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Students from the Pediatric Education Dental Society (P.E.D.S.) of The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston have been out in the community to teach children about oral health. P.E.D.S. volunteers Mary Glasheen, Adrien Lewis, Jenni Laurence, Luke Henderson, Nkiru Vance, Shawna Mendel and Elizabeth Scott went to the Children’s Museum of Houston in March to enrich the museum’s story time by reading to children about brushing teeth, and teaching parents and kids about the importance of dental health. The P.E.D.S. volunteers provided dental products to the children who attended and to others who visited the P.E.D.S. booth.  The Children’s Museum of Houston works to spark a passion for lifelong learning by offering a multitude of exhibits that engage kids with innovative, child-centered learning. Earlier in March, P.E.D.S. volunteers Mary Becker, Lindsey Bryce, Tab Imdacha, Kelsey Krafft, Richard Duong, Misty May, Joel Edgar, Mason Borth and Mallory Baum volunteered to help with children’s activities at Ronald McDonald House in Houston.

The American Dental Hygienists Association (ADHA) and Crest Oral-B have named University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston Associate Professor Joanna L. Allaire, RDH, BSDH, MDH, as the 2015 Educator of the Year. Nominated by her colleagues, Allaire was honored for “characteriz(ing) excellence in teaching, research, service and her commitment to professional development and academia,” according to the ADHA’s announcement. Allaire first earned a certificate in dental hygiene from UTSD in 1978, returning for a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene in 2007. She joined the UTSD faculty that same year after a long and varied career in private practice, including 14 years in a progressive periodontal practice.

Delicious food from 17 restaurants and 13 celebrity/novice chefs helped make the inaugural “Texas Taste Teaser” fundraiser a success for The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Dentistry, as a crowd of approximately 400 filled the Denton A. Cooley, MD and Ralph C. Cooley, DDS University Life Center for the April 16 event. All Texas Taste Teaser proceeds — currently estimated at $25,000 — will benefit the School of Dentistry’s Community Outreach Program, which annually reaches more than 10,000 patients through the school’s two mobile dental vans, Give Kids a Smile Day and other initiatives.

Employees in the Division of Patient Services at The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston recently began wearing shirts embroidered with the school logo. They will wear the shirts Monday through Thursday, with “casual Fridays” designated for wearing jeans topped by School of Dentistry T-shirts or polo shirts.  Patient Services Director Kim Chambers said the shirts will help patients, faculty, staff and students more easily identify Patient Services employees.  The cost was covered by the division budget, and staff members were invited to complete a survey to determine the preferred color.  The dean and associate dean for patient care approved the final selections.

As Cameron Jeter, PhD, spoke to some 30 high school teachers on biomarkers of traumatic brain injury at a UTHealth-hosted forum recently, she flashed back to a high school class two decades ago.During that biology class, her teacher played a video of a Public Broadcasting Service NOVA documentary about how the brain controls one’s circadian rhythms and how they can be manipulated.“I was enthralled,” recalls Jeter, assistant professor in the Department of Diagnostic and Biomedical Sciences at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Dentistry.

“It was the singular event that inspired my love of science.”

Students and faculty from The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston participated in the first Hartman Middle School Health and Wellness Fair in March, staffing UTSD’s Ronald McDonald Care Mobile and providing oral health screenings, oral hygiene instructions and dental resources at the event, which was designed to raise awareness of the services available to the community. The UTSD volunteers included dental hygiene students Nkiru Vance, Valerie Hernandez, Misty May, Mallory Guidry, Richard Duong, Haley Clanahan, endodontics resident Dr. Mario Leon, research engineer Louis Lee and Dental Van Coordinator Pat Henshaw, CDA, RDA.  Faculty volunteers included Rebecca Weisleder, DDS, and Community Outreach Director Margo Melchor, RDH, MEd.

Volunteers from the Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity’s Beta Eta Chapter at The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston have been out and about in the Houston area, doing oral health screenings at wellness fairs, teaching oral hygiene at a convalescent center, and co-sponsoring a blood drive with The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.  Alpha Omega volunteers participated in the WATCH Your Wellness Health Fair at Sugar Land Town Center, where an estimated 1,000 people or more stopped by for free services.