Blue Knights Alumna Spotlight: Jessica Hall

2017 graduate aiming for her Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.)

Jessica Hall, 24, played NJCAA DII softball and volleyball for the Blue Knights at Dakota County Technical College. Jess competed as a freshman and sophomore in softball, 2015–2016 and 2016–2017, and as a sophomore in volleyball, 2016–2017. She covered the positions of catcher and second base in softball and was a defensive specialist in volleyball.

Jess was thinking about transferring out to Ohio to continue her collegiate sports career, but decided against that plan because she needed bicep reconstruction surgery, which would have cost her a year plus recovery time.

What did you like best about playing college softball?
What I liked best about college softball was playing at all different kinds of fields. Growing up, I always played at softball complexes because when we left home it was for a tournament more times than not. Getting to the college level, I got to play at multiple well-established parks.

What did you like best about playing college volleyball?
Playing college volleyball was more fun than anything. Growing up, I always considered myself a softball player—my brother, Braden, who got a full ride to play the sport, was the volleyball player in the family. Getting to be in another high-paced game where the weather never had an impact was always a good time.

Jess Hall
2017 Alumna
Dental Assistant Major
Blue Knights Volleyball and Softball

Dakota County Technical College

Blue Knights softball 2016–2017

“Jess always impressed me with her determination. She had some tough injuries, but always worked hard and fought through it. It’s no surprise to me that she is successful!”
Tom Cross
Head Softball Coach
Assistant Director of Student Life
Dakota County Technical College

“Jess was a fantastic teammate and a joy to be around. She was an extremely hard worker and always had a positive attitude. She made a positive impact on all of us. It was a pleasure to have her as a part of the volleyball program.”
Jen Bowman
Women’s Head Volleyball Coach
Dakota County Technical College

Jess Hall: Blue Knights volleyball gallery

Jess Hall: Blue Knights softball gallery

Pursuing her career as a dentist in Alaska…

Jess graduated from DCTC in 2017 with her Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Dental Assistant. She continued her education at Metropolitan State University, earning her Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.Sc.) in Dental Hygiene in 2020.

Jess Hall

Today, Jess is working as a dental hygienist at Lindgren Dental Care in Cottage Grove, Minnesota. Her duties at Lindgren are focused on providing upstanding patient care while educating and promoting oral health. She also volunteers as a hygienist at Hope Dental Clinic, a nonprofit in St. Paul that offers free dental treatment for people without dental insurance.

“My favorite part about being a hygienist is walking away days knowing I made a difference both in the world and in someone’s individual life,” Jess said. “I’ve had both patients and parents of patients in tears because I was able to help them get back to their ideal state of oral health. It’s those days where I know my passion is making the difference I strive for.”

Her long-range career plans include studying to become a dentist. She’s considering dental school in Minnesota, but would love to get into the University of Washington School of Dentistry to be closer to her family.

“However, I plan to apply somewhere random, too,” Jess added, “because I hadn’t originally planned on Minnesota six years ago, but I’m so glad I did. So who knows? Maybe I’ll strike gold again.”

Once she completes her Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.), she plans on returning to her home state of Alaska and start a mobile clinic where she will travel to different villages providing preventative and restorative services to remote areas.

“I remember the moment it happened when I had the idea to start a mobile clinic,” Jess said. “I was sitting in a dental hygiene course taught by Deb Merrigan and learned that Alaskan Natives are one of the biggest health disparity groups in the country. Sitting in shock, I realized this was my home and my people who I needed to help.”

Three words that describe you as a dental professional:

More about Jess…

Originally from Fairbanks, Alaska, the largest city in the state’s interior with a population approaching 31,000 residents, Jess graduated from Austin E. Lathrop High School, Class of 2015. She played both volleyball and fastpitch softball at Lathrop.

“What I love most about Alaska is that you can drive fifteen minutes in any direction and be in the middle of nowhere,” Jess said. “I also love the northern lights—I miss them now. As they were so common to me, I didn’t appreciate them as much as I should have.”

Jess has a 2-year-old German shepherd named Cash. “He’s the best,” Jess said. “Cash always knows just how to make me feel better and put a smile on my face.”

Jess’ dad, Dave, owns his own painting and drywall business in Kona, Hawaii. Her mom, Kelly, is a manager for the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District.

Jess has two brothers, Adam, 28, and Braden, 26. Adam is a data analyst, and Braden is a teacher with his master’s degree in education. Jess has one sister, Rosalia, age 25, who is the store manager for ALDI in Cottage Grove, Minnesota.

In her free time, Jess enjoys spending time outdoors, hiking, fishing and kayaking. She also loves cooking and baking.

“I’m a ‘master in the kitchen,'” Jess said. “It depends on who you ask about which dishes are my best. My father and brother, Adam, would likely say my southwest egg rolls. My most common creations are banana bread—a recipe passed down from my great grandmother—and cinnamon rolls. Although, if you ask my boyfriend, Matthew, he’ll say everything and not because he has to.”

Jess resides with Cash in Cottage Grove.

Jess Hall life and family gallery

One word that best describes your experience at DCTC:


Jess Hall Q & A

How did your education at DCTC help prepare you for your career in dentistry?

Getting an entry-level degree in my career field allowed me to pay for my bachelor’s degree almost entirely out of pocket. DCTC gave me an edge over other applicants when applying for a job with my B.A.Sc. in Dental Hygiene because I already had multiple years of experience in the field.

What traits do you need to be a competent professional in the dental field?

You need to be sympathetic and have an attention to detail; you also need to follow the four basic ethical principles.¹

What are some of the highlights of your softball career at DCTC?

Living with my teammates—with no family in town, they served as not only friends, but my only local family.

Three words that describe you as an athlete:

What advice would you give high school athletes thinking about playing NJCAA sports?

Do it. The experience from playing a college sport is only the half of it. We all hope our sport will take us far, but following this dream means realizing this doesn’t necessarily mean going pro. It can mean changing your whole life, learning about yourself and the world, and discovering what impact you can make for the better.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

In 20 years, I see myself well established and one of the more successful dentists in the country, leading by impact rather than income. Possibly making the 40 under 40. With a wholesome family who also prides themselves recognizing and creating worth in the world.

What person has influenced you the most in life and why?

Growing up, I didn’t always believe people when they’d say I have the best dad, but he is the definition of hard work. He’d work two jobs in one day, survive on four hours of sleep and still show up positive to coach practice. Raising a daughter on your own is not easy, but, man, did he make it look like it. I aspire to be half the parent and person he is.

Alaska–Hawaii connection…

Jordyn Breitbarth

Jess was a softball teammate with Jordyn Breitbarth, a native of Hilo, Hawaii. Jess and Jordyn became good friends—Jess attended Jordyn’s wedding in June 2021.

Jordyn graduated from DCTC in May 2016 with her Associate of Science (A.S.) in Individualized Studies. She focused her studies on Exercise & Sport Science coursework. She also played two seasons (2014–2015 and 2015–2016) for the Blue Knights softball (OF, SS) and women’s soccer (GK) teams.

Jordyn posted a .390 batting average with 28 RBIs and five home runs as a freshman softball player and was selected for the NJCAA First Team All-Region 13 Team. She also excelled as a sophomore, batting .414 with 42 RBIs and five home runs.

Read Jordyn Breitbarth’s Blue Knights Alumna Spotlight story on DCTC News.

Fast facts

Hilo, Hawaii, population 2021: 45,056
Rosemount, Minnesota, population 2021: 26,461
Fairbanks, Alaska, population 2021: 29,859
Hilo to Fairbanks: 3,134 miles
Hilo to Rosemount: 3,902 miles
Fairbanks to Rosemount: 3,072 miles
Hilo average low temperature in January: 64 ºF
Rosemount average low temperature in January: 4 ºF
Fairbanks average low temperature in January: –9 ºF
Hilo average high temperature in July: 83 ºF
Rosemount average high temperature in July: 83 ºF
Fairbanks average high temperature in July: 73 ºF

State mammal

Alaska: Alaskan moose Minnesota: Eastern timber wolf  Hawaii: Humpback whale
State insect

Alaska: Four-spotted skimmer Minnesota: Monarch Hawaii: Pulelehua

Jess Hall 12 Answers

  1. Favorite sport or physical activity: Hiking
  2. Place you would most like to visit: Greece
  3. The most exciting thing you’ve ever done: Snorkeled in Mexico
  4. Three things you would do if you won a $1 billion lottery: 1) Create a scholarship program 2) Pay off all debt for me and my family 3) Upstart my mobile clinic
  5. Favorite TV show you’re watching now: Clarkson’s Farm
  6. Time period you would explore if you could time travel: The future far enough to see if I accomplished my goals and see who my husband and children are.
  7. One thing you most want to accomplish in life: Actually make a difference
  8. Your national bird if you were your own country: Peacock
  9. Dream occupation: Stay-at-home mom
  10. Best movie you’ve seen lately: 2 Hearts—I literally cried three times.
  11. Skill you would most like to learn and master: Foreign language to connect with non-English speaking patients
  12. Most important issue or problem facing humankind: Inability to accept differences
Learn more about NJCAA DII softball at DCTC by contacting:

Tom Cross
Head Softball Coach

Learn more about NJCAA DII volleyball at DCTC by contacting:

Jen Bowman
Head Volleyball Coach

Erin Lund
Athletic Coordinator
Academic & Financial Aid Advisor

Or by visiting:

Learn more about the Dental Assistant program at DCTC by contacting:

Diana Sullivan
Dental Assistant Faculty

Carrie Erickson
Dental Assistant Faculty

Erin Lund
Academic & Financial Aid Advisor
Athletic Coordinator

Learn more about the Alumni Association at DCTC by contacting:

Amy Eppen
Foundation Development Director

¹ The Fundamental Principles of Ethics: