Update: Kathyrn DelaCruz graduated from the IU School of Dentistry in May 2016 and now works as a general dentist in Shelbyville, Indiana.
Since she was a first grader who drew a dentist when asked to portray what she wanted to be when she grew up, School of Science at IUPUI senior Kathryn DelaCruz has been captivated and challenged by the sciences.
By the time she completed school at Roncalli High School on the south side of Indianapolis, DelaCruz was intent on majoring in biology with the goal of becoming the dentist she drew as a six-year-old. She explored various options, but chose to attend IUPUI because it offered her advantages no other school in the state could provide—the opportunity to take rigorous undergraduate courses while being exposed to a dental school and a medical school.
“Having a dental school and medical school on campus really drew me to IUPUI. I didn’t know if I would be able to take advantage of them or not, but I wanted that possibility. And now that I’m on campus, I’ve learned from personal experience and heard from other students that dental and medical school faculty appreciate School of Science students and provide really great mentorship.”
On the path toward her ultimate goal of becoming a dentist and seeing patients with a wide range of oral health problems, DelaCruz is taking a rigorous undergraduate course load as a pre-dental biology major but has had time to pursue a variety of academic interests. “Being a science major with lots of demanding courses makes it harder to be able to have time to study abroad, but I was encouraged to do so and spent a month living with a Spanish family in Madrid. I’m a Spanish minor, and this experience was a wonderful opportunity to improve my Spanish and get in touch with the culture,” she says.