Student Life

Student events, activities, and organizations play an important role in student life and governance at the Dental School.

Student Events

Commencement Convocation

Convocation

History

A Convocation in honor of the entering classes has been held at the beginning of each academic year since 1985. The dual theme of convocation is the importance of viewing medicine and dentistry as vocations of service to others, and the need for physicians and dentists to maintain their interest and activity beyond the health care sciences to assure a sense of balance and perspective in their personal and professional lives.

The convocation is named in honor of Joseph M. Healey Jr., J.D., Professor of Health Law and Ethics. Professor Healey was a major contributor to many of the University’s most cherished traditions, chief among them was his role in creating and chairing the annual Convocation ceremony. His untimely death in 1993 represented the loss of a significant spiritual leader at UConn. Professor Healey's positive influence on the ethical and professional conduct of countless students and colleagues has been immeasurable.

Convocation Planning

The Convocation planning is coordinated through the Student Services Center and involves input from the Associate Deans for Students Affairs from both the medical and dental schools and the second year students who are acting as orientation coordinators. The immediate past and current presidents of Medical Dental Student Government (MDSG) are given the responsibility of serving as master of ceremonies and providing the student address. All second year medical and dental students are offered the opportunity to choose and perform the artistic/musical interludes.

Convocation Program

  • Welcome from the Master of Ceremonies. The immediate past president of the Medical Dental Student Government (MDSG) serves as the master of ceremonies.
  • Artistic Interludes. In keeping with a classical approach to the ceremony, an integral component of convocation is performances by students. The artists are always students, predominantly from the second-year classes. The interludes have consisted of readings of original poetry, instrumental and vocal music, and dance. The artistry demonstrated by the students reinforces the theme of balance between personal and professional roles.
  • Welcome from the Administration. The Dean of the School of Medicine and the Dean of the School of Dental Medicine welcome the students on behalf of the administration and share views of the convocation themes. The deans’ presence during the proceedings adds to the solemnity and importance of the ceremony.
  • Welcome from the Faculty. Alternating by year between the medical and dental schools the address is given by the most recent Kaiser Permanente Teaching Award winner, an award given each May for excellence in teaching in the clinical sciences. Selecting a faculty award winner reinforces the message that "teaching-as-service" is a critical professional obligation which should be acknowledged.
  • Student Address. The current president of Medical Dental Student Government (MDSG) gives an address focusing on balancing professional school with other essential roles – as a son/daughter, spouse/partner, etc.
  • Keynote Speaker.The tradition is to ask a graduate of the medical or dental school to be the featured speaker. The themes are once again balance and service.

Student Activities

Organizations

  • Ambroise Paré Society
  • American Dental Education Association (ADEA) Council of Students
  • American Student Dental Association (ASDA), UConn Chapter
  • Connecticut State Dental Association (CSDA) Mission of Mercy
  • Connecticut State Special Olympics/Special Smiles
    Dental students are responsible for organizing and conducting the ‘Special Smiles’ program and the annual state Special Olympics program which is usually held the second weekend in June. There is a potential for other activities throughout the year. The program is coordinated by a third-year dental student.
  • Crest Smiles
  • Dental Senate
  • Dental Student Research Society
  • Disabilities and Chronic Conditions Interest Group (DCCIG)
  • GIVE KIDS A SMILE® (external link)
  • Honor Code Board PDF
  • Medical Dental Student Government (MDSG) Central and Social Committees
  • Migrant Farm Workers Clinic
  • My Sisters’ Place
  • National/International Service Program
    Dental students are responsible for organizing and conducting a dental service project outside of the State of Connecticut. Past programs have included Peru, Haiti, Trinidad-Tobago, and South Africa. Current on-going, established projects include Chile, Paraguay, Belize, and Montana. These projects are considered to be externships and are usually conducted in the second half of the third year. New pilot projects are encouraged. The program is coordinated by a third-year dental student.
  • Orthodontic and Craniofacial Interest Group
  • Parking Committee
  • Pediatric Dentistry Interest Group
  • Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Mission
    This is a project that for prosthodontic and oral and maxillofacial surgery residents to provide definitive care to the underserved of the State of Alaska. The program is coordinated by the Division of Prosthodontics.
  • South Park Inn Dental Clinic
    This program is accomplished in conjunction with the medical students. Dental students organize and provide oral health screenings and education for the men, women, and children that reside at the homeless shelter. Patients requiring emergent dental care are referred to School of Dental Medicine clinics. The program is conducted in fall through spring months. The program is coordinated by a third-year dental student.
  • Student National Dental Association/Hispanic Student Dental Association (SNDA/HSDA)
  • See More Student Organizations and Activities

Appointed Committees