Research Experiences Help Chemistry Senior Find a Career Path

Nicole Quint | Undergraduate | Chemistry | Pre-Dental

The Student Organization for Alumni Relations (SOAR) recently caught up with chemistry senior, Nicole Quint. Learn more about her experiences with the Life-Health Science Internship (LHSI) and discover why she wants to become a dentist. 


Post Grad Plans: I’ll be taking graduate classes, and be applying to dental school this summer.

What has your experience with research at IUPUI been like? I’ve been doing research for two years now. The Life Health Sciences Internship (LHSI) here was a program where I got paid to do my research. My research focuses on oral bacteria in the mouth. It links to arthrosclerosis, which is a heart disease that a lot of people are stricken with, which you don’t realize if your mouth is bad your heart can be bad too. I work with a specific type of bacteria that is found in your mouth that causes cavities. I test the bacteria by putting it in concentration of nicotine, and it shows that the more you smoke the more you have cavities, which shows you have a higher chance of dying from a heart disease. 

The IU School of Dentistry and the International Microbiology Convention had a research event that I participated at. Oral presentations and poster presentations are where I give people details about what happens in the laboratory each day, and they ask about my research.

What is your favorite thing about research? There is a lot of freedom. You can go in whenever you want. I can’t see results right away, but I can see my progress. Something I enjoy the most is seeing my progress. First year, I was not quite as good at doing things and now I have been able to see my progress of how well I’ve gotten. My progress is very rewarding.

Why do you want to be a dentist? Growing up I was always going to the dentist, and I liked the connections. It is just like a hair stylist, you come in once a month and you grow that connection and see results. It is very rewarding.

What are you involved with on campus? My sophomore year I started doing a lot of volunteering that IUPUI offers, like MLK day, IUPUI Day of Caring, and Caesar Chavez day. I became president of the Pre-Dental Club at the end of my sophomore year, which is where my leadership stepped in. We have 120 members, and I started out the club with 5 members. Actively talking to the large science classes is how we recruited. Self-promotion was the biggest thing. I was the Director of Homecoming this past year, and my Pre-Dental Club experience really helped me with this position. From that position I realized that there is a lot of work that goes into putting large events on like Homecoming. I learned about the different clubs that IUPUI offers too.

What advice do you have to give to other seniors? The biggest advice would be to have fun and get involved. My freshman year I wasn’t involved at all, and now my senior year I’m involved in a lot of stuff, and I really enjoy it.

What advice do you have for other students? I would tell other students to study hard. School is not easy, but you have to get through it somehow, so study hard. Also, have strong organization skills. I stay organized by colors, and I have a large calendar on my wall.

What is one of the biggest skills you have learned at IUPUI? The sense of working with a community. Everyone is so different at IUPUI and you have to learn to accommodate everyone. I lived two hours up north in an average town, so coming here was new to me. My favorite thing about IUPUI is that the city is so close and there are so many opportunities. IUPUI offers so many roles for students to be prepared for when they graduate.

What is a motto you live by? I’ve recently started living by the motto, “Help yourself before you help others.” You won’t be able to help others if you’re not up to par. I’m really into arts and crafts. I’m taking a painting class, and it relaxes me.