About Symposium

About the Symposium

A one-day event has been developed for students (ages 14-18) who wish to pursue doctorate degrees in healthcare. The primary purpose of this symposium is to equip students with information on various pre-health programs/internships and professional school curricula. Age-appropriate activities will be provided and interested students are invited to participate. (Students selected for the symposium will represent minority (non-Caucasian or female), rural, economically-disadvantaged, and/or first-generation students of ANY racial background.) Scholarships will be given away in honor of the late Dr. Wisdom Coleman. Other cool prizes and awards will be given away! Lunch will also be served.

Mark your calendars! The 2018 Memphis Symposium will occur Saturday, August 25th. Applications are currently available. Click the link at the bottom of this page to print an application.

About Our First (2011) Symposium Speaker
Dr. Gist was the first African-American president of the 157,000 dentist member organization, the American Dental Association, which is the nation’s oldest and largest dental association in the United States.

Dr. Gist received his dental degree from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry and was a captain in the U.S. Air Force before entering private dental practice.

Before he was chosen president-elect by the 2009 House of Delegates in Honolulu, Dr. Gist had completed a four-year term on the ADA Board of Trustees as the trustee from the 9th District, which represents Wisconsin and Michigan. He had also served as a delegate and on the Reference Committee on Dental Benefits, Practice and Health as well as chair of the Diversity Committee.

During his one-year term, Dr. Gist planned to focus on membership outreach and advocacy efforts that will have special appeal to young dentists.

He and his wife, Jill, reside in Grand Blanc, Michigan, and have one daughter, Holly, and two grandchildren. We were elated to have him speak at our very first Symposium in 2011.

Dr. Wisdom F. Coleman

Dr. Wisdom Franchot Coleman

About the Scholarship
Scholarships will be awarded based on information provided on the applications. The advisory board will make a selection, and the winners will be announced at the event. The awards are provided in honor of the late Dr. Wisdom Franchot Coleman, Jr. Dr. Coleman began serving full-time as the Dean of Admissions for The University of Tennessee College of Dentistry in 2002 after serving as one of the first African-American faculty members at the college and after being in private practice for over 30 years.

Dr. Toddrick Smith summarized him best when he stated the following in an article written by the Commercial Appeal** during the time of his death: “He had an emphasis on recruiting minorities from all standpoints. But more importantly, he was concerned with getting well-qualified students in school, whether minority or majority,” he said. “When push came to shove, he recruited the best minds, no matter what race or nationality you were.” May his legacy live on!

**Source:  Callahan, Jody. “Dentist Led Minorities to Career.” The Commercial Appeal. 6 Aug. 2010. Online.

APPLY for the 2018 Memphis Symposium!
Applications for the 2018 Memphis Symposium are available. The deadline for submissions is Friday, June 1, 2018. Click here for an application: 2018 DDS Symposium General Application