AADR Members from diverse backgrounds complete research and change dentistry every day. Learn about some of them! 

Alexandre R. Vieira

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"The issue is at the origin; at the time individuals consider going to dental, medical, or graduate programs, this pool is underrepresented by minorities. For the minority individuals that make the distance, professional associations could focus on having them be role models for the youth, so minority children aspire to cover that same distance for their own lives. The need will be over when we do not see the point anymore of referring to anyone as a minority. It may help accelerating this process if we stop using social constructs that are not based on any biology to define people."

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-   AADOCR Vice-president Alexandre R. Vieira, University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine, PA

Jacques Eduardo Nör

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"AADOCR members who have the opportunity to recruit faculty, students, or staff will certainly benefit from having a diverse group of colleagues working with them. There is no question in my mind that having a diverse team speeds up research and discovery. Ideally, this should not be something that needs to be imposed. Rather, it should evolve from emerging evidence demonstrating that diverse teams typically perform at a higher level. Everybody wins when diversity is fostered and embraced. If we can get to a point where academic dentistry is more diverse and inclusive, then we will have fulfilled an important mission as AADOCR members."

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-   AADOCR President Jacques Eduardo Nör, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Purnima Kumar

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"To me, diversity is a very complex word. But a more important aspect of diversity is inclusion. You can recruit the most diverse group of individuals, but unless you make them feel included, and understand that we all work to a common goal, we cannot find the win for everyone.​"

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-   Purnima Kumar, Professor of Periodontology at The Ohio State University, Columbus. 

Tamanna Tiwari

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"When I saw the announcement for AADR MIND the Future I thought 'Oh, this is written for me!' The program does a great job at bringing up a lot of things...it allows us to hold very difficult conversations, that we wouldn’t always have, in a candid way — it provides a very safe and welcoming space. You feel supported, you feel you are not alone. We support each other and come up with ideas together."

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-   Tamanna Tiwari, School of Dental Medicine at the University of Colorado, Aurora 

Noriaki Ono

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"It is extremely important to increase the awareness that there are strong opportunities for underrepresented minorities in the field. Disseminating information is probably not enough, but we must actively recruit students or trainees to our field, to maintain the diversity of the research workforce."

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-   Noriaki Ono, University of Michigan School of Dentistry

Wenyuan Shi

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"We always want to make sure that our research environment promotes diversity and equity. In my scientific career, I’ve had a lab for over 25 years and have had the opportunity to interact with many scientists, and among them, many minorities. I’ve very proud to have had the opportunity to work with them, mentor them, and see them move up to become very successful scientists. Being the CEO of the Forsyth Institute, we strongly promote minority students and find them to be critical in our overall success."

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-   Wenyuan Shi, Forsyth Institute, Cambridge, Mass.

Sylvia A. Frazier-Bowers

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"Those who will be successful at increasing diversity will have to be willing to reimagine policies. Reimagining policies means that you arrive at the understanding that diversity is not a thing we do just because it is morally right or socially just, but we do it because it has been irrefutably proven to be the key to achieving academic excellence on individual and institutional levels."

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-   Sylvia A. Frazier-Bowers, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Adams School of Dentistry.

Kamran Awan

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"While pursuing my Ph.D. and being in the research field for some time, it became very clear to me that AADR was an important platform to not only share the research I am passionate about but also meet other researchers from all over the world and build network and forge friendships."

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-   Kamran Awan, Roseman University of Health Sciences, College of Dental Medicine, South Jordan, Utah

Christopher Okunseri

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"One role that associations can play is to give underrepresented minority/ethnic groups a strong voice and a platform for support and recognition. Professional associations must identify their needs, challenges and provide opportunities and the ability for recognition and growth. If the needs and challenges are not recognized then no opportunities can be provided."

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-   Christopher Okunseri, Marquette University School of Dentistry, Milwaukee, Wis.

Reginald W. Taylor

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"To be perfectly honest, early in my career I found it to be unsettling to be the only one or one of two or three members of an underrepresented minority in a session… Fortunately, things are changing for the better… My work as a member of the AADR Committee on Diversity and Inclusion has definitely allowed me to help develop mechanisms to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in dental research."

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-   Reginald W. Taylor, Texas A&M (Baylor) College of Dentistry, Dallas

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