September 28, 2021
Lexi Carpenter, an Argusville, N.D. native and May 2021 Mayville State University graduate, is a first-year dental student at the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine. Carpenter earned a bachelor’s degree with a major in biology and minor in chemistry. Lexi loved science and when she enrolled at Mayville State, she was eager to pursue her long-time career goal of becoming a dentist. Pre-dental was among Mayville State’s many pre-professional programs.
“I apppreciated that the MSU science division is small and the professors were greatly invested in my success,” said Lexi. “I truly believe that Mayville State allowed me to pursue my passions and prepared me for future success.”
At Mayville State, Carpenter enrolled in courses like microbiology, organic chemistry, biochemistry, and genetics. Parasitology and general chemistry were among her favorites. Knowing that she one day wanted to own her own dental practice, she also earned a certificate in Business Studies. Her business courses included accounting, professional development, and marketing.
Lexi is grateful to the mentors and professors who played an essential role in her Mayville State success. They include Dr. Joseph Mehus, Dr. Khwaja Hossain, Dr. Erin Kunz, and Mr. Jeff Hovde. They along with so many others, constantly advised, encouraged, and supported her during her four years at Mayville State.
“Many of these individuals took time out of their busy schedules to write letters of recommendation for me, to offer assistance in a course, and/or to give advice. As a student, those efforts had such a huge impact on me. I learned that at Mayville State, personal service isn’t just a statement and the school motto, it’s a consistent practice.”
The size of Mayville State’s campus is one of the university’s best features according to Carpenter. She feels that the campus size helps to facilitate opportunities for students to get involved. Lexi was president of the Science Club and Student Alumni Ambassadors.
“I loved having the opportunity to improve my leadership skills while getting to know my classmates. The experiences I gained from these organizations tremendously helped me in the process of applying to dental schools.”
Aside from attending classes and participating in organizations, Lexi was a research assistant in Dr. Khwaja Hossain’s scientific research lab, a writing consultant in MSU’s Writing Center, and a resident assistant in the residence halls on campus. She learned how to effectively manage her time and she feels this skill has helped her in the transition to becoming a graduate assistant.
Lexi’s dream to become a dentist began when she was in eighth grade, long before she enrolled at Mayville State.
“My family dentist had such an influential impact in my career choice,” she said. “She has a passion for her career and her patients. She takes the time to personally know each of her patients.” That was one of the biggest factors that instilled the desire to pursue the profession in Lexi. “My goal is to become a health care provider who not only provides oral health care, but who genuinely cares and is invested in the health and well-being of all my patients.”
The University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine is in Aurora, Colo., where Lexi can see the mountains outside of her window, a view quite different from the fields in North Dakota, but in her vision, North Dakota is not far away. Her anticipated graduation from dental school is in May of 2025. Then she plans to return to her home state where she’ll begin practicing in general dentistry, and continuing to pay forward the commitment to the personal service that has so greatly influenced her throughout her life.