Originally posted by Harrisonburg-Rockingham Free Clinic, Fall 2011 edition.
If anyone values opportunity, it’s Lyubov Slashcheva. As a pre-dental biology major at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU), taking the Dental Admission Test (DAT) is one of her priorities. Her free moments are spent engrossed in a DAT study guide.
A Russian interpreter for the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Free Clinic (HRFC), Slashcheva does not waste a moment. Five schools, including the University of Baltimore, West Virginia University, University of North Carolina, University of Pittsburgh and Virginia Commonwealth University have already received her dental school application. When asked why Virginia Commonwealth appeals to her, the frequenter of the EMU Dean’s List expounded upon her overall campus visit impression. At the school, she said, service is emphasized and envisions that serving others will equip her well for dentistry. In-state tuition and proximity to home also helps, she added.
After she dons EMU’s royal blue gown this December, the visionary plans to travel. She will spend four months in Gracias, Honduras and Mayobamba, Peru with the Luke Society, serving in two dental clinics. The Luke Society will support her as she educates communities about preventive medicine, stimulates community development and builds community missions with a local pastor. Slashcheva will do this all so local individuals can care for themselves.
With over three years of Spanish under her belt, Slashcheva is slightly nervous for the time away but is optimistic it will be an opportunity for growth. This experience, the forward-thinker hopes, will give hands-on dental experience and a picture of rural dentistry abroad.
In addition to being a highly disciplined student, Slashcheva values her family and church community. When she is not arduously studying for the next exam, serving others or spending time in extra-curricular activities, the youngest of three children relaxes at home with her parents.
She donates her time to the HRFC and other dental clinics in the area while working two jobs. Additionally, Dr. David Kenee, Dr. Steven Gardener and Dr. Stacie Dietz, all in the dentistry field, receive Slashcheva’s helping hands. She also tutors struggling students in organic chemistry and biology and works at EMU’s Early Learning Center.
At her home congregation of First Russian Baptist, Slashcheva co-directs a choir that meets three times a week and attends a weekly youth prayer meeting. “I like a strict schedule,” said Slashcheva who also plays flute in the church band.
After pondering how she spends her free time Slashcheva said she can’t live with free time. “After I graduate, maybe I’ll learn how.”
Slashcheva cherishes the common ground built at the HRFC between medical professionals, clients and volunteers. Others, she hopes, “would value the opportunity that the HRFC presents to do a job willingly while belonging to the larger effort.”