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Drs. Luisa and Nathan Snyder with their children in garden

Winning with love and determination

By Srila Nayak

OSU Biology alumni Luisa and Nathan Snyder open the Snyder Family Dentistry and receive the College of Science 2017 Young Alumni Award

Drs. Luisa and Nathan Snyder (Biology,'09) have achieved phenomenal professional success early in their careers. They run the Snyder Family Dentistry in Salem, Oregon, a practice they acquired last year from a retiring dentist. The clinic provides a full scope of general, pediatric and cosmetic dentistry and has quickly acquired a positive reputation in the area. The clinic is already very highly regarded and has garnered accolades from clients.

This year the Snyders opened the Fairmount Dental Center, a comprehensive general dentistry clinic. The Snyders juggle both neighboring practices with a great deal of enthusiasm, working nine-hour days from Monday-Thursday. Parents to four-year-old Patrick Antonio and one-and-a-half year old Isabel Rosalina, the Snyders have wisely set aside a three-day weekend for the family.

“Since moving to Oregon more than a decade ago, we always envisioned having a practice in Salem. It’s been a great experience for us to have our dream practice and to work together as a team,” said Luisa, who was born and raised in Guatemala and provides bilingual patient care in Spanish and English in the clinics.

Nathan and Luisa were selected for the 2017 Young Alumni Award in the College of Science because of their extraordinary professional accomplishments achieved within a decade after graduation. "We are pleasantly surprised and honored to be recognized with this award. We had a dream to practice medicine and help our patients in the best possible way, which is becoming a reality in Oregon," said the Snyders.

After transferring from Linn Benton Community College to the Department of Integrative Biology at Oregon State University, the Snyders set about mastering their courses and acquiring valuable research experience. Both of them studied dental medicine at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California.

Thanks to their hard work and determination as well as their rigorous preparation at OSU, the couple performed exceedingly well at Western. Luisa finished top of her class and Nathan graduated with honors. They then completed a one year general dentistry residency at the Los Angeles VA Hospital in conjunction with UCLA School of Dentistry before returning to Oregon. The couple was recruited to join a practice in Albany by a dentist they had shadowed as students at OSU.

Luisa is the first in her family to attend and graduate from college. She met Nathan, a resident of Sweet Home, Oregon, when he went to Guatemala on a volunteer mission in 2004 and they have been inseparable ever since. The Snyders enjoy spending time with their children and taking vacations in Guatemala.

Read more about the Snyders and their inspiring story about how their time in the Department of Integrative Biology propelled them towards successful careers as dentists.