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Merit Scholarship Winner Profile: Niraj Patel, DDS '13

Written by Adam Zewe

Dean Christian S. Stohler congratulates Niraj Patel, DDS '13, for earning a merit scholarship. Patel, who received a Gaylord Scholarship, is grateful to the donors who provided the award. "Receiving the scholarship is very gratifying. People are recognizing my hard work and helping me succeed," he says.

A Germantown, Md., native, Patel became passionate about dentistry at a young age. His grandmother suffered a stroke when he was a child and, afterward, her dentures never fit right, making it difficult for her to eat, remarks Patel. He decided to pursue a dental career so he could help people like his grandmother have a better quality of life. "As a dentist, I can make someone more independent because I can help improve their oral health," Patel states.

He enjoys the hands-on aspect of dentistry and the high level of patient interaction. Patel remains undecided as to whether he will pursue a specialty after graduation, but he is excited to launch a dental career. He looks forward to being his own boss in private practice. Patel also plans to give back to the community by treating underserved patients.

A dedicated sports fan, Patel enjoys watching Redskins games and tailgating with his friends, as well as playing volleyball and football.

If you are interested in making a contribution to a scholarship fund or establishing a fund in memory or in honor of a loved one, please contact Marcelena Holmes, assistant dean of institutional advancement, at 410-706-2289 or mholmes@umaryland.edu.


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