Alumni Q&A: Michael Greaves ’13, DDS
Michael Greaves ’13 (ΔTΔ)
Campus affiliations and leadership while at Westminster
While at Westminster, I was fortunate enough to serve in several leadership positions across campus, including Chapter President of Delta Tau Delta, Student Judiciary Board Chairman, Intramural Chair, and Grand Marshal of the Skulls of Seven. These leadership opportunities I had provided me with some of the most valuable learning experiences I had while at Westminster. I learn how to work with other leaders to solve problems, examine situations from several points of view, and develop time management skills.
General dentist with Keystone Dental Care, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
What degrees do you hold apart from Westminster?
Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) from the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Dentistry
What role did Westminster play in leading you to your current position?
Westminster provided me with the skills and education to succeed in life after college. The faculty and staff work hard to make sure that students are on track to succeed academically and to achieve their goals after Westminster. I learned to seek help when needed and pursue opportunities to grow as a student and as an individual. With the help of the faculty, staff, and other students, I was able to identify how I learn best. Westminster helped me develop organization and time management skills that I used daily in dental school.
What knowledge and skills did you acquire at Westminster that helped you to succeed in dental school?
One of the skills that I developed while at Westminster was the ability to think critically, both inside and outside of the classroom. The professors at Westminster place an emphasis on learning not only facts and information in a course but also how to solve problems and truly understand concepts. This is a skill that helped me immensely while at UMKC, both in clinical settings and the classroom. The strength of the biology program at Westminster was one of the reasons I chose it. The biology education I received set me up to succeed in my courses in dental school. Also, the courses I took outside of the biology department at Westminster have helped me to use different learning strategies and I have been able to apply material I learned in my liberal arts education to life after Westminster.
What, to you, is the value of a liberal arts education?
Because of the liberal arts education I received, I feel that I am able to apply the knowledge I learned in classes outside of my major to my classes in dental school and life outside of school. Taking classes about philosophy, other cultures, and topics outside of biology helped me grow as an individual and learn to think about situations differently than I would if I had just taken science courses.
What was your relationship like with your Westminster professors?
The close relationships I developed with my professors at Westminster is one of my best memories of Westminster College. The relationships that students develop with their professors help set Westminster apart from other colleges. There were countless times that professors would sacrifice their personal time to be available for questions, review sessions, and extra help to make sure that I was able to succeed academically.
An example of these relationships is the Biology in Belize course I took after my sophomore year. I was lucky enough to travel to Belize with other students and Drs. Amspoker and Seelinger. Throughout the semester before the trip, we learned about Belize, its culture, history, and of course, its biology. While in Belize, we applied this knowledge. I felt that I was actually a part of the culture while there, not just a tourist, because of the effort Drs. Amspoker and Seelinger put in before and during the trip to make sure that we learned as much as possible from the trip. Even while in Belize, Dr. Amspoker took every opportunity to quiz students over material covered in the course and also other courses. This drove home the importance of actually understanding and fully learning the material, not just memorizing facts for a test and is something that I carried with me into dental school.
I benefitted from the expertise of my professors by learning how to be a life-long learner and to think critically about the things that I learn, instead of just memorizing facts or material. I feel that the guidance from Dr. Mayne, who was my academic advisor, helped me achieve my goal of attending dental school from the day that I picked my classes for my freshman year.
Favorite way to spend a Sunday?
I enjoy doing anything outdoors! I mostly enjoy hiking, camping, and visiting historic sites and state parks. Since I recently moved to Pennsylvania, I have kept myself busy every weekend by exploring new towns and parks around where I live in Chambersburg.
Last book you read?
The last book I read was “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry” by Neil deGrasse Tyson. Our planet and universe have always amazed me and I felt this book did a great job of explaining some of the most fascinating things about how our universe works in a way that was both understandable and humorous.