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Friday, February 23, 2024

Young African mother sets record as first black person to earn Dentistry degree from US university, makes family proud

A young African woman named Janice Darkoo has set an outstanding record at the university of Utah (U’s) in the United States after becoming the first-ever black person to earn a degree in dentistry from the institution’s school of dentistry.

Janice Darkoo is a native of Ghana who migrated to the United States with her family. She is currently a member of the US Navy Reserve.

When Janice got admission into the University of Utah’s Dental program, she had to balance so many obligations such as being a wife, mother and also a reserve together with her studies.

“Being a Black woman from Africa, I still have to go home. Cook, clean be a wife, take care of my children. I have all of those responsibilities,” she said.

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Janice claimed that despite the difficulties, she is honored to have her name recorded in the institution’s history book as the overall first Black woman to graduate from the U’s dental school.

“This is bigger than me. This is not just about me. This is about representing my community,” she said.

A spokesperson with the school’s marketing communication department said the dental program is still very new in the institution. It’s only been in operation for roughly 10 years. But they are making sure to introduce the program to more of black students as the profession is dominated by whites in the states.

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After she got admission into the university of Utah, she decided to honor the institutions diversity, she got involved in a project by putting together an art exhibition that showcased the creative talents of her fellow students and teachers.

The arts were displayed strategically in an area where people can stop and check out the various art created with the goal of helping people learn about her African heritage as a Ghanaian and to celebrate other cultures and talents represented at the school.

A professor of Dentistry. Watts, in the university described Janice as a remarkable person adding that her art display program also impressed him. 

“We work with students on hand skills. Learning how to work on teeth, be good providers. And we forget that translates into other types of visual art as well,” Dr. Watts said.

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