Skip Navigation and Go To Content

Henson receives 2023 President’s Scholar Award for Excellence in Teaching

Published: February 19, 2024 by Kenny Bybee and Kyle Rogers

Dr. Harold Henson (middle right) holds his 2023 President’s Scholar Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Dr. Harold Henson (middle right) holds his 2023 President’s Scholar Award for Excellence in Teaching. Photo by Jacob Power Photography.

Professor Harold A. Henson, RDH, PhD, has been recognized by UTHealth Houston President Giuseppe N. Colasurdo, MD, Alkek-Williams Distinguished Chair, as the 2023 recipient of the President’s Scholar Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Henson was one of three faculty members to be recognized for demonstrated, longstanding excellence in the respective areas of research, teaching, and clinical care in a special ceremony on Feb. 13 in the Denton A. Cooley, MD and Ralph C. Cooley, DDS University Life Center. He was joined by Zhongming Zhao, PhD, MS (Excellence in Research); and Mya C. Schiess, MD (Excellence in Clinical Service) as Presidential Scholar Award honorees. Additionally, Igor D. Gregoric, MD, MBA, was the 2023 recipient of the President’s Recognition of Excellence.

Each award, given to deserving individuals nominated by their peers, carries with it the honorary title of President’s Scholar and a cash prize.

“Teaching is a diverse and rich experience, much like a box of chocolates,” Henson said. “Each type of chocolate symbolizes a different facet of our roles as educators, and together they create a delicious blend of knowledge, challenges, creativity, and success. In a few weeks, I celebrate 25 years at UTHealth Houston, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this educational journey with all of you.”

Professor and director of the Center for Teaching and Learning and program coordinator for the Master of Science in Dental Hygiene Program at the School of Dentistry, Henson’s teaching philosophy reflects a dedication to creating a student-centered learning environment.

Henson, who joined UTHealth Houston in 1998 and became a full-time faculty member in 2003, has taught at all levels of curriculum — graduate, predoctoral, and undergraduate — and served in a variety of administrative positions.

“Dr. Colasurdo once described Dr. Henson as ‘a transformative force in dental hygiene education.’ No truer words have ever been said,” said Lisa Cain, associate vice president of faculty affairs and development at UTHealth Houston. “Dr. Henson is recognized locally, nationally, and internationally for teaching excellence, and has been a valued member of the School of Dentistry for more than 20 years.”

He has been recognized repeatedly for his educational leadership at the School of Dentistry, receiving several Dean’s Excellence Awards for teaching or mentoring over the years, and twice being awarded the Lorna J. Bruning Award for Outstanding Teaching.

Henson is a 2023 inductee into The University of Texas Kenneth I. Shine, MD, Academy of Health Science Education, only the second dental hygienist to be included in this distinguished group. In 2021, he was recognized as a recipient of the Johnson & Johnson American Dental Hygienists’ Association Award for Excellence in Dental Hygiene, the first male dental hygienist to receive the award in its history. The same year, he was named a recipient of the UT System Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award.

He is a renowned figure nationally and internationally, recognized for his expertise in faculty development and teaching methodology. Henson’s impact extends across disciplines, schools, and even geographical boundaries, where he has assisted faculty in honing their teaching skills. He is past chair of the American Dental Education Association Section for Dental Hygiene Education and has served as an advisory board member of the National Center for Dental Hygiene Research and Practice.

Henson earned his certificate in dental hygiene from UTHealth Houston School of Dentistry. He completed a Master of Education in allied health education and administration from the University of Houston and Baylor College of Medicine and a PhD in educational human resource development specializing in adult education from Texas A&M University.

site var = sod