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Min Lin wins ADEA national scholarship award for preventive dentistry

At the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) Annual Session & Exhibition, which took place from March 9-12 in New Orleans, LA, third-year student Min Lin was selected from a national pool of applicants as one of 12 students to receive the ADEA/Haleon Preventive Dentistry Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded to predoctoral dental students who demonstrate a strong interest in preventive dentistry through personal activities and achievements, possess a superior academic record, and are nominated by the dean of their dental school.

Min Lin

“I am deeply grateful to ADEA for awarding me this prestigious honor, which acknowledges academic excellence in preventive dentistry,” said Lin. “Upon choosing dentistry as my life’s calling, I recognized its potential for me to contribute positively to the oral health of my community and beyond. When I embraced my passion for clinical practice, education, and research for dentistry, I aspired to foster preventive dental care and education for all patients.”

This is Lin’s second consecutive year being selected as a scholarship award winner by ADEA. In 2023 she was one of two dental students selected from a national applicant pool to receive the ADEA/Crest Oral-B Scholarship for Predoctoral Dental Students Pursuing Academic Careers, which supports dental students who demonstrate firm commitments to becoming dental educators.

Lin receives her award from Dr. Nader Nadershahi, Dr. Echazarreta and Dr. Susan H. Kass at the award ceremony.
Lin receives her award from Dr. Nader Nadershahi, Dr. Echazarreta and Dr. Susan H. Kass at the award ceremony.

“I am so thrilled that Min has won this scholarship award,” said Dean André Ritter. “This is a testament of the tremendous potential our students have to make a positive impact representing the University of Washington School of Dentistry at a national level.”

Lin was presented with the scholarship on stage during the award ceremony on the final day of the ADEA Session & Exhibition. One of the award presenters was ADEA’s keynote speaker for this year, Dr. Katya Echazarreta, who spoke about her journey as an immigrant and as the first Mexican-born woman in space.

“I found her stories very relatable,” said Lin about Dr. Echazarreta. “While pursuing various opportunities in my life, such as applying for these national ADEA awards, I’ve found myself wavering and doubting my chances of winning. I am increasingly convinced that life holds numerous unexpected surprises, as long as you are open to embracing new challenges.”

Dean Ritter with Lin after she received her award.
Dean Ritter with Lin after she received her award.

Lin has been a member of ADEA since 2018, while she was still a pre-dental student. Her interest in the organization was sparked when she attended one of ADEA’s GoDental events, meant to provide students interested in pursuing a career in dentistry with proper information and guidance. The meeting left a lasting impression, Lin said, because she could see the influence it was having on aspiring students like herself, and because of the supportive atmosphere throughout the event.

“I hope my success can encourage more dental students from our school to apply for different awards, scholarships, and opportunities out there in the future,” said Lin. “As my professor, Dr. [John] Yae, says, ‘If you know why something happens, you can prevent it. That’s the power of education.”

Lin extends heartfelt thanks to her many mentors throughout her journey so far, including her professors in the restorative department at the UW School of Dentistry: Dr. Daniel Chan, Dr. James Newman, Dr. Alireza Sadr and Dr. Yae. Lin says they are truly great role models and backbones for her, and that they continuously instill the importance of preventative dental care and education.