Alumni Spotlight: Erin Hughes Leighton, ‘11

This week’s Alumni Spotlight shines on Erin Hughes Leighton of Steuben, formerly of Canterbury, Connecticut. Erin is a 2011 UMM graduate with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. She is now the front desk coordinator at Sorrento Dental Associates.


Tell us a little about what you are doing now:

As front desk coordinator, I wear many hats, dealing with everything from scheduling patients, to answering calls, taking payments and working with accounts receivable. It feels good to go home every night knowing that in some way I’ve helped patients get the care they need. I married my husband, Peter, in September of 2015, and hope to relocate to the Ellsworth area soon.


What is the most valuable thing you learned while at UMM:

Ask questions. Seems simple right? However, for the first few years I was in college, I struggled with this. I didn’t want to be the “dumb” student who asked a million questions. I was trying to correlate the information to real life scenarios. My advisor told me to stay after class and talk to the professors – every one of my professors really did go above and beyond, showing me how everything I was taught related to everyday experiences.


Do you have any advice for current UMM students:

Join as many activities or groups as you can. Life is so much more memorable when you go through it with others. Some of my activities were Epsilon Sigma Alpha Sorority, Science Club, Women’s Basketball, 100 Percent Society.


How did your time at UMM prepare you for what you are doing now:

My major was amazing because it let me develop my own course list with the approval of an advisory committee. I was able to take courses that I felt would help send me in the direction I felt I needed to go. This laid the groundwork for my current position – I not only have to understand the patients’ concerns over the phone or in person, but understand the financial part of running a business as well.


How has UMM made a positive impact on your life:

I have always heard that you need a college degree to get anywhere in life. However, what they fail to mention is that college gives you so much more than that – lifelong friendships, sorority connections and sisterhood, learning to enjoy life, never being afraid to try something new. UMM made a huge impact on my life and for that I’m forever grateful.