a man wearing glasses and a blue jacket

KT (Kallan Thomas) Elle


Hey There!

My first name is Kallan Thomas, altogether, like Mary Jane or Bobby Ray, although I’m affectionately known as KT to most. I find it hard to describe in words how thrilled I am about the next year with SNDA! I will proudly be serving as National SNDA Treasurer for the 2023-24 Academic Year. Much like the Carolina Panthers, I hail from both of the Carolinas, as I have spent a significant portion of my life in both states. I earned my Bachelors of Science from the illustrious University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2018, before completing an Applied Associates Degree in Dental Assisting in 2020.

Since starting dental school at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine in 2021, SNDA has become a huge and very fulfilling aspect of my life! Locally, I serve as Programming Coordinator where I work to organize events that are engaging, diverse, and specific to the niche community at Pitt Dental. It was an amazing experience to apply that experience on the national level while planning the 2023 National SNDA

Convention in New Orleans, LA. I hope it was as unforgettable for you as it was for me!
The next stop on the map for SNDA is none other than Las Vegas, Nevada! With all the excitement that comes with our Annual Convention, there is an abundant amount of logistic and financial preparation needed to ensure our success. Current Treasurer-Elect, Kareem Ahmed, and I are tasked with managing the monetary side of things and we have big plans for the next year. You can do your part as an SNDA member by paying close attention to form submissions, deadlines, and emails from us as we work hard to cultivate a positive, fair, andsafe experience for all. Please don’t ever hesitate to reach out with any questions. See you in VEGAS!

KT (Kallan Thomas) Elle
University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine
Doctor of Dental Medicine Candidate 2025

Member Testimonials

After being accepted to dental school, uncertainty clouded my thoughts about the experiences, connections, and opportunities awaiting me among 140 classmates. Learning about Midwestern CDMI's inaugural SNDA chapter in my first year brought profound reassurance. SNDA represents a sanctuary, a platform for service, an advocacy realm, and a networking hub, among other things. This organization has catalyzed significant positive change for individuals with backgrounds like mine, and I'm immensely grateful for the chance to contribute to its enduring legacy. Through SNDA, I've found not only a supportive community but also opportunities for personal and professional growth. Its emphasis on diversity and inclusion has fostered an environment where everyone feels valued and empowered. SNDA has truly enriched my dental school experience, providing me with lifelong connections and a sense of belonging that I cherish deeply. I am excited to continue my journey with SNDA and see the impact we can make together in the future.
A smiling black woman with glasses and a blazer.

Sydnie Taylor

Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine Illinois - Class of 2026

It is hard to encapsulate what SNDA exactly means to me by using only a few words. During my dental school journey, SNDA has not only helped to make me a better scholar, but it has provided me with the resources and opportunities to make all my dreams into a reality. Through the support of SNDA, I was able to establish the first USNDA chapter on the campus of Michigan State University that provided social, leadership, academic, and volunteer opportunities to its members. I was able to attend the SNDA national conference where I got to make connections, meet fellow colleagues who look like me, and become more enthralled with this career path that I have chosen. SNDA to me is about building lifelong relationships with individuals who become like family. It is about supporting one another to achieve any goals you may have. It is about a community built on the principles of diversity, equality, and inclusion. Lastly, SNDA has helped mold me into the thought-provoking student clinician that I try to be today. I have been able to see first-hand where SNDA has taken me so far and I can only imagine where it will take me during the pursuit of my future aspirations.
James in suit posing for camera

James Bennett III

University of Michigan School of Dentistry - Class of 2026

Being a part of SNDA has undoubtedly been a pivotal aspect of my dental school journey. As I embarked on my first year, nerves tingled about starting this adventure miles away from home, but SNDA swiftly transformed into my comforting home away from home. Within SNDA, I discovered more than just a group; I found a close-knit community, unwavering support, invaluable mentorship, opportunities for personal growth through leadership roles, and the foundation for lifelong friendships. Moreover, the inclusiveness and well-versed members of SNDA played an integral role in shaping my dental school experience. Their openness and diverse perspectives helped foster an environment where everyone felt valued and supported, contributing to the richness of our collective journey. These experiences have deeply enriched my time in dental school, shaping me in ways I never imagined. For these reasons, and countless more, I will forever be grateful for SNDA and the remarkable family it has bestowed upon me.
Heywan posing for camera

Heywan Gessesse

University of Maryland School of Dentistry - Class of 2024

SNDA has been a guiding light throughout my dental career, offering invaluable support and opportunities that have shaped my journey in profound ways. Amidst the rigorous demands of dental school, SNDA serves as my anchor, keeping me rooted and connected to fellow individuals who share similar backgrounds and experiences in dentistry. Through SNDA, I've found a space where I can authentically be myself, surrounded by a welcoming community that embraces diversity and inclusion. The mentorship programs offered by SNDA have provided me with guidance, encouragement, and invaluable insights from seasoned professionals who have walked similar paths. As a young African American man navigating the field of dentistry, SNDA has provided me with an immeasurable network of support and camaraderie. SNDA has been instrumental in shaping my identity as a dental professional and has equipped me with the skills, knowledge, and support network needed to succeed in this challenging yet rewarding field.
Zach in scrubs facing camera

Zack Thomas

Tufts University School of Dentistry - Class of 2025

Left Arrow
Right Arrow

Keep up with SNDA

Three women posing in front of balloons at a heartland event.
A group of young men sitting at a conference table.
A group of women posing for a photo in front of a banner.
A group of people posing for a picture on stage.
A group of people holding awards in front of a colorful backdrop.
A group of people posing in front of balloons.
A group of people in lab coats posing for a photo.
A group of young people posing for a photo.
A group of people in formal attire posing for a photo.
A group of people toasting with champagne at an event.
A group of people posing for a photo at an event.
Left Arrow
Right Arrow