Joy Nisnisan, 2021 GHDS Scholarship Recipient


We are proud to feature University of Texas School of Dentistry dental student, Ms. Joy Nisnisan who is the recipient of the Greater Houston Dental Society's scholarship this year. The GHDS scholarship was established in 2014 with the goal of facilitating the education of dental students who display leadership, community service and academic achievement and help dental students to defray part of their professional education expenses. Ms. Nisnisan shares her experience in the following article.

Please describe your introduction to and involvement with the GHDS Scholarship.

The UTHealth School of Dentistry Office of Academic & Student Affairs advertised the scholarship opportunity to third-year dental students. I saw the opportunity and took a chance!

What opportunities have presented themselves as result as GHDS Scholarship Recipient?

Since being announced as the recipient of the GHDS Scholarship, I have been recognized by the dental school and my peers. The scholarship has also helped to pay for my licensing exam, which has lifted a great weight off my shoulders.

How has this status inspired you?

This recognition has given me confidence to proceed in my dental career. Dental school is a trying time for students, and it is easy to feel discouraged. Being awarded this scholarship reminds me that I belong in dental school, and that I can achieve my goals with persistence and determination.

Would you be so kind as to share your future professional goals/ plans?

I plan to pursue General Dentistry post-graduation. I am looking to shadow in various practices to find the right fit for me and a potential mentor. I’d also like to work towards becoming a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry in order enrich my dental career.

Would You Credit Anyone Has Helped You/mentors in achieving GHDS Scholarship Recipient Status?

First, I’d like to thank the GHDS Scholarship Committee for choosing me as the recipient. Second, I’d like to thank various GHDS members such as Dr. Michelle Thompson, Dr. Duc Ho, Dr. Craig Armstrong, Dr. Rita Cammarata, Dr. Ron Collins, Dr. Katie Stuchlik, Dr. Adrien Theriot, Dr. Isabel Vahedi, Dr. Victor Rodriguez, Dr. Kimberly Ruona, and Dr. Tommy Harrison. They, and the wonderful GHDS staff members, have given me the opportunity to participate in and plan GHDS events since I was a predental student and have continued to mentor me in dental school. It has been a wonderful opportunity to grow in the Society and meet dentists who have done so much for the profession. I’d also like to thank Dean John Valenza, Dr. Robert Spears, and Dr. Ralph Cooley for fostering a culture at the dental school that encourages student involvement in organized dentistry.

Do you have advice for other GHDS Scholarship Recipient hopefuls?

Be active in our local dental society by participating in events, attending legislative action committee meetings, dental health committee meetings, etc. Getting involved in organized dentistry is part of what makes this the most unique profession. If we don’t get involved, we ma y lose our voice, way of practice, and the ability to protect our patients.

Dentistry is more than lab work, drilling, and filling. It is a people-focused profession that is rich in community. Our strength is the ability to come together to make a difference for the future. It is also never too late or too early to get involved!