Top Professors of Dental Hygiene
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Dental hygiene is about much more than just cleaning teeth. In fact, many people don’t realize how much their dental health affects their overall well-being and life expectancy. Fortunately, there are some amazing professors that can help you learn the best ways to educate your future patients on how best to care for their teeth. These professors are innovators in their field, in everything from their instructional methods to their scholarly research, and also leaders in the dental hygiene community. By studying under one of them, you position yourself to be guided by an experienced and well-regarded scholar and practitioner, who may provide you with much-needed insight and advice as you prepare for a role in dental hygiene, and begin your professional career as a dental hygienist.
Cerritos College - Norwalk , CA
Dani Carroll is best known for her incredible teaching style and dedication to her students' learning. In 2011, she won the ADHA Educator of the Year award due to the overwhelming nominations from her students. According to her students, "She absolutely loves her students. Her classes are hard because the material is hard. She makes it as easy and straightforward as possible. I cannot stress enough how awesome she is."
Lone Star College - The Woodlands , TX
Maribeth Stitt is a professor and Director for the Dental Hygiene program at Lone Star College, in addition to being promoted to the position of Interim Dean for the school. Her unique teaching style and collaborative learning methods have earned her the Teaching Excellence Award from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD). She is also a Past President of the Texas Dental Hygiene Educator's Association (TDHEA).
Northern Arizona University - Flagstaff , AZ
Tracye A. Moore is an active participant in many professional organizations, including the ADHA and the New Era Dental Society. She is also the current President of the National Dental Hygienist's Association (NDHA), and advocates for minorities in the field of Dental Hygiene. She is the author of several book chapters, including "Teledentistry and Dental Hygiene," and has recently released a bilingual children's book advocating good dental health, "I Want to Be a Dental High Genius!"
Pacific University - Forest Grove , OR
Gail Aamodt is one of the rising stars in the field of dental hygiene. She recently won the ADHA Crest Oral-B Educator of the Year Award (2014) for her "excellence in teaching, mentoring, and helping students achieve their goals." She is the author of many professional papers and a textbook, "Color Atlas of Dental Hygiene: Periodontology."
St. Petersburg College - St. Petersburg , FL
Lisa Bell brings her phenomenal patient focus into the classroom, where she guides students to continually educate about the benefits of dental health. She recently won the ADHA Crest Oral-B Award for Clinical Dental Hygienists which focuses on, "contributions dental hygienists make in their patients’ lives," in response to the dental clinic she founded (Salvation Army Dental Clinic) which provides free dental care to the homeless.
University of Arkansas - Little Rock , AK
Mitzi Efurd is one of the most influential names in Dental Hygiene education. She is a current member of the Joint Commission on National Dental Exams (JCNDE) and an active member of the ADHA. She is both a professor and the Chairman of the Dental Hygiene program at the University of Arkansas, and her community activities include an annual "Extraction Day," which help between 170-200 people each year.
University of Bridgeport - Bridgeport , CT
Laurel Risom is a Clinical Associate Professor at the Fones School of Dental Hygiene at the University of Bridgeport. She has been influential in programs such as Mission of Mercy, A Healthier Connecticut by 2020, and Healthy Resources in Action. She is also the Past President of the Connecticut Dental Hygienist's Association (CDHA-RDH), and a delegate for the ADHA. Her research has been published in many places, including the Journal of Clinical Periodontology, Journal of Dental Research, and Access magazine.
University of Detroit - Detroit , MI
Laura Manning-Lee is an active contributor to both her students and her community. She is an active participant in the "Heartfelt Project," which provides lower-income children free dental care. Her action in this project earned her the 1998 ADHA Colgate Community Outreach Award. In addition to being a member of both the ADHA and MDHA, she is a Past President of the Sigma Phi Alpha National Dental Hygiene Honor Society.
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor , MI
Wendy Kerschbaum's innovative research and mentorship have been very influential on many of the hygienists on this list. Her influence led her to be a part of the National Oral Health Care Conference Task Force on Advanced Dental Hygiene Practitioners. In 2012, she received the ADHA Educator of the Year Award. In addition, her achievements with the Student Chapter of the ADHA formed the basis of the Wendy Kerschbaum SADHA Emerging Leader Award. She is the author of over 35 publications.
University of Nebraska - Gering , NE
Lisa J. Moravec is the most recent Past President of the Nebraska Dental Hygienist's Association (2013-2014) in addition to her duties as an assistant professor and Coordinator for the Department of Dental Hygiene at UN Medical Center. She also acts as the representative Trustee for Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska for the ADHA. She teaches Preclinic Techniques, and all upper-level Clinical Dental Hygiene courses at UNMC.
University of New Mexico - Albequerque , NM
Christine Nathe is a member of the research faculty team at the UNM, as well as the Graduate Program Director. She has practiced dental hygiene for both private practices as well as military organizations, nursing homes, prisons, and schools. She is the author of some of the most influential books in dental hygiene, including "Dental Public Health and Research: Contemporary Practice for the Dental Hygienist, 3rd Ed." Her many awards include the ADHA/Johnson and Johnson Award for Excellence in Dental Hygiene.
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill , NC
Rebecca Wilder is an avid publisher and researcher in addition to being an honored professor. She is the current Director of Faculty Development at UNC - Chapel Hill as well as the Director of the Master-level Dental Hygiene program. She has been very active in the ADHA and has served on many influential councils. Her work with nonsurgical periodontal therapy has earned her the Colgate/International Association for Dental Research Oral Health Research Award in addition to the Pfizer/ADHA Award for Excellence in Dental Hygiene. Wilder is also the current Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Dental Hygiene.
University of Texas - Houston , TX
Harold A. Henson has taken on many leadership positions within the field of Dental Hygiene, including as the President of the Supreme Chapter of Sigma Phi Alpha (a dental hygiene fraternity) and the Texas Dental Hygiene Educator's Association. He was also the Chair of the ADEA Section for Dental Hygiene Education and serves as an editor to journals such as the Journal of Dental Hygiene and ACCESS Magazine. He is also known for his excellent teaching, which earned him the ADHA Procter and Gamble/Oral-B Educator of the Year Award (2009).
University of Texas - Houston , TX
Donna Morris is a professor of Dental Hygiene and Periodontics at the University of Texas. She is an active member of the American Dental Education Association (ADEA), and helped develop the new Educational Guidelines for New Oral Health Professionals in 2010. She has received the ADEA Dental Hygiene Teaching Excellence Award, the UT Dean's Teaching Excellence Awards, and many others. In addition to teaching, Morris currently serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Dental Hygiene.
University of Utah - Salt Lake City , UT
Barbara L. Dixon has been a very active member of the American Dental Hygienists Association (ADHA) for 40 years, and currently serves as a trustee. has been an influential thought leader for the industry. In 2010, she was selected as one of the Top 25 Women in Dentistry by the Dental Products Report, partially due to her revolutionary work with the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations to set national dental hygienist standards.
Each of the members on this list have been chosen through careful research based on the following criteria:
1. Active Teaching. All of these professors are actively teaching or mentoring students at an accredited college.
2. Publication. Many of these professors have been published in online or print professional journals.
3. Thought Leadership. Professors on this list have been chosen due to their leadership in the dental hygiene community, based on speaking engagements, public leadership, or social media activity.
4. Extracurricular Involvement. Each of these individuals are involved in both teaching and outside professional engagements, such as professional communities and educational organizations.