During my senior year in high school, I spent every weekday shadowing a local dentist in urban North Carolina. Witnessing a waterproof camera capture an image of a prepped tooth so that a crown could be properly sculpted was an awesome experience for a high school student. Holding suction for an innovated procedure that took no more than two hours to complete, left me in awe. The direction that the practice of dentistry was going in fascinated me. I decided to pursue a degree in Biology at Winston Salem State University in North Carolina in preparation for a career in dentistry.
It was during my undergraduate work that I became painfully aware of a societal population that was very different from what I knew. It was when I volunteered at the Samaritan Ministries that I saw how everyday required dental care eludes people who have no means of acquiring it. During my undergraduate studies, Samaritan Ministries afforded me opportunities to volunteer throughout my. The ministry operates a shelter which provides dinner, showers, spiritual uplifting, some medical care, and breakfast for homeless men in Winston Salem, NC. With each opportunity, a genuine sense of reward was felt with each sound of laughter and every glimmer of hope seen while fellowshipping. Concerns grew, however, in just how little oral hygiene was valued by the men who stay and facilitate the shelter. After several lengthy conversations with a few of them, I realized they had misconceptions and fears of dentists, which they had fostered from an early age. Deducing such, my career goals are dedicated to mission dentistry. Instead of taking dentistry abroad, opportunities to serve those in need right here in our communities will be my focus. Creating an outreach program that pulls together teams of dentists to educate youth and underrepresented populations about good dental practices will be the core of my methods. This is part of my initiative to change mindsets and increase access to care by curtailing fear of dentists in individuals who can grow into healthy adults, valuing the importance of oral hygiene.
My strong desire to educate our youth and my diligence to bring change are all qualities that have made me successful thus far. A previous job tutoring students of different ages and mostly identifying with my fellow biology classmates has taught me how to be supportive and identify with others. I do not wallow in the problem but create solutions. Also, serving as a Legacy Leader during Ramdition, a weeklong orientation hosted by the students and faculty at Winston Salem State University in 2011 and 2012, taught me how to calmly deal with unexpected situations with poise and confidence. Collectively, the executive positions, jobs, and volunteerism have helped me to become a stronger leader and an efficient problem solver that is able to work well with others.
These attributions along with a positive attitude are the least of what is offer my graduate school program and what I can offer to the students I tutor. I will work tirelessly to positively push my students toward achieving academic goals that will benefit us the remainder of their academic careers. I am confident in my capabilities as a successful tutor.
Undergraduate Degree: Winston Salem State University - Bachelors, Biology, General
Graduate Degree: Hampton University - Masters, Medical Science
Weight lifting, cooking, watching movies and crafting
What is your teaching philosophy?
In my opinion, the success of a teacher is contingent upon how confident that instructor is able to make students feel about mastering, and overcoming concepts and lessons in that course and other courses to come in the future.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Typically, I try and gather as much information as possible about the goal of the student in relation to the course they wish to study. I let them know my plans to help them academically, and how these practices will translate in other avenues outside of this course and academics as well. My first session always end with letting that student know that we will be able to progress and achieve goals, as long as we both work hard to get there.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Serving as a supplemental instructor during my undergraduate career, I learned that the best way to help students identify with their learning style is to help them realize what they have done to understand and retain information prior to feeling uneasy about concepts. It is very important, in my opinion, to let them know that they are successful students, although they may be struggling at the moment.