UTHealth School of Dentistry at Houston’s Hispanic Student Dental Association won second place in the Crest/Oral B “Orgullo” Award competition, while five members picked up scholarships from the Hispanic Dental Foundation and its partners. The awards were presented at the Greater New York Dental Meeting at the Javits Center in New York.

The competition required HSDA Chapters to create short videos on prevention that included use of Crest Oral B products. UTSD’s chapter chose to base their video around events of Hurricane Harvey. Creators and stars of the video included HSDA members Lauren Sanchez, Selina Garces, Kimberly Ruiz, Janet Moake, Ivonne Hernandez, Elizabeth Kuncewicz, Nicholas Rodriguez and special guest star Asneiry Aponte, DDS, an associate professor from UTSD.

HSDA President Nick Rodriguez accepted the award on behalf of the Houston chapter.

At the same meeting, five UTSD students were awarded scholarships from the Hispanic Dental Association Foundation, its corporate partners and individual donors, including Colgate-Palmolive, Procter & Gamble, A-dec, Dr. Juan Villarreal, Dr. Esperanza Rodriguez and members of the Hispanic Dental Association. The scholarship winners included:

  • Colgate Scholarship: Cinthia Maldonado, DH2 and Dr. Brian Minavi, endodontics resident
  • Dr. Juan Villarreal Scholarship: Angela Guzman, DH2
  • Procter & Gamble Scholarship: Nick Rodriguez, DS3
  • A-dec Scholarship: Tanya Maestas, DS4

Minavi, who received an HDAF scholarship in the past, was invited to speak about its impact on his life.

Dr. Margo Melchor, HSDA faculty advisor at UTSD and Hispanic Dental Association Foundation Board member, accompanied the students to New York.  “It’s such an honor to witness these students and residents being recognized for their commitment and advocacy to helping eliminate oral health disparities in the Hispanic community,” she said. “I look forward to seeing them serve as the future leaders of the Hispanic Dental Association.”