University of Alberta dental student receives national award

3M National Student Fellowship Award

Cheryl Deslaurier - 30 April 2021

Tasha Hou, Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) Student Class of 2021, is one of 10 full-time diploma and undergraduate students across Canadian post-secondary institutions to be awarded the 3M National Student Fellowship Award.

 The 3M National Student Fellowship is the first in Canada to build community among visionary student leaders who demonstrate outstanding leadership and innovation through seeing current needs in higher education or society and implementing change.

Hou completed her Interdisciplinary Leadership Studies program certificate at the Peter Lougheed Leadership College in 2018. As part of her “Stretch Experience” (a 200-hour final project to develop an idea with the support of the faculty), she organized the Women in Dentistry and Mentorship Conference and Workshop.

Her conference was so well-attended and successful that she has expanded this into a recurring, student-run event. Although put on pause because of COVID, Hou has been dedicated to promoting equality among minority groups even before this experience. Along with a fellow DDS classmate, she started a lunch and learn speaker series called WELL (Women's Empowerment Lunch & Learn). WELL is a speaker series intended to: “create a positive support and networking environment for females in the DDS program, and give us some more individualized advice on how to better navigate our future careers.”

Hou was humbled by this recognition and was a bit lost for words. “I really didn’t expect this so the news is still just sinking in.”

Dr. Steve Patterson, Associate Chair, Academic, comments, “We are extremely proud of Tasha. She has fully embraced what this award is about by making the decision to enhance her learning through additional programming like the Peter Lougheed Leadership College while attending dental school, which is no easy feat.”