Miles Journeyed for Morgan Josey

Wilder-Smith celebrates ACES program mentee’s dental school graduation

On Saturday, May 20, Morgan Josey, who participated in UCI Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Access to Careers in Engineering and Sciences (ACES) undergraduate summer training program, graduated from the Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry.  During the summer of 2018, Morgan participated in the ACES program as a junior studying Biology at Albany State University.

As Morgan’s mentor while in the ACES program, Dr. Petra Wilder-Smith, the Institute’s director of Dentistry and professor of Medicine, traveled over 2,000 miles from Orange County, California to Nashville, Tennessee to watch Morgan cross The Grand Ole Opry House Auditorium’s stage with her dental degree.

“I was delighted to participate in this important day celebrating Morgan’s graduation,” said Dr. Wilder-Smith, “During Morgan’s time as a summer student researcher at UCI, she channeled her insatiable curiosity and considerable talents into a project to improve oral cancer screening participation in local underserved individuals attending community clinics.”

“With her warm personality and friendly smile, Morgan was able to build bridges with many of the patients, helping them to overcome their fear of clinics and to undergo oral cancer screenings – often for the first time,” continued Dr. Wilder-Smith, “Morgan was awarded a research award for this work, which she presented at a national conference.”

Morgan continued to grow and develop her clinical skills as a dental student at Meharry Medical College.  She exemplified the mission of the school to improve the health and health care of minority and underserved communities, placing special emphasis on providing opportunities to people of color and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, regardless of race or ethnicity; delivering high quality health services and conducting research that fosters the elimination of health disparities.

“I am certain that Morgan will be a positive force in the lives of her dental patients, and I know that her integrity, dedication and care for all will serve as an inspiration to us all.”

Click here to learn more about the Institute’s HBCU ACES summer undergraduate training program.