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DTA Foundation Announces 2014 Scholarship Winners

The Dental Trade Alliance Foundation awarded nine $5,000 dental student scholarships in 2014.  These scholarships are meant to recognize and provide financial support to third or fourth year dental students who have demonstrated academic excellence in dentistry, financial need and a commitment to community service. The DTA Foundation is proud to announce its 2014 scholarship winners.

RobertAtwell   AmyBlake   LorelBurns   JolieGoodman   CalebKing   BrunoKuloba   StephanieNguyen   StephanieTing   JessicaTucker

Robert Atwell, Amy Blake, Lorel Burns, Jolie Goodman, Caleb King, Bruno Kuloba, Stephanie Nguyen, Stephanie Ting, Jessica Tucker

Robert Atwell - University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine

$5,000 Robert J. Sullivan Scholarship

RobertAtwell“After gaining experience as a general dentist for a number of years, I am excited by the idea of founding my own non-profit organization to provide care in an area in need. It is for this reason that I pursued an education in social entrepreneurship during dental school,” he said. “As oral health care professionals, if we are truly seeking to improve oral and systemic health, knowledge of society and culture is necessary. It is in this aspiration that I hope to draw upon my foundations as a bioengineering graduate. My engineering professors always stressed the power of viewing problems not as obstacles, but opportunities. There is a definite need for dental care in parts of our own country, and in developing nations. This is a call to action for dentists especially and will not improve on its own. Creating a culture that values oral health, in a population who presently does not, is a multifactorial challenge for any practitioner. I am confident that I have the passion and potential to reach these populations and am eager to maximize my potential.”



Amy Susanne Blake - University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry

$5,000 Dr. Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Fund scholarship

AmyBlake“My goals are to increase access to dental services, including more comprehensive services such as removable and fixed prostheses, and to improve dental education in the communities I serve,” Blake said in her application. “Looking forward, my next educational goal beyond dental school will be to obtain a master's degree in public health. I eventually plan to become a community clinic director. I envision starting a mobile dental unit that would serve as an adjunct to the brick and mortar clinic in order to reach patients who have difficulty receiving dental work in a traditional setting. Groups I would like to target are the frail elderly, the working poor who cannot afford to take time off work to receive dental care, and people in rural communities. Other goals for the mobile unit would be to make regular rotations to provide continuity of care, and to provide regular education sessions in the community. Eventually, I would like to get involved with health care policy in order to increase funding and improve the systems of dental care provision so that long-lasting changes can be made for a great number of people. I am so excited to be embarking on this career! I look forward to helping my fellow Americans live healthier lives under a more equitable system of health care provision.”


Lorel E. Burns - New York University College of Dentistry

$5,000 Dr. Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Fund scholarship

LorelBurns“My career goals are vast,” Burns stated. “My most immediate goal is to pursue a residency program in Endodontics and a Masters in Clinical Research. I have been accepted and plan to matriculate into the Post Graduate Endodontic Program at the University of Pennsylvania. Long term I hope to work as both a clinician and scientist conducting clinical trials for industry. I also know that I am very interested in the administrative and programming aspect of academics. I hope to have a successful career while always maintaining the priority of serving others.”





Jolie Goodman - University of California, San Francisco

$5,000 Robert J. Sullivan Scholarship

JolieGoodman“Various experiences in my life pointed me in the direction of dentistry and due to my experiences growing up, my goal now as a dentist is to improve access to care for others,” Goodman said. “I was fortunate to have been given opportunities that have afforded me the means to make it to college and even to graduate school, but this is not the case for all economically disadvantaged youth. It is because of this that I want to enhance the lives of others living the life that was once all too familiar to me. I plan to continue addressing the oral health needs of underserved communities beyond dental school and will apply for a masters in public health as a first step in the process in becoming a public health dentist following graduation.”




Caleb Timothy King - Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine

$5,000 Robert J. Sullivan Scholarship

CalebKing“In the future, I hope to incorporate community service into my career as a dental practitioner,” King stated. “Two years ago, I had the opportunity to attend the Christian Medical Dental Association Global Missions Conference in Louisville, Ky. At this conference, I learned about cutting edge technologies that make oversees dental missions much more feasible. I was able to see portable dental units, hand-held radiograph machines, and other technologies that allow dentists to do better dentistry overseas. I hope to continue to be involved in oversees missions once I become a practicing dentist.”





Bruno Wekulo Kuloba - Meharry Medical College

$5,000 Robert J. Sullivan Scholarship

BrunoKuloba“I desire to continue using my dental education as a source of help for those who do not have access to care. I understand the difficulties that are presented to those in underserved areas,” Kuloba said. “Meharry has fueled my desire to help those in need and has also equipped me with the knowledge and tools to be a great dentist who is effectively reaching out the the community. I hope to continue making a difference in greater ways upon graduation and to be instrumental in changing the lives of others.”





Stephanie Ahn-Kieu Nguyen - LECOM School of Dental Medicine

$5,000 Robert J. Sullivan Scholarship

StephanieNguyen“Moving forward after graduation, I intend on continuing my community service pledge and remembering that there is still so much more work to be done,” Nguyen wrote in her application. “I want to organize and participate in events, such as Give Kids a Smile Day, Project Christmas Smile, and Mission of Mercy, to provide treatment to those who cannot afford dental care. I also want to plan other projects regularly on weekends in which my future staff and I can volunteer a few hours of our time in a soup kitchen or attending a charity race. In addition, I want to contribute to the education of future dental students and serve as an adjunct faculty of a dental school to positively influence and guide them to become respectable dentists. With this position, I will be able to give back to a great program and teach prospective students the prime morals and values of being a good dentist and a great person. Finally, my absolute dream to best incorporate community service into my dental career would be to continue and expand Delta Alpha Phi to other schools at a national level. This philanthropic organization was formed with the intention of eventually becoming a community service fraternity for professional students in all fields, not just dentistry. Having members from all different fields will bring people of diverse backgrounds together through the membership of this organization and increase the number and variety of service projects accomplished in the community.”


Stephanie Ting - Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC

$5,000 Robert J. Sullivan Scholarship

StephanieTing“The great mathematician Archimedes once said, "give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.” It is my hope that this scholarship, along with the opportunities I have pursued in dental school, the challenges I experienced growing up, and the inspirational people I have learned from along the way, will provide me the lever and fulcrum necessary to positively change the world,” Ting stated. “Just like my faculty mentors in dental school and the selfless individuals who helped me growing up, I plan to continue volunteering in the community as a practicing dentist. I plan to continue volunteering at free dental clinics around Southern California. I plan to volunteer my time with special patients. I plan to pursue humanitarian mission trips around the world. I plan to continue serving as a leader in my community and changing the world, one little step at a time.”



Jessica Leigh Tucker - University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Dentistry

$5,000 Robert J. Sullivan Scholarship

JessicaTucker“One of my main goals is to improve access to quality oral healthcare for all,” Tucker wrote in her application. “One of my missions in life has always been to help serve those most in need. I strive to look for ways to give back to my community through volunteering my time to help those less fortunate. I am committed to serving individuals who require care the most but are often denied the right because of financial or geographical reasons. I am committed to supporting dental education and increasing access to quality oral healthcare for all people, particularly the underserved. Every person deserves the best care no matter what neighborhood they live in or social status they possess. As I have done throughout college, I will continue to serve and volunteer for my community.”



The Robert J. Sullivan Family Foundation created a restricted fund with the DTA Foundation to support its efforts to improve dental education in the United States. The donation was made to honor the late Robert Sullivan and his love for the dental industry coupled with his strong connection to dental education. Two $5,000 scholarships were given out in 2012.

Thanks to additional contributions from the Dr. Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Fund, the DTA Foundation was able to provide a total of four $5,000 scholarships in 2013. Due to a renewed commitment from the Robert J. Sullivan Family Foundation in 2013, a total of nine $5,000 scholarships were given out in 2014.

The purpose of this scholarship is to recognize dental students who have an established commitment to community service by providing $5,000 in financial support to a third or fourth year dental student who has demonstrated:

  • Academic excellence in dentistry;
  • Financial need
  • A commitment to community service.

About the DTAF/Sullivan Family Foundation Dentistry Scholarships and the DTAF/Dr. Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Fund Dentistry Scholarships

Each year the DTAF will select four third or fourth year dental student to receive a $5,000 scholarship to be applied towards tuition and fees. Each U.S. dental school dean may nominate one student from their school. All applications from each dental school must be submitted by the dean’s office.

Criteria for eligibility are determined by the applicant's demonstrated financial need, academic standing, and history of charitable work. Applicants must be entering their third or fourth year of a dental school accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation.,

About Dental Trade Alliance Foundation (DTAF)

DTAF’s mission is to improve the access to, and productivity of, the oral healthcare system by identifying, nurturing, and leveraging promising projects. Its vision is to be the premier foundation in oral healthcare, by attracting and supporting innovative initiatives that directly improve access to care for millions of North Americans annually.