I first heard about Universities of Shady Grove (USG) while applying for the Dental Hygiene program at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry (UMSOD) in Baltimore, Maryland. During that process, I was introduced to a new program being offered on the USG campus by UMSOD called the Clinical Dental Hygiene Leader (CDHL) program, which required prospective students to already have a bachelor’s degree to apply.

I had previously obtained my bachelor’s in Health Science at Mount St. Mary’s University and was extremely excited to hear about this program that would allow me to get a B.S./M.S. dual degree. The program is housed in USG’s brand-new Biomedical Sciences and Engineering Education building, which boasts an impressive dental clinic with state-of-the-art equipment where students of the program will be able to  learn and practice their skills in real life, while also serving the community.

I selected the UMSOD CDHL program because it gives me the opportunity to pursue dental hygiene while also obtaining a master’s degree in just two full years. The CDHL program differs from all other dental hygiene programs because it opens so many more opportunities after graduation and sets the students up to be leaders in the oral health care system. 

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic I have not been able to get more involved in the many clubs, organizations and activities USG has to offer, but I have been lucky enough to be on campus practicing my skills, while most other programs are learning remotely. I hope that in my semesters to come I get to be on the campus with other students so that I can explore more of what USG has to offer.

In the future I hope to practice dental hygiene in a clinical setting, but I am also interested in exploring other job opportunities with more of a role in leadership within the oral health profession.