Camille Jackson

Camille Jackson '20 earned a full scholarship to dental school through the National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program. After graduation, Jackson plans to become a practicing dentist in an area with limited access to healthcare services.

Recent BGSU alumna earns full-ride scholarship to dental school

Camille Jackson ’20 receives National Health Service Corps scholarship, aimed at serving communities in need of health professionals

Before she was a dental student and even before she was a full-time undergraduate at Bowling Green State University, Camille Jackson ’20 already was on the fast track to a career in medicine.

By the time she had graduated high school, Jackson, who grew up in Sandusky, had college credits to her name through the College Credit Plus program at BGSU Firelands

A standout student in high school, Jackson began taking CCP classes as a way to soft-launch her college journey: She gained college credits before most of her peers, made still-present connections with BGSU faculty and came to the Bowling Green campus with a sense of confidence fostered by experience in an undergraduate classroom.

“I think being involved in CCP gave me a great way to ease into college,” Jackson said. “By the time I got to main campus, I didn’t have to deal with a lot of things that traditional freshmen had to adjust to.” 

Jackson always knew she wanted to go into medicine, and when it came time to take the rigorous pre-med courses, she felt ready.

“I had already eased into college because I already had some experience when I was still in high school,” Jackson said. “I was able to adapt my studying early on, so I was able to handle a heavier schedule when it came time for that at main campus.”

After graduating from BGSU with a Bachelor of Science in Biology on the pre-dental track with minors in chemistry and dance, Jackson earned a life-changing opportunity to fulfill her dream of joining the medical field. 

Jackson is currently attending dental school at Ohio State University on full scholarship through the National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program, which provides health care services in areas of the United States that have limited access to primary care.

After completing dental school, Jackson will provide full-time dental care in an underserved area for at least four years, to fulfill her National Health Service Corps Scholarship commitment.

That Jackson will use her craft to improve access to health care is no surprise to the BGSU faculty who came to know her as a conscientious student who still made time for others. 

“Even when she was a CCP student at Firelands, she was still very active in the community,” said Dr. Ram Veerapaneni, an assistant professor of biology at BGSU Firelands. “She was involved in a lot of outreach programs for underserved kids, and that always amazed me. She found the time to do those activities while also being an excellent student.”

Though Jackson had an idea she wanted to pursue medicine, she used her time at BGSU to explore the various specializations, which included experience conducting research along with Veerapaneni and discussions about what one can do with a degree in pre-health biology.

When she accompanied her mother to a dental appointment, however, she saw up close that dentistry would check every box for her.

“It had never really crossed my mind as something I might want to do, but I knew I really liked to work with my hands and I liked the artistic side of dentistry,” she said. “In dentistry, for the most part, when people come in with pain or something broken, you can fix their problem in the same appointment, or at least improve the condition. I heard someone describe it as instant gratification: Someone comes in with a problem, you do something and they leave without that problem. I like how quick it is.”

After completing dental school, Jackson said she is leaning toward going into general dentistry, which will give her a mix of everything dentistry has to offer while simultaneously providing a needed healthcare service to an area experiencing a shortage of medical professionals.

Dating back to her days in CCP, Jackson came to BGSU looking to make an impact, Veerapaneni said.

“I always tell her how proud I am of her because she was one of the brightest and most focused students I’ve ever had,” Veerapaneni said. “She knew what she wanted to do, she stayed focused and she kept her foot on the accelerator. She’s still doing that.”

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Media Contact | Michael Bratton | | 419-372-6349

Updated: 08/16/2022 09:37AM