Student Spotlight: Miguel Ascencio

Miguel Ascencio

Class Year: 2024

Program: School of Dental Medicine DMD

Growing up, Miguel Ascencio often visited his father’s dentistry office on weekends, observing as he worked with emergency patients. From a young age, Ascencio knew he wanted to become a dentist—so much so that he applied for the Pre-Professional Scholars Program in Dentistry at Case Western Reserve University while he was in high school.

“I could always see myself being a dentist because I saw it first hand,” said Ascencio. “My dad and I always said that our dream is to be able to practice together.”

The accelerated program provides exceptionally qualified high school seniors with the opportunity to join the School of Dental Medicine after completing three years of undergraduate study at a partner university. Ascencio attended Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania, where he also played tennis. Now, he is getting ready to complete his first year in the Doctor of Dental Medicine program.

“It’s been really cool to go from having no idea what my dad was doing in his practice to now understanding and having conversations with my dad about tooth anatomy or trends in the mouth,” said Ascencio. “It’s really neat to have both sides coming together: the exposure and the knowledge.”

After joining Case Western Reserve in the fall, Ascencio quickly pursued opportunities to get involved in student activities, even in a virtual format. He is the president of the Hispanic Student Dental Association, part of the dental school’s Executive Student Council and on the board of the Christian Medical and Dental Association. Ascencio also plans to conduct research this summer on modified motivational interviewing in a dental clinic to encourage healthy dietary choices in adolescents and improve oral and overall health.