Dental Hygiene, Faculty and Staff, Students

Dental Hygiene Holds Second Annual Commitment Ceremony

On an afternoon featuring a Carolina blue sky, almost three dozen dental hygiene students donned Carolina blue coats and pledged their commitment to promoting their patients’ oral health.

The second annual UNC-Chapel Hill School of Dentistry’s Dental Hygiene Commitment Ceremony, held Jan. 6, signified the dental hygiene Class of 2009’s entrance into patient care.

Dr. Sally Mauriello, director of the Dental Hygiene Programs, introduced Dean John N. Williams, who asked students to commit themselves to improving the health of the patients they will treat. He also thanked the dental hygiene faculty for its commitment to excellence in mentoring the students.

Suzi Adams Bowden, a UNC-Chapel Hill dental hygiene alumna (’72) and past president of the N.C. Dental Hygienists’ Association, gave the keynote address. She stressed students’ commitment to education and lifelong learning, to the UNC-Chapel Hill Dental Hygiene Programs and to the American Dental Hygienists’ Association Code of Ethics.

“The book of learning is always open,” she said, “so continue to turn the pages.”

Lindsay Carlton, president of the dental hygiene Class of 2009, got a few smiles from other members of her class in recounting the experiences they had shared in their first semester of the Baccalaureate Dental Hygiene Program. Carlton, whose current career plans are to provide care in rural North Carolina and possibly apply to dental school, said she and her colleagues had “studied our hardest” and were committed to providing the best in patient care.

After clinical associate professor Charlotte Peterson asked students to stand and don their blue coats, she called their names as they walked across the stage to receive personal congratulations from Williams; Dr. Ron Strauss, chairman of the Department of Dental Ecology; Dr. Janet Guthmiller, associate dean for academic affairs; Dr. Douglas Solow, associate dean for clinical affairs; Dr. Kenneth May, vice dean; and Mauriello.

Students then stood and faced their families, friends and others in the audience as they recited the dental hygienists’ pledge (the ADHA Code of Ethics preamble) and the class commitment to excellence in patient care.

Strauss offered closing remarks to the students, beginning by saying that he thought his comments really represented opening remarks, considering what the future held: “an opportunity for you all to participate in a profession that has never had more promise than right now.”