Meet John Senat
John Senat enrolled in the Dental Hygiene program in Fall 2013, after previously studying Dental Assisting at Delaware Valley Academy of Dental and Medical Assistants. He hopes to graduate in May 2015. In his first year, John was an active member of the Student American Dental Hygiene Association (SADHA) and a class officer. He is currently Vice-President of the Student Government Association (SGA) and a member of Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society. With an active role in so many aspects of the Harcum community, as well as undertaking numerous community service projects, John was the ideal candidate for several scholarships offered to students in the dental profession. To no one’s surprise, John was successfully awarded three of the scholarships he applied for: one from the National Dental Hygiene Association, another one from the National Dental Association Foundation, and one from the Tri-State Dental Hygiene Society.
The scholarships aim to provide financial assistance to dental hygiene students of African American descent. These scholarships helped to defray tuition costs, and John says he will use the money to pay for licensure exams so he can become a Registered Dental Hygienist. John commented, “I am extremely thankful for this aid and plan to maintain my memberships with the scholarship foundations so that one day I can give back and assist another hygiene student with their financial burdens.”
Before entering the dental hygiene field, John was a part-time concierge and a porter in a condominium, working as a cook and a dishwasher. John says, “These professional experiences have taught me to be an active listener, to always look for ways to help others, to speak effectively, to have social perceptiveness by being aware of other people’s reactions, to be an active learner, and efficient in critical thinking and time management. Each of those interpersonal skills has had a major impact in my life, but most importantly in my personality.”
John likes Harcum because of the small size. He said it’s easy to get noticed. John appreciates the Harcum faculty because they are always available and willing to help students when they need it. The advice he would offer to a future student is this, “Get to know your teachers/instructors and don’t hesitate to express any frustrations you may have. My instructors used to tell me ‘only a squeaky door gets oiled, so if you’re not squeaking then you will not be oiled.’ Since then, I learned to become a squeaker when necessary and I’ve been a very successful student. Harcum faculty will work hard to make sure you succeed and accomplish your goals, but you have to be willing to work. As long as you stay focused, dedicated, motivated, and ambitious about your goals; success will be the only outcome.”
As John looks to his future as a Dental Hygienist, he says, “I’ve learned that the most important skills to have are to be personable and confident. Being personable to my patients will keep them happy and make them feel comfortable and willing to talk to me. Being confident is another important skill because it will make it easier for patients to take me seriously and take my advice and recommendations on oral health.”