Sophia Ringsdorf, '13

Biology | March 4, 2013

Accomplishment: Dental School at the University of Iowa
Major: Biology
Minor: Chemistry
House: Amici

For most people, getting braces put on is less than a desirable experience. There’s the pain, the maintenance, the expense, the physical appearance—the list of grievances goes on. However, when Sophia Ringsdorf ’13 got her braces on at the age of 14, she had a slightly different feeling.

“When I got my braces on, I was intrigued by many things. There were so many elements to it: just where you would place the bracket was interesting to me. I looked into orthodontics, did some shadowing and realized that general dentistry was exactly what I wanted to do,” said Sophia, adding, “I’ve been bound and determined ever since.”

With ambitions set high, Sophia began researching colleges. Determined to go her own way, Sophia admits she was reluctant to choose Graceland.

“My boyfriend went to Graceland and I didn’t want to follow him: I wanted to do my own thing. But when I helped him move in, I saw the new Science Building, and I just fell in love with this campus,” said Sophia. “I visited other campuses, but I just really felt a connection to the professors and coaches at Graceland. From day one, Dr. Pratt really made me feel like I could chase my dreams.”

So Sophia made the decision to attend Graceland and hasn’t looked back.

"The one-on-one attention that you get with your professors at Graceland is so beneficial."

Growing up in a small town, Sophia was able to get involved in a variety of clubs and organizations in high school—and at Graceland, she wanted to do the same thing.  Sophia plays outfielder for GU’s Varsity softball team and is the current Enactus Project Manager of Local Efforts. Between classes, softball practice and brainstorming marketing strategies with local businesses, Sophia stays busy.

“The opportunity I’ve had to keep up with my school work while playing softball and participating in Enactus has been amazing,” said Sophia. “When I interviewed for graduate programs, the schools loved hearing about my other involvements—they really ate it up. It really set me apart from other applicants and sent a message to the schools that I can handle what they throw at me.”

Another advantage Sophia had while applying to dental schools was one-on-one help from her professors.

“Dr. Pratt, Dr. Foster and Dr. Shawgo were so helpful when I was filling out dental school applications and wondering what to study for the DAT. They gave me the confidence and reassurance that I could do this,” said Sophia.

With her exceptional grades, variety of extracurriculars and the support of her teachers behind her, Sophia was accepted into her top choice dental program at the University of Iowa. Starting next fall, she’ll begin her four year general practice program.


Chemistry, Pre-Dentistry, Division of Math & Science, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences