Beginning this fall, The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston will officially use the Canvas learning management system — replacing Blackboard. Richard “Hal” Halpin, educational technology manager at the School of Dentistry, said Canvas offers many benefits over Blackboard, including ease of use, multimedia integration, mobile friendliness, better integration of third-party content, performance, and compliance with accessibility standards. Instructors will retain read-only access to Blackboard course materials, as all courses will be taught in Canvas.
Students from the Pediatric Education Dental Society (P.E.D.S.) of The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston visited Schochler Elementary School in May to teach first-graders about oral health. Dental students Mary Becker, Adrien Lewis, Jenni Laurence, Courtney Cunningham and Elizabeth Scott participated in the service event. The volunteers taught the students about brushing, flossing, visiting the dentist and eating healthy foods.
“Volunteering at Schochler was so much fun! The kids were engaged and very receptive to our presentation. It was a great way to end the semester,” said Cunningham.The mission of P.E.D.S. is to encourage and promote the pursuit of excellence in pediatric dentistry. The objectives of this student association are to raise awareness about the importance of children’s dental care beginning as early as possible and to work to fulfill this need through service projects.
Dental student Alex Barrera, community chair of the Hispanic Student Dental Association (HSDA) at The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston, organized the school’s participation when Colgate’s mobile dental van visited Houston in June.
In partnership with the Hispanic Dental Association (HDA), Colgate’s Bright Smiles, Bright Futures® mobile dental van has been providing bilingual learning materials and free dental screenings to children in the Houston, Los Angeles, Miami and New York metro areas throughout the month, reaching out to more than 11,000 children.
In Houston, the van visited Fiesta Stores on Spencer Highway and Wirt Road on June 13. HSDA members who participated included Barrera, Brian Minavi, Paola Salazar, Patricia Lopez, Virginia Velez and HSDA Faculty Advisor Margo Melchor, RDH, MEd, who is a past president of both the national HDA and the Houston chapter. Also in attendance was volunteer faculty member and HDA Past President Victor Rodriguez, DDS.
In observance of July as National Ice Cream Month, Dean John Valenza, DDS, will host the annual “Scream-Out Ice Cream Party” from 11:30 to 1 p.m. Tuesday, July 14 in The Denton A. Cooley, MD and Ralph C. Cooley, DDS University Life Center. The event is for faculty, staff, residents and students of the School of Dentistry. (Valid UTHealth badges are required).For the first time, the Scream-Out will serve Dreyer’s ice cream instead of Blue Bell.
The National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) has awarded nearly $3.7 million for clinical informatics research at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Dentistry, in collaboration with Harvard University School of Dental Medicine.The R01 grant, "Implementing Dental Quality Measures in Practice," will be funded over five years for a total of $3,692,153.Principal investigators include Muhammad F. Walji, PhD, associate dean for technology services and informatics and associate professor in the Department of Diagnostic and Biomedical Sciences at UTHealth School of Dentistry; and Elsbeth Kalenderian, DDS, PhD, chair of the Department of Oral Health Policy and Epidemiology, chief of quality for Harvard Dental Center, and associate professor of oral health policy and epidemiology at Harvard University School of Dental Medicine. Director of Dental Public Health Ana Neumann, DDS, PhD, of UTHealth School of Dentistry, is a co-investigator in this research.
The Texas Dental Association has named Timothy “Pat” Henshaw, CDA, RDA, as recipient of the 2015 TDA Service Recognition Award. He was nominated by the Gulf Coast Dental Association in recognition of his “deep commitment, dedication and leadership while serving underserved dental patients in Orange County” on a mobile dental van operated by The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston. The van travels regularly to the East Texas towns of Orange and Jasper to care for adults with limited access to dental services. Henshaw and fellow dental assistant Marina Munoz regularly staff the van, and they are joined on each trip by one faculty dentist and two fourth-year dental students, who serve as part of a clinical rotation.
Jill Weddle has joined the Technology Services and Informatics staff at The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston as an e-learning technologist. She began her new job May 18 and reports to Educational Technology Manager Richard “Hal” Halpin. Originally from Tyler, Weddle is a graduate of Texas State University, where she earned a bachelor of science degree in applied sociology. She also holds a master’s degree in learning technologies from the University of North Texas and was previously employed as an online course developer at Texas State University.