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UNE College of Dental Medicine Takes Home the 2023 ASDA District 1 Student Debate Trophy

January 31, 2023 - On Saturday, January 28, 2023, at the Yankee Dental Congress, five American Student Dental Association (ASDA) District 1 Dental Schools plus one pre-dental team faced off in the 14th Annual Student Debate. In the end, teammates Josh Golden and Leanne McDowell from the University of New England College of Dental Medicine (UNECDM) came out on top. The UNECDM team took home the coveted trophy and honor of Student Debate champion.

The Debate ran for three rounds, culminating in a final round to determine the winner. Debate judges, American Dental Association (ADA) President Dr. George Shepley, Massachusetts Dental Society (MDS) At-Large Trustee Dr. Dylan Weber, and MDS Guest Board Member Dr. Mira Khouzam evaluated the teams on a set of pre-determined criteria. The six debate teams tackled the topics:Should amalgam be phased out of dental school training?

  1. Should more dental schools integrate students into the medical school curriculum?
  2. Should the U.S. implement mid-level providers to address dental shortage areas?

Teams knew the topics of the preliminary rounds but did not know if they would be presenting the affirmative or opposing perspective on each topic. They came prepared to argue both viewpoints. Judges, and an audience of more than 200 colleagues and students, listened to arguments for all three rounds. The judges then conferred deciding who earned the top two spots. 

Those teams, the University of New England College of Dental Medicine (UNECDM) and Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, moved on to the final round with a topic they had not previously received, and debated the topic of a need for additional specialties in dentistry. After a brief ten-minute intermission to prepare, the two teams presented their arguments. Both teams offered strong talking points. In the end, the judges determined that the University of New England students had a stronger argument and were awarded the trophy and title of debate champion.

This hard-fought battle included the student teams of Golden and McDowell from UNECDM, Boston University's Scott Hunter and Avi Nagpal; Harvard School of Dental Medicine's Carni Tussie and Rubee Sandhu; Tufts University School of Dental Medicine's Tareina Rogers, Anna Lubitz, and Ritika Laholy; University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine's Sarah Herbsman and George Bloom; and the pre-dental team of Carolina Ramirez, Kelly Costa, and Sherry Xu. Congratulations to all who participated and a special shout out to the winners, the UNE team of Golden and McDowell.