What is your current occupation?
"I am a pediatric dentist at Alligator Dental. I serve the children in Seguin, San Marcos and surrounding areas."
What does that involve?
"In basic terms, being a pediatric dentist involves providing oral
health care to children and involves treating dental decay to
eliminate disease and pain for that patient. I have extensive
training in things like behavior guidance, in-office oral conscious
sedation, general anesthesia as well as providing care for patient’s
with special health care need. With this additional training, I can
provide more options to parents to successfully treat the dental
needs of their child. Let’s face it, going to the dentist is
difficult for many adults; imagine being a child with extensive
dental decay, it can seem really scary or anxiety provoking for some
children. It is our jobs to make the patient as comfortable as
possible, so that dental care can be completed successfully and
safely for every patient. On a more important note, being a pediatric
dentist involves educating parents and patients about oral health at
a very young age, with the ultimate goal of preventing the disease
process of dental decay from ever occurring. While this may seems
like an impossible task, believe it or not, with the proper education
and motivated parent or child, cavities can be prevented!
Working in my residency program provided a unique experience where
you treat a wide spectrum of children of varying demographics, health
statuses and overall needs. You become really aware of the health
care disparities that exist amongst various patients. Residency has
given me the desire to be an advocate for the patients whom otherwise
would likely not have access to dental care if it wasn't for the
residency program providing them that care. I feel strongly about
advocating on behalf of these patients and try to mitigate any
further health care disparities for children of low socioeconomic
status families or children with special needs particularly.
Completing residency has given me a unique perspective and insight to
such issues, and has instilled in me a desire to want to improve
overall access and quality of dental care for all children."
What do you do off the clock "just for fun"?
"I love eating at different restaurants and really love all kinds of food. I love Mexican, Thai and Indian food especially! I love riding my bike and trail running and doing as much as I can outdoors. I really enjoy being on the lake and playing with my dog."
When and where were you born?
"I was born in Austin,Texas in 1989. I spent the first 10 years of my life in South Austin and my family relocated to Round Rock when Istarted middle school. My family still currently lives in Round Rock."
What's the most recent book you've read?
"The AAPD Handbook and Reference Manuals of Pediatric Dentistry. I just took my pediatric boards exam the beginning of May, so lots of studying was done for that!"
What is the best advice you've ever received?
"Not necessarily advice, but two quotes that I try to live my life by are: ‘Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things
that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in
your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover,’ Mark Twain.
‘To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest
critics and endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better,
whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have
lived. This is to have succeeded,’ Ralf Waldo Emerson."
What is the biggest challenge you've ever faced?
"oving to Wisconsin two years ago. Initially, I was very homesick; it was very difficult moving 19 hours north from everything and
everyone I knew. I am a very social person who loves being around family and friends, so it was difficult for me to move to a new place where I knew absolutely no one and had no friends or family. Also, the weather in Wisconsin is a stark contrast from Texas especially in
the winter months. So my first year in Milwaukee was a bit of a transition and a very trying time for me, but I’ve grew tremendously
from the experience and now have many friends and have grown to really enjoy the time I spent in residency in the MidWest."
If you had to describe yourself in just two words, what would they be?
"Empathetic/compassionate and fun!"
What inspires you?
"My patients and their families inspire me to be the best pediatric dentist I can be. You form bonds and relationships with the families you treat, and over time they become family! And there is truly nothing more rewarding than improving smiles and alleviating discomfort and pain for people you value as your own family! These relationships with people are what gets me up each day and what motivates me to keep striving towards becoming the best pediatric dentist I can be!"
If you could assemble a dinner party with any five guests (living or
dead), who would they be?
"Jesus, Abe Lincoln, Gandhi, Princess Diana and Mother Teresa"
What are your roles in the community?
"While in residency, I volunteered my time at the Ronal McDonald House and prepared snacks and meals for the families and patient’s residing at the facility. I also love to participate annually in the Special Olympics Bowling Competition and enjoy helping and cheering on the athletes! I am a member of a philanthropic girls group called W Girls. This is a non-profit organization that strives to promote awareness for Milwaukee’s most critical nonprofit organizations that represent under-served women and children. W Girls partners with these organizations via both volunteering and fundraising events to create reverberating positive changes in the lives of many people. I love being a part of this organization as its primary goal is to empower women and children."
What is your educational background?
"I graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelors of Science in Biomedical Sciences and I minored in Creative Studies. I attended Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas, TX from 2011-2015. I graduated in the top 10% of my class and am a member of the Omicron Kappa Upsilon National Dental Honors Society. After completing dental school I moved my life to the Midwest for two
years and graduated with a certificate in Pediatric Dentistry from The Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin."
What's your professional background/achievements/leadership roles?
"I am currently a member of the American Academy of Pediatric
Dentistry and the American Dental Association. I’m a member of both
the Wisconsin Dental Association and Texas Dental Association. I have
taken the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry qualifying
examination, and hope to become Board Certified next year, upon
completion of the oral boards examination. I graduated in the top 10%
of my dental class of 105 students, Magna Cum Laude. I am a member of
the Omicron Kappa Upsilon National Dental Honors Society. I was the
president of my dental fraternity in Dental school, Delta Sigma
Delta. In Dental School I also was a Co-Founder of Special Smiles
Special Olympics, as well as Co-Founder of Bring “Give Kids a Smile”
to Baylor College of Dentistry. Both of these organizations provided
dental screenings, cleanings as well as sealants and fluoride varnish
and athletic mouth guards for athletes of the Special Olympics and
low income children, respectively. I volunteered in multiple
capacities with Exodus Ministries, an organization that helps
previously incarcerated women and their children to achieve a
productive and fulfilling life. I was also an active member of Texas
Association of Women Dentists, Student National Dental Association
and the Student Professional and Ethics Association. I graduated
Summa Cum Laude from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas
and was the Treasurer of the Pre-Dental Society while there."
Share your family.
"I am not married yet. I met my boyfriend in Milwaukee, WI. He is a
Midwest boy from Cincinnati, Ohio, but he is ready for some southern
hospitality and Texas adventures!"
What are the moments in your life and career that are your proudest
"There is no single event or milestone that I am the most proud of,
it is more a culmination of events that have led me to who I am
today. Each small feat and victory over the past decade has afforded
me the opportunity to attain my goal of becoming a pediatric dentist,
something I have aspired to be for so long."
Do you have any family roots/history in the area?
"My grandparents live in Canyon Lake, Texas. My uncle lives in
South Austin, close to Buda and I have lived in Central Texas most of
What are your plans for the future, personally and/or professionally?
"I plan on living in Texas for the foreseeable future, and I am
really excited to finally be back in Central Texas! I would love to
get married, buy a home and start a family. I have always envisioned
myself as a mother, and hope to be half the mom my mother was to me.
I also have aspiration to travel and see the world. Seeing other
parts of the globe and experiencing other cultures are things I
genuinely enjoy. There is so much to learn from other people and
their experiences to help broaden your own perspective on this crazy
journey we call Life. Professionally, I want to continue to learn
the latest technology and techniques in the profession of pediatric
dentistry and to be a life-long learner, so that I can provide my
patients with the absolute best care I can possibly deliver. It is
important to stay relevant as systems and materials are always
improving in dentistry. I also hope to continue to serve my free time
by providing dental care to children both her in the US and
internationally, that would not otherwise get dental care. It’s
strange to think of going to the dentist as a luxury, but for some
people getting your teeth out of pain is a luxury they don’t have or