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Class of 2017: Bachelor of Dental Surgery Summa Cum Laude Student Whitney Gayle Baartman

UWC Summa Cum Laude Student inspires students with her hard work

Dentistry’s Whitney Gayle Baartman is proof that hard work pays off if you want to achieve your dreams. Undergraduate student Whitney completed her Dental Surgery degree Summa Cum Laude in December 2017 at UWC’s Summer Graduation Ceremony.

“There is no hard and fast secret to success - if you do your best, that is all that can be expected of you,” she says. “Working constantly and putting all your faith in God is very important.”

Whitney is from Johannesburg, but moved to Bellville in 2013 to pursue her studies, and has since moved to Bloemfontein to complete her community service training this year.

She wanted to be a dentist for longer than she can even remember.

“Dentistry is the only profession that really combines the skills of doctor, engineer and artist - for this reason the stress levels can be quite high, but the job satisfaction is worth every second of it,” she mentions.

The second in her family to graduate from University - her sister completed her Masters in Physiology from Wits in 2015 - Whitney attributes a lot of her success to her support system: her parents.

“Both my mom and dad have always been extremely supportive of my dreams and helped to instill strong beliefs in me,” she says. “I was driven to work hard to make myself and my parents proud.”

Her future plans include working as part of a team in the public or private health sector.

“After a few years of clinical experience - and perhaps a few diplomas along the way - I would like to further my studies and specialize in Oral Medicine and Periodontology.”

She’s proud of the skills she’s gained, and excited about applying them. “A degree is something that no one can ever take from you,” she says, “and with the right degree you can make a difference.”