ACC Dental Hygiene graduates of 2020 have all passed their NBDHE and clinical boards! Join me in welcoming our new colleagues because they are all licensed and ready to go! Let us welcome them and offer mentorship as best we can virtually when we can. Be sure to attend our CEs this year to get to know each other.
ACC Dental Hygiene Class of 2020 Award Winners
Breanna Smith, RDH
Sigma Phi Alpha Award
I graduated from Texas A&M in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Health. During 2018-2020 I served as Historian for SCADHA at ACC–and was awarded the Texas Dental Placement Network Scholarship during the TDHA 2020 Annual Conference, as well as 1st place in the dental materials fashion show. In 2020 I became a member of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. Most recently, I was awarded the Sigma Phi Alpha award for being top of the ACC Dental Hygiene Class of 2020 and for demonstrating academic excellence, high character and integrity.
In the future I plan to become a clinician in private practice, and pursue my passion for spreading healthy smiles by becoming involved in public health and furthering my education to hopefully teach at a dental hygiene school.
My favorite part of dental hygiene school was being surrounded by so many inspiring, intelligent, dedicated, and warm-hearted people all passionate about improving the health of others. My least favorite part of dental hygiene school was the constant stress from phase exams, didactic exams, lab practicals, on top of scheduling clinical appointments–but all the stress was definitely worth it! I feel extremely prepared, and excited to enter the dental hygiene profession.
Erica Griffiths, RDH
Sigma Phi Alpha
1. Any previous schooling, awards, and scholarships?
– Student Delegate of Texas 2019
– The Susan Pearce Scholarship -The ALA/Sooch Foundation Scholarship
2. Any plans for your future (clinical, temp, education, research, public health, pursue further ed)?
Clinical work to begin and I eventually would like to work in public health and possibly public speaking. Eventually plan for a bachelor’s degree in Dental Hygiene.
3. Favorite & least favorite thing from hygiene school?
My favorite part of Dental Hygiene was getting to know so many wonderful people and making lifelong friendships and mentors. My least favorite part would be the amount of stress that comes along with it. Mentally and physically is just exhausted but so rewarding at the same time.
Teeth have always been a passion for me. I love to smile and to see people smile. As a previous oral surgery assistant I am excited to continue my career in dentistry. I was lucky enough this year to serve as The Texas Student Delegate for TDHA and receive 2 scholarships while in school, The Susan Pearce Scholarship and The ALA/Sooch Scholarship. I can’t wait to begin this career as a clinician and work with patients. I hope to eventually move into public health and do something that involves public speaking on Oral Health. Dental Hygiene school has been the ride of a lifetime. My favorite part was getting to know so many wonderful people and making lifelong mentors and friendships. My least favorite thing about Dental Hygiene School would have to be the stress that came with it for 2 years, but that made it so much more rewarding.
Omama Almasri, RDH
The Renee Cornett-Grey Excellence Award
My name is Omama Almasri, ACC dental hygiene graduate of the year 2020. I am a foreign trained dentist and wanted to stay in the realm of the dental field, so I decided to become a hygienist. I am passionate about patient education and I hope that I can make a difference by increasing oral health awareness. It is my dream to work with underserved populations and would love to go on a dental mission to help people around the world. In the meantime, I plan on working in a private clinic while temping on the side. If the opportunity grants it, I would like to continue to work towards my DDS or get a masters in the dental field.
My favorite aspects of dental hygiene school were the positive responses and changes in oral health that I was able to witness during my clinic hours. It was extremely rewarding and was an inspiration for my upcoming appointments. On the other hand, being away from my two boys and family was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. I had to keep reminding myself that there is light at the end of the tunnel and it will be all worth it at the end.
Najma Momin, RDH
I returned to school after 15 years. I received scholarships from St. David’s Neal Kocurek and Rotary Club of Austin-Southwest Scholarships.
I would start off temping once I get my license and then decide where I’d like to work permanently.
My favorite thing from hygiene school was getting to know other students and staff who were always ready and willing to help out. Least favorite thing was the stress and heavy work load for 2 years.
Mezbin Maknojia, RDH
Preventative Dentistry Award
My name is Mezbin Maknojia, I was born and raised in India. I am married and I have two sons, 17 and 21 years old. Due to a sudden unexpected family situation, I didn’t finish high school, so I completed my GED and chose dental hygienist as my career. Life had given me another chance to continue in my education so I was always excited, positive and focused during the two years of college. My favorite thing at hygiene school was to make a bond with a patient and see the direct result of scaling! I wouldn’t say this is my least favorite thing at college, but I liked clinics (hands on) more than class! I received a full ride scholarship from Capital Idea and $1000 St.David scholarship for two semesters. I look forward to working at a dental office full time. I am excited to share my knowledge with my community to bring awareness about oral health. My ultimate goal is to achieve optimal health in people by educating them about importance of oral health and how to take care of their gums and teeth.
Samantha Collard, RDH
S.T.A.R. Award sponsored by Colgate
Samantha Collard is a 2020 Dental Hygiene graduate from Austin Community College. She was inspired by her Grandma and her passion for helping others which led her to become a Dental Hygienist. Samantha received the 80/20 Foundation Endowment Scholarship in her second year of Dental Hygiene school. She loved educating her patients on oral health during Dental Hygiene school. Her least favorite thing about Dental Hygiene school was the high amount of stress. Samantha plans on working in a private practice office after she does some temp work. In the near future, she will be pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene.
Jullie Nguyen, RDH
ACC Susie Pearce Memorial Outstanding Dental Hygienist
Hi there! I am 30 years old and a mom to a sweet little boy! I graduated from Howard College in 2008 with my cosmetology license and decided to transition into dental hygiene in 2017 to gain more time with my son. He is a big part of my life and I want him to be proud of me and the things I have accomplished. Being a licensed cosmetologist has been a wonderful experience I have thoroughly enjoyed. I love making others feel confident about themselves. This is why I am so passionate about dental hygiene. I have the ability to create confidence through education.
In regard to my future, I plan to temp, travel, & return to school to earn my BSDH; possibly even teach one day. My main goal for the time being is to focus on enjoying life & raising my son.
I have had the honor to be awarded with:
– ACC Foundation General Endowed Scholarship
– The Boots and Bats Scholarship
– ACC Susie Pearce Memorial Outstanding Dental Hygienist Award
Favorite thing from DH school:
– Making life-long friends and laughing about all the craziness of finishing DH school in the midst of a pandemic. WE made history.
Least favorite thing from DH school:
– The craziness of ACTUALLY finishing DH school in the midst of a pandemic. It was/is crazy!