The air buzzes with excitement as 650 dental students from across the country stroll the red carpet, schmoozing with the dental “celebrities” in attendance. They’re all decked in the nicest clothes they could fit in their suitcases, and smiles and laughter abound. The delegation from Colorado ASDA walks in confidently, but I feel traitorously nervous. Colorado is on the ballot for several awards, many in the newsletter category. Why I was nervous, I may never know, but this is a blog, and one must spill ones feelings on a blog.
It’s practically a rule of blogging.
I try to mimic the confidence of my fellow Coloradoans, and perhaps I half-succeed. At least looking through the multitudes of pictures afterwards I can’t see my nerves on display. The doors to the ballroom open, but our group pauses to take a few additional pictures. People stream inside and I worry we won’t get seats. Finally, we push through the double doors and sit towards the back of the room, taking up nearly an entire row.
Past presidents and editors of ASDA take to the stage and perform song and dance, spinning about in fantastically sparkly outfits just like they do at the actual Oscars. Presenters occupy the microphone two at a time, unsealing envelopes and announcing winners while roasting anyone and everyone. Much of it rolls off of me. As this is my first national ASDA event, I don’t know most of the presenters, or who they’re good-naturedly insulting.
But then a familiar face takes the stage, Colorado’s very own Christian Piers. As national Editor-in-chief, he’s charged with announcing many of the newsletter-related awards. When he says, “People might think I helped with this newsletter…,” some part of me knows he’s going to announce Colorado as the winner, but I still have to be waved out of my seat by half my delegation when he inevitably does. I walk up on stage, smile for an acceptance picture—the spotlights are blinding so I have no idea where to look—and then make the long walk back to my seat, being congratulated by strangers the entire way. The experience was rather surreal.
By the end of the night, Colorado has won five Gold Crowns:
- Outstanding Membership and Communication
- Best Newsletter Layout and Design
- Outstanding Social Media
- Most Creative Presentation
- District 9 Delegate of the Year
This last one is won by our own Kyle Larsen, ’17, and truly, the other four are his awards as well. I know he’ll say, “It was a team effort.” And it surely was. We do have a fantastic group of wannabe dentists on our executive committee this year, led fearlessly by our Commander-in-chief, Christian Piers, ‘16. But Kyle does an unbelievable amount of work for Colorado ASDA, and these awards are his recognition for a job well done. Let me try to put this in perspective. In the last eight years, Colorado ASDA has won one Gold Crown Award.
This year, we won five.
That’s not coincidence.
~Rick Collette, Class of 2017, Colorado ASDA Editor-in-chief