IU Dental Student Helps Create New National Association for Ethics and Professionalism

Indiana University dental student Ewelina Ciula, a member of the Class of 2013, represented the IU School of Dentistry in a group that recently met at the University of Southern California School of Dentistry in Los Angeles to lay the groundwork for the creation of a new organization with dental school chapters that will focus on ethics and professionalism development.

Ms. Ciula joined nine other dental students in identifying the vision and core values and drafting an initial strategic plan for the new Student Professionalism and Ethics Association (SPEA), which is an offshoot of the Student Professionalism and Ethics Club (SPEC), established at the University of Southern California in 2007. SPEA will replace the club this fall.

 The project was sponsored by several national organizations, including the American Student Dental Association. Participating students were from dental schools at the University of the Pacific, IU, Midwestern University, University of Southern California, UCLA, and Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. Larry Garetto, principal adviser to our local student group, attended the inaugural California meeting as an observer/adviser on behalf of the American College of Dentists. He is a past president of the American Society for Dental Ethics and has represented the society as liaison to the American College of Dentists’ board of regents since 2008.

 IU’s SPEC chapter, which got off the ground in the fall of 2010, will begin holding monthly meetings when it becomes an association chapter this fall.