New student Deniz Namik looks forward to ‘making people smile’

Deniz Namik. Photo by Ether Bezugla
Deniz Namik. Photo by Ether Bezugla

Name: Deniz Namik
Age: 23
Hometown: Algonquin, Illinois
Major/Program: College of Dentistry
Graduation Year: 2025

What is one thing you want people to know about you?
I live for cafés and frozen yogurt.

What degree are you pursuing and what inspired you to choose this path? Is there a personal experience that comes to mind?
I am pursuing a degree in dental medicine. I want to work with underserved populations to increase oral hygiene. While volunteering at the New American Welcome Center at the University YMCA, I was asked to be an interpreter at the dental clinic. I started to see different things on the dentistry side of health care. I found a big equity gap in dental care. Free dental clinics don’t often exist for low-income people. I saw differences in private offices versus clinics, and I realized this is why I want to work in health care — to help close that gap.

Why did you choose UIC?
UIC College of Dentistry has state-of-the-art research facilities. Also, as a pre-dental student, every time I visited the college, the faculty and staff were really focused on community work. Those things stood out for me.

Are there specific experiences and/or learning opportunities you are looking forward to having as a student?
I am interested in becoming involved in community and research projects and organizations. I’m also looking forward to exploring food locations the campus has to offer.

Looking in the future, what do you want to see for yourself, your community, the world?
Making people smile and be confident in their smiles.

What Chicago places/activities/neighborhoods are you looking forward to exploring?
I am looking forward to partaking in seasonal festivities in Chicago!

How do you like your pizza: deep dish or thin? What toppings?
Thin, with green peppers and black olives.

What was your favorite subject in middle school?
Language arts

Who or what inspires you?
Community-building inspires me.

What is your favorite place on the UIC campus so far?
Atkins Medicinal Plants Garden

Read more fall 2021 new student profiles online.

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