HANCEVILLE, Ala. – Family and friends gathered on Monday, July 31, 2023, to watch as students from the Wallace State Community College Dental Assisting program walked across the stage of the James Bailey Center Auditorium, marking their successful completion of the program that has trained dental assistants since 1977.
“Today’s pinning ceremony would not have been possible without the support of our family and friends and our instructors who mentored us and encouraged us toward our success,” said class president Lauren Russell, of Gadsden.
“Graduates, congratulations, your hard work and dedication and commitment have paid off and you should be extremely proud of your accomplishment,” said Dr. Sharon Alley, chair of the Wallace State Dental Assisting and Dental Hygiene programs. “You have the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of people in helping them achieve their oral health and we at Wallace State are proud to call you alumni.”
Clinical Coordinator Halli Melton described the Class of 2023 as kind, modest, humble and hard-working and made up of many high achievers. The class achieved a combined grade point average of 3.5.
“In my experience it is those quiet hard workers, such as these students, who tend to reach the pinnacle of success,” Melton said. “They may not want to shine the spotlight on themselves, but these individuals deserve to have the spotlight shone on them for they have worked hard, overcome obstacles and they have helped each other.”
Several students were recognized for honors they received, including:
- Dental Assisting Program Award: Bernice Velazquez of Wedowee
- Edward Kells Award: Kayla Stromatt of Double Springs
- Academic Excellence Award: Analeigh Nix of Warrior and Britney Cervantes of Boaz
- Clinical Excellence Award: Mallie Sharp of Priceville and Ashley Mena of Oneonta
Other members of the Dental Assisting Class of 2023 include Grace Adamson, Springville; Jordan Chambless, Cullman; Karen Cousins, Montgomery; Chole Danylo, Union Grove; Tiffany Dowdy, Arab; Madison Dye, Morris; Lencho Esteban, Fort Payne; Stacy Gonzales, Scottsboro; Kirstyn Lowe, Athens; Alexandra Pedro-Baltazar, Fort Payne; Jayla Redwine, Birmingham; Lauren Russel, Gadsden; and Aubree Underwood, Oneonta.
The Dental Assisting program at Wallace State offers both certificate and degree options in three and four semesters, respectively. Applications are accepted from May 1 to June 1 each year for fall admission.
Bernice Velazquez of Wedowee was the recipient of the Dental Assisting Program Award.
Kayla Stromatt of Double Springs received the C. Edward Kells Award.
Analeigh Nix of Warrior received an Academic Excellence Award.
Britney Cervantes of Boaz received an Academic Excellence Award.
Mallie Sharp of Priceville received a Clinical Excellence Award.
Ashley Mena of Oneonta received a Clinical Excellence Award.