WEST ALLIS, Wis. – The Wisconsin Dental Association Foundation today announced it has awarded $30,000 in 2021 scholarships to dental and hygiene students in Wisconsin. The scholarships will help alleviate dental education expenses for those students and help ensure the availability of quality oral care throughout the state for years to come.
Five dental students entering their fourth year at Marquette University School of Dentistry have received $5,000 each in WDA Foundation Tuition Scholarship Awards. Recipients of these awards are selected based on academic achievement, motivation, character and financial need. Students must also be Wisconsin residents and rank within the top 20 state students in their class in order to be considered.
Stephanie Drake of Pleasant Prairie is a first-generation college graduate who didn’t consider dentistry as a career choice until late in high school when she was encouraged by a friend. Having no close personal connections in the professional dental community, she made it a priority to seek out information from a variety of sources. Stephanie looks forward to making a difference in oral health after graduation in May 2022.
Carly Kirkpatrick of Madison has always enjoyed connecting with people, sharing stories and experiences and lending a helping hand whenever possible. She knew from a young age that she wanted to pursue a career in healthcare because it would allow her to use her communications skills in a field that would directly provide a benefit to those she worked with. Carly can’t wait to ensure healthy smiles for her future patients.
Matthew Muelbl of Jackson developed an interest in dentistry after initially beginning a laboratory career. After completing his undergraduate studies, he spent eight years as a research technician and lab manager at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He felt the work was fulfilling, but lacked the ability to have a direct impact on the lives of others. He began to consider different career paths and unexpectedly met two dentists who invited him to shadow them. From that point forward, dentistry became his priority.
Klea Rota of Cudahy became familiar with dentistry in her native country, Albania. She remembered dental visits that lacked crucial dental instruments, anesthetic and sterilization. When her family immigrated to the United States, her perception of the dental field changed. She realized that dental offices in Wisconsin were much different from those she had experienced. Learning of these advanced practices and seeing the life-altering results they provide moved Klea to pursue a career in dentistry.
Lane Steinhaus of Portage told her parents that she wanted to be an orthodontist when she was just 7 years old – a desire that has always driven her academically. Lane has had the opportunity to travel to many developing nations, where she’s learned that oral care is not available to everyone to the same degree. Lane is eager to use her talents to impact the lives of those in need after graduation.
One dental student received a $2,500 WDA Foundation/Alliance Scholarship Award, given to a married Wisconsin resident in their second or third year of study.
Joseph Brostowitz of Peshtigo was brought up in a dental family where his parents not only built a successful practice, but also built the physical office. Although he was frequently around the practice and its staff, he said he was never “pushed” toward dentistry and instead pursued other interests. In time, he decided to pivot toward dentistry, a career that had meaning and was familiar to him. Married with two children, Joseph credits his wife with keeping the family grounded, all while pursuing her own career path in medicine.
The WDA Foundation also awards $500 scholarships to support students in Wisconsin technical colleges who are studying dental hygiene. Recipients must be Wisconsin residents who have excelled academically and are in need of financial assistance. Awards have been presented to one student at each the following colleges, determined by their school’s committee of faculty members:
- Chippewa Valley Technical College – Maci Betthauser of Tomah
- Fox Valley Technical College – Hayley Miller of Oshkosh
- Milwaukee Area Technical College – TBD
- Northcentral Technical College – Kali Dennis of Wausau
- Northeast Wisconsin Technical College – Madeline Nielsen of Abrams
Since 2000, the WDA Foundation has awarded $291,000 in scholarships to dental and dental hygiene students. Donations from many people and organizations have helped the foundation provide financial support for statewide charitable dental care, oral hygiene outreach and education efforts for 64 years.
Visit the WDA Foundation donor page on www.WDA.org for information on how you can help with a donation.