#4 Don’t let emotions get the better of you
#5 Don’t claim to have all the answers
#6 Don’t promise a patient anything
#7 Don’t post questionable content online
#8 Don’t bad mouth other patients and staff
#9 Don’t date your patients
#10 Don’t pass judgment onto patients

SPEA Spotlight: UMKC

UMKC SPEA Officers and faculty advisor: Dr. Meredith, with our three panelist: Dr. Brown, Dr. Nelson & Dr. Godley.

SPEA Chapter Highlight:

Regency: Two

Regent: Abby Jewell

Local Chapter: University of Missouri- Kansas City

Location: Kansas City, MO


  • President: Abby Jewell
  • Vice President: Pete Ziegler/Brad Matthes
  • Secretary: Camille Smith
  • Treasurer: Matthew Fry

Event Title: Professionalism Panel


The UMKC SPEA chapter held a lunch-and-learn to discuss professionalism in dentistry. The panel consisted of three UMKC faculty members: Dr. Brown, Dr. Godley, and Dr. Nelson, all from varying dental backgrounds. During this panel, the doctors discussed what professionalism means to them, both in the didactic/clinical setting, as well as private practice. The panel lead to conversation about how to approach different generations of patients and ended with the faculty sharing some of their most memorable professional or ethical dilemmas throughout their dental careers.

6th Annual Session Reflection By W.J. Behlke

Last October, I had the privilege to attend the 6th Annual Session for the Students Professionalism and Ethics Association in Dentistry held in Denver, Colorado. Each year, the SPEA Annual Session is held in conjunction with the ADA Annual Session.
By going to the annual session I was hoping for an experience that would add value to my time in dental school and future career in dentistry. The speakers and events at the annual session provided this and much more. I learned valuable lessons that will impact my career in dentistry, my personal life, and my choices and values as a leader. One of these lessons was the importance of setting goals and generating the motivation to pursue them. I have learned that setting goals in all areas of your life is important. It is more about who or what you become in pursuit of the goal instead of whether or not you achieve it.
Another reason I attended the SPEA Annual Session was to meet SPEA members from other dental schools. I knew by doing this we would get the chance to discuss and share ideas about what we are doing at the local level in regards to SPEA. The breakout sessions that were designed for this as a part of the conference were highly beneficial and I know what I gained from them will have an impact on SPEA’s presence at my school.
This was my first time attending the SPEA Annual Session, but will not be my last. I am excited to attend the 7th Annual Session in Atlanta this upcoming October, and hope to see new and familiar faces!
Register now: http://www.speadental.org/register-now/

WJ Behlke
CIO Committee
Roseman University, ’19

SPEA Spotlight University of Alabama at Birmingham

SPEA Spotlight
Regency: Three
Regent: Andrea Fenton
Local Chapter: University of Alabama at Birmingham
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
President- Cassandra Jo Winterrowd
President-elect- Andrea Fenton
Event Title: Clothing Drive
The UAB School of Dentistry’s SPEA chapter completed its second annual clothing drive benefitting Pathways, an organization that supports homeless women and children in Birmingham, AL. This school-wide event successfully collected 288 items of clothing, as well as toys, electronics, and other household items. The SPEA executive board members delivered the collected items to the shelter and even had a chance to speak with women who would benefit from the items. It was a unique and humbling way for students and faculty at UAB to learn more about the mission of SPEA while giving back to our local community.

SPEA Event Spotlight Columbia

SPEA Spotlight
Regency: Six
Regent: Steven Daws
Local Chapter: Columbia University College of Dental Medicine
Location: Manhattan, New York, NY
President- Juliet Tchorbajian
Vice President- Stephanie Bernard
Secretary- Vishah Dhamee
Treasurer- Jennifer Tsuan
Event Title: Debate: Access to Care
Our event was a lunch-and-learn which was a Debate on the Access to Care hosted by one of our clinical professors Dr. McManus. During this lunch and learn we had a stimulating debate covering if health care is a human right, the role of the dentist in treating underserved areas and the role and value of dental therapist in underserved and rural areas.
CDM Chapter of SPEA in Dentistry

SPEA Event Spotlight East Carolina

Regency: Five
Local Chapter: East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine
Location: Greenville, North Carolina
President- Robert Barton
Vice President- Danielle Gough (Also serves as regent 5 liaison to SPEA National)
Treasurer- Bryson Rominger
Class Representatives: Terrence Campbell, Erica Balbuena Tapia, Alexandra Davis

Event Title: Dining Dilemmas
Cost to attend event: Free

Description: This was a two-part event consisting of a video followed by a dinner discussion. The first part of the event consisted of a twenty-minute video from CBC marketplace entitled “Is Your dentist ripping you off? Hidden camera investigation.” The video, which originally aired in 2014, was filmed in Toronto. It was characterized as an exposé of the dental profession. During the video, we saw the same patient visit dental office after dental office where she sought out an opinion of what dental treatment she needed. We quickly witnessed that there was absolutely no consistency or agreement about recommended treatment by any of the dentists. The patient was told that her needs ranged from a few hundred dollars worth of treatment at one office, to well over ten thousand dollars at another. The question that naturally arose from this video is why was there so much variability between the dentists, and is it possible that some dentist were guilty of overtreatment? The second part of the event was the discussion aspect of the program, which was centered on a fully catered three-course dinner. We had SPEA members act as moderators at each table, where they served to ask follow-up questions and guide the conversation. To close out the event, we had a large group discussion where we wanted to see if the students felt that there really was an ethical issue at hand or if the variability was simply due to a difference in clinical experience. We also wanted to highlight how events like this video shape and influence the public opinion about dentistry. We ended the evening by exchanging views on what we could do in order to preserve the integrity and ethics within our profession of dentistry.

SPEA Event Spotlight Toronto

On November 24, 2016, the SPEA Chapter at the University of Toronto was pleased to host a talk entitled “Facebook, Social Media, and What Happened Here” by Dr. Ferne Kraglund, the Assistant Dean of Students at Dalhousie University, Faculty of Dentistry. Dr. Kraglund spoke to us about her experiences and challenges while managing an unfortunate social media related situation at Dalhousie’s Faculty of Dentistry in 2015. She highlighted the ethical and professional issues and predicaments involved in the situation, and walked us through how the staff and the students worked together to resolve the issue. Her talk was very well received and we thank Dr. Kraglund for her efforts and commitment to SPEA’s mission of enhancing ethical and professional awareness in Dentistry and healthcare!

Dr. Kraglund giving her talk

UofT SPEA Executive Committee

UofT dentistry students and staff listening