D3 Student Named DTA Foundation National Scholarship Recipient

SDM student Elina Nourmand in front of the fountain located on Stony Brook's main campusElina Nourmand, a third-year student at Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine, has been awarded a $10,000 scholarship from the Dental Trade Alliance Foundation (DTA) and Darby Dental. Nominated by the Office of the Dean to represent Stony Brook, Nourmand was selected from an applicant pool of representatives from dental schools nationwide.

The scholarship fund was created in collaboration with the Robert J. Sullivan Family Foundation in 2012 to award third- and fourth-year students at United States dental schools who “demonstrate academic excellence in dentistry; financial need; and a commitment to community service.”

“I will forever be thankful to the DTA Foundation and Darby Dental who made my dreams a reality,” Nourmand said. “I am truly humbled to receive this incredible honor and plan on using this scholarship as fuel to continue my passion for community service and making a positive impact on the lives of others.”

“To receive this scholarship is a tremendous honor of which Elina should be very proud,” stated Dr. Dolores Cannella, associate dean for education at the SDM. “In addition to being an excellent student, she has shown she is committed to providing care for underserved populations through participation in several outreach opportunities.”

Nourmand is a member of several student organizations at Stony Brook, and even established a new club called Smile Savers, which aims to improve the oral health and well-being of the local community through educational workshops at local libraries and schools, fundraising for oral hygiene supplies, denture care initiatives for senior citizens, and mouthguard safety talks for athletes.

Last week, Nourmand and her classmates screened and provided preventive care for children and adolescents returning to school through the SDM’s Give Kids a Smile Day.

“My goal as a future dentist is simple: to help others without limits,” Nourmand said. “As someone who grew up with immigrant parents, I understand what it means to feel limited. Therefore, when I graduate, I dream of opening up a clinic focused on providing accessible and equitable oral healthcare services to those who need it the most.”

Nourmand graduated from Macaulay Honors College at Brooklyn College, where she was a member of the school’s Pre-Dental Society, scribing and providing education to children in the Bronx through the Give Kids a Smile program. She also served as the treasurer of the Women in Pre-Health Professions club, and her contributions to empowering women aided in receiving the Brooklyn College Alumni Association Student Award.

Before enrolling in the SDM, Nourmand spent two years as a chairside dental assistant for Jonathan M. Schwartz, DDS, synchronously providing him with the necessary instruments throughout treatments. She also spent more than 100 hours volunteering at Brooklyn Dental Services at New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, shadowing Reneida Reyes, DDS ’78, in helping to provide care and education for pediatric patients.

Said Nourmand of her career path: “Ultimately, I would like to go to sleep each night knowing that I exerted every effort to change the anxiety typically associated with the word ‘dentist’ through equitable and premium dental care.”