Service with a Smile

December 01, 2013

When Columbian College senior Laura Kaye witnessed a bike crash on campus recently, she sprinted to action while others stood paralyzed.

Kaye instinctively ran over to help injured GW postdoctoral scientist and program director Andrea Heckert, not only assisting her to the GW Hospital but also stayed with Heckert while she was treated for wrist and hand sprains.

“I didn't really think twice about stopping to help Andrea, who at that time was a complete stranger,” said Kaye, “I saw her lying on the ground in pain and thought she needed someone to help, so that's what I did.”

For Kaye, the opportunity to provide service to others is one of reasons she chose to attend GW. As a student majoring in Biology, with a minor in health and wellness, the ability to shadow health professionals, volunteer at clinics, and be involved in the community has become a valued component of her academic experience.

Kaye regularly volunteers at the Whitman-Walker Health Dental Clinic and the National Children's Oral Health Foundation (NCHOF) to bring brighter smiles to children in need of dental care. She teaches them proper oral health care and the importance of good dental hygiene . . . and she enjoys every minute of it.

“What's not to love about teaching kids how to use a giant toothbrush and singing the “Tooth-Brushing Song?” she asks with a smile. “It was very important to me that I be able to further my college education beyond the classroom, and going to GW has definitely allowed me to do that.”

On campus, Kaye serves as co-president of the GW Pre-Dental Society, working closely with NCHOF and serving as a resource for members to learn about career options in dentistry and the dental school application process.

Although often focused on serving others in the community, Kaye is quick to give much of the credit for her rich experience at GW to her professors.  

“GW has a wonderful Biology Department,” said Kaye. “The amazing faculty and the research opportunities have made my time here at GW very fulfilling.

Upon graduation in May, Kaye plans to attend dental school to become a dentist for the U.S. Navy.