☰ In This Section

Alice Hong

My Korean name is Hyojung Hong, but most people know me as Alice. I am a biology major with a minor in business.  

I knew that I wanted to become a dentist when a 5-year-old patient came into the clinic where I work with teary eyes and blackened gums. Before then, I had never realized what a privilege it was to have my own toothbrush, toothpaste, and regular dental check-ups. 

As I examined the child’s rotting gums, my heart sank, knowing that he would need dentures before he even started elementary school. I was shocked to learn that his family did not prioritize getting a toothbrush for every family member—but they were struggling just to put food on the table, so making sure all the children brushed their teeth before bed was the least of their worries. 

Oral health disparities are a huge problem among low-income people of color. I want to be a part of the change that increases their access to oral health. 

This is my passion. It stems from the experiences God has given me as an Asian American woman, and I am excited and hopeful for the work I want to do as a dentist.

I find God in the patterns and phenomena of the natural world. When I start my career as a dentist, I want my actions and words to demonstrate His kingdom. He has called me to be an advocate for social justice while leading with compassion and kindness. 

In addition to my studies, I am executive director of United Cultures of Bethel (UCB), a student government department dedicated to building bridges among students from different backgrounds. I got involved because I wanted to talk with people who look like me. Through UCB, I found a tight-knit community where I could engage in important dialogues about race and assimilation with people who could truly empathize with me. 

As UCB’s executive director, I have had the unique experience of working behind the scenes with my team of directors to make it possible for spaces to be created on campus for the UCB subgroups and the rest of the study body. This leadership role has strengthened my passion for amplifying unheard voices and my ability to empower other student leaders. 

The same compassion I have for my team of UCB directors and subgroup members will transfer into my motivation for going into the dental field. Just as I have created tangible spaces and platforms for students to feel heard here at Bethel, I want to continue to be a servant leader for the neglected members of the surrounding community in order to help improve their oral health. 

Signe Penn

My name is Signe Penn, and I am a triple major. Yes, you heard right: triple major. Biology. Chemistry. Biochemistry. Having all three means I have to take a few extra classes, but the overlap has allowed me to fit it all into my schedule. 

In addition to taking 18 credits, I play the keys at Vespers, I take drum lessons, I have a job in the library, and I play the contra alto clarinet in band. I seem to be always busy. But, overall, I enjoy being busy. 

Science is just so cool. I love the human body and how it works. The other day in organic chemistry we were learning about how you see. Basically what happens is that you have a molecule that bends, and then you see color. That is insane. But then it's also really cool because I know the God who designed that. 

God designed the universe, but He also designed atoms. He designed every tiny detail about me, and He loves me. 

It has been so cool to look at the things I’m learning through that lens. I think I am called to share that with others. I want to take what I learn and use it to educate people and make their lives better. Whether I end up as a doctor or a research scientist, I will use my education to work against injustice and make this world a better place.