Hunt School of Dental Medicine Student Profile: Daniella Acosta

Hunt School of Dental Medicine Student Profile: Daniella Acosta

“It’s important for everyone to have access to the dental care they need. The Hunt School of Dental Medicine is making that happen.”

Tell us about your background. Where did you grow up? Where did you go to school?

I was born and raised in Marfa, Texas, a small West Texas town three hours south of El Paso. After high school, I attended Austin Community College and then earned my bachelor’s degree at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

Who or what moment inspired you to go into dentistry?

I came from a small town and didn’t have exposure to routine dental care. When I needed dental treatment as an adolescent, I would go to Mexico. Not having that exposure and traveling out of town for treatment inspired me to pursue a career in dentistry. I’ve been a dental assistant for more than 10 years, and I can see what kind of impact dental care has on a community.

What aspects of the unique curriculum are you most looking forward to?

I’m looking forward to the integrated learning, incorporated Spanish and the cutting-edge technology the school has to offer.

Why is the Hunt School of Dental Medicine the best place for you?

Raised in a small town in West Texas, I know firsthand what it’s like to grow up without the resources for dental care. I know it will be beneficial to have a dental school in the region, and I’m excited to be part of that. I’m also an active volunteer and believe it’s essential to contribute to the community. There will be many opportunities in the area to volunteer. It might be challenging to manage my time between volunteering and being a full-time dental student, but both will be worth it.

What will be the most satisfying part of dental school?

Starting dental school with the first group really helps me know I’m not going through this alone. There will be students, faculty and staff all starting with the school at the same time. While I’m in dental school and during my professional life after, I’ll educate as many people as I can on the importance of oral health, all because of the education I’ll receive.

What are your interests and hobbies?

I love reading books and outdoor activities such as fishing and camping. I enjoy spending time with my family, partner and friends.

Where do you see yourself after you complete dental school?

I see myself going back to Marfa and practicing dentistry. There is not a dentist in the area, and people must drive nearly 30 miles to see the only dentist located nearby. It’s important for me to have an impact in a region that lacks dental providers.

What do you like most about El Paso or you find unique about the region?

El Paso is three hours away from my hometown, but for the past 10 years, I’ve lived more than seven hours away. I’m so excited to be back home.