Kristine Byrum

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Class of 2018

Walsh has really pushed me outside my comfort zone and taken me places that I did not expect. I came to Walsh as a Biology Pre-Medicine student and a member of the Honors program. My freshman year that was all I was - a student. I was able to do well in school, but I did not really explore any clubs or activities on campus.

The following summer my mom suggested that I shadowed some doctors to gain some experience. I kept pushing it off because I knew deep down that I didn’t want to be a doctor. One day, I was at my dentist’s office for my regular check-up, and the only way I can explain this is as a light-bulb moment. I realized that being a dentist would be a perfect fit for me, a great way to combine my love for both creativity and health care. I began shadowing and preparing for dental school.

When I returned to school the following year, I began to get involved. I joined Pre-Dental Club, Pre-Health Club, Intramurals and Dance Marathon. I also started a book club and became an Orientation Leader and a Teaching Assistant for the Anatomy and Physiology labs. Getting involved expanded my horizons so much that I even signed up for a Global Learning trip to Uruguay to spend time helping the Brothers of Christian Instruction in Montevideo the summer between my sophomore and junior year and just last fall I spent a semester abroad at Walsh’s Rome campus.

I allowed my classes to inspire me in what I wanted to do in the future. My sophomore year, through the Honors Program I took a class on Crime and Punishment. We focused on the war on drugs for part of it and we looked at how perhaps doctors are having a role in starting this problem that we have with opioids and heroin. It made me wonder how dentists fit. So I began my research and I later made it the topic of my senior honors thesis.

In the fall, I will be attending The Ohio State University College of Dentistry to pursue my dream of becoming a dentist. I have changed so much from when I arrived on campus as a freshman, and it is thanks to the amazing people at Walsh University faculty, staff and students that I have been able to really transform and become the best version of myself.

Freshman year I would never do anything that would take me the least bit out of my comfort zone. Now I’ve traveled to 10 countries, I’ve almost written an entire thesis, and I have two majors and two minors. It is so different from when I came in, wanting to focus on one thing, get out, and move on to the next step of my plan. But now, I don’t want to leave, I don’t want to graduate in the Spring. It’s bittersweet. Walsh will always be a part of what I carry on from here on out.