Chasing a dream

Madeline Lynn receives prestigious ADEA scholarship
March 20th, 2024

Third-year dental student Madeline Lynn was recently awarded the 2024 ADEA/Crest Oral-B Scholarship for Predoctoral Dental Students Pursuing Academic Careers. The $5,500 scholarship is presented annually to two dental students who intend to pursue teaching careers following graduation.

“Not a lot of dental scholarships are that large,” Lynn said. “There are some, but a lot of them are around $1,000. That’s the largest sum I’ve ever received in a scholarship before, and I’m only one of two students across the country that got it, which is really fun.”

The application process included sharing information about herself and her future plans and securing letters of recommendation from her professors. Lynn said many people helped her earn this scholarship, but she wanted to specifically thank Dr. Jayne Reuben and Dr. Matthew Kesterke.

“I was really encouraged by Dr. Reuben, my pharmacology professor,” Lynn said. “She told us about the ADEA scholarships and encouraged the class to apply for it, and I work with Dr. Kesterke on an ADEA mentor-mentee research project, so he wrote another letter. I also needed a letter of recommendation from the dean’s office.”

Before dental school, Lynn worked as a teacher through Teach For America. She earned a Master of Education from Southern Methodist University during her two years of teaching, and although she loved the classroom, she knew she didn’t want to be a high school teacher forever. After her first year in dental school, she taught in the Summer Pre-Dental Enrichment Programs for high school and college students.

Reuben said it was this background, and her growing expertise in the clinics, that set her up for an exceptional career as a teacher.

“Her passion for dental education is evident in her various accomplishments and experiences,” she wrote in her letter of recommendation. “I have no doubt that she will contribute significantly to the field as a future dental educator. Coupled with her training, Madeline’s work ethic, commitment to excellence and her determination exemplify the qualities necessary for an academic career, and I wholeheartedly endorse her for this scholarship opportunity.”

“[Academia] is something that I’ve always been interested in,” Lynn said. “I knew that I had a passion for working with people and helping people. I’ve always loved teaching and public speaking and passing on information to people. … I even have a little Instagram page where I give advice to pre-dental students on how they can improve their applications and stuff like that.

“I love helping those who come after us,” she said, “and I hopefully will get to do that for young dental students when I am a dentist myself.”

— Caleb Vierkant

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