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CALS Alumna Highlight: Dr. ArNelle Wright

Majoring in nutritional sciences, University of Florida College of Agricultural and Life Sciences alumna ArNelle Wright earned her undergraduate degree from the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department (FSHN). She is currently working as a Doctor of Dental Medicine.

What brought you to CALS and your department? What first sparked your interest in your major?

My career goal was always to become a dentist. After speaking with counselors and peers, I knew CALS would provide me with the science-based education and other opportunities to make my dream a reality.

Was there a particular CALS faculty/staff or mentor that was influential in your career path?

During my master’s degree in nutritional sciences, I really admired and connected with Dr. Bobbi Langkamp-Henken.

What do you find to be the coolest/best part of your job/career?

The best part of my job is the ability I have to lead, educate and provide dental services to patients in dire need.

What are some exciting projects you have worked on in the course of your career?

I’ve created a global mentorship program for future doctors, mainly dentists. In this program, I walk alongside students as they prepare to apply for their pre-doctoral program. Doctors for Future Doctors also helps students with their interviews. There is a podcast component to it where admissions officers are interviewed and they share their best tips specific to their institution.

What advice would you give to students who are interested in the same major/career path as you?

I would advise students interested in dentistry to do a few things, including, but not limited to the following:

  1. Do their research on the field … not just by Googling for basic knowledge. Instead, I highly recommend that students begin to shadow dentists and not only general dentists but also dentists in all specialties, if possible.
  2. Find a mentor who has the bandwidth to walk with you throughout this process.
  3. Study with intention and with the goal of doing well in the pre-requisites so that you have a strong foundation for the Dental Admissions Test.
  4. Make an impression on and build a lasting relationship with faculty members that can be expressed convincingly in a recommendation letter.
  5. Start the application process EARLY.

    “I struggled for so long, and I felt as if I had to navigate entering the field on my own. If I can help students bridge that gap, especially students who are first-generation, it warms my heart tremendously.” – ArNelle Wright

The Food Science and Human Nutrition Department is one of the world’s largest combined academic programs where food science, nutritional sciences, and dietetics are all studied within one department. After completing undergraduate degrees, FSHN students typically move on to employment in the food industry or healthcare settings, graduate or professional programs. Find a CALS major that suits your interests by taking our majors quiz. You can also find information regarding our undergraduate and graduate programs on our website. Questions for ArNelle Wright about her experiences in Nutritional Sciences should be directed to arnellewrightdmd@gmail.com.

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