Juggling a successful athletic career, leadership roles and dental aspirations is no easy task but student Chelsea Brinkman defies the odds by spending her collegiate years passionately achieving her goals in all three.
Brinkman began her collegiate career at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Penn., with a full-ride scholarship to play for the women’s soccer team. After strategically balancing life as a biology major and successful athlete, Brinkman left Boston to pursue a career in dentistry at the University of Florida.
“I was extremely happy to come back to Florida and have the privilege to work under my team leader Dr. Geraldine Weinstein who is incredibly helpful with teaching me different techniques and skills that are pivotal and necessary in this profession,” Brinkman said.
Since she began her time at the college, Brinkman has risen through leadership ranks of the American Student Dental Association and is currently president. She is in charge of overseeing the Annual Mighty Molar Picnic, one of the organization’s largest student run philanthropic events. The event raises money for Smile Train, an organization that provides free cleft lip and cleft palate surgery to hundreds of thousands of poor children in developing countries.
Aside from her efforts on campus, her most life-changing philanthropic experience occurred on a mission trip to Guatemala with the UF Christian Dental Society to provide healthcare for the less fortunate.
“The trip was a huge eye-opener for me. It showed me the realities of healthcare outside of the United States and how much we can use dentistry to help people,” Brinkman said. “I encourage my peers to get involved in these projects as much as possible in order to learn the valuable lessons that I have from these rewarding experiences.”
Post-graduation she plans on pursuing a residency in Florida and hopes to continue to use her skills to give back to those living in countries where good dental care is not readily available, “UF has provided me with a world class education and I know I will be able to take what I have learned into practice and make a difference in my community and world through my knowledge and skills.”