GWU Chemistry Alumna Achieves Goal of Practicing Dentistry in Western N.C.

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Kristin Allison ’15 Practices in Morganton, N.C., and Works with People in Need

Kristin Allison works on a mannequin in the dental lab at UNC-Chapel Hill.Kristin Allison ’15, a native of Old Fort, N.C., applied to Gardner-Webb University with very little knowledge about the school. She was invited to interview for a scholarship and was impressed with the campus and the people. “As soon as I stepped foot on campus, I fell in love,” she recalled. “It truly felt like home, and the staff, students, and interviewers were incredibly kind and welcoming. A few weeks later, I received word that I had been offered a full scholarship to attend Gardner-Webb.”

After earning her degree in chemistry with a biology minor at GWU, Allison was accepted into the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Adams School of Dentistry. She earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery in May 2019, graduating with honors and distinction in community service. Her volunteer work included providing dental care at the Samaritan Health Center (Durham, N.C.), Durham Rescue Mission, North Carolina Missions of Mercy clinics and Give Kids a Smile.

She is working for Southern Dental Associates at a practice in Morganton, N.C., and plans to continue participating in mission trips and free or reduced dental clinics. “Being able to work as a dentist has been incredibly fulfilling and has reaffirmed my decision to pursue this career,” Allison shared. “I am thankful for the opportunity to provide kind and compassionate dental care, and I hope to make a positive difference in the lives of my patients. It is a privilege to provide dental care for patients in need and without access to care. As someone who has already been blessed tremendously, I firmly believe that I am called to steward what I have been given and use it to serve others.”

Her GWU classes emphasized critical thinking and application, which prepared her for the rigors of dental school. Because most classes had less than 10 students, she was able to work closely with the other students and professor. Working with research-grade equipment and modern instruments, Allison and Dr. David Judge quantified the amount of ginger in various ginger beverages.

“The people at Gardner-Webb were remarkable,” Allison stated. “It was such a blessing to have godly men and women pour into my life and remind me of the truth when my feet were slipping and I didn’t know which way to turn. Dr. (Venita) Totten and Dr. (Ben) Brooks went above and beyond their roles as faculty members. They edited my thesis, offered crucial career advice, vetted my resume and organized a practice interview for dental school. Their willingness to invest into my life and their genuine desire for both personal and professional success beyond the confines of the University impacted me the most. Their support was invaluable, and I could not have asked for better mentors and professors.”

Outside of class, she was president of both the Gamma Sigma Epsilon Chemistry Honor Society and the Sigma Zeta Math and Science Honor Society and secretary of Alpha Chi National Honor Society. She also served as a chemistry teaching assistant and a tutor for the Writing Center. “I met some of my best friends during those four years,” Allison shared. “If I had to go back and do it all over again, I would not change a second of my time at GWU! It was by far one of the best experiences of my life.”

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