Rebecca S. Wilder, director of the Graduate Dental Hygiene Program at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Dentistry, has been selected to receive the University of Missouri at Kansas City 2006-2007 Alumni Achievement Award for her national leadership within dental hygiene.
The University of Missouri at Kansas City (UMKC) School of Dentistry’s Division of Dental Hygiene will present the award to Wilder at the university’s Alumni Association dinner on April 19. The annual alumni awards honor one alumnus from each of the university’s 12 academic divisions for professional success and exemplary community service.
Wilder, who has been a faculty member at the School of Dentistry since 1981, received both her bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene education and her master’s degree in dental hygiene education and administration from UMKC.
A Greensboro native, Wilder attended Guilford Technical Community College before attending UMKC. She has said that her post-high school dental assisting experiences in the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Dentistry’s Student Clinics led her to a career within higher education.
“That’s when I really got the bug for teaching, being in the academic environment, having that experience of teaching students and seeing the light turn on in their heads,” she said.
Wilder’s research has been published in peer-reviewed journals including the Journal of Dental Hygiene, the Journal of Clinical Periodontology, the Journal of Dental Education and the Journal of Dental Research. She currently is working on the second edition of “Dental Hygiene: Concepts, Cases and Competencies,” one of only three international comprehensive textbooks for dental hygienists. In 2006, she was appointed editor-in-chief of the Journal of Dental Hygiene.
Wilder also was recently named one of two American Dental Education Association/Colgate-Palmolive Allied Dental Educators Fellowship recipients at the 84th ADEA Annual Session held in New Orleans March 17-21. The fellowship focuses on a wide range of issues influencing dental and allied dental education.
UMKC, one of four University of Missouri campuses, has more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students.