Spotlight on summer enrichment program alums

January 12th, 2015

Chelsea Hooper, alumna of the TAMBCD Summer Predental Enrichment Program

Q&A: The road to dentistry with Chelsea K. Hooper

Chelsea Hooper is a senior business fellows and biology double major at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Her interest in the dental profession began early. It was through attending courses like the Summer Predental Enrichment Program — offered at Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry to high school and college students — that she decided upon dentistry.

Why dentistry: 

As a child I had an incredible dentist, and those positive experiences have had a lasting impression on my life and my ultimate choice to pursue dentistry. Like so many others, I have had some dental work, and I found dentists to be positive, intelligent and empathetic people. From those initial experiences until now, I have intensely researched the dental profession. Through shadowing in a variety of settings, assisting and participating in summer programs, my passion for dentistry has only intensified. A dentist is truly a jack-of-all-trades: an artist, an educator, a clinician, and a friend. I am excited for the opportunity to become that person for others.

My SPEP experience: 

SPEP at TAMBCD was incredible! This program was altogether one of the most challenging, exhilarating and rewarding experiences of my life. I would suggest it to all students seriously interested in the dental profession. The summer program gave me an opportunity to learn more about dentistry and introduced me to the rigors of dental school. SPEP also provided me with an invaluable opportunity to practice preclinical skills with veteran dentists and to prepare in depth for the Dental Admissions Test (all study materials included).

I’m sure it sounds like a lot of work for six weeks, and it was! However, it is my honest belief that SPEP prepared me for the idea of entering dental school next year. Every participant had a different academic background and a different story that led him or her to dentistry, but we all had the common goal of gaining entry and becoming successful in the dental profession. I gained lifelong mentors, friends and family during SPEP at TAMBCD, and I will treasure this experience for the rest of my life.

What I’m currently doing: 

I am finishing my last year of undergrad at Baylor University. I am taking upper-level sciences for exposure prior to dental school as well as some special special-interests courses — like ceramics and real estate — for fun! I will be entering dental school this fall, but until then, I will be saving up and relaxing before the real work begins. I am so excited for all that is to come!

— Jennifer Fuentes