Lingli Zou ’22 is getting a jump start toward her goal of attending dental school. She’s been selected to participate in the University of Connecticut Health’s remote six-week medical/dental preparatory program on a track specifically designed for pre-dental students.
The competitive program, which has only 10 students, “provides me with academic enrichment in the basic sciences and quantitative topics, and also practical tools that will prepare me for a successful application and matriculation to dental school,” Zou said.
Zou became interested in the dental profession after she shadowed orthodontists in Brooklyn and worked as a front desk receptionist in a dental firm last summer. On campus, Director of Health Professions Advising Leslie Bell “has been encouraging, supporting, and assisting me along the journey of accomplishing my educational goals,” Zou said.
In the mornings, Zou participates with other students in a class with a private tutor who helps them prepare for the dental admission test (DAT). In the afternoons, she said, students participate in professional development activities such as dental workshops, mock interviews, application essay sessions, and advising meetings. The program also offers weekly dental seminars presented by enrolled students and faculty members at UConn who provide further insights into medicine/dentistry.
Zou has most enjoyed the seminars with professionals in the field, including Cato Laurencin, who received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring from Barack Obama and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the nation’s highest honor for technological achievement.
“With the help of this program, I was able to develop professional skills, connect with peers of similar interests, and strengthen my foundation in the sciences,” Zou said.