Skip to main content

Shadoe Stewart’s “Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal”: Dental School

CALS Physiology's Shadoe Stewart

From bartending to urban planning, Shadoe Stewart’s eclectic path through education and career has brought him to CALS with an unusual goal: dental school.

How did you wind up in the Physiology Program at CALS?

I went to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for undergrad (I know, I know…), where I studied folklore, geography, linguistics and urban planning en route to a degree in Southern studies. After school, I took a job at Bull City Burger and Brewery in Durham where I worked as a bartender, manager and in the brewery. After completing a professional brewer’s training program, I found a renewed interest in the physical and biological sciences.

Though I loved working in the brewery … I eventually decided to pursue a career in dentistry. A friend of mine had just been accepted to medical school after completing the Graduate Physiology Program in CALS and recommended it to help me prepare academically.

Why physiology? How does that help you pursue a career as a dentist?

I like physiology because it’s the study of how the body and its systems work. … Physiology is also applicable to a surprisingly wide array of academic and career interests. I have friends in the program who are also pre-health and others who are pursuing careers  in fields like biotechnology, food science and academia.

I think in many other masters programs, one is often limited to and by the discipline, but the physiology program at NC State, specifically, is a great opportunity to prepare yourself for the field of your choice.

What do you see in your future?

Since being accepted at UNC’s School of Dentistry … I’m excited to get more hands-on experience in dental school and find out which areas of dentistry I gravitate towards.

As of now I’m interested in military service, followed by a speciality residency in oral medicine, which will help me to navigate better the interface between oral health and general health. I really like the idea of bridging this gap from the dentistry side to treat medically complex patients more competently. This will be especially helpful for my ultimate goal of serving the oral healthcare needs of residents of rural North Carolina.