ArNelle Wright | 2022 CALS Alumni & Friends Horizon Award

ArNelle Wright:
I practice this with my two kids. We’d say every morning, “Anything I can put my mind to, I can do.”

I’m the first person in my family to go to college. The first time that I applied to dental school I did not get in. I was an
undergrad and so I just was not prepared.

I started shadowing and I learned about dentistry because I didn’t even know or consider it to be like a career opportunity for me. I realized that
nutritional sciences, which is within the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences was a common career path for people interested in dentistry,  medicine and sometimes pharmacy.

Wendy Dahl:
ArNelle was in the first class I taught here at UF when I came 14 years ago. She came into our nutrition program with a goal in mind and she approached it by working hard, always being professional, making the right connections and I mean she’s succeeded.

I applied to dental school three times and I was able to get in on my third time. What kept me going throughout that process was just realizing that dentistry was the end goal and I didn’t want to change my mind about that.

Because of my story, I started to realize and connect with other students who had similar backgrounds that I did. People started
reaching out to me quite often through social media or with me being on campus, and from there that’s really how I started building my mentorship program.

Meghan Alexis:
I wanted a mentor that looked like me, so I fortunately fell upon Dr. Wright’s page. Everything about her when I was going through her Instagram kind of fit what I was looking for, and then when I talked to her I felt like I already knew her.

She has a very warm personality. Upon taking the DAT, Dr. Wright was with me during the whole study time. I felt her presence through and I remember at times when I wanted to give up because I didn’t like my score she played a large role in giving me the boost of confidence I needed.

It really gives me a lot of pride and it helps me realize that I’m also giving back to my profession by helping students get into their fields.

I feel like I wouldn’t be sitting here right now as a first-year dental student if it wasn’t for her and you could tell it’s a true passion of hers and she really goes above and beyond. Everybody remembers her now.

I’ve been sending an email around to the faculty that she’s getting this award and everybody’s so excited. She works so hard and she was just a
great student.

I kind of took a little bit of a scenic route and I say that with pride because it really set me up for all the success that I have right now.

The number one thing is to stick with the end goal despite any obstacles that come about.



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Posted: September 21, 2022

Category: UF/IFAS Teaching
Tags: Alumni, Award

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