Western Society of Pediatric Dentistry

Leadership Intern Program

The Western Society of Pediatric Dentistry Leadership Internship was established in 2018. The program is modeled after the CSPD Warren Brandli Leadership Internship Program, to support the concept of leadership training and mentorship for young pediatric dentists. The expectation is that the program will identify and develop future leaders who may serve in leadership roles of the WSPD and other professional organizations.

The program is designed to attract applicants who are interested in leadership development, especially those who demonstrate an interest in learning about State, WSPD and District governance with a goal to serve in volunteer leadership. Applicants must be current pediatric dental residents from one of the WSPD States/Western District regions training programs or a recently graduated pediatric dentist within their first 3 years of completing their residency who resides and practices in a WSPD state, province or Western District. All applicants must be a current member of the AAPD and WSPD. The selected intern will be assigned a mentor as well as train under their state’s Public Policy Advocate for a period of one year. They will also receive funding to attend all Board meetings and select regional and national pediatric dental conferences during that year.

Dr. Andrea Akabike (current leadership intern 24-25) was raised in Compton, CA. She is a first-year pediatric dental resident at the University of Washington. In June 2020, she received her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree with honors from the University of California, San Francisco.
Dr. Akabike is dedicated to improving access to oral health care for vulnerable populations. Her passion for serving vulnerable communities led her to get awarded the highly competitive National Health Service Corps scholarship. Prior to starting residency, she practiced as a general dentist for three years at a federally qualified health center in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Dr. Akabike’s interest in organized dentistry sparked during her participation in the California Dental Association’s (CDA) Leadership Development Program. After completing the program, she later became an Associate Director on the CDA Foundation Board. Her tenure with the CDA was a transformative experience for her and solidified her interest in seeking opportunities to become a leader in organized dentistry.

When Dr. Akabike is not practicing, she enjoys traveling, extreme heights activities, listening to live music, and spending quality time with her family.

To learn more about this program, or to apply as a candidate, please contact Christine Roalofs croalofs@gmail.com