Current student Brittany Minichbauer, Master of Science in Dental Hygiene Education (M.S.D.H.) Candidate 2014, has been named as a recipient of the ADEA/Crest Oral-B Scholarship for Dental Hygiene Students Pursuing Academic Careers. The national award is given to two students annually.
“Brittany is a very ambitious student with a bright future ahead,” said Professor Rebecca Wilder, program director for graduate dental hygiene education. “I have confidence that she will contribute to dental hygiene education for many years to come, which is part of why I believe she’s an excellent choice for this award.”
The ADEA/Crest Oral-B Scholarship for Dental Hygiene Students Pursuing Academic Careers supports dental hygiene students who want to work in academia and are actively enrolled in an education program beyond an associate’s degree. Two students are selected each year to receive $2,000 towards their tuition and fees.
Wilder also serves as Minichbauer’s academic advisor and was one of the faculty who nominated her for the scholarship.
Minichbauer is pursuing her thesis research in the area of dental sleep medicine. Under the direction of Dr. Greg Essick, professor in the Department of Prosthodontics, and thesis committee members Dr. Rose Sheats, associate professor in the Department of Orthodontics, and Professor Rebecca Wilder, professor in the Department of Dental Ecology, Minichbauer will conduct a national survey of all dental hygiene programs in the United States to assess the curriculum content devoted to dental sleep medicine assessment, diagnosis and treatment.
“Brittany is pursuing an area of research that is timely and relatively new to dentistry,” explained Wilder. “Her research will help us determine the current amount of content taught to dental hygiene students as well as what is needed to prepare them to identify patients who may have this condition and help the patient seek care.”
Prior to enrolling in the M.S.D.H. program at UNC, Minichbauer graduated from the school with her Bachelor of Science in dental hygiene in 2009. After graduating, she worked in a private dental practice and volunteered at the Samaritan Health Center in Durham. Minichbauer joined the UNC faculty as an adjunct member in the dental hygiene clinics on Fridays in the spring of 2012 and, once realizing how much she enjoyed teaching dental hygiene students, enrolled in the master’s program in August 2012.
“I feel extremely honored and appreciative to be a recipient of this award,” said Minichbauer. “This scholarship is certainly encouraging and motivates me more to succeed.”
Minichbauer will graduate with her master’s degree in May 2014. After graduation, she plans to begin her career in academics.