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Alexandra Martella earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in brain, behavior and cognitive science, prior to attending the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry.

While at the University of Michigan she was the vice president of philanthropy and marketing on the executive board of the Alpha Phi Sorority. Knowing early on that she wanted to be a dentist, she spent time working with her father’s dental practice and became active in the pre-dental society at U-M where she helped organize mentorship programs and outreach opportunities.

Once she entered UDM, her desire to serve the local community and student body grew. In her first year she sought out leadership roles and eventually became the president of the UDM chapter of the American Student Dental Association. As president, she helped organize the annual ASDA golf outing, Pre-Dental Workshop, and led the chapter to the Most Improved Chapter Award – the second highest award an ASDA chapter can receive. Thanks to ASDA, Martella attended meetings throughout the United States where she gained valuable leadership skills.

“I really enjoy meeting dental students from all over the country and getting to know them,” she said. “The keynote speakers at the national meetings inspired me to push myself harder and strive for perfection.”

At both the ASDA and Michigan Dental Association meetings, Martella had the opportunity to network with current and future leaders and learn from them as she pursued her goals in dentistry.

“Always strive to continually improve and master the skills necessary to achieve your goals,” Martella advised students thinking about pursuing a dental career. “In the pursuit of mastery you will gain invaluable lessons and grow both personally and professionally.”

If you want something bad enough you should do whatever it takes to achieve it while still maintaining your integrity. If you become frustrated and want to give up, don’t. The struggle will be worth it in the end.”

Winning the scholarship has helped Martella realize the resources and support the MDA and its members provide to dental students, and she hopes to be able to offer the same support to students and the profession once she graduates.

Upon graduation from dental school, Martella hopes to pursue a master’s degree in endodontics. She desires a residency with a strong community dental health program.

Whether it’s involvement in community programs, ASDA, or student government, her desire to become a dentist has always been fueled by a passion to connect with people and give back to others. She looks forward to graduating, entering specialty school, and continuing to be active in her local community, the American Dental Association, and the advancement of the profession.

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