Take Back the Night honors dental school graduate

Organized by the UofL PEACC Center, the event lends a voice to individuals who have been through or lost someone through domestic violence.
Take Back the Night honors dental school graduate

Take Back the Night

The annual Take Back the Night march and rally was particularly meaningful for members of UofL’s chapter of the American Association of Women Dentists. The event, a campus tradition held since 2001 to protest sexual and relational violence, honors those who’ve been victimized.

This year that meant walking for one of their own, Claire VanLandingham.

VanLandingham, a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, died Jan. 3 when she was gunned down in North Chicago by an ex-boyfriend.

“Take Back the Night is for those who have been through or lost someone through domestic violence; our involvement honors Claire’s memory by supporting others going through this, as well as trying to prevent tragedies like this from happening in the future,” said Monali Haldankar, third-year dental student and secretary of UofL’s AAWD chapter.

Organized by the UofL PEACC Center, Take Back the Night lends a voice to individuals like VanLandingham. Several groups across campus participated in the 2018 rally.

P. Gay Baughman, AAWD chapter faculty advisor, knew VanLandingham well and spoke at the rally about her life of compassion and service to others.

“Claire was a light to the world, someone who unconditionally cared for others,” Baughman said. “She had an enthusiasm for life that couldn’t go unnoticed and she touched the lives of so many.”

During her time as a dental student, VanLandingham served as a community service representative for the DMD Class of 2017. She was an active member of UofL’s Hispanic Student Dental Association and represented the dental school in the 2016 Poland Exchange Student Program. A leader in UofL’s chapter of AAWD, she participated in the 2016 Take Back the Night event.

VanLandingham had just started her career in the Navy Dental Corps where she was assigned to the U.S.S. Osborne Dental Clinic at Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center. She provided dental care to recruits from Naval Station Great Lakes.

 “It was good for me to tell her story, and has helped me heal from this tragic loss,” Baughman said.

 “Domestic and relational violence affects not only the individuals who face the immediate harm, but also the broader community of those who love the ones directly impacted by violence. That is why it is so important that we, as a community, speak out against violence and work to find solutions to end it,” said Tisha Pletcher, program manager for the PEACC Center.

The Class of 2017 and the School of Dentistry established a scholarship to honor VanLandingham’s commitment to community service. The Lt. Dr. Claire VanLandingham Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to a fourth year DMD student with the most documented volunteer hours. For more information or to make a gift, please contact Betty.Sallengs@louisville.edu


March 30, 2018