Summer Enrichment Program prepares undergraduates for dental education

Taylor Johnson traveled from Jacksonville, Florida to attend the Summer Enrichment Program (SEP), a five-week residential program hosted at Detroit Mercy Dental, “I gained valuable insight into the dental field and the dental school application process.  The staff and faculty were extremely welcoming and helpful, and provided terrific career advice.  Detroit Mercy is my first choice!”

The 2018 SEP cohort with Melvin Lunkins, coordinator, Diversity and Inclusion

This is the sixth time the School of Dentistry has held SEP, which provides educational and professional development experiences for underrepresented minorities (URM) and/or disadvantaged students so they can successfully gain admission into dental school and pursue a career in oral health. Taylor, as well as 17 other college students from across the nation, spent their stay becoming better acquainted with the profession and what it means to be in dental school.

Throughout programming, participants engaged in educational activities including oral health research workshops, hands-on learning in the simulation laboratory, and gross anatomy and clinical observations.  In addition to the academic components, it was important to prepare participants for the application and admissions processes.  They spent much of their time preparing for the Dental Admissions Test, training for interviews, being counseled in Financial Aid, and learning the importance of social and cultural competence.

While participants worked hard all week, they spent weekends enjoying the sights and flavors of Detroit. Favorite activities included a bike tour of the city with Wheelhouse Detroit, and a visit to the Motown Museum.  The group also made their rounds to several local delicacies, such as Union Street, Urban Soul, and Bookies.

Taylor Johnson receives her certificate of completion of SEP from Melvin Lunkins, coordinator, Diversity and Inclusion, and Laura Wright, coordinator, Mobile Programs

To conclude five weeks of a rich and rewarding program, an awards ceremony was held on June 28, serving as the conclusion to SEP where participants were recognized for their hard work and progress.

Melvin Lunkins, coordinator, Diversity and Inclusion, oversees SEP.  He encouraged all students to strongly consider applying to the School of Dentistry, “The 2018 SEP cohort was an impressive mix. They all faced challenges, obstacles, and less than perfect conditions getting here; however, they demonstrated strength and noticeably grew in skill and confidence throughout the program. I hope to see them all back here at Detroit Mercy Dental, but I know no matter where they choose for their dental education, they will be successful.”

To learn more about the Summer Enrichment Program at Detroit Mercy Dental, click here.