UMSOD Students Featured in ADA News Becoming a Dentist Series

Logo for the ADA Becoming a Dentist Series
Class of 2021 students Benjamin Horn, LaShonda Shepherd, and Dan Yang are the subjects of a series of articles being published in ADA News, the American Dental Association's publication. The ADA is a Chicago-based dental professional association with more than 155,000 members.

The articles, written by Jennifer Garvin, Washington D.C. editor for ADA News, will follow these students through all four years of dental school and illuminate readers about the dental school experience.

You can access each part of the series to date, in chronological order, through the links below.

Freshman Year

Photo of Ben Horne, LaShonda Shepherd, and Dan Yang

Part One: Introducing the Students

The first installment of the "Becoming a Dentist" series explores the background and ambitions of the three featured students, Ben Horn, LaShonda Shepherd, and Dan Yang. Read more.

Picture of LaShonda Shepherd, Ben Horne, and Dan Yang at Gross Anatomy lecture

Part Two: Human Anatomy

Horn, Shepherd, and Yang experience a mix of nervousness and excitement as they tackle their first Human Anatomy course. Read more.

Picture of featured students working in the SIM lab

Part Three: the SIM Lab and Operative Dentistry

In part three of the series, Horn, Shepherd, and Yang take an operative dentistry course that gets at the heart of dentistry: improving someone's smile. Read more.

Ben Horn, LaShonda Shepard, and Dan Yang learn about CAD/CAM technology

Part Four: Technology-Enhanced Learning

In part four of the series, Horn, Shepard, and Yang learn how to utilize computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technology. Read more.

Sophomore Year

Ben Horn performs simulated dental work

Part Five: The Challenges of Second Year

At the beginning of the second year, our three students face the transition to the preclinical laboratories as well challenges to developing organizational and time-management skills. Read more.

LaShonda Shepherd works in the SIM Lab

Part Six: Studying, Excelling, More Studying

In the latest installment, second-year students Dan Yang, LaShonda Shepherd, and Ben Horn go through the stress - and eventual exhilaration - of successfully completing their Endodontics exam. Read more.

LaShonda Shepherd learns anesthesia

Part Seven: Learning from the patient's perspective

Horn, Shepherd, and Yang learn how to administer anesthesia for the first time on live patients - which include their fellow classmates. Read more.

Dan Yang and Ben Horn learn to check blood glucose levels

Part Eight: Students Learn to Screen for Diabetes

As part of UMSOD's response to the growing diabetes epidemic, second-year students learn about measuring blood glucose levels in a class led by Dr. Gary Hack. Read more.

Junior Year

An instructor demonstrates dental techniques for three students

Part Nine: The Decision to Specialize

The question surfaces at the beginning of dental school, maybe even sooner, when the dream first takes hold. What kind of dentist do I want to be? Read more.

Two students communicating through a web conference

Part Ten: Dental School During a Pandemic

Nothing is typical during the COVID-19 pandemic, including at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry. Read more.

Senior Year

Three dental students in personal protective equipment (PPE)

Part Eleven: Their Final Year

LaShonda, Dan, and Ben have evolved from wide-eyed newbies to "veteran" fourth-year students. Read more.

Dan Yang, LaShonda Shepherd and Ben Horn wearing personal protective equipment

Part Twelve: UMSOD dental students receive COVID-19 vaccines

Ben, Dan, LaShonda are among those providers to receive shots. Read more.

Dan Yang poses in his graduation gown, accompanied by family

Part Thirteen: UMSOD trio graduates

Dan, Ben and LaShonda prepare to graduate, and reflect on their time at UMSOD.
Read more.