Destination Dental School

Destination Dental School (DDS) is an intense gateway experience for underrepresented minority undergraduate students interested in a career in dentistry. The goal of the virtual program is to encourage and increase the number of talented underrepresented students who pursue a career in dentistry. DDS helps prepare participants through hands-on experiences with faculty mentors, dental students and community leaders.

Introducing the DDS Class of 2021

DDS 2021 participants .

The Destination Dental School inaugural class of 2021 included 24 participants from across the United States, stretching from New York to Florida to California. These talented students spent every Saturday morning with us during the summer of 2021 learning about the field of dental medicine, participating in hands on activities, and completing capstone research projects. We look forward to a continued partnership with them and the good work they will accomplish in their future dental careers.

In the News

How it Started...

Arian.

Arian Johnson, DDS, Class of 2021
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee;
Student National Dental Association; Diversity Chair

Dr. Arian Johnson, UB SDM class of 2021, was born and raised on the east side of Buffalo, NY, a predominantly Black neighborhood that is highly impacted socioeconomically. Dr. Johnson was the first in her family to obtain a Bachelor’s degree and pursue a Doctorate; consequently, she recognizes her role as an advocate and leader for her community. Because of the lack of diversity in the dental profession, she was inspired to propose a dental pipeline program to remove barriers for under-represented students who are seeking careers in dentistry. Her inspiration resulted in the launch of Destination Dental School in 2021. 

About Destination Dental School

The program is designed to encompass hands-on experiences and enrichment activities with faculty mentor, dental students, and local community leaders. In 2021, Destination Dental School virtually welcomed 24 undergraduate and postbaccalaureate students from across the United States. This program was supported in part from the generous contributions of the Galeota family and Aspen Dental. Henry Schein, Ivoclar Vivadent, Evolution Dental, and Kaplan have contributed to program supplies and resources. 

Diversity dental school Graphic.

Program Dates: 

The 2022 program will be held during the summer of 2022. 

Program Location:

Our program location information will be updated as we continue to monitor and assess all COVID-19 travel and meeting restrictions.

Program Leadership:

Dr. Wendell Carmona, Program Director, Destination Dental School, University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine
Arian Johnson, Founder, Destination Dental School and Diversity Chair, Student National Dental Association
Dr. Thikriat Al-Jewair, Assistant Dean, Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine 
Jessica Scates, Coordinator of Diversity Initiatives, University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine 

The DDS program features:

  • Dental School Application strategies
  • Hand skill development activities
  • Dental School Financing Strategies
  • Dental Admission Test preparation strategies
  • Cultural, educational, networking, and service activities
  • Introduction to dental research
  • Benefits to participants including a waived University at Buffalo School of Dental MEdicine application fee and stipend for eligible participants

Eligibility:

  • U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or an individual granted deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) status.
  • Enrolled undergraduate student or post- baccalaureate
  • Minimum overall college GPA of 2.5

Questions?

Contact Jessica Scates (jmscates@buffalo.edu) with any questions. 

Applications for the 2022 program will launch this winter.

Please note in order to complete application, please have the following documents available:

  • Personal statement 
  • Resume
  • Unofficial transcript
  • Photo ID (School ID is an acceptable form)

Apply Here

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International Students

International students are not currently eligible to receive funding through this program. You are welcome to apply, but would not receive any compensation through the program.

Research Experience

 
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Looking Ahead

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Please state your reasons for applying to this program. Consider answering one or more of these questions in your statement:

  • Why do you want to pursue a career in dentistry?
  • Do you have any experiences that qualify you as a healthcare professional? Or more specifically a dental health care professional?
  • Have you encountered challenges that have affected your educational career, either positively or negatively?
  • Do you have any specific prior life experiences (in academia, professional, volunteer, etc.) that show your dedication to the pursuit of a career in dentistry?
  • Is there any additional information that will help us evaluate your preparation and ability to succeed?
 
 
Letters of Recommendation

Two (2) letters of recommendation from people who know you well (professor, advisor, supervisor, etc) should be sent directly to the program. The person submitting the letter must use the Letters of Recommendation Form.

  1. Go to the Letters of Recommendation Form page
  2. Copy the website address and send it to anyone who is writing a letter for you

Agreement

By submitting this application, I affirm that the facts set forth in it are true and complete. By signing this application, and if selected, I understand that it is my responsibility to attend all DDS functions and educational activities to maintain my DDS Fellow status. I also understand that all DDS activities are mandatory, unless specified otherwise, and that failure to comply with program guidelines may jeopardize my summer stipend.

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