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King University News :: All in the family

For two King alumni, dentistry is their passion. Jeremiah Sturgill, and his wife, Riley (Hodges) Sturgill graduated from King in 2008, Jeremiah with a double major in Cell Molecular Biology and Business Administration, while Riley received her degree in Cell Molecular Biology.

A month after graduation, the two, who met at King, married and headed west to Arizona. Jeremiah started dental school at A.T. Still University’s Arizona School of Dentistry Oral Health, while Riley took a year off to work as a veterinary technician. She then joined Jeremiah at dental school in 2009.

“Grad school was challenging but fun,” commented Riley. “A.T. Still’s dental school has a nurturing environment similar to King. The curriculum has a heavy focus on public health and community service, to which both Jeremiah and I were drawn.”

While at A.T. Still, Jeremiah elected to complete the dual degree program, in which he received his Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) along with his Master of Public Health (MPH) in 2012. All university dental students are required at least to obtain a certificate in public health. “During my fourth-year rotation, I went to Colorado, Texas, and Alaska. As part of the rotation, you work in community health centers providing care to the underserved. It was a great experience.”

Riley completed her DMD in 2013 along with her certificate in public health. Following graduation, she worked in general practice dentistry for a year in Phoenix and Mesa, Ariz., while Jeremiah completed his specialization in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics. In 2014, Jeremiah completed his residency as well as his Doctor of Health Education (DHEd).

Jeremiah and Riley then moved to Richmond, Va., where she is completing her residency in endodontics at Virginia Commonwealth University, and he is working in a private practice dental office.