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Big smiles: Students achieve 100 percent acceptance at top dental schools across U.S.

Lyon College had three students and one graduate apply to dental school this semester, and all four were accepted.

Keifer Hartwig, ’19, of Corning, will attend the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Dentistry. Senior Vinston Van, of Batesville, will attend the University of Florida College of Dentistry. Senior Taylor Dale, of Batesville, has been accepted to five dental schools and is still making her decision.

Senior Ayden Henry, of Thayer, Mo., will attend the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry and received the university’s Dental Academic Scholar Award, which is presented to the top students in the incoming dental class.

“When I got the call that I had been accepted, I felt like I was on top of the world,” said Hartwig. “This has been a dream of mine for a while, so finally getting accepted felt amazing.”

Henry said he “couldn’t stop smiling” when he got the news.

“It’s been a stressful couple of months. Knowing that my future was set, and I didn’t have to worry about that anymore made me very happy.”

Van got the call from the University of Florida at 6 a.m.

“I was still kind of dazed when they told me,” he said, laughing. “It didn’t sink in until a couple of days later.”

Dale said she felt “excited and overwhelmed” because she has to select which university she will attend by the end of December.

Their professors were equally excited.

“I was thrilled when I heard that all four students were accepted,” said Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Cassia Oliveira. “I wasn’t surprised, though.”

She continued, “All four of them are top students and worked hard during their tenure at Lyon in preparation for the dental school application. It is fulfilling to see our hard work recognized by their own personal success.”

The students credited Lyon’s biology department for preparing them for the Dental Admission Test (DAT) and application process.

“It was hard material, but a lot of it was review because I’ve learned it here,” Dale said. “Lyon taught me the discipline and focus it took to succeed on the test.”

While his biology professors prepared him for graduate level education, Henry said Career Services helped him with communication and interview skills.

“The faculty and staff here prepared me in more ways than I can even explain,” Henry said. 

“The professors are always there to motivate you and encourage you to pursue your dreams,” said Hartwig. “I could not have gotten in without the awesome professors at Lyon.”