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October Student Spotlight

October 05, 2020 925

Quick Summary:

Get to know CDA’s October Student Spotlight, Jacqueline Neumann from Loma Linda School of Dentistry class of 2021.

What were the last few months of dental school like under the stay-at-home order?

I always joke with family and friends that Loma Linda University School of Dentistry became “Zoom University School of Dentistry” during our D3 year! We have had the chance to take free C.E. courses on cda.org and observe and report on at least five graduate online classes per week that covered various dental specialties at our dental school.

I’m sure I speak for more than myself when I say I missed my classmates and patients and practicing my hand skills. Now that D4 year has begun, I feel incredibly blessed that our school is open and seeing patients and for the opportunity to be a teaching assistant for some of the other dental classes.

Lastly, I have tremendous respect for our educators, staff, faculty and administration for what they are doing to make sure we have the best educational experience possible under the circumstances.

Have your career aspirations changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

Dentistry is my second career (nursing being my first) and I couldn’t wait to be finished with school. I was a die-hard achieve-my-degree-and-begin-working sort of gal! Now I've considered applying for a GPR because I think I would like some more hands-on guidance for patients with difficult medical situations and because it would be a good blend of my previous skillset. In any case, I also see education and medical mission work for the underserved in my future.

What has been your favorite dental school moment or experience so far?

One of my favorite experiences during dental school was a service mission trip we took to Valle de Angeles, Honduras. I did my first DO filling on #S (and coincidentally the fastest one I've ever done)! The 6-year-old boy was a rare angel who fell asleep while I was working on him. His beaming smile melted my heart after I poked him awake with "OK amigo, ya terminamos!" (OK friend, we're finished!") Along with God’s help and an excellent team, we were able to serve 575 more wonderful people in 4 ½ days. I would love to go back and continue serving and making more memories there in the future.

What are you most looking forward to after dental school?

I’m so grateful to my family, my Adventist church family and my dental school family for helping me be as balanced and as whole as possible during these past few compressed years, but I’m truly looking forward to having a little bit more of my life back! While I’ve worked long enough to know that the working life is not all sunshine and roses, it will be nice to complete my educational goal and to move forward.

How has your life changed in the past year? 

Something really nice about my D3 year was that it was a bit slower paced, which allowed my classmates and me to decompress from second year.

I continue to hold two positions, one being in the American Student Dental Association and the other is being spiritual VP for my class. Unfortunately, we are no longer able to plan large in-person events. However, I know my life has been blessed and changed by observing the strong examples of leadership in those I work with, those who have gone before me and by the faculty who are interested, integrated and invested in us students as people. Dental school has changed my life in so many ways, and I would pick the person I am today versus the person I was coming into dental school any day.

Has a current dental school professor made a positive impact on you? What would you like to say to them?

Wow, how do I choose?! The list is truly endless! I would say that Dr. Vincent Chee and his family have been such solid, compassionate and giving individuals. I first met Dr. Chee on a wonderful dental school service mission trip to Ukraine, but since we’ve returned, he and his family have always had an open-door policy at their home and have hosted many events. Unbeknownst to us, they even postponed his wife’s surgery so it would not interfere with an event we had planned!

I would like to say: “Thank you, Dr. Chee, for being a living example of Christ’s love through your hospitality and mentorship. You treat your job more like a calling. And lastly, your strength lies in that you and your wife deeply love God and love people, which make you both examples of LLUSD’s motto: Service is our calling.”

A special shoutout to Dr. Ryan Becker, Dr. James Trott and Dr. Vaughn Kearbey, who are all amazing educators.

What type of animal represents your personality and why?

I would be a cat-dog. While I love having my independence and have surprisingly enjoyed being a homebody, I have been told that I am quite friendly and am deeply loyal to the people in my life.

Why are you #cdaproud?

I’ve been really impressed with the quality of events, seminars, conferences and community service CDA and its members participate in! CDA is filled with passionate, innovative and knowledgeable dentists and professionals. I remember attending the CDA conference in Anaheim and meeting dentists at a Christian booth whose passion is to reach the unreached (think out-in-the-boonies), as well as seeing all the innovative and portable equipment they had developed for that purpose. This is one of the many reasons I’m #cdaproud.