Skip to content Skip to navigation

Research Day 2016

Ann Arbor, MI — February 19, 2016 — A third-year dental student won top honors during the University of Michigan School of Dentistry’s annual Research Day for his work that focused on the stress and discrimination experienced by international students at U.S. dental schools and the support they received to help them cope.

Amir Aryaan, who says he has lived in four countries on three continents, investigated this area “because I value diversity.  Considering how today’s world is rapidly changing, how people are increasingly connected, and the migration that is taking place between nations, I thought it was important to investigate these areas.”

During the 2014-2015 academic year, 240 international students were among the 5,769 enrolled as first-year dental students across the country, according to statistics from the American Dental Education Associaton.

Aryaan asked 731 students (672 domestic and 59 international) in 15 U.S. dental schools to participate in his survey.  He says he learned that international students “were more stressed because they had difficulty coping.”  Those responding reported they “felt they experienced negative treatment because of their ethnic or racial background, cultural reasons, or because of language barriers.” 

Many of those international students, Aryaan says, found social support “with family or friends away from the academic environment.”  He adds he “strongly believes everyone has the potential for greatness, but more needs to be done to empower students to flourish so they reach their potential.”

For winning the Dentsply Award, Aryaan will participate in a research awards competition during the ADA’s Scientific Session in Denver from October 20-25.

Aryaan also received a new award, the AADR Travel Award, which recognizes the best presentation at an academic institution’s research day competition.  He received a complimentary registration and a monetary prize to assist in traveling to the American Association for Dental Research meeting March 16-19 in Los Angeles.  Approximately 20 universities presented the new award this year.  Aryaan’s mentor was Dr. Marita Inglehart.

Research Day keynote speaker was Dr. Pamela Den Besten, director of the Center for Children’s Oral Health Research at the University of California San Francisco School of Dentistry.

For a list of other Research Day winners, click this link...

View more photos from Research Day 2016 on the School of Dentistry Research Day 2016 Flickr Album.