The Fab Five
Liberal Arts Fellows study, intern, travel abroad, and leap majors in a single bound!
Brittany Bressler ’12
Brittany Bressler, from Franklin, Mass., has known that she wanted to be a dentist since middle school. “I went to a ‘kid-friendly’ orthodontist who, in my mind, just performed wonders,” says Bressler. Conversations with her orthodontist drew her into the profession. “There’s something about all the technical and artistic work that goes into creating a beautiful smile. It can really transform a person.”
At UNH, Bressler chose to be a psychology major because she felt the degree would give her an understanding of human development while still giving her a good science background. In particular, she’s enjoyed her courses on drugs and behavior and psychobiology.
To prepare for dental school, Bressler studied biology, chemistry—both general and organic, along with biochemistry, microbiology, physics, and calculus. And while those courses have been tough, one of the keys to Bressler’s success is that she likes a challenge.
“A lot of students will be deterred by a certain teaching style if it doesn’t ‘click’ for them right away,” says Bressler. “But I’m an optimist. I’ll take the best of what I’ve got and make it work.”
She’s also taken advantage of the Pre-Dental Society at the University. This group has provided a supportive peer group and opportunities to learn more about the profession. “We’ve traveled to dental schools in the region,” says Bressler. “We really learned a lot about different schools and how they view admission material.”
But perhaps the most affirming experience for Bressler was to shadow a general dentist, Dr. Colleen Lynch, who became a mentor as well. “I’ve learned so much from her,” says Bressler, who has applied to dental schools this year. “She showed me that dentistry is a great profession, especially for women.”
Part of Bressler’s discipline comes from her skating career, which began at an early age with her mom as her figure skating coach. Bressler soon found that she loved the team aspect of synchronized skating and by high school she was on Team USA, competing twice at the World Figure Skating Competition.
She has continued to skate here at UNH on the synchronized skating team for all of her four years. It’s a club sport, which means team members raise all their own funds. They’ve traveled all over the country from New Jersey to California, representing UNH, something Bressler loves to do. “My freshman year, we placed 11th in the division, and since then we have maintained a top-ten finish every year at nationals.”
For Bressler the confidence that she learned as a skater definitely translated to her academic work. “Success doesn’t come from a life full of success,” says Bressler. “Success really comes from overcoming failure and learning from it.”
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