News Releases

WDA Foundation gives back to dental and hygiene students with $30,000 in scholarships

Sep 26, 2022

         WEST ALLIS, Wis. – The Wisconsin Dental Association Foundation has recognized 11 state dental and dental hygiene students with scholarships. A combined amount of $30,000 has been awarded in 2022 scholarships, helping to alleviate dental education expenses and ensure the availability of statewide quality oral care for years to come.

         Five dental students who entered their fourth year at Marquette University School of Dentistry in fall 2022 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. This year’s recipients are:

  • Megan LeGros, Muskego, took an indirect path to dentistry, beginning her journey into healthcare as an EMT. While she loved making a difference in the lives of those she served, the irregular hours and heartbreak that can come with the role prompted her to take a different direction. Enjoying the variety that general dentistry provides, Megan hopes to practice in health-shortage area, most likely in or near Milwaukee County.
  • Drake Lindholm, Sun Prairie, is a self-proclaimed “people person” who was drawn to dentistry due to his love of biological science and the opportunity to work with his hands. He hopes to combine the two skills to produce the best esthetic outcome possible for his patients. As Drake is bilingual, he looks to begin his career in an urban community clinic, eventually opening his own general practice in Southeastern Wisconsin.
  • Margaret Miller, De Pere, credits a presentation by a dentist when she was in 3rd grade with starting her on the road to dentistry and a volunteer stint at a free clinic that solidified her goal. Loving the versatility of general dentistry, Margaret hopes to find a path that “challenges, teaches, supports and excites” her each day. Eventually she would like to move back to the Green Bay area where she hopes to have the opportunity to be part of a dental team.
  • Ciara Schwarz, DeForest, a first-generation college student, says she witnessed the mental and physical challenges that befell individuals undergoing oral crises. The perceived defeat in their eyes sparked her desire to pursue dentistry as a career. While embracing the variety general dentistry provides, Ciara says she is drawn to orthodontics. She would like be in the position to treat a few patients each year that would traditionally be unable to pay for orthodontic services.
  • Rachel Thornton, Middleton, has considered a career in dentistry since the 4th grade when she says she learned the impact a beautiful smile has on a person’s life through a teacher’s presentation. That discussion opened her eyes to the importance of improved oral care. Passionate about working with children, Rachel looks forward to educating and intervening at an early age to prevent the progression of oral disease.

     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. The recipient for this year is:

  • Tristan Rostagno, Brookfield, came to the profession of dentistry through a series of experiences. These experiences led him to realize that dentistry possess a psychological, quality-of-life aspect while allowing him the opportunity to create lasting relationships, treating family members from childhood through adulthood. Tristan is planning for a career as a general dentist in Southeastern Wisconsin.

      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 were presented at the following colleges: 

  • Chippewa Valley Technical College – Bridget Meyers, Durand
  • Fox Valley Technical College – Nixie Thao, Appleton
  • Milwaukee Area Technical College – Cindy Yang, Milwaukee
  • Northcentral Technical College - TBD
  • Northeast Wisconsin Technical College - Mikayla Michlig, Suamico

    Since 2000, the WDA Foundation has awarded $320,000 in scholarships to Wisconsin 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 65 years.

     To find out how you can help with a donation visit the WDA Foundation donor page on

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