A dental tradition

June 24th, 2013

dental-tradition-titleDr. Kelly Martinez Owen ’12, a resident in orthodontics, comes from a long line of Hispanic dentists. Her mother, Dr. Sylvia N. Martinez, is a dentist, and her grandfather, Dr. R.A. Navarro, was a dentist.

That’s why receiving the $5,000 Colgate-Palmolive/Hispanic Dental Association Foundation Scholarship took on special significance for Owen and her family.

“The week after I won this scholarship, my grandfather passed away,” Owen says. “He was the reason my mother and I became dentists. The timing of this award could not have been more appropriate for my family.”

dental-tradition-1Owen filled her four dental school years at A&M Baylor College of Dentistry with more than course work and clinic time. She served the National Student Research Group as vice president, participated in the Predoctoral Student Research Program in 2008 and 2009, and was co-president of the college’s Hispanic Student Dental Association chapter in 2009-2010.

Through it all, Owen, a 2011 President’s Scholarship recipient, also found time to serve the dental school’s Psi Omega chapter as community service chair and volunteer as a student mentor with the Great Expectations mentoring program.

The scholarship award will be used to help pay for Owen’s graduate orthodontic education. Once she finishes her residency, she plans to continue practicing in Texas and supporting the Hispanic community, which is one of the scholarship’s criteria.

“Once I have established a practice, a goal of mine is to volunteer through a local Hispanic Dental Association chapter,” says Owen, “donating orthodontic care to several children each year in the Hispanic community who would benefit from orthodontic treatment but whose families would not be able to afford it otherwise.”

— Jennifer Fuentes