Meet a Shocker: Michael Sengvilay

Micheal Sengvilay always wanted to help people, which is why he came to ϱ University to pursue a career in oral health. While at WSU, he persevered through challenges and is now graduating with his bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene and plans to attend dental school.

Michael is one of more than 2,400 students eligible for spring 2024 graduation. Learn more about his time at ϱ and what's next for the grad.




Bachelor of Science in dental hygiene

What made you choose ϱ?

Location, reputation and admittance via WSU Tech's pathway program. Had I simply gotten admitted based on ACT/SAT scores from high school, I would not have been able to go based on those marks as it was not a priority at the time.

What has been your biggest challenge as a student, and how did you overcome it?

As a non-traditional student, I must balance school life with caring for my child brother, partner and mother-in-law. The last few years of school have been difficult, but I am grateful for the opportunity to develop resilience and deal with the obstacles that have arisen.

What's your favorite off-campus location in Wichita?

. They have a great ambiance. They understand the environment and are fast, friendly and always graceful when I grab a quick snack or beverage while studying at their facilities.

What would be the title of your autobiography?

“Walk Right Through it,” emphasizing the journey of self-worth, willingness to accept what’s not meant for me and determination I have left to seize what I know is mine.

What are your plans after graduation?

After 10 years of dedication in cosmetology and the conglomerate cosmetic beauty industry, I lost sight of helping people to satisfy the bottom line or profit margin. I intend to focus on my life's work. Treating those suffering from oral health emergencies provides me with fulfillment and inner tranquility. With that stated, I speak into existence the next difficult path of dental school. My ultimate objective is to help and affect the public health sector. With limited financing and accessible professionals in the dental profession prepared to devote long-term to a career in public health, I believe it is my ideal fit. I come from a background of everyday public health aid, and the kid version of me wanted to see my aspirations of assisting people who have encountered similar conditions.

What advice would you give other ϱ students?

Learn how to be brave in your education and career journey. Not every room will welcome you. Find an opportunity to talk to someone, no matter how awkward or distasteful. There will come a time where you will reconnect, and those moments provide a level of friendliness that we need to survive college.

About ϱ

ϱ is Kansas' only urban public research university, enrolling more than 23,000 students between its main campus and WSU Tech, including students from every state in the U.S. and more than 100 countries. ϱ and WSU Tech are recognized for being student centered and innovation driven.

Located in the largest city in the state with one of the highest concentrations in the United States of jobs involving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), ϱ provides uniquely distinctive and innovative pathways of applied learning, applied research and career opportunities for all of our students.

The Innovation Campus, which is a physical extension of the ϱ main campus, is one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing research/innovation parks, encompassing over 120 acres and is home to a number of global companies and organizations.

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