She Knows the Drill

Aerial shot of the Neidig-Garber Science Center

It wasn’t very long ago that Christina Belousov ’13 was terrified about her future. Ever since high school, Belousov knew that she wanted to practice dentistry, calling it a profession where “art meets science.” 

Dental work may have been the career that she felt destined to have, but steep tuition fees had discouraged her from pursuing her dreams. That is, until she applied for a scholarship with the Army Health Professions Scholarship program and was awarded full tuition plus a stipend to attend the New York University College of Dentistry. 

Her parents, who immigrated to the United States from Russia in the 1990s, had worked hard to give her and her siblings opportunities they could not have had otherwise, and Belousov felt that her success has helped fulfill their dreams.

Belousov attended Lebanon Valley College as a double major in biochemistry & molecular biology and Spanish. In high school, she became interested in LVC through its Language and World Culture Day. Belousov fondly recalls representing her school’s Spanish department, spending the day playing games and meeting new students from a myriad of institutions. From there, it seemed like a natural fit for her. 

Calling the scholarship application process “rigorous,” Belousov did not initially feel that she had a chance of being awarded the scholarship, particularly since she had applied late in the recruitment process. With only a few scholarships remaining in the entire country, she prepared for the worst, taking out a large loan, painfully aware of the debt she would be repaying later. 

“When I found out I was awarded the scholarship, I had an incredible sense of relief,” said Belousov. “Somehow, I knew deep down that it was mine.”

As a military scholarship, Belousov will be expected to serve as a dentist at an army base for four years. Far from being a detriment to her career, she is thrilled to practice her craft in exchange for the generous scholarship she has received. With two siblings having served in the military, she views the service as an opportunity to give back to her country. 

Though she is not entirely sure of where she will be sent or what she would like to do afterward, she has plans to eventually start a family, referring to dental work as having a “perfect family-work balance.” She is also considering the possibility of medical outreach programs or further specializing in dentistry—with her scholarship, she feels empowered to further her career as much as possible.

Having suffered from dental issues as a child along with her siblings, Belousov understands the hardships of being a child and going to the dentist. Her empathy is what drives her to perfect dentistry skills in order to prevent pain and improve the lives of her patients. As an individual that loves being around people, there’s no better career for her.

“Sure, there are more ‘glamorous’ jobs than digging in someone’s mouth,” said Belousov. “But I absolutely can’t wait to spend the rest of my life giving smiles.”