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September 3, 2019

A Path to Dental School—and a Future to Smile About

Tasmeen Shoubir
When Tasneem Shoubir was a child, she had a traumatic experience at the dentist. She said she was strapped down so she wouldn’t fight the doctor during an exam.

“The result was that I really hated it with a passion. I was freaked out,” said Shoubir, now 18. “I was scared of the dentist, and I didn’t want to brush my teeth when I went home. I just hated anything that had to do with teeth.”

Eventually, with a new dentist, and later, an orthodontist, her priorities changed. “When I had braces in high school, I would see my X-ray come up on the screen of my doctor’s computer. And I would hear her telling the assistants what to do. I thought it was really interesting how there’s a whole system and a process, and it’s very intricate,” Shoubir said. “I also learned how dental hygiene can really affect the health of your whole body.”

That led to her interest in studying dentistry. However, it wasn’t until she attended an Open House for Adelphi’s Honors College that she learned about the joint enrollment program that the University offers with the New York University College of Dentistry (NYU Dentistry).

Now Shoubir, who comes to Adelphi from Woodside, Queens, is one of just 10 first-year students enrolled in the program. She’ll spend three years at Adelphi earning a Bachelor of Science in biology, taking special courses designed for students who plan to study dentistry, such as Tooth Structure and Dental Terminology. Then she’ll spend four years at NYU Dentistry earning her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree.

Among her future goals is to make sure others don’t fear the dentist.

“I will be much more empathetic to people who have had bad experiences,” she said. “I also want to help people become more aware of their bodies and the importance of taking care of yourself.”

But right now, she’s concentrating on being an Honors College student and continuing some of the activities she was involved in at her high school, including Amnesty International, for which she served as club president during her senior year at the Bronx High School of Science.

“It was my favorite thing about the school. It wasn’t a really big group, but it was nice for me to find people who shared the same passion that I did about issues around the world and issues in our communities,” said Shoubir, whose parents were born and raised in Egypt.

She hopes to find that at Adelphi and plans to start her own chapter if possible. She also wants to attend meetings of as many clubs as she can to learn more about where she fits best on campus.

“For me, what was important about my time with Amnesty is that it was really great to feel like you have a voice, to have a purpose and know you can make an impact,” Shoubir said. “I feel like at Adelphi, with the program I’m entering, I’m just looking forward to seeing my own abilities and how far I can go.”


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