Graduate Spotlight - Taylor Thede

posted on Friday, November 11, 2022 in  Alumni Profiles

Taylor Thede first became interested in the dental field thanks to a longtime family friend.

“Growing up, a good family friend of ours was a dentist,” she said. “Going to the dentist was fun for me, because he was such a fun person to be around. That really got me interested.”

After job shadowing at a dental clinic, Thede decided dental hygiene was right for her. While at Hawkeye, Thede utilized the on-campus dental clinic to practice the skills she learned in class. Professional faculty oversee all procedures to ensure quality, and a supervising dentist provides screening exams to ensure patients receive comprehensive care through their family dentist.

Clinic services are low or no-cost, which helps some individuals get dental care they haven’t had in years. That experience was something Thede found both valuable and rewarding.

“A lot of cases are people who haven’t been seen in years because they don’t have dental insurance," she said. "It's really nice to be able to see those patients who want to get in because they couldn’t before.”

Now that she’s graduated from the Dental Hygiene program, Thede plans to stay in the Cedar Valley and work in private practice. She’s excited to enter the workforce, and thanks to Hawkeye, she feels prepared for success.

“One thing that you’ll hear people say is the Hawkeye Dental Hygiene program prepares you,” she said. “I do feel very prepared.”

For more information about the Dental Hygiene program, visit


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