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Meet Ali Gleason: Student speaker for Commencement 2022

Ali Gleason, Dental Assistant student at Hennepin Technical Colllege

Brooklyn Park, April 26, 2022 – Dental Assistant graduate, Ali Gleason, has been selected as the 2022 student speaker at the Hennepin Technical College (HTC) Commencement on May 11.

The event will take place at the Minneapolis Convention Center and it is the first in-person ceremony after two years of cancelled ceremonies due to the pandemic. Gleason will share words of encouragement and reflection to the Class of 2022.

Pulling teeth leads to a career

Gleason’s journey to her new career began with a visit to her dentist. Typically, patients are reluctant to get a tooth pulled, but Gleason found herself full of curiosity and interest in the procedure.

“I asked a bunch of questions. ‘What technique are you using? What instrument is that? What’s this process?’” Gleason said.

The dentist suggested she consider studying in the dental field, something that had never occurred to her. She researched dental programs, then enrolled in the Dental Assistant program at HTC.

“I like learning to be hands-on. The Dental Assistant program has a large clinic and they have a doctor that comes in and assists you. It’s really lifelike,” she said.

Opportunities in dentistry

Currently, throughout the Twin Cities, there is a critical shortage of Dental Assistants. Many HTC students receive job offers even prior to graduation. Those who enter the field are receiving signing bonuses and competitive wages.

Students who enroll in the Dental Assistant program often say they selected the profession because they enjoy caring for people and their health. Many students drawn to the field because they are detail-oriented or they are artistic. Gleason previously studied art at a community college prior to enrolling at HTC.

Gleason describes the learning environment as supportive and fun.

“I absolutely love my teachers. I would not make it through this program without them. They're very organized. They're concise. They make it exciting. They give tips and tricks they've been doing it for 20-plus years. They really go in depth,” she said. 

As a mom with a young son, she’s motivated by the opportunity to provide a good life for him. Gleason hopes to continue to advance her dental career.

“If I get tired day-to-day performing the same tasks at a general practice, there are different areas of dentistry to go into. I could go into orthodontics and get an additional certification. I could even go back and get a bachelor's degree of applied science. I'm really excited. There are endless possibilities. Now I get to be at the dentist every day.”

About Hennepin Technical College
Founded in 1972, Hennepin Technical College (HTC) is the largest stand-alone technical college in Minnesota. With campuses in Brooklyn Park and Eden Prairie, the college offers degree and non-degree courses in over 45 programs. Achieving a high job placement rate, HTC prepares students for in-demand and high-paying employment opportunities.

Last updated by mdibba : 2022-05-06 01:57:57