WDA Foundation awards $13,500 in dental and hygiene scholarships

WEST ALLIS, WIS., May 19, 2014 – The Wisconsin Dental Association Foundation is helping lighten the higher-education financial burden of 10 dental and dental hygiene students in the state by awarding them a combined $13,500 in scholarships.

“Today’s dental students face a difficult financial road. With the cost of attending dental school hovering around $200,000, every dollar received helps make the journey a little easier,” WDA Foundation President Dr. Loren Swanson, a retired general dentist from Oshkosh, Wisconsin, said.

Four state residents who will enter their fourth year at Marquette University School of Dentistry in the fall will each receive $2,500 on the basis of academic achievement, motivation, character and financial need.

Jason Meinhardt of Schofield will be a third generation dentist. Helping the underprivileged is a personal goal of Meinhardt who said, “Dental school rotations showed me how patients with limited income were able to benefit immensely through charitable care.”

Michael Moran of Colgate co-chairs the Sustainability Committee of the Marquette Chapter of the American Student Dental Association and helped host the school’s first annual Sustainable Living Fair. Moran would like to build his dental practice using local, sustainable materials and implement energy and cost-saving measures.

Luke Noble of Appleton entered college as a biomedical engineering major. A college roommate introduced the idea of dentistry as a way to mix Noble’s desire to serve and impact people’s lives with his passion for biology.

Daniel Stevens of Sun Prairie was intent on becoming a doctor, but discovered he wanted to establish lasting relationships with patients, collaborate with staff and colleagues, operate a small, private business and change people’s lives for the better while still having a work-life balance.

Dr. Adam Pasono of De Pere, a recent MUSOD graduate, is the $1,000 WDA Foundation/Alliance Scholarship recipient. Funding for this award was donated by the now-disbanded Women’s Alliance of the WDA. It is given to a married Wisconsin resident in his or her second, third or fourth year of dental school. Pasono dreamed of being a professional baseball player as a child, but during his second year at Xavier University, “The world of dentistry hit me like a 95-mile-per-hour fast ball.” Pasono met his wife at dental school where they had “date nights” in the school library or practiced crown and bridge work in the simulation lab.

“While the costs for a dental hygiene education are not on the same level as those for dental school, hygiene students still face upwards of $13,000 to complete their chosen courses. The WDA Foundation is pleased to also provide support to these future dental team members,” Swanson added.

Five students enrolled in Wisconsin technical college dental hygiene programs received $500 each. Hygiene scholarship recipients must be state residents with academic achievement and financial need. The schools, their scholarship recipients and students’ cities of residence include: