Laura Sundmark, DDS Candidate 2021, is one of two national winners of the 2018 Pankey Institute Dr. Donald C. “Ozzie” Asbjornson Scholarship. The scholarship, named in honor of Dr. Donald C. “Ozzie” Asbjornson, aims to support dental students and residents, and encourage a lifetime of learning.
The award provides complimentary registration to the Pankey Annual Meeting, “Dentistry in Harmony” in Nashville, Tennessee, and a travel stipend. Awardees are also paired with a mentor throughout the conference.
“Laura’s application for this scholarship, including a video presentation, was truly impressive,” said Vice Dean for Education Ed Swift, DMD. “She is an outstanding example of ‘dedication, perseverance and humanity’ and a very worthy recipient of this prestigious award.”
Sundmark’s mentor, Sheri Kay, RDH, Pankey Institute advisor, has been involved with the Pankey Institute for decades. She expressed how proud she was of Sundmark, and how deeply committed Sundmark is to practicing dentistry in a way that embodies the Pankey philosophy.
“Laura’s natural gift of connecting with people and her dedication to providing clinical excellence is a natural match for what the Pankey Institute develops and teaches,” said Kay. “It is amazing to witness and support Laura on her dental journey, and I know that this award is the first of many ways that she will be recognized for her contributions to dentistry in the years to come.”
The Dr. Donald C. “Ozzie” Asbjornson Scholarship, now in its sixth year, is open to dental students and residents currently enrolled in an accredited dental school and in good academic standing. Applicants are selected for their dedication, perseverance and humanity shown to the dental profession.
“I was mentored with the Pankey philosophy close to my heart and I truly believe I see dentistry through a Pankey lens,” said Sundmark. “I have no doubt in my mind that this award will be used to its fullest potential. I worked hard to get into dentistry. I plan to keep the same stamina as a lifetime learner, making connections and networking in the dental world. I want to be able to sit on the shoulders of giants, learn from the best and offer what I can in return.”
Sundmark’s video application is posted to the Pankey Institute’s YouTube channel, along with the other winner, David Markiewicz, a DDS Candidate 2019 from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry. She also is sharing her journey as a dental student on Instagram @thesmilingdentalstudent.
Founded in 1969, the L.D. Pankey Dental Foundation is the only nonprofit advanced dental education organization. Located in Key Biscayne, Florida, The Pankey Institute one place has a world renowned faculty of practicing dentists and dental technicians who help participants gain the clinical, leadership, management and human influence skills necessary to succeed in dentistry today and throughout their careers. It was the first institute of its kind and remains among the most prestigious in the world, attracting dentists from more than 40 nations. Over 25,000 dentists, dental laboratory technicians, and specialists have attended its courses and now serve millions of patients worldwide.