Jami Jo Bangert

Jami Jo Bangert

Jami Jo is third from the left.

When VU alumnae Jami Jo Bangert traveled to Nicaragua and Costa Rica on a two week trip during her junior year at Valpo, she found herself performing dental work for the first time. What began on that medical mission trip to Central America has now turned into a future career for Jami Jo-a graduate who has taken her Valpo Experience and created a path for a successful future.

During her days at VU, Jami Jo got involved in a wide range of activities, becoming an influential member of the campus community. When she wasn't working hard at academics, she spent time doing everything from performing with the Dance Ensemble to working as an Orientation Assistant during the summer FOCUS program. But more than anything, it was the small things like walking around campus with classmates, spending time in the Chapel, and meeting up with friends for coffee that transformed Valpo into a home away from home for her. Still today she meets VU alumni in Indianapolis, hitting it off immediately because of the great VU connection.

After graduating from Valparaiso in 2004, Jami Jo went on to dental school in Indianapolis. Today, after two years of hitting the books, she now sees adults, children, and patients with special needs at area hospitals for dental work. She plans to graduate in May 2008 with a DDS degree while concurrently receiving a Certificate of Public Health through the IU School of Medicine Public Health program.

In the future, Jami Jo plans to take her knowledge as a Doctor of Dental Surgery to low income patients somewhere in the U.S. until she decides exactly what she'd like to do with her degree. Beyond that, she's also looking into hospital dentistry and the Indian Health Service-a public health program dedicated to the Native American population. Wherever she ends up, it's no doubt that this VAN member will continue to make an impact on those around her, just like she did during her days at Valpo.