Katie was a Camp Texas Counselor in 2005, held roles on the CT Executive Committee in 2006 and 2007, and is now a proud TECTAN member after graduating from UT in 2008. Katie went on to attend and graduate from the University of Texas School of Dentistry 2015. Now in Houston, Katie has pursued a career in dentistry and has been an active member in the American Dental Association, both locally and nationally, and the Greater Houston Dental Society. Katie is a proud Longhorn and a big supporter of Camp Texas! Let’s catch up with Katie further.
Thinking back, what was your first impression of Camp Texas?
It was a no brainer to attend. Of course, I had an older sister who went through the process, so I knew a little bit about what to expect. Never in a million years did I expect to make lifelong friends.
What did you take away at CT that led you to where you are today?
The most important thing I learned from Camp Texas was that it’s more than OK to be yourself. The CT counselor training has a way of bringing out raw emotions and feelings among colleagues. You really have no way to hide who you are, and you are appreciated for being the unique person you are.
Why is Camp Texas such an important part of students' first introduction to UT?
Camp Texas goes beyond traditions. Camp Texas takes a humongous campus and makes it really small. Even if you’re not close friends with somebody, recognizing a face on campus is such a powerful feeling.
What you have been up to since you graduated?
While in school, I was heavily involved in the American Student Dental Association. I served as Chapter President in my third year. Beginning in my first year, I became involved with ASDA on the national level. I served as the first ever Electronic Editor and grew the ASDA blog substantially during my term. The next year I served as Editor-in-chief for the three publications sent to every single dental and pre-dental student member in the United States. Through my involvement with ASDA, I became involved with the Greater Houston Dental Society. I served as the dental student board liaison in my 3rd and 4th years.
I met my mentor, Dr. Duke Ho, through this organization. I graduated dental school in 2015, and immediately began practicing in Dr. Ho’s large group private practice in Katy. Other than treating patients and taking as many CE courses as possible, I continue to be involved with multiple dental organizations.
Everything Camp Texas taught me has helped me to become a dentist. I set goals and followed through with them. I’ve led teams of people within different dental organizations, all the while using a style of leadership learned at Camp Texas.
Oh, and I got married to my CrossFit sweetheart who isn’t even from Texas. Ben and I met at our CrossFit gym and fell in love while maxing out on back squat. That’s not exactly how it went down, but he’s definitely my Swole-mate. We have a 2-year-old miniature Australian Shepherd who basically walks all over me and I love it.
What inspires you?
Following mentors who don’t know what they’re doing but figure it out. Basically, a lot of my mentors take risks to achieve goals. They inspire me to do the same.
What is something you are most proud of accomplishing after graduation?
Being at a position in life where I should in the next few years be a business owner. I never in a billion years would imagine I would be planning to open a practice with a colleague someday (an Aggie at that!). It’s always a work in progress, but the day we open our practice is the day I will feel like I truly embody the spirit of what Camp Texas taught me and inspired me to be.