Let’s make our dreams a reality. I’ve always believed that we only
have one chance of living the life we dream of, and it’s our duty to make that
Growing up in Iran, I had two big dreams: being a university
professor and being a dentist. Through these career paths, I saw opportunities
to contribute to society and play a crucial, positive role in the development
of others. When I immigrated to the United States, I’ll never forget hearing
about how the country is the “land of opportunity.”
Through teaching as a professor, I could help improve others’
knowledge, and through that create an educated community in which everyone can
fulfill their potential and follow their dreams. Fulfilling this first dream
has been the product of the last 10 years, as I worked hard to get my Ph.D. in
engineering and a master’s degree in the pursuit of becoming a university
While teaching at the university, I did my best to guide students
and maximize their foundational knowledge to better assist them in having
successful careers and happy lives. Whether it was spending extra time during
office hours with single parents from low-income families who sought an
education as first-generation college students, or providing more assistance to
my international students who did not speak English as their first language to
review learning materials in more detail—working with students of all
backgrounds made me happy.
However, I have now shifted my focus to contributing to society
through my other dream: becoming a dentist. While the transition from a career
in academia and engineering has been neither the traditional route nor the
easiest route, I believe that in life, we must challenge ourselves and overcome
obstacles to make ourselves strong and grow. While exploring this new path and
journey, ADEA resources have been invaluable. From the ADEA
GoDental Virtual Fair or their informative
blogs, these events and resources have helped carve my path and helped me to better
understand what I need to accomplish as I change career paths. After learning
about the different components needed to be a successful predental student, I
enrolled in classes. I have greatly enjoyed becoming a student again and taking
the necessary science prerequisite courses for dental school.
Through this nontraditional path, I have seen myself grow as a
person. I believe life is too short, and we must work hard and enjoy each
moment of it.
If you love your goal,
even the most difficult journey will become easy and enjoyable. I am so excited to have chosen to commit to this path
toward dentistry, and I am grateful for the opportunity to do so. I encourage
other predental students and those going through a nontraditional path to also
take the leap and make your dream a reality!
Find more resources for nontraditional
Afsaneh NouriHoushyar, Ph.D.:
Afsaneh NouriHoushyar, Ph.D.
California State University, Los Angeles
California State University, Pomona
Afsaneh NouriHoushyar completed her Ph.D. in industrial engineering and now teaches as a university adjunct faculty member. Dr. NouriHoushyar taught multiple graduate and undergraduate courses in engineering and business. She has published and presented many research papers in academic journals and at international conferences.
Dr. NouriHoushyar is currently a predental student and she is excited about applying to dental school this upcoming cycle to start a new chapter in her life.