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TDHA's top awards go to UTHealth Houston students, faculty

Published: February 19, 2020 by Rhonda Whitmeyer

TDHA Outstanding Student in Texas Kristen Valenzuela (right) holds her award certificate.
The Texas Association of Dental Hygienists named Kristen Valenzuela "2020 Outstanding Student in Texas."
Clinical Assistant Professor Ruth Conn, RDH, MSDH, (right) holds the trophy as winner of the Procter and Gamble/TDHA Teaching Excellence Award. At left is Dental Hygiene Program Director Donna Warren Morris, RDH, MEd.
Clinical Assistant Professor Ruth Conn, RDH, MSDH, (right) holds the trophy as winner of the Procter and Gamble/TDHA Teaching Excellence Award. At left is Dental Hygiene Program Director Donna Warren Morris, RDH, MEd.

The Texas Dental Hygienists’ Association chose Kristen Valenzuela of UTHealth School of Dentistry at Houston as Outstanding Student in Texas for 2020. Valenzuela received the award and a scholarship at TDHA’s Annual Meeting in San Marcos. See more photos on Flickr.

At the same meeting, Clinical Assistant Professor Ruth Conn, RDH, MSDH, won the Procter and Gamble/TDHA Teaching Excellence Award, and Assistant Professor Khairunisa Hashmani, RDH, MA, won the Advanced Degree Scholarship.

Three other UTHealth Houston students won scholarships, including:

  • Meena Joseph, BJ Long Memorial Scholarship;
  • Brooklyn Santamaria, the Nicole Eusebio Memorial Service Scholarship;
  • Heaven Fogle, Carus Dental Scholarship.

Their classmates, Jorge Vega and Tiffany Recio, were named TDHA delegate and alternate TDHA delegate, respectively.

The TDHA Annual Meeting always includes a dental fashion show featuring styles made entirely from dental materials. The Houston team won third place for attire designed by Cheyanne Schull and Alexis Gray and Aliona Matura, who sewed the makeshift garments with dental floss.

TDHA is an organization of licensed dental hygienists volunteers whose main purpose is to serve the people of Texas with quality dental health services. The focus is primarily on prevention of oral disease and the maintenance of good oral health.

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