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.
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.
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.
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.
The 2022 program will be held during the summer of 2022.
Our program location information will be updated as we continue to monitor and assess all COVID-19 travel and meeting restrictions.
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:
Contact Jessica Scates (email@example.com) with any questions.
Please note in order to complete application, please have the following documents available: