Rose State College Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Taylor Francis Published November 28, 2022

Rose State College Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Taylor FrancisWe recently caught up with Dr. Taylor Francis to hear about his journey at Rose State College and beyond. Dr. Francis graduated from Rose State with an Associate in Applied Science Degree. Through our conversation, we learned how Taylor became the owner of his very own orthodontic practice in Lawton, Oklahoma, after graduating from Rose State. 

Why Rose State?

My cousin, who is about five years older than me, went to Rose State and talked about how much he had enjoyed his time. I came from a pretty small school, so going to a college with smaller classes was a much easier transition for me. Along with the family connection and a more tight-knit community, I was also able to get quite a bit in academic scholarships, which made my decision easier. 

What did you enjoy most about your classes at Rose State?

I really enjoyed the smaller class numbers. The classes had 15 to 30 students, so I didn’t get lost in a crowded lecture hall. When I had questions, I could go down the hall and see a faculty member almost immediately, not just a Teaching Assistant, but my professors. It was convenient and straightforward to walk into their office and feel like I knew them and they knew me. 

Out of the courses you took at Rose State, was there a certain course that was your favorite or the most memorable?

One of my favorite courses was American Federal Government, which I know is a random class. The professor for this class made it a lot of fun, and everyone on campus loved her. I also had Dr. Calloway as a professor who taught General Chemistry. He made the classes so interesting when it’s a pretty difficult subject. 

Did you always know you wanted to go into the medical field?

Yeah, I knew by junior high that the medical field was a huge interest for me. A family we went to church with were dentists, so I talked with them often about how great a career in dentistry could be, and that’s where my interest in this field started. I was able to shadow them later on and fell in love with the possibility of a future where I could see patients each day but also set my own hours and be my own boss. 

After graduating from Rose State, what were your next steps?

After Rose State, I went to Cameron University, where I got my Bachelor of Science in Biology. Following my two years there, I spent four years studying at The University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry and received my Doctorate of Dental Surgery. After six years, I moved to Colorado to complete my residency in Orthodontics and Dental Facial Orthopedics through the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine. 

What led you to pursue orthodontics as opposed to general dentistry?

I actually did not get in my first try applying to dental school. Luckily, I had the opportunity to work for an orthodontist in Lawton for close to two years. While working there, I saw a different side of dentistry, and he motivated me to apply again, which I did and finally got in. At that point, I decided I wanted to go to dental school and finish my residency to become an orthodontist instead of stopping at general dentistry. 

What do you like most about your job?

It's all pretty fun for me because, personally, I love working in a setting where people are excited to receive treatment. We get kids and teens, even adults, looking forward to straightening their teeth. They're eager to start the process because all their friends or siblings already have braces. It's a little more enjoyable when you're a sought-after health professional rather than people dreading to come in. I love that it’s nearly the same as general dentistry, but the autonomy of being a business owner and getting to set your hours gives it an entirely different feel. It's a low-stress office and profession, which makes it pretty nice when I can go home after work and focus on other things. 

What would say to students who are considering Rose State?

The community at Rose State is very well-connected. It was nice having the familiarity of seeing people you know around campus and even off campus. I would see kids that I worked with through work-study in my classes and I never felt like I was just another number in the crowd. Everyone is known, and it was always a comfort to me that I wasn’t slipping into the crowd. 

Students considering Rose State for your higher education path:

If Taylor’s story resonates with you, maybe our health sciences degree  options are for you! Learn more about the program online at