Outstanding Students

Brittany Hoeger

Interview conducted by Andrew Schneider on 3/25/20.

Q: What year did you start at Kirkwood? 

A: My first year was fall of 2017, I just did some gen-eds and then I found the dental tech program and I started that in the fall of 2018. 

Q: What made you decide to study at Kirkwood? 

A: I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do so I figured it would be a good idea to maybe do some looking around at different opportunities and get my general classes done at least, in case I wanted to go on and found something else. 

Q: What can you tell us about your field of study? 

A: Dental technology is a field of dentistry in which you make dental appliances, so we make crowns, bridges, dentures, and orthodontic appliances, such as expanders, and partial dentures as well. Anything that goes in your mouth that a dentist or any sort of dental specialist would put in your mouth is made by a dental technician. 

Q: Do you have a specialization within your field? 

A: I decided to specialize in orthodontics, which by far is my favorite one. It’s the most interesting to me and I find it the most fun and challenging. We do invisible retainers, normal retainers with the wire, expanders, space maintainers, and stuff like that. 

Q: What inspired or motivated you? 

A: We have a family friend, he is actually an orthodontist at Parks & Schmit Orthodontics, and he offered me a job in his office and so I just went for it and fell in love with the field and I decided that’s what I wanted to go to school for. So I kind of had a little head start with knowing some background information when I started. 

Q: What are your plans after Kirkwood? 

A: I have been offered a job at Parks and Schmit Orthodontics so that is where I will be staying. I plan to work there as long as possible. 

Q: Do you have any interest in opening up your own practice? 

A: Maybe somewhere down the line. But I really do like everyone I work with and the dental field is so awesome that I think I would do really well were I am now and opening [a lab] can be really hard because there’s so many places in Cedar Rapids that doctors already refer to, so if I were to open a lab I feel that I would move out of this area. 

Q: It seems like there is a lot of potential in your field. 

A: Yes. There is so much potential. There are always people graduating from dental school and opening new practices and that gives new jobs for dental techs, as well as assistants and hygienists.  

Q: Tell us about who you are outside of Kirkwood – hobbies, family, other interests, etc.

A: Well, I work at Parks & Schmit so I do that outside of school. I also have been working at Dairy Queen for six years so that takes up a lot of my time. Otherwise I just usually hang out with my friends or hang out with my family. 

Q: What does being named an Outstanding Student mean to you? 

A: I would say it means that I have shown some sort of leadership. It’s been a big goal of mine to really excel in what I do. I’ve put in a lot of time studying and working outside of class. I took materials home that were given to me by my teacher so I could work on projects and I just think that being an outstanding student is always taking something further than you’re asked. I always want to help my classmates. I am very focused on my studies and I always want to do better. I’m always looking forward to learning more. 

Q: Is there anything else you would like Kirkwood to know about your field? 

A: I think that dental technology is a field that not a lot of people know about so I think it would be really cool if we could somehow promote it and I think that if we got more people in the field it would be so great because the dental community is such a great community to be a part of and I think by getting people more aware of dental technology we could continue to make that grow and make it an even better place to be a part of. I love it. It’s so much fun. 

Quote from professor Leah Coleman about Brittany:  

“Brittany deserves to be the Dental Technology Outstanding Student because she has always gone above and beyond as a student at Kirkwood. Brittany excelled in all of the Dental Technology Curriculum from day one. She took her aptitude for Dental Technology and participated in the Kirkwood peer tutoring program, tutoring students in dental anatomy. Brittany also was always very quick to learn in lab, always willing to lend a helping hand to her classmates. She was also helpful in lecture classes and would give excellent feedback to what helped her with projects and introspective feedback on things we could improve. Brittany was a joy to have in class and will be missed. Brittany will absolutely excel in her field of orthodontics!”

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