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Checking In with Brendan Owings ’20

Balancing extracurricular activites with coursework helped prepare the former student-athlete for the dental program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City

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Brendan Owings ’20 chose to pursue a career in dentistry because of the wide range of opportunities the field offers. During his collegiate career, Owings took advantage of the wide range of opportunities offered by Simpson College. The biochemistry major was an academic all-conference performer on the men’s soccer team, a member of the pre-Health Society and a part of the Chemistry Club. Balancing his commitments outside of the classroom with his rigorous academic schedule, Owings prepared for his next venture: the dental program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

About Brendan

Hometown: Baldwin City, Kansas
Major: Biochemistry
Minor: Sociology
Involvement at Simpson: Soccer, pre-Health Society, Chemistry Club
Graduate Program: Professional Certification or Dental Surgery at the University of Missouri-Kansas City

Q&A

What attracted you to the field of dentistry?
I was most intrigued by the field of dentistry because of the many opportunities it offers. The dynamic of the profession allows dentists and specialists help a wide-range of oral health issues. I believe oral health is often overlooked, so dentistry plays a vital role in the growing relationship between oral health and systemic health.

How did your Simpson Experience prepare you for dental school?
The current students and faculty at UMKC aren’t shy about warning us of the challenge that awaits us. But I feel prepared because I was able to learn effective time-management skills from balancing my classes and extracurriculars while at Simpson. I feel prepared for my graduate studies.

Simpson College graduate Brendan Owings
Brendan Owings ’20 is set to attend dental school at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. The former men's soccer player honed his time-management skills by balancing his coursework, athletics and service to two organizations at Simpson College. 

Did you utilize the Office of Career Development in applying to graduate school?
I utilized Career Development for a mock interview. I interviewed with Bobbi Sullivan (director of career development), and she was really helpful. I got plenty of advice and interview experience in just a single meeting. After that I felt more confident going into my interview at UMKC.

What support did you receive from the faculty and staff at Simpson?
My advisor Dr. Derek Lyons (associate professor of chemistry and physics), as well as Dr. Jackie Brittingham (professor of biology), provided great support. Both professors were instrumental in my process of applying to graduate school. I was able to get advice on how to succeed at Simpson, and they pointed me in the direction of certain extracurricular opportunities like school clubs and offices to shadow. Collectively, the insight they provided throughout my time at Simpson was invaluable. I would also say I found support from every faculty and staff member I encountered, so that was really appreciated.

Why did you choose Simpson in the first place?
I chose Simpson because of the small campus, home-like atmosphere and ultimately the impression I got from the soccer coaching staff. Plus, being on a small campus I liked that I would get to know my professors.

What will you miss the most from your time at Simpson?
I will miss the people, especially those I consider life-long friends.



Prepare yourself for advanced study in the areas of biochemistry, biotechnology, medicinal chemistry and the health sciences, including medical school. You will also be well prepared if you are interested in a career in cell and molecular biology and medical research.
EXPLORE biochemistry at Simpson college