Written by: Mari Liestman
Mari is an MU ASDA member and our co-chair of ASDA's Pre-Dental Committee. Continue reading below to discover more about her interview with our President, Jessica Messerschmidt!
How did you get involved in ASDA?As a non-traditional student, ASDA was super helpful to me when I was applying to dental school, so when I came to Marquette I sought out the Predental committee. Then I attended Annual Session my first year and was SO excited by ASDA - and now I’m here!
If you had a boat, what would you name it?Wayyy too hard of a question - I’d have to sit on the boat and learn their personality first.
Why did you decide to run for MU ASDA President?There were so many committees I was excited about that I couldn’t choose just one to get involved in - as President I get to work with them all! Also as President I get to do a lot of “big picture” work and use leadership skills that I gained as a teacher - which I love.
What is something about you that surprises people?I used to be really into backpacking and canoeing and once went out into the Canadian wilderness for 5 weeks and didn’t shower the whole time.
What’s your favorite food?Eggplant + anchovies. Yummm...don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.
How do you survive difficult days in dental school?Super good friends that I laugh instead of cry with. Remembering my former students and how they motivated me to really take the leap into dentistry. My husband - he reminds me that I am more capable than sometimes I think I am.
If a song played every time you walked into a room, which one would you choose?Well….if I were a baseball player my walk up song would be “Temperature” by Sean Paul. No question.
What did you do before dental school?I taught kindergarten and second grade in inner-city Milwaukee and rural NC. Teaching was one of the best things I ever did - it taught me to be patient, persistent, and how to break things down. I miss the kids - they were so silly and genuine! After I was a classroom teacher I started my own tutoring business and then also went to school full-time for a year to get ready for dental school.
What advice do you have for new dental students?Be patient with yourself - school is tough and it takes time to adjust and find your place. Try things - dentistry and dental school offer so many opportunities so check them out! Don’t lose contact with the “outside world” - life continues even during dental school and you don’t want to miss out.
What are some of your goals for the year?Continue improving D1 and predental recruitment, increase communication with committee leaders and collaboration between committees.
What was the last book you read?Currently reading “Design Your Life” - it’s interesting to think about how you want to allocate and use your time and how you want your life to feel rather than look.
I was lucky to be able to help celebrate Jessica’s wedding last December. I’m so grateful for two years of such great friendship! If you don’t know Jessica yet, don’t be shy. Say hello - you’ll be glad you did!