December 22, 2016
Dante Brown, DMD Class of 2016, has made quite an impact on oral health in Chicago, and around the world.
During his DMD program, Brown volunteered to provide much needed dental services at Goldie’s Place, a community health center serving Chicago's homeless. Seeing five to 10 patients a day, Brown performed a variety of procedures, from fillings and sealants to extractions, while sharpening his skills. He also coached patients-who themselves have little access to dental care because of their financical situation- on improving oral hygiene behaviors. “It really helped me understand the magnitude of access to care issues,” he said. "Many patients in this population have short attention spans and difficulty tolerating care. It really helped me to grow as a student dentist.”
Brown also spent a summer in his DMD program doing volunteer dentistry for United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Chicago, through Robert Rada, clinical professor of oral medicine and diagnostic sciences. Brown also joined the Illinois National Guard in 2014. In 2013-14 he was treasurer of the UIC chapter of the American Association of Public Health Dentistry.
Scholarships and Mentors Advancing the Dental Profession
Brown was awarded the University of Illinois at Chicago Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship in April 2015. In addition to MLK Scholarship award, Brown also received UIC's Urban Health Program Student Ambassador award, Amy J. Cummins Scholarship, Nuveen Award, Pierre Fauchard Academy Scholarship and Illinois National Guard Grant.
Brown has well defined goals. “I plan to practice general dentistry for a few years, complete my Masters’ in Public Health, and then consider residency programs in dental public health,” he said.
Brown also understands the value of mentorship, who himself was mentored by his own dentist, Dr. Edward Ruiz, a 1987 graduate of the College. “When I was a sophomore I went to his office one day and told him I wanted to be a physician,” Brown said. The experience persuaded Brown to become a dentist. Later during his DMD program, he tutored other dentistry students and taught in the post-baccalaureate dental anatomy course.
About the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship
The University of Illinois at Chicago Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship program was established at UIC in 1985 to recognize outstanding under-represented UIC students, such as African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans, who have demonstrated high academic achievement in fields in which they are underrepresented and who have shown strong commitment to community and campus service. To qualify for the scholarship an undergraduate must have a minimum 4.0 GPA. Graduate and professional students must also show a record of high academic achievement.
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