Josh Bussard: Executive Chair

It’s time to get to know the Spartan of ethics, the Duke of professionalism, the King of SPEA, our Fearless Leader Josh Bussard. Josh seriously is a jack of all trades. Not only is he insanely talented, but he is well organized, easy to talk to, and always willing to listen to your opinion and input. Many changes have happened in SPEA this year that have been for the better because our leader Josh got the ball rolling. He is one person you will want to be sure to meet and talk to at Annual Session.

BIO:

From Minot, North Dakota, Josh is currently in his 4th and final year at Indiana University School of Dentistry. His claim to fame is that he knew about Dots pretzel before they were cool (if you don’t know what those are, you are seriously missing out). Aside from dentistry, Josh’s biggest passion is ethics. He loves this association and loves helping others learn to be as passionate about ethics and professionalism as he is.

Why did you choose to become involved with SPEA: SPEA’s focus on developing future leaders of our profession through situational ethics and professionalism is something that I’m passionate about. One of my favorite parts about SPEA is that we strive to collaborate with other organizations and are inviting of all students to become members in some capacity. I’ve enjoyed meeting and collaborating with dental students across the U.S. and Canada during my time on SPEA’s National Board.

What is your advice to new students who would like to become involved with SPEA? Where do they start: Jump in! Attend Annual Session! Also, attend your local callout meetings, visit with upperclassmen, and consider running for positions locally as well as nationally. My involvement with SPEA has created some of my fondest memories and reminded why I chose to pursue dentistry.

What would other students be surprised to find out about you: I grew up playing soccer and was captain of my varsity soccer team in high school.

What gets you out of bed in the morning: As a proud North Dakotan would say, Coffee!

What non-dental accomplishment are you most proud of: My Undergraduate Senior Violin Recital. As a double major in Biology and Music Performance, one of my music requirements was to prepare over an hour’s worth of music celebrating my accomplishments.

What was your favorite class in Dental School: Fixed Prosthodontics. What dental student doesn’t love a challenge? Although a challenging IUSD course, it helped prepare me for clinic the most.

What advice would you give to other dental students: Don’t fake your understanding and focus on improving areas that challenge you. Ask questions!

What is your spirit animal: Owl.

If you could be a cartoon character, who would it be: Garfield hands down! He’s lazy, but I love his humor and he’s not afraid to bust a move.

Josh is a world traveler, a grade-A friend, a Vivaldi level violinist, an outdoor enthusiast, and a rockstar sibling. A long kept secret that Josh has, is that at SPEA Annual Sessions, underneath the fancy shirt, jacket, and tie, he always wears a t-shirt of Garfield. He’s always gotta rep his favortie cartoon character! Come see if you can spot his Garfield t-shirt at Annual Session. Annual Session this year will be held in the lovely city of San Francisco from Sept. 6-7. It is coming up soon! If you haven’t registered already time is running short. Hop on over to speadental.org/register-now to register.

Diana Boodram: Regent for Regency 7

Did you guys know that SPEA goes all the way up into Canada? Well, it does and Diana Boodram, the Radiant Regent for Regency 7, is one of the main reasons that SPEA is growing in Canada. According to Google, there are ten accredited dental schools in Canada, 4 of which have SPEA chapters. Diana has done an amazing job reaching out to the schools in Canada and helping spread SPEA up north! She is seriously holding down the fort for an entire country, so needless to say Diana has contributed so much this year. Get to know her a little better!
 
BIO:
 
Diana was born and raised in Toronto, Canada and currently attends the University of Toronto Faculty of Dentistry. In addition to ethics and professionalism, she is interested in access to care issues in dentistry. Diana chose to pursue dental school because she enjoys the small-scale, detailed work; she also enjoys dismantling common misconceptions about dentists. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, spending time outdoors, and catching up with friends.
 
Biggest pet peeve: ppl who post excessively on social media… 🤳🏽
Spirit animal: owls 🦉
Biggest fear: the ramifications of climate change 😬
Most embarrassing moment: mass e-mailing my entire school by accident… whoops 🤦🏽‍♀️
Favorite season and why: spring. 🌷 spring showers & fresh flowers–a chance for a fresh start
Favorite thing about dental school: getting my hands dirty 🧤
Least favorite thing about dental school: calling patient to book & confirm appointments 📞🗓✍🏽
 
 
In addition to being super smart, amazing at dentistry, and very hard working, Diana is also an amazing artist. Just take a moment to appreciate her painting! She is definitely not a person you want to miss meeting at Annual Session, although you may hear her say “Go Raptors” more than you’ll want to, but hey…”Go Raptors!” Just don’t bring up the whole Kawhi thing or she may not talk to you. Diana is as sweet as a princess on a throne while at the same time getting things done and making sure that they are done right. We love having her insight and ideas when it comes to helping SPEA become more widespread in the US and Canada. 
 
If you haven’t registered for Annual Session yet, the deadline is quickly approaching. Head on over to speadental.org under the Annual Session tab for more info regarding the conference and to register. Hope to see you there!

Andrea Fenton: Co-Director

Time to highlight our very own Courageous Co-Director, Andrea Fenton. Andrea graduated this Summer for UAB, but we were lucky enough to convince her to stay involved with SPEA even though she has moved on to bigger and better things!

BIO:

I’m from Atlanta, Georgia and graduated from UAB School of Dentistry in June 2019. I’m currently in a GPR program at the UAB Hospital and planning to attend an endodontics residency next year. The second picture is me with my current co-residents. I’ve been a member of SPEA since my D1 year of dental school and I am excited to have recently returned as a member of the staff! One of my favorite adventures that SPEA has taken me on was going skydiving at our conference last year in Hawaii.

Biggest pet peeve: gum smacking and drivers who don’t give a “thank you” wave

Spirit Animal: my cockapoo pup

Biggest fear: 

Most embarrassing moment: 

Favorite season and why: summer! Being at the beach in the heat is my favorite thing!

Favorite thing about dental school: Making amazing friends

Least favorite thing about dental school: Cadaver lab

Andrea is adventurous, daring, and never afraid to jump into the unknown  (or out of airplanes). Apparently, Andrea is not afraid of anything and chooses to live her life without ever getting embarrassed, which is something I envy about her. Some would describe her as a Sweet Pea with a smile brighter than amethyst. Although she is very busy with her GPR program she still makes time to serve in this wonderful organization, proving that SPEA can go well beyond dental school. Cool fact about Andrea, she has the best southern twang around!

Be sure to say hi to Andrea at Annual Session. She wants you there! Head on over to our website speadental.org or follow the link to go and register for Annual Session held in San Francisco from Sept. 6-7.

Jessie Yuan: Regent for Regency 5

It is our pleasure to introduce Jessie Yuan (or JoJo), our Rambunctious Regent for Regency 5.
BIO:
I’m Jessie, D3 at the Dental College of Georgia and currently in my 6th year of my 7 year BS/DMD program. I really enjoy volunteering and helping others.
Where you’re from: Atlanta, GA
Why you are in dental school: I’ve always had congenitally bad teeth so I know how important dentists are to me and they really helped me throughout my life. I would love to give back to the community and help others in the same way they helped me.
Biggest pet peeve: Aggressive drivers
Spirit Animal: Sloth
Biggest fear: Driving on the highway
Favorite season and why: Fall because of perfect weather
Favorite thing about dental school: Seeing patients and cutting teeth
Least favorite thing about dental school: Lack of sleep
Jessie loves adventures and loves the outdoors. She only ever has positive things to say. If I had to describe Jessie in one word, my word of choice would be firecracker. She works insanely hard and cares so much about growing this wonderful SPEA organization. When you see Jessie at Annual Session be sure to work sloths into your conversation somewhere and I’m sure she’ll want to be your best friend. Thanks Jessie for adding so much to our organization.
If you haven’t registered for Annual session yet, DO IT NOW!! You won’t want to miss out. SPEA’s Annual Session will be held in San Francisco from Sept. 6-7. For more details and to register, click here.