The UNC Student National Dental Hygienists’ Association (SNDHA) chapter was started in October 2004 with the help of Mary George, RDH, MEd (former UNC DH Program Director) and Priscilla Gerald, RDH, BS (DH 1985). Charter members were Latrice Stokes (DH 2005) and Candina Bynum (DH 2006). SNDHA is the student representation of the National Dental Hygienists’ Association (NDHA). NDHA is an organization for licensed dental hygienists who have graduated from accredited dental hygiene programs. NDHA is committed toward cultivating and promoting the art and science of dental hygiene. Members are especially active in efforts to enhance access to oral healthcare for under-served communities in the United States. The NDHA also strives to provide a professional foundation for minority dental hygienists and dental hygiene students and aims to provide support through scholarship to student members. Candina Bynum was1 of 3 recipients for an SNDHA scholarship awarded at the 2005 NDHA/NDA national meeting in Las Vegas.
The UNC SNDHA grass roots chapter continues to grow with a total of four student members (Cordelia Ansah, Candina Bynum, Ebonie Harrelson and Dolly Olofintuyi) and two advisors Tanya Ashe (DH 2002) and Priscilla Gerald. The chapter sponsors several events in order to increase dental hygiene awareness in the community. Recently, members took part in an SNDHA Dental Hygiene Career Awareness Program at UNC Chapel Hill. Undergraduate students were introduced to the dental hygiene profession and educational program. Topics of discussion included: educational requirements and admissions, dental hygiene curriculum, licensure, job availability and salary, career roles, research opportunities, and professional dental hygiene organizations. Another community event was held at Southern High School in Durham, NC in which high school students and parents were exposed to the fields of dentistry and dental hygiene.