Dental Hygiene Major Turns Line Drive Accident into Livelihood
February 14, 2013No matter what the age, people can be hit with the realization of their dream job at any time. For Shawn Tule ’14, he was literally hit with a line drive at the age of 13. This life-altering moment has shaped Tule’s career goals, leading him to become one of three males among 43 dental hygiene students at Mount Ida.
The Game Changer
On a beautiful spring day, Tule was playing baseball with his teammates when he got slammed with a line drive in his mouth. Writhing in pain, Tule learned that his four front teeth were knocked out and his jaw had broken in half. And – just when Tule thought that his situation could not get any worse – he found out that his jaw had to be wired shut for a whole summer. Barely able to talk, Tule experienced the loss of permanent teeth as a result of the trauma to his mouth.
Developing a Passion
During the years following Tule’s accident, he became a frequent visitor at his dentists’ offices for his braces and veneers. He always had a positive encounter with the dental professionals who were working to fix his smile. Both Tule’s oral surgeon and orthodontist quickly became his mentors and inspired him to choose dental hygiene as a major. Tule now interns for his former orthodontist, Dr. John Walker of Walker Orthodontics during his College breaks.
Transferring to Mount Ida
In 2011, Tule transferred to Mount Ida as a Pre-Dental Hygiene student when he had the epiphany that his future was in oral health. After his traumatic injury, Tule had considered studying physical therapy. However, after attending a local community college for two years, he knew that Mount Ida’s dental hygiene program was exactly where he belonged. Our career-focused education, blending technical, clinical, and communication skills serves a stepping stone to Tule’s future goal of attending dental school.
“When I visited Mount Ida College on an admissions tour, I immediately fell in love with the beautiful campus and state-of-the-art dental clinic,” he said. “Ever since then, I have been guided by my amazing dental hygiene professors who are very open and willing to answer questions. They make themselves available to every student and are always around if you need extra help.”
Smiling to Success
In his first year as a dental hygiene student, Tule is actively involved both on and off campus. He is the Co-Founder and President of the Pre-Med Society. On top of that, he is applying for a position as a Student Delegate at the 2013 American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) conference. In gaining hands-on experience in his major, Tule is ready to work directly with patients in his second year at externship sites, including Boston University’s Dental School and Tufts University’s School of Dental Medicine.
In regards to his academics, Tule is also gearing up to enter into the Dental Hygiene Degree Completion program at Mount Ida. Once he obtains his Associate of Arts in Dental Hygiene, he can work toward his Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene with a pre-professional concentration for dental school. Our individualized Degree Completion Program allows our students to create their own path in dental hygiene, such as advancing their education with a Master Degree. In Tule’s case, he is ready to help patients begin smiling with confidence just as he did.