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Dental Hygiene Master's grads receive state fellowships

King-Chavez-Parks Fellowship recipients are (from left) Jerelyn Champine, Samantha Mishler, Lorene Kline, and Michelle Arnett.

King-Chavez-Parks Initiative rewards future educators

Ann Arbor, Mich., June 16, 2016 -- All four 2016 graduates in the School of Dentistry’s Master of Science in Dental Hygiene program received King-Chavez-Parks Fellowships from the state of Michigan.

Michelle Arnett, Jerelyn Champine, Lorene Kline, and Samantha Mishler were awarded Future Faculty Fellowships, established to increase the number of underrepresented candidates pursuing teaching careers in postsecondary education.  Awarded by the Rackham Graduate School, the four fellowships total $62,522 to be used toward the students’ graduate education expenses.

The Future Faculty Fellowship program is one of six within a state initiative set up by the Michigan Legislature in 1986 to honor Martin Luther King, Jr., César Chávez and Rosa Parks. The KCP Initiative was designed to give educationally or economically disadvantaged citizens the opportunity to complete college degrees and experience career success in the knowledge-based global economy. The initiative is administered by the Michigan Workforce Development Agency.

The four fellowship winners were all enrolled in the school’s online program. Here's a summary of their research and plans:

• Arnett defends her thesis in August on the topic of motivational interviewing, a patient-centered, collaborative counseling approach designed to improve a patient’s motivation for better oral health. She is researching faculty members’ perception of the importance of motivational interviewing and their confidence in supporting its use by students during patient care.  Arnett joined the U-M dental hygiene faculty in January 2016; she will teach in the E-Learning Degree Completion Program and Entry Level Dental Hygiene Program during the 2016-17 academic year.

Champine will finish her master’s in August.  She worked for 13 years as a clinical dental hygienist before completing her baccalaureate degree in dental hygiene education at Ferris State University.  She continued to work as a hygienist while enrolled in U-M’s online master’s program. Her thesis is a survey of the development of professional identity among student and licensed hygienists.  She will pursue a faculty position in a dental hygiene program.

• Kline, who defends her thesis in August, returned for her master’s after many years of working in the dental hygiene profession. With experience providing preventative dental care to underserved children throughout Michigan, her research is an analysis of dentist and patient response to no-cost dental care in exchange for community service.  An adjunct clinical lecturer in the Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine at the School of Dentistry, she plans to continue her focus on ways to provide dental care to underserved populations.

• In August Mishler will defend her thesis, which looks at dentists’ perceptions of the professional role of the dental hygienist in the private practice setting. With a current emphasis in health care on interprofessional practice, the research investigates how hygienists and dentists can best work together to provide holistic care for the public. Mishler said she hopes to begin her career in dental hygiene education as a part-time instructor and work into a full-time position after gaining more clinical experience in private practice.

Applications of the four Dental Hygiene recipients were reviewed by a faculty committee from the Rackham Graduate School. Applicants for the Future Faculty Fellowships must be Michigan residents in either a master’s or doctoral program. The committee considers applicants’ academic credentials and recommendations, a personal statement of purpose, and how their current goals, academic preparation and studies link to their future plans. Master’s fellows must either pursue a doctoral degree at a postsecondary educational institution within one year after attaining their master’s degree or begin a teaching or administrative career in a 2- or 4-year postsecondary institution and continue this employment for a minimum of three years.