Tasha Stewart began her education at Indiana University Fort Wayne in 2011. With the help of the academic advisors at IU Fort Wayne, she was enthusiastic about getting a secondary education and starting a career in the medical field. In 2016, she successfully completed the fast-paced dental hygiene program and has cumulatively earned three secondary-education degrees: an associate degree in Dental Hygiene, a bachelor’s in Dental Hygiene, and most recently, a master’s in Public Administration.
She is a first-generation student in multiple ways. She enrolled as a part of IU Fort Wayne's first cohort of students to be offered a bachelor’s degree in Dental Hygiene. She was the only student in her dental hygiene class to graduate from the program as a 21st Century Scholarship recipient, and the first dental hygienist to work in a nursing home as part of the internship requirement for community dental hygiene majors. She not only met the programming requirement, but also befriended many residents, and while working on the floor, helped many to recognize the importance of daily dental care. She has been notably described as a "trailblazer” by her dental hygiene instructors. Recently completing her master’s degree in Public Administration, Stewart’s ultimate goal is to empower the future leaders of the dental hygiene profession.
As a licensed hygienist for over seven years, the most rewarding part of the profession for Stewart is practicing preventive dental hygiene care with patients. She shared, "There are so many patients who aren't aware of the importance of brushing your tongue daily, rotating your toothbrush in a circle to clean, and adapting the routine: brush, floss, rinse, repeat. So, it's important for me to make sure that every patient that leaves my operatory learns something new."
Stewart currently works at Hale Family Dentistry and is often praised for her thorough style of cleaning, patient-friendly charisma, and professionalism. As a result of her dedication and compassion for dental education, many of her patients write outstanding reviews complimenting her care. While her reputation as a dental hygienist has caught the attention of many dental professionals, her life as a dedicated wife, mother, and family member is also noteworthy. She and her husband John recently celebrated eight years of marriage and have five children.
Just three months before obtaining her master’s degree in 2022, Stewart received the unexpecting news that her father had passed away in his sleep. One of the most inspiring things her mother said to her during that time was, "Don't let anything stop you from accomplishing your dreams." With her mother’s encouraging words in mind, Tasha continues to overcome- and work through feelings of disappointment, grief, and anxiety to carry out her goal in honor of her family.
She has achieved the dreams she set and enjoys her work and dedication to patient’s health and care. Tasha is inspired to use her life experiences as a dental professional to help aspiring dental hygienists navigate the dental hygiene field in a more realistic and influential way.
She shared, “I have dedicated my time to continuing my education in healthcare management so that patients experience life-changing dental care, educating them about the importance of effective oral hygiene and less anxious about seeking dental treatment.”