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September 23, 2014

SVSU alum earns competitive scholarship while attending University of Louisville dentistry school

A Saginaw Valley State University graduate has received a highly competitive scholarship that will cover $200,000 to $300,000 of her costs in dental school.

Logan Schuiteman, who earned her SVSU bachelor’s degree in biology in May, now is enrolled at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry. There, she plans to graduate with a doctor of dental medicine degree in 2018.

A Rogers City native, Schuiteman learned in September that she was awarded the National Health Service Corps scholarship, which will pay for at least two years’ worth of the costs associated with tuition, books, uniforms and equipment. The program also includes a monthly stipend to help cover living expenses. Schuiteman said she might also apply for a third year of support from the scholarship.

In return, she will “repay” the program by working in the dental field at an under-served community for the same number of years that the scholarship covers her expenses.

Schuiteman called the scholarship “a blessing.”

“I felt an overwhelming feeling of relief that I’m not going to be so much in debt when I graduate,” Schuiteman said of learning she was a recipient.

Only a select few earn the scholarships. In 2013, 180 of 1,739 applicants received the support. The National Health Service Corps has yet to finish awarding its 2014 recipients.

Heidi Lang, SVSU’s pre-health professions advisor, called Schuiteman’s accomplishment “significant.”

“That (scholarship) is not something they routinely give out,” Lang said. “I’m not speechless she got it though. I’m speechless because I’m so excited for her.”

Schuiteman, a 2010 Rogers City High School graduate, said she knew early on in her SVSU education that she wanted to pursue dentistry.

“I wanted a job where I help people and still have time to have a family,” she said. “I was really drawn to the idea that I could be my own boss and set my own hours. You don’t usually get to do that in the medical field.”

She said her direction professionally was solidified while at SVSU, where the close 1-on-1 relationships with professors and instructors played a key role in her preparation for the next stage of her education.

“I knew I could go to them for help in my studies,” Schuiteman said. “They really knew me and knew my work ethic. That really came through in the strong letters of recommendation they provided, too.”

Schuiteman received acceptance letters from five dentistry schools before making her selection earlier this year.

“When it came down to applying to schools, I really wanted to stay in the Midwest, so Louisville was a reach for me,” she said. “After touring all the schools, Louisville was the choice. It’s a beautiful school with a great clinical review, and great in terms of research if I wanted to go in that direction.”

Whichever direction Schuiteman may take, one of her advocates at SVSU is confident the student will find success.

“She’s made a great mark everywhere she’s gone,” Lang said.