Meet our Executive Board (2017-2018)
Evan Chwa - Co-President
Hello! I’m a senior majoring in biology and minoring in anthropology here at Loyola. I’m from Northbrook, IL which is about 40 minutes north from Loyola. During the summer of my high school sophomore year, I was holed in my basement playing video games until my dad, who is an orthodontist, dragged me out and told me to help out in his practice. I never perceived dentistry as something I would enjoy. Who wants to stick their hands into peoples' mouths all day? What if someone bites down and I lose a finger? I started out in sterilization and slowly made my way out into the clinic treating patients and assisting my dad. Knowing I had a part in helping a person cultivate their self-esteem and improve their smile remains extremely rewarding. I love the interaction with patients and educating them about oral health. I subsequently found dentistry so meaningful that it solidified my decision to pursue it as a career. I am also the primary researcher of a project: Experimental dental microwear textures with implications for Neandertal diet, which is in collaboration with Loyola University Chicago Department of Anthropology, Minnesota Dental Research Center for Biomaterials and Biomechanics, and University of Arkansas Fayetteville Department of Anthropology. I love teeth and understand that without oral health, general health would be compromised. We consume food to live and digestion starts with teeth. Teeth are essential for speech allowing us to communicate. Before modern dentistry, if you lost your teeth, you would die. They are essential to life and I want to ensure my future patients get to keep theirs. I’m currently in the cycle to apply to dental school so please ask me about anything that comes to your mind!
Mike Marino - Co-President
Hi! I am a senior studying Biology at Loyola and I am from Chagrin Falls, OH. I am very fortunate to have two dentists as parents and it is thanks to them that I want to study dentistry! I spent a lot of time after school at their office and they helped show me the amazing ways dentistry can help people. While at Loyola I have become involved with the National Society of Collegiate Scholars as well as the St. Thomas of Canterbury Soup Kitchen that is sponsored by Loyola’s CSA program! These extracurriculars along with Pre-Dental Association have helped me see the importance of finding a good balance between work and giving back to my community! In addition, PDA has greatly increased my knowledge of dentistry and given me the necessary tools and information to one day craft a successful application for dental school. As Co-President, my goal is to share all the information and experiences I have gathered over these years at Loyola so that other members of PDA can feel confident with choosing dentistry as the field they wish to study. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns, and I hope you have a great semester!
Lauren Eskoz - Secretary
Hi! I am a senior at Loyola University and I’m from Crystal Lake, Illinois. I am majoring in Biology, and have a minor in psychology. I became interested in dentistry through my own experiences with my teeth, as well as having the opportunity to work with my dad, an endodontist. As soon as I started school as a freshman, I joined PDA, and it has helped me tremendously over the last few years. I learned about valuable classes to take, the dental school application process, and also got to hear many admissions representatives from various Dental Schools. By the time my senior year started, I knew I wanted to give back to PDA by joining e-board, and help other Pre-Dental students. In addition to PDA, I am a Student Ambassador on campus, in which I give tours to prospective students and their families, and I am also involved with Hillel. I am looking forward to a successful year with PDA, and feel free to contact me if you have any questions at all!
Gabriella Rizko - Director of Marketing
My name is Gabriella Rizko, but everybody calls me Gabby. I am a junior here at Loyola, and I am PDA’s director of marketing. I am currently a biology major and even considering adding a French minor! Aside from school work, I am involved in other clubs here at Loyola like Chicago HOPES for kids and SOS (Students Organize for Syria). I also work as a part time dental system and as a child care provider at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights! After undergrad, I plan on taking a gap year and pursue a master’s degree and then apply to dental school.
Aesha Bhatt - Director of Membership
Helloooo! My name is Aesha, and grew up in Hoffman Estates, IL. I am currently a senior working towards a major in Biology and a minor in Bioethics. PDA has been an amazing resource that helped me pave my pre-dental path at Loyola. The meetings that I attended were super helpful, especially when it came to the DAT, my four-year plan, information on the admissions cycle and even having a way to keep in touch with people from admissions from different dental schools. Dentistry initially intrigued me due to issues with my own teeth, however my attraction to dentistry grew when I realized that it integrated art and creativity into science. Apart from PDA, I am involved with other organizations such as Love Your Melon, UNICEF, and Loyola4Chicago. I am also involved in my temple. In my free time, I like watching movies, hanging out with friends and family, dancing, drawing, sewing, working out, playing sports, watching basketball, cooking… you get the idea, I like doing a lot of things. Also, feel free to give me any type of dessert since I have the biggest sweet tooth. Just kidding (not really). Do not hesitate to come up to me and ask me questions! Going into dentistry is a tough process, and I want PDA to be just as helpful to you, as it was to me!
Solomiya Furdas - Director of External Communications
Hi!!!! My name is Solomiya and I am a Sophomore here at Loyola. I am a Psychology major and Biology minor. Aside from PDA, I am a part of the LUC Ukrainian Society and Phi Sigma Sigma sorority. My interest in Dentistry began with my 5 year journey with braces where I swore I would never want to see a orthodontist or dentist again, but soon came to realize how important a nice and healthy smile is which lead me to be fascinated by the art of Dentistry and want to pursue a career in Dentistry. I joined PDA my Freshman year and began working as a Dental Assistant at a private practice. This has helped me solidify my decision in wanting to become a Dentist. PDA has provided me with many useful resources which helped/help me guide myself in the right direction. Outside of school I loveeeee trying new restaurants (sushi especially), listening to music (especially Spanish music #Maluma) and obsessing over dogs (sadly I don't have a dog, YET). If you ever have any questions feel free to reach out to me!!! :)
Birttany Degel - Treasurer
Hi! I am a sophomore here at Loyola studying Environmental Science with a minor in Biology and I am from Long Island, New York. My interest in dentistry came from the fact the both my parents are dentists and just growing up in that environment my whole life I became to really love it and wanted to be just like them. I have always wanted to help people in life and I feel like by creating a beautiful smile for someone I can give back at the same making someone really happy as well. By joining PDA it has helped me so much by giving be access to all great materials that I can use to help me in my process of becoming a dentist. All the meetings, speakers and DAT prep from the club is just great! I am currently Treasurer of PDA but I am also a part of Habitat for Humanity, Environmental Science Alliance, and I am Special Event Chair of Phi Sigma Sigma. If you see me around campus and have any questions just ask or just say hi! I look forward to what to come in the following year.