Kristen Eguren presents research at national conferences
Kristen Eguren, a second year dental student from Greensboro, aspires to be on the faculty of a dental school some day and conduct research benefitting patients and oral health practitioners. She recently took steps toward achieving her goals by presenting research at two national conferences.
Working with ECU dental faculty members Dr. Linda May, assistant professor of anatomy, and Dr. Christopher Cotterill, division director of pediatric dentistry, Eguren surveyed mothers of ECU pediatric dentistry patients, resulting in her poster presentation on the “Influence of Physical Activity During Pregnancy and Child Periodontal Health.”
She presented the findings at the Hinman Student Research Symposium hosted by the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry in October. The symposium brings faculty and student researchers from across the country together to raise and maintain the level of oral health research and education in the U.S.
“At the symposium I connected with researchers from many U.S. dental schools and learned a great deal about other studies. The connections I made have broaden my understanding of dentistry and will inform my research in the future,” said Eguren.
She also competed in the 56th Annual ADA and DENTSPLY International Student Clinician Research Program at the American Dental Association (ADA) Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., in November. This juried competition encourages original clinical and research work at the undergraduate level, promotes student membership in the ADA, and introduces students to dental society activities.
“Besides getting another chance to improve my presentation skills and learn from other researchers, I was amazed by the huge number of dental materials suppliers from around the world exhibiting at the ADA meeting. It made me realize how important research is in product development and in understanding the best products and materials to use with patients,” said Eguren.
Eguren is co-authoring an article on the pregnancy research with May and Cotterill. She believes that feedback from judges at both conferences is informing her contribution to the article, which the group is planning to publish in 2016.
“At my undergraduate university, I published on an educational research project and a chemistry research project. The pregnancy study is my first clinical research involving patients, and I was fortunate to have great faculty mentors. My biggest challenge now is trying to manage writing the publication while attending to my studies,” said Eguren.
This summer, Eguren was selected to represent the Capital region of the National Student Research Group, a student led organization that fosters research at U.S. dental schools. She represents student research groups at dental schools in North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Maryland.