Students in Professor Maria Bilello’s DEN 1114 Oral Histology and Embryology course do more than master the many tissues of oral cavities, they write to become more culturally sensitive health care practitioners. To better connect basic knowledge to real world issues in contemporary dental care, Professor Bilello incorporates assignments that encourage students to examine their cultural identities and personal biases in relation to oral congenital malformations. With her guidance, she urges her students to take the first step to greater self-awareness when confronted with deformity. For one project, students are asked to research and prepare oral presentations of developmental abnormalities and their impact on dental development and care. For a reflective writing assignment, students view the Academy Award-winning documentary Smile Pinki about the life-changing journey of a 5-year-old girl Indian girl with a cleft lip. Students are asked to reflect on the film and to share their personal cultural views of deformity and disability on the OpenLab (read examples of student writing here). By incorporating different forms of writing, Professor Bilello aims to shape a more competent and sensitive dental care provider.