Class Announcements

In the coming weeks, before we can unite on campus, we want to 

  • keep you updated on any COVID-19 measures that could influence your path to Morgantown
  • share announcements as quickly and efficiently as possible
  • encourage your engagement and questions
  • provide tips and advice to ease your transition into the School of Dentistry
  • give you first-hand accounts of dental school from the Mountaineers before you

Let's stay connected

: Dentistry Bits and Bytes

Welcome to the inaugural WVU Dental Class of 2024 Bits and Bytes E-newsletter!  Designed exclusively for the incoming first-year dental class, this bimonthly publication delivers resourceful nuggets of information to help students build a rock-solid foundation for smooth ascension into the dental program.  The newsletter is an additional mechanism to connect with the incoming dental class prior to new student orientation in August. It offers morsels of information to help students transition into the dental curriculum and provides a platform to disseminate cultural tidbits about the School and University community. A biweekly section called Meet Your Classmates is a venue to begin introducing classmates. We hope that you enjoy these “bits and bytes”.

Gearing Up for the Climb

By Dr. Shelia S. Price

West Virginia University is the home of Mountaineers. We know about mountain climbing-- both literally and figuratively.  A true mountain climber plans ahead to gain clear understanding of what’s needed to ascend the mountain from its base to panoramic peak.  Well-prepared mountain climbers confidently traverse expected and unexpected terrain outfitted in advance with specialized armamentarium such as climbing shoes, climbing harness, ropes and helmet. Equipped mountain climbers also prepare physically and mentally. Likewise, incoming dental student Mountaineers must plan and gear up.  The acronym CLIMB summarizes a starter kit of five essential attributes to scale new heights in one’s educational endeavors.

  1. Confidence and Courage.  From a highly competitive application pool, you emerged as one of the best and brightest.  You’re now at the foot of the mountain, prepared to embark on new academic aspirations.  Take with you on the climb both confidence and courage to surmount challenges along the way.     
  2. Love for learning should fuel your academic quest.  There’s so much to learn. New frontiers in oral health care are emerging at record setting pace.  Commit to being a perpetual learner.
  3. Inquisitiveness is at the heart of knowledge acquisition. Be curious.  Ask questions no matter how seemingly odd or simple.  Chances are, classmates have the same question. New discoveries start with probing questions.
  4. Motivation comes from within. Summon your inner strength. No matter the terrain—smooth, rugged or coarse, Mountaineers are motivated to keep going. Never give up.
  5. Build on the education and experiences you’ve amassed to this point.  Bring to dental school your authentic best and can-do attitude. Positive attitude and uphill trajectory hang out together.

Members of the Dental Class of 2024, gear up with CLIMB qualities. During your academic ascension remain focused and energized by the anticipated scenic summit ahead. Most important, remember to enjoy the journey!  

Dental Student Perspective

By Neala Salmassi, DDS Class of 2020

Four years ago, I was enjoying my summer before dental school. I was so excited to start my journey in the Fall. Fast forward to classes starting, my whole life was school. Looking back now, the four years were bittersweet. If I had the chance to go back, I would have enjoyed the process more. Try not to get so hung up on the things out of your control. Do not be so hard on yourself. It is normal to be nervous in the beginning stages, but you will get through it, and it will make you stronger. So enjoy the journey. Today, I am excited to start my dream career with the amazing clinical experience I have learned from WVU dental school. I have been working toward this goal since high school, and it feels so good to be where I am now. Do not give up and trust yourself.

Quotable Quotes

From Dr. Gary Cunningham

"Any act of kindness will produce a smile. Keep the world smiling!"
"Dentistry is not about self but service!"

Mountaineer Trivia

Dr. Robert Hornbrook has gone through the archives, scoured the facts and made you a cheat sheet. 
Who opened the doors to the school? What is Mountaineer life all about? What's the deal with Country Roads?
Find the answers in Dr. Hornbrook's update online. 

Pinnacle Pointers

From Dr. Lauren Namsupak

"Don't underestimate the power of a study group.  Everyone studies in a different way, and it really helps to have other people asking you questions."
"Take some time to breathe and enjoy the ride.  You'll be talking about these memories for years to come!"

Mountaineer E-Cafe

What's cooking? Dr. Elizabeth Koa's Baby Back Ribs.

Juicy! Tender! Delicious! Easy! No grill needed!
Learn the secret to her delicious rack of ribs. 

Meet Your Classmates

Your Class of 2024 is made up of artists, snowboarders, golfers, Game of Thrones fans, photographers, rock climbers, gardeners and hikers.
Click each name for all of their "getting-to-know-you" information.

Zachary Ransom

If you could be anyone, other than yourself, who would that be and why?

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, even though it is unnecessary to explain, it is simply because he is the highest paid actor, has Oprah on speed dial, lifts heavy stuff, and has his own brand of Tequila.

Laura Burrows

How do you deal with stress?

I try to remind myself of the bigger picture to put things back in perspective.  Then I analyze my problem and look for ways to resolve whatever is causing the stress.  

Brent Smith II

If you could be anyone, other than yourself, who would that be and why?

Not anyone specifically but maybe Dustin Johnson. Golf was my life in high school and I always wanted to be really good.

Brenden Honaker

If you could change the world, what would you do?

I would help to find a perfectly renewable source of energy so we can end pollution and power our modern society without issue.

Roa Saleh

What is your favorite activity?

I love the arts including photography and painting/sketching. I also enjoy various workouts and maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle.

Shelbey Groves

If you could be anyone, other than yourself, who would that be and why?

Amelia Earhart. What girl wouldn’t want to be the coolest female pilot in history?

Sarah Spencer

What is your favorite TV program, movie, and who is your favorite music artist?

My favorite TV program is a tie between Bones and Supernatural. My favorite movie is Alice in Wonderland (Johnny Depp version) and for my favorite music artist, I would have to say Demi Lovato.

Will Vakay

Who has been your greatest influence in your life, other than a family member, and why?

The greatest influence in my life has been Dr. Zerbo, a dentist I have shadowed and worked with. His continual invaluable advice throughout the time that I have known him has changed the way I look at both life and dentistry. I look forward to employing many of the things he has shown me in both dental school and my career.