Midwestern University Home

Categories

ALL

Gloria Yueh
Professor and Chair of Biochemistry, Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine
Y. Gloria Yueh, Ph.D., is professor and chair of biochemistry in the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine (AZCOM) at Midwestern University's Glendale (AZ) Campus.
Linda Walters
Professor of Anatomy, Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine
Linda Walters, Ph.D, is an anatomy professor in the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine (AZCOM) at Midwestern University's Glendale (AZ) Campus.
Kathleen O'Hagan
Department Chair and Professor of Physiology, Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine
Kathleen P. O'Hagan, Ph.D., is professor and chair of the Department of Physiology at Midwestern University's Downers Grove (IL) Campus.
Adjunct Faculty, Physical Therapy, College of Health Sciences
Kevin Quinn, PT, MPT, MS, ATC, is adjunct faculty in Physical Therapy at Midwestern University's Downers Grove (IL) campus.
Mitchell Emerson
Interim Chair, College of Pharmacy-Glendale
Mitchell Emerson, Ph.D., is Interim Chair in the College of Pharmacy–Glendale at Midwestern University's Glendale (AZ) Campus.
Shridhar Andurkar
Associate Professor and Chair, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chicago College of Pharmacy
Shridhar Andurkar, Ph.D., is associate professor and chair of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the Chicago College of Pharmacy (CCP) at Midwestern University's Downers Grove (IL) Campus.
Jennifer D'Souza
Assistant Professor, Pharmacy Practice, Chicago College of Pharmacy
Jennifer D'Souza, Pharm.D., CDE, is assistant professor of Pharmacy Practice in the Chicago College of Pharmacy (CCP) at Midwestern University's Downers Grove (IL) Campus.
Brad Smith
Associate Dean, College of Dental Medicine-AZ
Brad Smith, D.D.S., B.Sc., is Associate Dean in the College of Dental Medicine-Arizona at Midwestern University's Glendale (AZ) Campus.
David Luce
Assistant Professor, Physician Assistant Studies, College of Health Sciences
David Luce, M.M.S., PA-C, is assistant professor of Physician Assistant Studies in the College of Health Sciences at Midwestern University's Downers Grove (IL) Campus.
Donald Jarnigan
Dean, Arizona College of Optometry
Donald Jarnigan, O.D., is the Dean of Arizona College of Optometry (AZCOPT) at Midwestern University's Glendale (AZ) Campus.
Phil Huang
Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine
Phil Huang, D.O., is a 2012 graduate of the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine (CCOM) at Midwestern University's Downers Grove (IL) Campus.
Tolu Akinwale
Chicago College of Pharmacy, Downers Grove Campus
Tolu Akinwale is a student in the Chicago College of Pharmacy at Midwestern University's Downers Grove (IL) Campus.
Allison Rushing
College of Health Sciences, Downers Grove Campus
Allison Rushing, D.P.T., is a 2012 graduate of the Physical Therapy Program in the College of Health Sciences (CHS) at Midwestern University's Downers Grove (IL) campus.
Sam Funk
Arizona College of Optometry
Sam Funk is a student in the Arizona College of Optometry (AZCOPT) at Midwestern University's Glendale (AZ) campus.
Laura Sibrava
College of Dental Medicine-Arizona
Laura Sibrava, D.M.D., is a 2012 graduate of the College of Dental Medicine-Arizona at Midwestern University's Glendale (AZ) Campus.
Heather Thoreson
College of Pharmacy-Glendale
Heather Thoreson, Pharm.D., is a 2012 graduate of the College of Pharmacy-Glendale (CPG) at Midwestern University's Glendale (AZ) Campus.
Hillary Carnell
Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine
Hillary Carnell, D.O., is a 2012 graduate of the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine (AZCOM) at Midwestern University's Glendale (AZ) Campus.
Danny Wu
College of Health Sciences, Glendale Campus
Danny Wu is a graduate from the College of Health Sciences (CHS) at Midwestern University's Glendale (AZ) Campus.
Jared Techau
College of Health Sciences, Glendale Campus
Jared Techau is a graduate from the College of Health Sciences (CHS) at Midwestern University's Glendale (AZ) Campus.
Safi Mohammed
Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine
Safi Mohammed is a student in the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine (CCOM) at Midwestern University's Downers Grove (IL) Campus.
Diane Baldemor
College of Health Sciences – Downers Grove
Diane Baldemor is a student in the College of Health Sciences (CHS) at Midwestern University's Downers Grove (IL) Campus.
Chessa Calabrese
College of Dental Medicine-Illinois
Chessa Calabrese is a student in the College of Dental Medicine at Midwestern University's Downers Grove (IL) Campus.
Eder Garavito
College of Health Sciences, Glendale Campus
Eder Garavito is a 2013 graduate in the inaugural class of the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program in the College of Health Sciences.

For most children, a trip to the dentist is not something that they look forward to with a sense of excitement. But, for Chessa Calabrese, DMS-II it was one of the highlights of her week. "I loved going to the dentist, which I know is unusual for most kids. I just thought it was fun. When my dad had dental appointments, I would go with him and ask to hold the salvia ejector. I never had painful experiences and I thought it was very interesting."

It's not surprising that with this early interest in dentistry, Chessa is among the 131 students who make up the inaugural class of the College of Dental Medicine-Illinois. "Not many aspiring dentists have the opportunity to help lead an entire dental program and I jumped at the chance to be a part of it. It's an honor to pave the way and set the bar for future CDMI classes," she said.

Gaining Experience

Prior to enrolling at Midwestern, Chessa earned a degree in community health from the University of Illinois. As part of her degree program, she completed an internship at a dental clinic in Champaign/Urbana that helped solidify her interest in dentistry. "We saw everything from kids who were explaining to their parents about dental health to kids who were really frightened."

Chessa also worked in a dentist office throughout high school and for a year after earning her undergraduate degree. Now at Midwestern, she feels that being a part of the first class of dental students is a responsibility not to be taken lightly. "I feel a great sense of responsibility to the University, the CDMI faculty, and future CDMI classes to exceed all expectations for the program. What we accomplish in our four years will really set a new standard for dental education. I cannot express enough how enthusiastic I am about helping to lead this journey," she said.

In addition to the excitement of being part of the inaugural class, Chessa cites the integrated curriculum as another unique aspect of the program that drew her to Midwestern. The idea of an integrated curriculum is to introduce students a variety of topics early in their studies and then return to those topics for more in-depth study throughout the course of their education. "It's never just one and done because we are going to be constantly learning which I think is great because when we get out into the real world, we're not just going to be working piecemeal with different parts of dentistry. It's going to have to be integrated," Chessa added.

Not many aspiring dentists have the opportunity to help lead an entire dental program and I jumped at the chance to be a part of it. It's an honor to pave the way and set the bar for future CDMI classes."
— Chessa Calabrese, DMS-II

Finding a balance

While the coursework has been challenging, Chessa reports that the adjustment period has gone well. "I know it's cliché to say, but we are a big family - we all help each other and we want to make sure we all succeed as a class," she said. According to Chessa, the faculty members in the program also contribute to the overall atmosphere of cooperation. "The instructors here are really down to earth, they make you feel like you're their colleagues and they want to get your input on how things are going. I feel very comfortable working with them - it's been an amazing experience so far," she said.

The class is also busy setting up connections with national student dental organizations and exploring service opportunities. As a lifelong runner, Chessa was especially pleased that her schedule allowed her to complete the Chicago Marathon in October. "I'm really having fun, I'm learning a lot and I have to work hard, but I think we are all finding a good balance which is a nice thing about this program," she stated. Chessa also found time to participate with her classmates on an intramural soccer team as part of the University's student wellness program.

Enhancing Learning with Technology

One highlight for the first-year dental students is the new Dental Simulation Lab which is part of the technology-rich Science Hall that opened in 2011. "The Dental Simulation Lab is amazing, it's seriously beautiful," she confides. "We are using the newest and best technology which is important because in dentistry the technology is changing so fast."

The young girl who loved going to the dentist will soon have the opportunity to help other people look forward to their time in a dental chair. Chessa and her classmates will begin seeing patients under the supervision of faculty mentors at the Dental Clinic set to open in 2013. "Dentistry is an extremely unique branch of healthcare: intertwining education, prevention, treatment, and artistry," she said. "I am really looking forward to the clinical portion of our education when we get to provide the community with dental care."

 

Calabrese, DMS-IIChessa Calabrese is a second-year student in the College of Dental Medicine-Illinois.


Bookmark and Share