Each year, IUPUI selects 50 graduate and professional students who embody the qualities that make IUPUI exceptional. Prior to the campus COVID-19 shutdown, a dinner was to be held in their honor on April 7, 2020. Although celebrated differently this year, IUPUI still honors its Elite 50 – students who demonstrate excellence beyond the classroom – in areas such as campus leadership, scholarly work, and community engagement.
IUPUI selected five IU School of Dentistry (IUSD) students to be among the Elite 50: Joshua Bussard, Gina Castiblanco-Rubio, Upasna Janu, Charmi Solanki, and Leah Stetzel. Congratulations to these five exceptional students!
Joshua Bussard is a 2020 DDS candidate. He has a passion for leadership in many dental organizations at IUSD and around the country. Bussard is a member of the Student Professionalism and Ethics Association, Student Outreach Clinic, American Dental Education Association, Global Service Learning, and American Student Dental Association. He is also first-chair violinist and concert master of the Indiana University School of Medicine Orchestra. Bussard’s desire to continue growing as a clinician and paying it forward has encouraged his pursuit of a residency program. He was matched with an Advanced Education in General Dentistry Residency Program in Hawaii.
Dr. Gina Castiblanco-Rubio is a PhD candidate in dental sciences. She has been involved in multiple community engagement and service activities, such as serving as a Graduate Emissary for Student Diversity, mentoring and supporting other graduate students. She engages with the community in numerous ways, including volunteering with a school-based research project aimed at estimating Molar-Incisor Hypomineralization − a developmental dental enamel defect − in school children in the State of Indiana. Her commitment to research and professionalism is extensive and can be seen in her participation in the writing and submission of an NIH-R03 grant.
Dr. Upasna Janu is a rising third-year periodontology resident. During her residency, she is conducting research on "Effects of Cannabidiol on Cytokines and Growth Factors Expression from Cigarette Smoke Condensate Treated Human Gingival Fibroblasts.” Dr. Janu is engaged in numerous service activities at IUSD, including the IUSD Advanced Graduate Committee, teaching predoctoral dental students, and volunteering for the American Academy of Periodontology. She is a member of the American Academy of Periodontology and has recently taken professional development and continuing dental education courses from the Midwest Society of Periodontology.
Dr. Charmi Solanki is a Master of Science in Dentistry candidate and is pursuing a clinical certificate in periodontology and a minor in oral pathology. During this time, she is researching medical emergency preparedness and knowledge among dental students at four dental schools under the mentorship of Dr. Vanchit John, chair, Department of Periodontology. Dr. Solanki serves on numerous IUSD committees, including the IUSD Advance Graduate Committee, and as IUPUI Graduate Student Organization representative.
Leah Stetzel is president of the DDS Class of 2020. Faculty, staff, and peers alike recognize Stetzel for her commitment to student leadership, community engagement, and scholarly pursuits. She has served on the search committees for the IUSD dean, assistant dean for Student Services, and director of Recruitment and Admissions and as vice president of the student chapter of the American Association for Women Dentists. Among her numerous other service positions, Stetzel has been a volunteer peer mentor and active planning committee member of IUSD’s Give Kids A Smile events.
Congratulations to IUSD's Elite 50!
By: Megan Stephens Assistant Editor, IUSD Communications
Wednesday, April 29, 2020