Why did you choose your major?
I knew I wanted to go into dentistry and felt that chemistry would put me in the best position to apply for dental school. I cannot wait to be able to help people feel more confident about their smiles the way my dentist and orthodontist helped me. I’ve always had a strong commitment to community service, but I didn’t know how to combine it with my career until I was at UMKC. My freshman year, I was able to organize a fundraiser for Operation Smile that provided the funds for three full cleft palate surgeries and part of the funding for a fourth surgery.
Have your professors made an impact on you?
When I was in organic chemistry with Dr. Kathleen Kilway, I was really struggling. She gave me the best advice, saying, “Mary Margaret, never, ever let one class, one test, one person, or one obstacle keep you from fulfilling your dreams.” That day, she ignited something in me that hasn’t faltered. I can do anything. She helped me find new methods to study and I rocked the next test! After experiencing such a comeback, I now have a whole new appreciation for doing my absolute best to the bitter end.