Anna Hilla, first-year Master of Science in Dental Hygiene Education (MSDH) student, has been named as one of two national recipients of the ADEA/Crest Oral-B Scholarship for Dental Hygiene Students Pursuing Academic Careers.
Hilla, who spent several weeks in 2009 in India teaching English and mathematics to orphans, has been perusing her dream of blending dental care and education since coming to UNC for her bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene. She graduated from that program in 2014.
“From the very beginning of Anna’s matriculation into the graduate program she has clearly communicated her goals of combining her passion for both oral health care and education through the development of a non-profit dental clinic in India,” said Director of the Graduate Dental Hygiene Program Professor Rebecca Wilder. “Anna’s ultimate goal is to actively participate in the movement towards interprofessional education and global oral health awareness. We are very proud of Anna’s accomplishments and know that she will continue contributing to dental hygiene education and global oral health.”
Aligned with her desire to care for those in India, Hilla’s thesis examines public health and oral health education in a population of orphans in India. Her thesis committee will be directed by Dr. B. Alex White, associate professor in both the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and the UNC School of Dentistry. In addition to collecting data in India in July of 2015, Hilla will also be leading a team of healthcare professionals, through Global Hope India of Raleigh, N.C. This trip will serve to provide basic oral hygiene education to the orphans, students and teachers of the community, as well as prepare for the building of a permanent dental clinic.
“I am beyond honored to receive this award,” said Hilla. “I greatly anticipate the opportunity to further my career in dental hygiene education as well as contribute towards increased global, oral health awareness.”
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.
Hilla will be attending the 2015 ADEA Annual Session and Exhibition in Boston, Mass. this March to accept her award.