Dental Hygiene Student Achievements

Southern Illinois University



Spotlight on Student Achievements

Leslie MenaLeslie Mena is a junior in the Dental Hygiene program at SIU. She was born in California, but moved to Round Lake, IL, when she was 11 years old. In her spare time Leslie loves to ride her bike, participating in any outdoor activities, and she also enjoys spending time with her family and friends. When Leslie was asked what made her interested in dental hygiene, she stated, " I chose dental hygiene because oral health is important to me. Being a dental hygienist allows me to provide care and help others understand how important their oral health is and how to improve it!" After graduation Leslie plans to work in a clinical setting, and maybe in an orthodontic office. She also wants to provide care and dental service events to the less fortunate.

Megan GrohmannMegan is a senior in the Dental Hygiene Program. She is a small town girl from Red Bud, IL who grew up on a hog farm. Outside of school Megan enjoys anything outdoors from hunting, fishing, riding horses, and riding four wheelers. In her spare time she also enjoys playing basketball or volleyball with her friends. Megan decided to go into Dental Hygiene, because growing up she always loved going to the dentist. It made her feel great when the dentist told her how good her teeth were and how well she was taking care of them.  Her dentist always made her so happy and very confident, while also making it fun for her to brush her teeth. Because of this great experience in her childhood, it made her want to do the same for others. Megan plans on staying in Illinois and is looking to find a job somewhere close to home.

“That’s what I love about Dental Hygiene, making people happy and feel good. It’s a very rewarding job.”

Carrie BellevilleCarrie is a senior at SIU from Belleville, IL who plans on working in or near her hometown. She is a huge St. Louis Cardinals & Blues fan, and attends games or watches from home.  She also enjoys time outdoors, as well as time spent with friends and family. She plays intramural softball, volleyball, and flag football here at SIU. Carrie chose SIU, because of its exclusiveness in offering the only baccalaureate dental hygiene program in IL.  Additionally, Carbondale is only two hours away from her hometown!

Jody BeelerJody Beeler is a junior in SIU dental hygiene program, but born and raised a southern gal from Paducah, Kentucky.  When her life isn’t being consumed by Dental Hygiene she enjoys hanging out with friends, family, and playing with her 7 year old blue-nose pit-bull Gotti. Not to mention she is a diehard UK basketball fan.  Jody is always in motion she enjoys dancing and making people laugh and smile.  Singing is her secret passion.  She decided to get into dental hygiene because she loves the satisfaction of helping people and educating them on their oral health. After graduation she plans on heading back to Kentucky, possibly even Nashville, TN. Jody says: "Although it was hard starting out at SIUC it has been very rewarding. Helping people on a day to day basis and putting a smile on their face is all I need to see to know I've picked the right profession for myself. This is the life! I wouldn't have it any other way." 

Destenii AndersonDestenii Anderson, is a sophomore in the Dental Hygiene program. Destenii grew up in the south side of Chicago IL. When her time is not consumed by dental hygiene she spends her time participating as a member of the Zeta Phi Beta sorority. What Destenii enjoys most about dental hygiene is being in a position where she can help people. When asked, she stated: "I believe if you help someone improve their smile this will help them in all aspects of life and boost their confidence and self esteem." After finishing the program and graduating Destenii plans on working in a clinical setting and then furthering her education by going to dental to school to ultimately become a dentist. 

Jordan O'DonnellJordan O’Donnell is a junior who was born and raised in the small town of Pocahontas, Arkansas. She knew that she wanted to work in health care, because of her love for helping people, but wasn't sure in which field. After she researched dental hygiene and visited SIU, she knew what she wanted to do, and where she wanted to be. Jordan enjoys spending time with friends, family, and her boyfriend as much as possible. She loves watching almost any sport, but college football is her favorite, especially the AR Razorbacks (Woo Pig Sooie!)  She is unsure where she will travel to after graduation, but she definitely wants to work in clinical practice. She says that “the wonderful faculty here have inspired me, so eventually I want to get my masters, so I can teach dental hygiene in the future.”