Osinde honored with Betty J. Scott Scholarship

January 27th, 2015

A high school sports accident sparked this fourth-year dental student’s initial interest in the profession. Motivation and a heart for serving others has gotten him this far — and helped him glean honors along the way.

It was purely by accident that Junior Osinde was led to dentistry. An outside linebacker for the Arlington High School football team, Osinde was accustomed to absorbing crushing hits — it was just part of the sport. During a game in fall 2006 he was blindsided, and the weight of the other player was too much. Osinde walked away but with deep cracks in two upper teeth.

Junior Osinde, third-year dental student“The idea of my teeth being flawed for life made me never want to laugh or smile again,” writes Osinde, now a fourth-year dental student, in his 2010 admission essay to Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry. “Then one trip to the dentist erased my fears and sparked intrigue in my young mind.”

More than four years later, Osinde has translated that same dedication shown in high school athletics to dental outreach initiatives and research endeavors. A member of the Class of 2015, he is the recipient of the 2015 Betty J. Scott Scholarship.

The $4,000 award, created in honor of longtime college registrar Betty Scott, is intended to recognize a well-rounded senior dental student with “head skills, hand skills and heart skills,” according to Dr. Jack Long, associate dean for student affairs.

As Osinde’s clinical skills have grown, so too has the frequency with which he volunteers his time to dental outreach efforts, including stints at the Mission Arlington dental clinic, HOPE Medical and Dental Clinic in Cleburne, Texas, Texas Mission of Mercy events and Operation Lone Star in the southern part of the state.

Junior Osinde, left, talks with Dr. Stephen Crane during Operation Lone Star in Mission, Texas, in August 2014.

Junior Osinde, left, talks with Dr. Stephen Crane during Operation Lone Star in Mission, Texas, in August 2014.

Dr. Jonathan Clemetson, clinical assistant professor at the college, worked with Osinde at Operation Lone Star in August 2014, as well as at several other community dental events.

“I have found Junior to be one of those students who understands what it means to be a health care provider,” says Clemetson, a 2002 and 2010 alumnus. “Junior has a heart of compassion. His approach and calm resolve is very therapeutic, and as important, he is very respectful of his patients. He is the kind of person I will be very proud to call a colleague.”

Active in organizations including the Christian Medical and Dental Association and sports chair for his class, Osinde has served as a mentor to Summer Predental Enrichment Program participants and as a volunteer for the Student National Dental Association’s annual Impressions Program at TAMBCD.

After Osinde completes his dental degree he plans to start a practice in Terrell, Texas, in summer 2015 and work at TAMBCD as a part-time faculty member. His understanding of the impact he will make as a dentist has not wavered. It’s the same mindset he had when applying to dental school.

“The more I shadow dentists and become more involved in dentistry, the more I love what a dentist can do for people,” Osinde continues in the application essay. “The best part of a dentist’s undertaking is that they are able to give people back their self-esteem.”

—Jenny Fuentes

— Jennifer Fuentes