Dental Hygiene Major Turns Line Drive Accident into Livelihood

June 17, 2013-


No 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.

Developing a passion

During the years following Tule’s accident, he became a frequent visitor at his dentists’ offices for his braces and veneers. 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

“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.”

Smiling to success

In regards to his academics, Tule is gearing up to enter into the Dental Hygiene Degree Completion program at Mount Ida. 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.