GREENWICH, Conn. – Dr. Christine Tierney of Greenwich, who was a dental hygienist before taking her patients’ advice to become a dentist, will star in new radio spots on NPR to promote the UConn Foundation’s scholarship drive.
In the 60-second spot, Tierney explains that she wants to help students who are the first in their families to get a professional degree. The UConn Foundation has raised more than $56.5 million for scholarships and fellowships for UConn students since the Transform Lives scholarship drive launched last year.
Tierney –class of ’86 – grew up in a large family where the most advanced degree was an associate’s degree in dairy science. Tierney was earning her associate’s herself in dental hygiene and working after school as a dental assistant when her patients urged her to become a dentist. She had never really considered getting a professional degree, but decided to apply and got in to the UConn School of Dental Medicine. With a successful dental practice in Greenwich, she recently created a fellowship to help students who were the first in their families to attend professional school.
“It’s something I’m really proud of,” she said. “I really do think we have an obligation to give back, and UConn makes it easy to do and makes you feel really good about it.”
Another NPR spot will feature UConn environmental science major Bridget Oei, a sophomore from Hebron, who explains that her scholarships have motivated her to push herself. Oei, who is on the pre-med track, has already done some innovative research at UConn. She has invented a paper-thin device that can charge the batteries in a heart monitor by using the wind from a person’s breathing. She is a Stamps Scholar and won the Robert and Carlotta Holster Honors Scholarship, among others.
“Meeting donors, you realize that there are people out there who actually believe in you personally and they’re willing to support you because of what they believe what you can do,” she said. “That’s inspiring and extremely motivational for me and for so many other students who have received scholarships.”