Biology

Department Spotlight

Whitworth Alumnus Attends Dental School , Follows in Family Footsteps

Whitworth alumnus Kent McVey, Jr., better known as K.C. to his fellow Whitworthians, is following a longtime family tradition and will become the fifth McVey to earn the title of dental professional. McVey, who graduated from Whitworth in 2003, is earning a doctor of dental science degree in the School of Dentistry at Creighton University, a Jesuit School in Omaha, Neb.

"I decided to go into dentistry for several reasons," McVey says. "I have always wanted to be a doctor, and my family has a strong history of producing dental professionals, so I decided to take the same path."

While at Whitworth, McVey earned a B.S. in biology and a B.A. in business management, which he says prepared him for the 50-credit semesters he takes at Creighton.

"A lot of what we have to figure out at Creighton is how to balance our time wisely just to get through," McVey says. "At Whitworth I played football in addition to being a double major, so those types of experiences have helped me be efficient in using my time for studies at Creighton."

During the spring semester of 2002, while a student at Whitworth, McVey worked as an intern in the dental practice of Spokane’s Jack Ashlock,, D.D.S., where he observed and asked as many questions as possible. McVey says that Ashlock wanted him to be exposed to as many different procedures as possible in order for him to get a broad picture of what it will be like to practice dentistry someday. McVey also spent time in the dental lab watching technicians make crowns, bridges, and dentures, which he says was very helpful to his studies at Creighton, since the first two years of dental school include classes that explore these processes.

McVey says his courses at Whitworth, particularly science classes such as biochemistry, developmental biology, and advanced cell biology, have been invaluable in his dental education.

"Everything I am studying now is science based, so to have a solid foundation in the basic biological sciences has been the most beneficial," he says.

This summer McVey is working for a dentist in Spokane; when he graduates from Creighton in 2007, he plans to return to Spokane to join an established dental practice or perhaps to begin his own practice. Either way, he'll proudly carry on the McVey family's tradition and become what he has always wanted to be, a dentist.

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