Reina Ransom was named national president-elect of the Student National Dental Association (SNDA) during the organization’s 48th Annual National Convention, held virtually July 6 to July 11. She is a DDS candidate with the University of North Carolina (UNC) Adams School of Dentistry class of 2022.
“I am just beaming at the news of student doctor Ransom being voted in as president-elect at the national level,” said assistant dean for inclusive excellence and equity initiatives and SNDA faculty advisor Sylva Frazier-Bowers, DDS, PhD.
“Reina’s successful bid for president-elect is a testament to her command of organizational knowledge and her ability to inspire the trust of her peers,” said Frazier-Bowers.
“At the school level, it is a tremendous honor to have one of our own UNC SNDA members show up so positively on the proverbial national stage. For Reina and for the national SNDA, because of her, I remain confident that the best is yet to come,” said Frazier-Bowers.
Ransom will work with incoming SNDA president Carla Jones, a fourth-year dental student at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, to implement her strategic plan. After her term as president-elect in 2020-2021, Ransom will serve as the 2021-2022 president.
Ransom is an active member of the Adams School of Dentistry’s SNDA chapter. During her first two years at the school, she organized post-interview luncheons for potential students to network with current students. She also provided oral health education for patients as a volunteer at SNDA’s CAARE Clinic in Durham, North Carolina.
Also, Ransom’s pre-treatment and post-treatment oral health literacy evaluations help patients improve their oral health knowledge and supply oral health professionals with valuable insight on the health literacy of their patients, allowing them to provide better patient-centered care, UNC said.
Ransom additionally organized several lunch-and-learn events for SNDA members to learn more about private practice and various career options in dentistry. Last fall, she served as SNDA regional coordinator, where she worked with SNDA chapters in dental schools in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
“As a graduate of Hampton University, a historically black university, I have always taken a special interest in improving the experience of minority students,” said Ransom.
“Being elected by my peers to serve in this role is truly an honor, and I am so excited to work with the National Executive Board members to advocate for the enrollment and matriculation of minority students into dentistry programs across the country,” she said.
As president-elect, Ransom plans to establish a comprehensive plan that continues to foster an environment that holds up the SNDA principles of diversity, outreach, excellence, and mentorship.
“As the president, I am excited to find more ways in which our organization can serve our members directly and be an educational resource within dental school communities across the country,” she said.
“Together, I believe the executive board and our members will be able to educate their school communities through new signature events highlighting various health disparities in the African-American community and how to be an ally to those in marginalized communities,” Ransom said.