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News: Roane State dental hygiene students earn national honors

News: Roane State dental hygiene students earn national honors

From left are Roane State dental hygiene students Tory Nelson, Katie Ford and Emily Lewis. The trio earned national honors at the American Dental Hygienists’ Association’s annual conference

July 26, 2018

By Bob Fowler
Roane State staff writer

After taking top honors in statewide competition, three first-year students in Roane State’s dental hygiene program captured second place in a national competition to showcase their knowledge of current concepts in dentistry.

Winning trophies, certificates, a monetary award and a $500 grant for the community college’s dental hygiene program were Knoxville residents Emily Lewis and Katie Ford, and Tory Nelson of Maryville.

“I am so very proud of our students for their dedication, passion and professionalism in advancing their education and desire to educate others in the advancements in dentistry,” said Melinda Gill, director of the Roane State dental hygiene program.

Gill said the students competed at the Tennessee Dental Hygiene Association’s conference in Chattanooga on April 1 and won first place, giving them the opportunity to compete nationally.

The trio then vied against 33 other groups at the American Dental Hygienists’ Association’s annual conference in Columbus, Ohio and came in second.

“This is the first time in Roane State dental hygiene history that dental hygiene students competed at the national level,” Gill said. “What a great honor to the students, the dental hygiene program and the college. I could not be more proud of their hard work.”

Since Gill was named director of the program six years ago, her students have placed in local and state level competitions every year. “This is truly an honor to have our students recognized for their hard work,” she said.

Gill said Roane State’s three national winners will have their accomplishment featured in the September/October issue of Access Magazine, the periodical of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association.

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