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TODAY news for Thursday, October 29, 2007

Loma Linda University news

Oakwood student enters early selection program

Buhlebenkosi Prisca Mabandla
Buhlebenkosi Prisca Mabandla
Learning comes easily for Buhlebenkosi Prisca Mabandla, a School of Dentistry early selection program (ESP) student who is completing coursework in the school  this quarter.

During her young life (she is now entering her senior year in college), Ms. Mabandla has lived on three continents. She was born in Zimbabwe and moved with her family to the United Kingdom when she was in high school. Then, following in her older brother’s footsteps, she moved to Alabama to attend Oakwood College. It was while there that she learned about ESP from Fred Kasischke, DMin, associate dean, admissions and service learning, and Ron Forde, DDS, immediate past director, service learning, when they visited the College to meet with pre-dental students.

After passing a rigorous screening process (academics and faculty approval), Ms. Mabandla was accepted into ESP. She will attend the first quarter of classes with incoming dental students (receiving college credit from Oakwood), and will return to Alabama to finish her senior year. Then she will apply to the School of Dentistry.

She is already thinking about her future—“I plan,” she says with a quiet assurance, “to return to Zimbabwe to practice dentistry.”

She became interested in dentistry while on a mission to India in 2005.The trip was sponsored by the National Association for the Prevention of Starvation. Doyle Nick, DDS, assistant professor, restorative dentistry, had joined the group to provide dental care. As Ms. Mabandla observed him practicing dentistry, she decided to explore dentistry as a career choice.

By Nancy Yuen

TODAY news for Thursday, October 29, 2007