Expected graduation: Class of 2024
Program/Major: School of Dental Medicine DMD
Dental student. Communications major. English tutor. Family Feud contestant. To say Erica Chambers’ resume is well-rounded would be an understatement. As a first-year dental student, she describes her journey to dentistry as more of a “u-turn” than a straight path.
Growing up in Memphis, Tennessee, Chambers enjoyed math and science, with a particular interest in teeth and oral care. Throughout her high school career, she joined health clubs and even participated in a dental spelling contest. After starting her undergraduate biology studies at the University of Memphis, Chambers changed her major to journalism. However, a health communication class during her senior year reignited her passion for health care, causing her to switch gears back to where it all began: Dentistry.
“Prevention and getting health communications out to people is so important,” said Chambers. “That is the aspect I love. We can make a significant difference just by education.”
While she is open to exploring the various specialities offered in dentistry, Chambers is primarily interested in pursuing a career in dental education and academics.
In a year filled with adversity—with the DMD class of 2024 in a fully remote learning environment—Chambers did not miss a beat in getting involved. She is a pre-dental committee member within the American Student Dental Association, D1 leader in the dental branch of the Christian Medical and Dental Association, secretary of the Hispanic Student Dental Association, and class of 2024 representative for Psi Omega Fraternity and Student National Dental Association. Outside of dental school and her academic involvement, Chambers also serves as an English tutor with the virtual English-language tutor service Cambly.
“Tutoring provides the opportunity to talk and interact with people from different backgrounds,” said Chambers. “Everyone brings a unique perspective to the table. This experience will help in the future as I work with diverse groups of patients and ensure I’m providing the best care I can.”
And we can’t forget about Family Feud. A few years ago, Chambers and her family auditioned on a whim, not thinking they would actually be picked for the opportunity. After making it on the show, they won their first game, but unfortunately did not make it past the lightning round.
“We had so much fun,” said Chambers. “We went in there because we thought there was no way they were going to pick us. It was about having a good time and hanging out as a family.”