Breaking barriers and changing lives

Headshot of Blair Kreh on a School of Dentistry branded background

Blair Kreh, DDS ’26, is breaking barriers in his family—and he is hoping to inspire his family and friends along the way.

Kreh chose the School of Dentistry “because it was out of my comfort zone.” Coming from Maryland, Kreh wanted a new opportunity and a fresh start, so moving halfway across the country seemed like a new and exciting challenge.

Kreh has long known he wanted to go into healthcare, and was initially attracted to dentistry when he began shadowing practitioners. He loved the personal, hands-on nature of the profession.

“We get to spend a lot of time with the patients in the chair, which is a unique aspect of the profession,” he said. “I also appreciate the technicality of doing procedures.”

Though other members of Kreh’s family have pursued academia and even graduate studies, Kreh is the first in his family to pursue a doctoral degree. “I wanted to set a new standard for my family, and be a leader for future generations to pursue their education to the highest degree,” he said. Kreh hopes to inspire others in his family, “reminding them that there is value and opportunity in earning this level of education,” while also pursuing his passion.

Kreh is looking forward to the next four years in getting his degree, particularly meeting his fellow learners.

“This program is different from any other school I’ve been part of, because these are my future colleagues, people I will have strong networks with in the professional industry,” he said. “I also look forward to building my technical and clinical skills, and collaborating with my peers to build a great community.”

Though he has only been on campus for a few weeks, he is already seeing the benefits of this decision. Orientation and the first moments of class have reinforced the value of community and support. When Kreh was too sick to attend the first few days of classes, the classmates he barely knew made sure he stayed in the loop.

“It’s been very comforting, to know I have this support,” he said. “Everything is new to me: the places, the people, the faculty. They’ve all been so welcoming, and my peers are so supportive.”

Kreh is one of 105 new members of the Class of 2026. Get to know more about the class.