The future looks bright for Robyn Doll.
She graduated from VIU Dental Hygiene Diploma Program this year and has already secured a job as a dental hygienist in his hometown in northern British Columbia. She is also this year’s recipient of the VIU Governor General’s Academic Bronze Medal. The Bronze Medal is awarded annually to the student with the highest academic standing in a two-year degree program.
“I am very honored to have received this award,” she said. “The countless hours of study and hard work have undoubtedly been difficult, but to be recognized for these efforts is very rewarding.”
We caught up with Robyn to get her thoughts on her program, the award, and her overall experience at VIU.
What does it mean to you to receive this award and recognition?
I feel very honored to have received this award. The countless hours of study and hard work have undoubtedly been difficult, but to be recognized for these efforts is very rewarding.
What inspired you to pursue your post-secondary studies at VIU?
After choosing dental hygiene, I started researching which institution to attend. The VIU dental hygiene program has an excellent reputation and piqued my curiosity. Also, my hometown is in northern British Columbia, far from the ocean. The idea of living somewhere where I could eat endless seafood and wear shorts for more than two weeks a year was very appealing.
Can you tell us about the challenges you encountered during your studies or elsewhere, and how you overcame them?
The course load and clinical demands that myself and my classmates faced during our program was probably one of the hardest things I have ever done. Fortunately, I had amazing support systems to help me through these challenges. This support included supportive phone talks with my parents and boyfriend, and long walks around the neighborhood to talk to my roommates. Without these people to lean on, I don’t think I would have been able to complete this program, and I will be forever grateful to them.
What’s next for you, educationally or career-wise or both?
I will soon begin my career as a Registered Dental Hygienist in my hometown of Smithers, BC. I look forward to gaining experience in a clinical setting and helping people improve their oral and overall health. In the future, I hope to work in public health and push for dental care to be more accessible, affordable and comfortable for everyone.
How do you think your time at VIU helped you on your journey towards achieving this goal?
After being a student for so many years, I now feel quite terrified of entering the job market without an instructor on hand to provide me with immediate feedback and guidance. However, I know that the education I received at VIU has given me a toolbox of knowledge and skills that will enable me to face anything that comes my way. Plus, thanks to the strong relationships I’ve built with many of my classmates and instructors, I know I’ll always have people to turn to when I need help. Maintaining these connections will benefit my abilities and confidence as a dental hygienist to help me achieve my goals.
What was the highlight of your time at VIU, and what was the most important?
My time at VIU feels like a blur. From spending most of my freshman year learning online, to adjusting to wearing a mask in a classroom all day, it’s been a roller coaster ride. Nevertheless, through all this chaos, there were great moments of triumph and joy. As a student in a healthcare program, many of those times included providing care to clients in need. As for my biggest lesson, the anonymous quote, “You have within you everything you need to succeed” has motivated me throughout my years at VIU, and I hope other students can find this too. success in themselves.