Hometown: Wishek, ND
High School: Red Mountain High School
ASU Major: Bachelor of Science in biology, business minor
I enjoy meeting new people. This made the decision to go to ASU a pretty easy choice for me because the potential to make new friends is endless. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to pursue a career in dentistry, but I also wanted to be able to study business, my initial major. The top-tier business school, combined with the pre-health program and the vast number of extracurricular activities available made ASU my top school.
What activities are you involved in?
I am currently the president of pre-dental club at ASU. The pre-dental club allowed me to plan and volunteer in community service activities, gave me a chance to network with local dentists and admissions representatives from dental schools across the country and answered many of the questions I had about the application process. It is also a great opportunity to gain valuable leadership experience and practice teamwork while gaining hands-on experience in dentistry.
Most of my volunteer time is spent at Community Asset and Resource Enterprise (CARE) Partnership, Arizona's first student-run dental clinic that provides full comprehensive care to the underserved population of Mesa, free of cost. I began assisting and soon was promoted to floor manager, which allowed me to learn the instrumentation, materials and techniques used during various procedures. More importantly, I learned how to interact with patients while playing a part in facilitating their treatment.
I shadow an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Through these experiences, I have gained a great deal of insight into advanced dental complications and surgical correctional procedures involving the mouth, face, neck and associated regions.
I conduct research in an advanced microbiology lab at ASU. I collaborate with fellow undergraduate and doctoral students to study bacterial outer membrane-associated events in Escherichia coli, including assembly of outer membrane proteins, defensive cellular responses to envelope stress, antibiotic efflux and toxin transport.
Although I am not currently active, I must give credit to the social fraternity that helped shape who I am. When I joined as a freshman, I was constantly put in situations to meet new people and was always encouraged to be a part of community service and campus activities. I made friends who inspired me to strive higher and had my first opportunities to be a leader, building my self-esteem. It is safe to say that without my experiences in the Greek community, I would be a completely different person than I am today.
Best thing about ASU
The best thing about being at ASU is the vast number of resources and activities available. From clubs to community service to pre-health internships, there is always something fun and intriguing to be involved with, no matter what you are interested in. The pre-health clubs are great resources because they expose members to the profession and allow them to network. The Health Professions Advising Office is very friendly and wants to see students succeed. Their guidance, combined with the knowledge and leadership skills I gained from club involvement put me one step closer to achieving my dream of practicing dentistry.
Advice for students considering the pre-health program
Get involved early. The more you put into your ASU experience, the more you will get out of it. Involvement in campus activities makes the community feel the smaller and provides a sense of belonging. For pre-health students especially, early involvement with clubs, shadowing and internships provides opportunities to get a head start in the field, build solid résumés, and gain valuable leadership experience — all of which are necessary to be a competitive applicant to doctoral programs.
Meet as many people as possible. Meeting new people fine tunes social skills, provides insight into a variety of different backgrounds and perspectives and builds lifelong friendships.
Ask Questions. Don’t be afraid to ask. Many people undoubtedly have the same questions you do. Those who succeed are the ones who ask the questions. Advisors and professors are more than happy to assist any way they can, and truly want to see students reach their maximum potentials. ASU has a wealth of knowledge and information waiting to be taken advantage of, but you can’t get the answers if you don’t ask the questions.
I prepared for the Dental Admission Test (DAT) by taking a Kaplan preparatory course. I took the course over winter break so I could study uninterrupted throughout the day without having to worry about school obligations. Also, I had an awesome study partner to review material with and keep me sane during the intense and exhausting test preparation process.