Professors Jennifer Harmon and Brittany Minichbauer both recently began full-time faculty appointments with the Department of Dental Ecology. Harmon is a clinical assistant professor in the department focusing on the Dental Hygiene Program, and Minichbauer is a clinical assistant professor in the department focusing on the Dental Assisting Program.
“I am delighted that both Professors Harmon and Minichbauer have joined our Dental Ecology faculty team as they bring high energy and a demonstrated dedication to excellence in didactic, laboratory and clinical education of our students,” said Dr. Lauren Patton, chair of the Department of Dental Ecology. “They will help to enhance the sense of cohesion between our UNC dental hygiene, dental assisting and DDS educational programs as we strive to advance intraprofessional education and curriculum innovation.”
Harmon, who has been an adjunct faculty member with the department since 2015, will primarily instruct in the Dental Hygiene Program. Her time will be spent educating students in the classroom and also overseeing them in the student clinics. She will also engage in scholarship and provide service to the community.
“I consider it a privilege to join such a dynamic team within the Department of Dental Ecology,” said Harmon. “This position is a dream come true for me since I am a Tar Heel born and Tar Heel bred. I aspire to make a difference as an educator at the UNC School of Dentistry and look forward to more opportunities to make positive changes both clinically and didactically.”
Harmon received all her higher education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, earning her Bachelor of Arts in exercise and sport science in 2007, her Bachelor of Science in dental hygiene in 2013, and her Master of Science in dental hygiene education in 2015. Prior to joining the school as an adjunct faculty member in 2015, she has served as a graduate teaching assistant at the school, as well as a private practice dental hygienist and dental assistant.
Minichbauer, who joined the department in an adjunct faculty member capacity in 2012, will focus her efforts in the Dental Assisting Program. She will spend time with students in the classroom and the clinics, overseeing their work on patients. Like Harmon, she will also continue to engage in scholarly and service activities.
“I really enjoyed my first year teaching full time feel grateful to work alongside with such wonderful and supportive people in the dental ecology department!” said Minichbauer. “I am looking forward to the future as I continue teaching and become more involved in scholarly and service activities.”
Minichbauer is a two-time graduate of the school, having earned her Bachelor of Science in dental hygiene in 2009 and her Master of Science in dental hygiene education in 2014. Between earning her bachelor’s and her master’s degrees, Minichbauer worked in a private dental practice and spent time volunteering at the Samaritan Health Clinic in Durham.