Hannah Klaassen

Iowa State prepares Hannah for dental school

Hannah searched for her career path for some time. She realized she enjoyed teaching and interacting with kids when she started teaching figure skating. But she also had a love for the medical field. She didn’t know what she wanted to study specifically, but knew she wanted to go to medical school.

She decided to focus her undergraduate degree on getting into a competitive industry. Hannah knew she didn’t want to study biology; she wanted a more human-focused degree. With the help of her parents, she found nutritional sciences at Iowa State.

“A lot of people major in biology,” she said. “But I feel nutrition gives a more in-depth look into the human side.”

Since her decision, Hannah has enjoyed learning about the digestive system and ways food impacts the body. She also decided to minor in biology, which she likes because she gets to focus on human biology courses and not learn about plants.

The summer before her junior year, Hannah shadowed an orthodontist. This experience, combined with her enjoyment of her personal dentist, helped her find her future career. Hannah decided her talent for interacting with children, interest in nutrition, and desire to be in the medical field meant she could be a pediatric dentist.

“I get to work with kids, give them a beautiful smile, and see them grow as individuals; it’s the perfect job for me.”

Now that she knows her future career, Hannah is planning on attending dental school in the Midwest. When she tells people her major, they think she wants to be a dietitian, but Hannah corrects them. She knows it sounds strange, but nutrition and dentistry do have a connection.

“It’s a weird connection,” she said. “But nutrition teaches a lot about diseases. And usually the mouth is the first place an illness starts to show. Plus, it sets me apart from other students with just the biology background.”