Savannah Page isn’t sure exactly where her degree will take her, but she’s sure of one thing: It’s going to be filled with smiles.

The Broken Arrow (Okla.) High School graduate didn’t know much about the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith when she started researching dental hygiene programs, but she saw that the program had very high reviews and decided the university was the place for her.

Page said she “went to the very last NSO (new student orientation) and moved in two weeks later.” Although she looked for schools near Broken Arrow, she knew she wanted to go to a good school where she didn’t know anyone so she could experience making new friends and being away from home.

Coming from the largest high school in Oklahoma, one with more than 4,000 students, Page likes the size of the university and the sense of community she’s found.

“UAFS isn’t the biggest school, so everyone kind of knows everyone. In a way it’s like a family here.”

The university’s size has definite, positive implications in the classroom too.

“The dental hygiene program at UAFS is so prestigious, it is giving me many opportunities I wouldn’t have gotten at a large school. I have … the opportunity to have a closer relationship with professors at this university because of the smaller class size, which helps tremendously.”

As a resident assistant in the Lion’s Den dormitory, Page said she loves “getting to be a role model” for the girls on her floor. She appreciates the encouragement she and the other RAs get from Resident Director Ricky Harris.

“He’s played a huge part in my time here at UAFS. He is like family, and he is always pushing me and our staff to be better in every aspect of life,” she explained.

She also cited her advisor, Virginia Hardgraves, assistant professor of dental hygiene, as someone who is helping to shape her education.

With graduation still off in the distance of 2019, Page isn’t really sure where she will land once she’s through school. “Wherever I end up I hope to serve my community and be the best hygienist I can possibly be,” she said. “A smile is worth a thousand words.”

About the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith

The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith is the premiere regional institution of Western Arkansas, connecting education with careers and serving as a driver of economic development and quality of place in the greater Fort Smith region. Small class sizes, dedicated faculty and staff, affordable tuition rates, and a diverse on-campus culture allow UAFS students to fully explore their areas of interest in ways that prepare them for post-graduate success academically, professionally, and personally. To find out what makes UAFS just right for you, go to


Article by Judi Hansen, Advancement Editor
Photo Credits: 
Photo by Rachel Putman, Photographer, Marketing and Communications Office
Date Posted: 
Tuesday, January 9, 2018
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