During her time at Northwestern, Kaitlin exemplified a true student-athlete, earning NAIA All-American and Scholar-Athlete honors in volleyball while serving as a tutor. After graduating with Magna Cum Laude honors, she pursued her dental degree at the University of Iowa, where she received several awards for high academic and clinical achievement and was inducted into a prestigious national dental honor society. Following her graduation from dental school, Kaitlin remained at the University of Iowa to complete a two-year residency specializing in pediatric dentistry before returning to her hometown to open her own clinic.
Why did you choose Northwestern?
I was being recruited to play volleyball, and I was looking for a college with excellence in both academics and athletics. I liked the support I sensed I would get from both coaches and professors. And the support of the campus and community was impressive—everybody is behind you and wants you to succeed.
In what ways did you grow during your time at Northwestern?
I matured at Northwestern and grew academically, spiritually and relationally. Northwestern really enabled me to find my niche and to discover what’s important and how to prioritize my life.
What do you feel are Northwestern’s strengths?
I love Northwestern because the professors take an interest in you as a person, not just a number in their class. They want you to succeed and fulfill your dreams. It’s the same with coaches. They see the big picture, and they’re just trying to help you find your path in life.
What are some of your favorite memories from your time at NWC?
My favorite memories include playing volleyball in front of a full gym of peers, community members, professors and family. It is an amazing experience to see the Northwestern community extend beyond the classroom, gym or theatre. It is a testament to how extensive the Northwestern network is and how well we support each other, whether it’s in athletics, the fine arts or academics.
How well did Northwestern prepare you for dental school?
I cannot imagine being any better prepared than I was. In fact, I felt much more prepared than students who came from big universities. I think the academics at Northwestern are at a higher level than at bigger schools, which is a testament to the excellent professors at Northwestern and the pride they take in preparing their students for success. I also think a Northwestern education helps you get into professional school because you have the ability to be a more well-rounded individual by being involved in a variety of activities. That makes you stand out in the application process. Lastly, Northwestern has a great reputation at graduate and professional schools because of the history of very successful students who went to NWC. That is a reputation I wanted to be able to put on my résumé!
How did you get interested in pediatric dentistry?
I went into dental school not knowing exactly what path I wanted to pursue. Ultimately, my rotation in pediatric dentistry really drew me to this particular specialty. I realized the joy you can have working with children, even while doing something not everybody thinks is the most fun. I also found I really liked the challenge of trying to make the trip to the dentist an enjoyable experience.
What are some of your goals for your practice?
I want to be known as someone who supports the community and the children I have the privilege of seeing. I look forward to supporting kids in their interests, watching them grow, and being a positive influence in their lives like so many people were for me.