July 5, 2011
DaytonFlyers.com Feature Story by
Volleyball's Yvonne Marten spent a week in Honduras this summer with UD's Dental Interest Group.
Nick Robbe, Athletics Communication Intern
When Yvonne Marten
is done finding open spots in the other team’s defense, she will be looking for different holes off the court – cavities in teeth.
The returning senior still has a year of leading Dayton’s nationally-ranked volleyball program before graduating, but earlier this summer she gained experience in serving others with her future professional skills.
As a pre-dentistry major, Marten went to Honduras with the Dental Interest Group – a student organization on campus – to help those less fortunate with basic dentistry procedures. When the group was looking to generate interest for a trip to Honduras, without hesitation, Marten jumped at the chance.
“I was looking for an opportunity like that – it’s hard to fit academics, athletics and service all in one experience,” Marten said. “Serving and giving back is such a big part of UD and I’ve wanted to do more service which is geared toward my future.”
The trip to Honduras was experimental because there was no blueprint for how it should be done. However, Marten said it was a success as the group fundraised and gathered the supplies necessary for the trip.
After all the supplies were in order the students were able to go to the village where they would be working with the Honduran people.
Marten said that shadowing down in Honduras is very different from shadowing in the United States.
“We were doing extractions in a desk chair in a school classroom and they were doing fillings in a lawn chair with a generator and their own tools,” Marten said. “It was a completely different environment, yet they were very calm and very patient.”
She added that the Honduran dentists were very into teaching and getting the students to understand what they were doing.
Marten said that even in her shadowing opportunities here locally, dentists will set up days where they go out and provide dental work for those that cannot afford the care.
The experiences have impacted Marten in such a way that when she is out in her career, she wants to continue to help people that are less fortunate.
“When I have a practice of my own, that’s something that I want to do, I want to give back,” Marten said. “People don’t realize how holistic dental care really is.”
She came to UD as pre-physical therapy major, but was not set in her decision. She shadowed her orthopedic surgeon during one Winter break and they were discussing career choices. Had it not been for a dentist appointment during that same Winter break, Marten might not have gotten the opportunity to go to Honduras.
Her family dentist had a similar discussion with her and asked her if she had considered dentistry and she hadn’t at the time. For Marten, it has been the right fit for her career choice.
“I have yet to meet a dentist who has tried to talk me out of it,” she said.
In 2010, Marten was named to the Atlantic 10 Academic All-Conference team and a CoSIDA Academic All-District IV selection. The Flyers are coming off four consecutive trips to the NCAA Championship and back-to-back Atlantic 10 regular season and tournament titles.