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Encouraged by Her Professors, Katie Wray '15 Pursues a Career in Dentistry

Katie Wray poses at the University of Maryland's dental school where she is in the graduate program.

For alumna Katie Wray ’15, her dream of becoming a dentist is moving closer to reality. With the help and persuasion of the faculty, Wray decided to attend Lebanon Valley College and further her love for the sciences, leading her to graduate school at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry. 

Wray remembers talking with Dr. Walter Patton, chair and associate professor of chemistry, about the many opportunities that the science department had to offer at her first visit to The Valley. 

“My personal interactions with real professors and faculty gave me a true sense of the College and its dedication to its students, and of course the beautiful campus made the decision even easier,” Wray said. 

Wray, currently in her third year of the dental program, will work in a clinical environment with dental patients this year. Throughout her time at Maryland, she continues to draw on the skills and knowledge she gained at The Valley.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today without the biological and chemical background I received. My entire first year of dental school seemed to be a review for me because of the strong foundation in the sciences,” said Wray. 

Aside from her love of the sciences, Wray was involved in a multitude of campus activities, clubs, and organizations that all expressed her different passions, yet, allowed her to hold leadership roles. 

Wray said, “I played the clarinet with the Pride of The Valley Marching Band all four years. I was the president of the Pre-Health Professions Society and president of Phi Sigma Iota. I was a peer mentor and completed the College’s Leadership Institute. I was also a member of Tri Beta, Sigma Alpha Pi, and Phi Alpha Epsilon honor societies.”

In addition to the many memories Wray made on campus, she also established connections with various faculty from the science department. These connections and relationships formed the basis for helping Wray find her passion, and furthering her education. 

“Dr. [Rebecca] Urban helped me find my love for ecology and plants. I was so fortunate to conduct research under her mentorship. Dr. Patton and Dr. [Kristen] Boeshore are extremely knowledgeable and helpful about applying to professional schools—without them I wouldn’t be in dental school! Their guidance and wisdom helped me through the application and interview process and their confidence in me helped my decision to enroll at the University of Maryland. Dr. [Rob] Carey is a great teacher and I think I learned and retained the most from him, something that helps me every day at school,” said Wray. 

Lebanon Valley College is a liberal arts school that pays such close attention to their students and enjoys watching their success. 

“The faculty at LVC care about their students and are proud when they succeed, and I will forever be grateful for all that they have taught me,” said Wray.