Wallace State Dental Hygiene program graduates 27

Wallace State Community College’s Dental Hygiene program graduated more than two dozen students from its annual pinning ceremony. (WSCC)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. –  Wallace State Community College’s Dental Hygiene program graduated more than two dozen students from its annual pinning ceremony.  

Class President Emilee Harrington congratulated her classmates on their accomplishment and the dedication and commitment it took to succeed. 

“You have embraced the challenges and opportunities of your academic journey, and today you are reaping the rewards of your hard work,” said Harrington, of Lakeland, Florida. 

“The dental hygiene profession is one that demands excellence in both knowledge and practice,” Harrington added. “As dental hygienists, you are entrusted with the health and well-being of your patients. You are the first line of defense in the prevention and treatment of oral disease. You have been trained to provide comprehensive care to your patients and to educate them about the importance of maintaining good oral health. 

“As you embark on your careers, I urge you to never forget the importance of your role as dental hygienists. Always strive for excellence in all that you do. Seek out opportunities to expand your knowledge and skills. Stay current with the latest advances in dental hygiene and continue to grow and develop as professionals.” 

Dr. Sharon Alley, program director for Wallace State’s Dental Hygiene and Dental Assisting programs, told the graduates they should be proud of their accomplishments.  

“You have faced challenges, overcome obstacles, and continually pushed yourselves to excel, and excel you did,” she said. “We are proud to share that all of graduates successfully completed the clinical board examination. Your determination and resilience have shaped you into the oral health care professionals you are today.” 

Alley also encouraged them to reflect on the responsibility that comes with their new profession.   

“Embrace it wholeheartedly,” she said. “Remember that each patient you encounter is a unique individual with a story to share. Treat them with empathy, compassion, and the highest level of care.” 

A number of awards were presented at the ceremony. 

  • Dental Hygiene Program and Dental Hygiene Club awards went to Madison Harris of Cullman and Jennifer Ramirez of Crossville
  • Irene Newman Award, presented by Wallace State Dental Hygiene Department in recognition of excellence in preventative oral health care, to Emily Cortez of Athens
  • Academic Excellence Award, recognizing the highest scholastic average, to Madison Harris and Victoria Rhyno, both of Cullman
  • Hu-Friedy Golden Scaler award, recognizing clinical excellence, to Casey Kelley of Gardendale
  • Colgate Star Award, recognizing total achievement, to Lajoyce Smithers of Gurley  

The Dental Hygiene program is a five-semester program leading to an associate degree. The program is accepting applications for Fall 2023 admission through June 1. Contact Corey Weeks at 256-352-8300 or corey.weeks@wallacestate.edu for more information or visit www.wallacestate.edu.

The program also provides low-cost preventative treatments and free preventative treatments for pregnant women and children under 17 years old through a partnership with the Alabama Department of Public Health.