From a small Kazakhstan mining town, Lyubov Slashcheva came to the U.S. at age five with her family to start kindergarten in the Shenandoah Valley, knowing almost no English but ready to make her mark.
“My parents had heard of the increased opportunities that would be available to their children in the U.S.,” Slashcheva said, adding that “they were very supportive that their children excel to their greatest potential.”
Slashcheva surely met their expectations, completing high school two years early and serving as valedictorian of her class.
Now 23, she has graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University’s (VCU) School of Dentistry with a doctor of dental surgery degree. Recently she was one of 10 graduates honored by the school’s VCU Center for Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Care in an awards ceremony to recognize her commitment and service to interprofessional activities.
“The end of the academic year provides a moment to recognize those students who made substantial extracurricular commitments to interprofessional activities,” Dr. Alan Dow, assistant VP of health sciences for interprofessional education and collaborative care, said. “These are students who went above and beyond to reach across professional boundaries while also engaging with patients and community members in impactful ways.”
Slashcheva expressed a strong interest in dental public health, particularly for older patients and individuals with developmental disabilities. She credited her educational opportunities at VCU as the wellspring of her accomplishment.
“It has been exciting to see interprofessional education take form and develop throughout my time at VCU,” she said. “Being a part of that effort has been really inspiring.”