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Welcome to our first Newsletter! Our office, the Office of Academic Career Advancement, was created just about one year ago with the goal of providing faculty development programs and academic career advancement opportunities to our school and training motivated students to become future dental educators. Many of you have met Sharon Guttman, Academic Career Advancement Coordinator, either in person or virtually, during the past year. We are looking forward to continuing to serve Pitt Dental Medicine. Zsuzsa Horváth, Director, Office of Academic Career Advancement

The Academic Career Track Area of Concentration is our office’s flagship program. We started our two-year program in 2014, which offers experiences and skill development in teaching, scholarship, and leadership. The clinical teaching component is also available to non-ACT ARCO students. Visit our website.

Students are eligible to apply in the summer between their second and third year; applications are due July 23. The updated application forms will be sent out later in the spring term. We will hold an information session in early June. Students interested in applying for the program will need to ask two faculty members to complete a recommendation form: one assessing student’s overall academic development and the other assessing student’s pre-clinical/clinical skill development; both forms ask the faculty to assess student’s promise for an academic career.

The program and two recent graduates were featured in a recent University Times article, titled Dental Program Helps Steer Graduates toward Teaching. The program’s success would not be possible with your support and participation!

The University of Sydney School of Dentistry in Australia, is implementing a program using the ACT ARCO as a model. Read the testimonials by the first batch of students in their Clinical Teaching Module.

Class of 2020: Fifteen D4 ACT ARCO students prepared their capstone presentations and prepared their teaching portfolios to compete for attendance at the 2021 ADEA Annual Session and Exhibition and participate in the ADEA Academic Dental Careers Fellowship Program (ADEA ADCFP) poster session. Class of 2021: Upon passing the provisional period, the participation of sixteen D3 students has been confirmed in the ACT ARCO program. They all have completed the Fundamentals of Teaching course.

In the Fall term, fourteen ACT ARCO and non-ACT ARCO students assisted in the Comprehensive Care Modules with D3 students’ clinical onboarding, first year clinic and dental anatomy preclinical sessions. In the Spring term, a new batch of nineteen students will assist in the Comprehensive Care Modules and Screening Clinic, Cariology and Caries Management Lab, Dental Materials Lab, and axiUm practice sessions in the Foundations of Patient Centered Care course.

Eighteen D3 and D4 ACT ARCO students taught or co-taught in first- and second-year curricular activities in the fall term: Standardized Patient Sessions ‘Getting Acquainted’ and ‘Complete Health History Interview,’ Interprofessional Education Forum, Theater Technique Communication Workshop, and Cultural Relevance Small Group Discussion. D4 ACT ARCO Cara Maloney and Sarah Levy students provided an orientation to D3 students entering the clinic. They reviewed the workflow in the Comprehensive Care Modules including the coordination of complex patients across multiple specialty disciplines. Kendra Rowey and Vicente Telles created a “how to” video guide for the axiUm Personal planner. These are now included in Dr. Grafton’s clinical course for D3 students. The Spring term teaching opportunities include Standardized Patient, Cultural Relevance Small Group Discussion, Verbal Non-Verbal Communication workshop, and creating pre-recorded case presentations for Pediatric Case discussions. Let us know if you have teaching opportunities in your courses.

The Student Peer-Tutoring Program assists students to support their academic development. The program is administered through the Office of Student Affairs and first-time tutors receive training in ethical aspects of tutoring and various teaching techniques In addition to the ten returning tutors, fifteen new tutors worked with sixty-seven D1 and D2 students in the Fall term.

Camille Vasquez, Class of 2023, presented a poster on a survey project about the transition from undergraduate to dental school at Med Ed Day, medical education conference held annually at Pitt’s School of Medicine. ­ Horvath Z, Vasquez CS, Pavlowski E, Dobos M, Wankiiri-Hale CR. Change is Never Easy: Transition from Undergraduate to Professional School. Fifth Annual Med Ed Day, School of Medicine Academy of Master Educators, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA. September 18, 2020

Cara Maloney, DMD & ACT ARCO Class of 2021, and Nicholas Seger, Pitt Undergraduate student, contributed to the Student Peer Tutoring Program’s evaluation published in the Journal of Dental Education. ­ Wankiiri-Hale CR., Maloney C, Seger N, Horvath Z. Assessment of a Student Peer-Tutoring Program Focusing on the Benefits to the Tutors. J Dent Educ. 2020; 84: 695-703.

Thirty students gathered in a virtual lunch hour event in the Fall term to hear about life as an academic dentist. Steven Kohane, ADEA Student Chapter President/Class of 2022, and the Student Chapter Leadership organized and led a lively discussion with Drs. Dobos, Grafton, Hasselbach, and Tisot.

Some of the photos shown in the newsletter were taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and may not reflect current health and safety guidelines.

Creative Commons Image Attributions: Service by Alice Design, teaching by Hoeda, instruction by Phonlaphat Thongsriphong, news by Smalllike, Globe by Guilherme Furtad, and update by shashank singh from the Noun Project.

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