Get to Know Stephanie Stettin, Dental Hygienist Student

March 13, 2024


Welcome to our “Get to Know Blackhawk” series, which uses a Q&A format to showcase the diverse and talented individuals within the college community.

What is your name? Where did you grow up and what high school did you attend?

My name is Stephanie Stettin, and I am 33 years old. I have moved around a lot in my life, so it’s hard to call one place home. I was born in New York and lived there until the summer before I started high school when my family moved to North Carolina. I spent 10 years in Wilmington, where I graduated high school. I then attended a Dental Assistant program and started my dental career. After that, I moved to Colorado, lived there for seven years and met my husband. His career in the Army stationed us in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Why did you choose to attend Blackhawk Technical College?

Getting into a Dental Hygienist program is very competitive, and since I heard about this program opening up, I was eager to get my name in the pool. After also getting accepted into Rock Valley College’s Dental Hygiene program this year, I chose Blackhawk for its close commute and affordable rates. And it felt like an overall structured and reliable program.

What is your area of study? Is there something that drew you to the program?

I have been a Dental Assistant for the last ten years and am so excited to be taking my career to the next level. I have a passion for helping patients and educating them about oral care.

How has Blackhawk helped you to pursue or complete your goals?

It has given me the opportunity to reach new levels in my career, which is truly life-changing for me and my family.

Have you had to overcome any obstacles or challenges on your educational journey?

Absolutely. I have been pursuing prerequisites the last few years in preparation to apply for the program all while working full-time and being a mom to a 4-year-old, which is a challenge in itself. I am also a military wife, and my husband is currently stationed in Fairbanks. Unfortunately, there are no programs there so I had to make the choice to temporarily split up the family so I can pursue my own dreams. Although it’s a struggle at times, from hard work comes great rewards.

Are you involved in any student organizations or extracurricular activities at Blackhawk?

Yes, I am involved as a senator in DASA (Dental Auxiliary Student Association).

When do you plan to graduate and what are your plans for life after Blackhawk?

I will be graduating in May 2025. From there, I plan to move back home to Alaska to reunite my family and start my practice there. I will also be enrolling in an online bachelor's degree program for Dental Hygiene in hopes of one day being an educator or possibly in public health. The opportunities this school and program are giving me feel limitless.

What advice do you have for other individuals who are considering Blackhawk?

Instead of wasting money at a huge university that feels really impersonal, consider Blackhawk where you are getting an affordable and foundational education from teachers who truly care about you and your vision.

Tell us something about yourself you think people would be surprised to know.

I have my own home studio where I make my own pottery! I love throwing on my pottery wheel as it allows me to have a creative outlet while also being a great stress relief. I sell my work at the farmer’s market back home in Alaska. (In the above photo, Stephanie is holding a bowl that she made along with a photo of her husband.)

What is your favorite color? Why?

I have always loved purple. The light kind, like lilac. It reminds me of flowers. 😊

What's one song that must always be on your playlist?

“Fish and Whistle” by John Prine. Please play it at my funeral.

What is your favorite movie?

Oh, tough one. “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “Now and Then,” “Donnie Darko,” “La La Land,” “Big Fish” and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” to name a few.

What is your dream vacation destination?

Another tough one. Stuck between Italy, Switzerland, and Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada.

What was your favorite cartoon as a kid?

I was a Nickelodeon fan… so “Rocket Power,” “Doug,” or “The Wild Thornberrys” were some of my favorites.

What game show would you most want to participate in? Do you think you could win?

“Wheel of Fortune.” I’ve actually submitted an application but no luck. I think I would definitely be a good contestant. 

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Chocolate chip cookie dough is amazing, but strawberry is timeless.

If you could be a pro athlete in any sport, which sport would it be?


If you could have any superpower, which one would you pick?


What would be your dream car to own?

1960’s Corvette convertible

If you could learn any language, which one would you choose?

Probably Italian because that is my heritage and also because it's very similar to Spanish, which is also one of the most commonly spoken languages in the world.

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