Kevin Bibona

Kevin Bibona

D.D.S. Class of 2012

Fourth-year student Kevin Bibona came to the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry after years in a banking career.

“I realized I wanted a job that has a more direct impact on people’s lives,” said Bibona, a New Jersey native. “It’s been very enjoyable meeting the different patients here. They come from all walks of life, so it’s a lot of fun. Because of dental issues, they’re self-conscious, or they have pain, and to be able to help them with that feels really nice.”

Bibona — the recipient of the inaugural Ronald L. Tankersley Leadership Scholarship, an award for class leadership — said that he and other students could not serve patients without the multifaceted support of the school’s alumni and friends.

“The alumni have come in as part-time faculty, and they talk with us about what they are doing in their practices,” Bibona said. “It’s been great from an educational standpoint.”

Their guidance also helps students on a more personal level, he added.

“Talking to alumni and other school supporters at different events has been really encouraging,” Bibona said.

Now that he has been accepted to the orthodontics program at VCU, Bibona looks forward to continuing his time at the university through May 2014 and moving toward a career in working with youth.

“I’ve shadowed in orthodontics and seeing how much kids smile when they get their braces off is pretty cool,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it.

“It’s been a great experience coming here,” Bibona added. “The faculty, the administration and everybody all pull together to make it work.”