OSU has a second year program called STEP, where if we write a proposal, we can get funded of up to $2,000. I used my money to go to City Impact, a place where I’ve done missions work in high school with my youth group. A couple of friends and I came back. Two of my friends did administrative work and helped the organization catch up on their paperwork, and my other friend and I volunteered at the health clinic. On the first day, we took vitals (I learned how to take blood pressure, O2 saturation, breathing/heart rate, height, weight, and temperature). On the second day, we got to shadow and help carry out any tasks with the head family doctor, Dr. Clifford Lau.

We got to see his patient interactions, and see how missions work and being a medical professional could tie in. We got to interact with the patients and for one patient, we gave her a foot bath to help treat her pain. Even though I didn’t get to shadow a dentist during my time there, it was neat to see medical interactions.

Total hours: 11.5 hours

-Thursday and Friday; 4 hours on Thursday, 7.5 hours on Friday

–> 9am – 2pm (with 1 hour lunch break)

–> 9am – 5pm (with 30 minute lunch break)

VAW Dental Trip


This summer, I got to serve on a service trip in the Dominican Republic. This was through Ohio State’s VAW Dental chapter. We went to the Dominican Republic and worked with a group of students from UPitt. We set up a free health clinic in a small town near Jarabacoa, and for a week we did the following jobs:

-shadowed and assisted one of the dentists

–> the extent of assisting was suctioning the patient’s mouth, helping take x-rays, and retrieving instruments for the doctor

-sterilization (sterilizing all the instruments)

-supplies (setting up prophy cleaning trays, restoration trays, extraction trays)

-vitals (glucose levels, blood pressure, temperature)

-intake (recording down patient information)

This was a challenging trip for me as it taught me how to interact and communicate with people that I normally don’t associate with, and especially the locals. I never knew Spanish, and the locals didn’t know English, so it was a challenge (but a good one!) to communicate. The dentist I shadowed (Dr. Noelia) also taught my partner and I some Spanish phrases to say to the patients. We spent one week at clinic, and then the second week exploring Dominican Republic.

Total Volunteering Hours: 30 hours

–>Monday – Saturday, 9am-3pm (1 hour lunch break) = 5 hours

(Shadowing Hours): 10/30 hours

–> Tuesday and Wednesday = 10 hours

Shadowing 2018

Spring Break:

Dr. Haines – General

-Dr. Haines was the first general dentist I’ve shadowed. Given that I’d only shadowed orthodontists, I wasn’t too clear on what general dentistry would look like. I was surprised at how many different procedures Dr. Haines was able to perform, and to see how he worked alongside with dental hygienists. I saw a lot of fillings and crown preps. I liked how Dr. Haines seemed very natural in the way he worked, and was very honest and calm towards his patients. His patients seemed to really enjoy him, and trusted him with their oral issues. Even the dental assistants commented on how good of  a dentist Dr. Haines was. He also gave me his input on why he chose dentistry over a specialization, which is something I am trying to deal with.

Dr. Emery – General

-Dr. Emery was probably my favorite dentist I shadowed of the three from break. He was super engaging in conversations, and talked through his procedures. He also showed me the different technologies he had in his office, including a Cerac machine. He also happens to work part-time at SIUE’s dental school, and his daughter (who graduated from the same high school as me!) also works at the office and the dental school as well! He was very encouraging and gave advice on dental school. Patients really enjoyed Dr. Emery. One notable one was the last patient I shadowed, who was a veteran and had not gone to the dentist in a long time. Dr. Emery was very understanding and made sure he explained everything to the patient so that the patient wouldn’t get anxious. Dr. Emery made sure to go the extra mile to make sure all of his patients were comfortable and informed of what was going on.

Dr. Hoover – General

-I finally got to shadow my personal dentist! I really enjoyed shadowing Dr. Hoover because she was the first female dentist I’ve shadowed. Not many dentists in the St. Louis area are female, so it was nice to see that someone who was the same gender as me. I wasn’t as engaged in the procedures, as she asked me to observe more from the outside (due to HIPAA), but she also talked me through how her practice ran, which was more old school. Dr. Hoover was also a non-traditional dental student, as she was a dental assistant for many years before deciding to take classes and then eventually dental school. I also got to see my first root canal, which was very interesting. She pulled out the nerves so effortlessly, she made it look easy.

Summer Break

Dr. Lori Logsdon – General

-A church friend of mine is actually friends with Dr. Logsdon and her dental assistant, so I was able to get a hold of her through that! She has a really nice office with very up to date technology. She is also a female dentist, which is even cooler! Very nice and talkative; able to hold conversations with her and asked her questions during her procedures. Got to see a root canal; I thought it was cool that she didn’t even need to use loops to see the hole!

Dr. Eric Emery – General

-got to shadow Dr. Emery again for two days! Already knew most of the information as he told me about it over Spring Break, but it was nice to see his patient interactions again and learn more about the procedures. Also learned to be careful about what to ask and say around patients, as some patients may be more anxious and don’t want to hear certain words/phrases as it may make them uneasy.

Dr. Justin Schlaikjer – Periodontist

-This was my first periodontist shadowing experience! Did not know what to expect (at first thought it was about root canals…which is actually endo). Was very blown away and interested after my first day shadowing. Dr. Schlaikjer is very good at explaining his procedures, and I got to learn about bone and gum grafts. Very interesting information, and I enjoyed the surgeries more than I expected (was afraid I would be really afraid).

Shadowing 2017

Notes from Shadowing Experiences

Dr. Hough – Orthodontics

-shadowed my personal orthodontist again over the summer of 2017. Dr. Hough and his practice is mainly the reason as to how I began thinking of dentistry/orthodontics as a career. His staff is super friendly, and Dr. Hough himself is a very calming and chill guy. He makes patients feel very comfortable and happy to be at an orthodontic appointment. I was never excited to visit any type of dental office until I got braces with Dr. Hough. It was not a very busy day, so I didn’t get to see a lot of action in the office, but it was nice chatting with my old orthodontist and talking about school.

Dr. Helmkamp – Orthodontics

-this orthodontist recently bought an old practice. I found out about Dr. Helmkamp through OSU’s Alumni Association in St. Louis. Turns out, she is from Ohio, and attended OSU’s College of Dentistry. Dr. Helmkamp was very engaging with me when I shadowed her, and explained everything she did. It was very good time shadowing her, and I was very interested and invested throughout the entire time.

G.O.A.L.S – 2nd Year

This is an update as to my GOALS for my honors contract

Global Awareness: My original goal was to travel abroad via one of Ohio State’s programs, and I am doing that the summer of 2018 through Volunteers Around the World – Dental Branch. I will be traveling to the Dominican Republic and shadowing dentists and helping educate people on the importance of dental care.

Original Inquiry: I have not yet been involved in research, but I have shadowed dentists and specializations in order to gain a deeper and more hands-on knowledge on the profession that I want to pursue.

Academic Enrichment: I have not partaken in research, but I have tutored through a nonprofit organization called The Bridge. I tutored elementary school students who are from refugee families and helped them with math and writing. I was a health sciences major, but I switched back into biology and added a business minor. I chose biology again because I realized it gave me the opportunity to take a lot of science-related classes that would help benefit me later on in dental school. I added a business minor because I thought it would be beneficial to have some background knowledge in the case that I want to manage and run my own practice in the future. My GEs have pertained a lot in the social aspect, and has taught me to think more critically of different people and thought processes (sociology, popular culture, anthropology).

Leadership Development: Within the past two years, I have become heavily involved in Big Buckeye Lil’ Buckeye (BBLB) and Asian American Intervarsity. I have also continued my membership at the Pre-Dental Club and Volunteers Around the World. For BBLB, we volunteer weekly to mentor inner-city youth. I have also become the treasurer for this club. For Asian American Intervarsity, I have been an apprentice and help lead small groups, especially with the freshmen.

Service Engagement: Through BBLB, I have volunteered and given back to the Columbus community. I have also given back to the St. Louis community, my hometown, by volunteering and discipling youth at my home church.

AHI Volunteering

This year, I started volunteering at this Asian Health Clinic at Rardin Family Practice. I go once a month on Mondays and help check patients in, print out any health forms, and shadow the physicians and medical students. Sometimes I will help translate. Even though I am not pursuing the pre-med track, it is cool to see how this area works and learn about different health issues. This is a non-profit clinic that offers free healthcare to Asians in the Columbus area that are not able to afford general care. Medical students from the school of medicine, as well as physicians come and help these patients. I also learned how to work with Athena Net

Volunteer Dates and Hours:

2.12.18 – 4 hours

3.19.18 – 5 hours

4.2.18 – 4 hours

Pre-Dent Day

Every year, ASDA and the Pre-Dental Club at The Ohio State University holds a Pre-Dent Day. In this event, I learned more about dental school, requirements, DAT tips, and was able to meet professors and current dental students. I was also able to go into the lab and learn how to do basic drilling skills and making impressions. It was a really cool experience.

7 hours

Vacation Bible School

My church hosts Vacation Bible School (VBS) every summer for all of the preschool, elementary, and middle school students. I have volunteered since I was in 7th grade, and have had many roles such as small group leader, creative arts leader, and science leader. This event lasts for 5 days, 3 hours each night.


-Monday through Wednesday

-science leader

-9 hours


-Tuesday through Friday

-crew leader; led a group of 1st and 2nd graders

-12 hours

Teens Retreat

Every spring break, my youth group from St. Louis has a youth retreat. I attended as a student, and when I came to college, I became a counselor. I would lead worship, help set up, and have one-on-ones (discipling) a few girls.


3/16-19, 2017; 72 hours

3/15-18, 2018; 72 hours

Star House

On Saturday, November 18, I volunteered at Starthouse from 10am-11:30am. We sorted donated items, cleaned up/organized the shelves and unpackaged some foods in the pantry.

Total hours: 1.5