Wartburg’s biggest strengths are the networking, mentorship

By Alexa Ganzeveld ’21, Britt Avery ’22, Hope Mather ’22 and Hannah Witte ’21


Juliane Winters ’12 knew when choosing Wartburg that she wanted an educational experience that would allow her to increase her language proficiency while engaging in other cultures.

“One of one of the main reasons I chose Wartburg when I was selecting a college was I wanted to study abroad. I wanted to be a Spanish major, but I also wanted to study biology and be in a pre-health sciences program. I knew Wartburg would allow me to do both of those things and still study abroad,” Winters said.

Majoring in both Spanish and biology, Winters was able to combine her appreciation for the language with her interest in dentistry and used both while interning at a dental office in Denver, Colo., while participating in the Wartburg West program.

“I worked in a bilingual dental office where we saw a lot of low-income patients or patients without insurance or on state insurance. That experience led to a yearlong position through AmeriCorps the year after graduation,” Winters said.

Juliane Winters

During that year she served as a community outreach coordinator at Escala Family Dentistry, where she was able to lead bilingual oral hygiene workshops for children in Head Start programs, represent the clinic at health fairs, and train other clinic team members in clinical assisting, billing, scheduling, and office management.  

Following her year of service, she enrolled in the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry where she earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery. Today, Winters is a general dentist at Broadlawns Medical Center in Des Moines.

“We’re able to provide comprehensive care for our patients. People can get their regular cleanings but we also do see a lot of emergencies,” Winters said. “We have a unique setup, in that most hospitals don’t have a dental clinic as part of the hospital.”

Winters cherishes the connections that she has built with her Spanish-speaking patients. Once one patient has a good experience, they want to continue to maintain that relationship with her because they feel more content with a bilingual dentist.

“I wish I could use Spanish a lot more than I do,” Winters said. “The ones I get to speak Spanish with, I think they really appreciate not having to have an interpreter all the time because a lot can get lost in translation and sometimes it just makes a patient feel more comfortable if they can have a conversation in their native language.”

For Winters, that emphasis on relationship building was first honed at Wartburg.

“Some of Wartburg’s biggest strengths are the networking and mentorship opportunities, whether it’s being able to go into a professor’s office and just sit down and have a conversation about opportunities after graduation or the career services available in Pathways,” Winters said. “They are there for the students.”