Scholarship allows recipients to examine dental hygiene options

Jan. 26, 2007
Sonicare funds scholarships to Career Flow Retreats.

Imagine, if you will, being back in dental hygiene school. One month before holiday break, your instructor passes along an e-mail that could quite possibly change your life. The e-mail is about a scholarship opportunity. But to receive the Sonicare Career Flow Scholarship, you would have only three weeks to write and submit an essay on "what it would mean to you to attend the 2007 Career Flow Retreat."

The 2007 Career Flow Retreat (visit is a professional development opportunity for hygienists who want to be introduced to options within dental hygiene beyond the clinical chair.

Philips DAP North America, maker of the Sonicare power toothbrush (, has been a proud supporter of the dental hygiene profession for many years. Philips strives to continually acknowledge the importance of the dental hygienist in patient treatment and overall health. Through the Professional Relations and Professional Education Departments (each managed by a dental hygienist), Philips provides corporate sponsorship to associations and speakers, as well as quality continuing education through the Professional Education team. Philips was one of the first companies to maximize opportunities through educational marketing.

The Sonicare Career Flow Scholarship winners were provided with complementary tuition, accommodations, transportation, and meals.

Would you have taken on the challenge back then? Well, the following two dental hygiene students did, and it ended with a success. The winners of the 2007 Sonicare Career Flow Scholarship were:

Kimberly Bell, RDH, BS
Angela Morris, RDH, BSDH

These awe-inspiring dental hygiene students graciously agreed to be interviewed. Kim's interview is published below, and Angela's will be in the February issue of RDH eVillage. The energy of both these women is infectious, and their responses were astute. Even the most seasoned veteran of dental hygiene will feel renewed after reading their comments.

Kimberly Bell, RDH, BS, earned her Bachelor of Science degree in dental hygiene from Idaho State University in 1999 and is currently earning her Master of Science degree in dental hygiene. As a dental hygienist, she has had many unique career experiences in the clinical, educational, and public health arenas. For example, in 2006, she was a graduate teaching assistant at Idaho State University; assisted Head Start with oral health curriculum development, employee training, and oral health presentations; implemented a Perioscope program at the dental office in which she works; and presented a continuing-education course on the Perioscope for her local component of the American Dental Hygienists' Association. Kimberly is an active member of the American Dental Hygienists' Association and will serve as president of her local component for 2007. She has presented oral health information and/or served in leadership positions at various health fairs. She seeks to utilize her knowledge and abilities to further the profession and art of dental hygiene.

Kristine Hodsdon (KH) asked Kimberly (KB) some questions about the recent Career Flow Retreat in Daytona Beach, Fla.

KH: How did attending the 2007 Career Flow Retreat alter the way you set your career goals or move forward with them?

KB: Career Flow showed me the steps I need to take to reach my goals. It also offered additional resources to improve my professional skills.

KH: What was the biggest motivator in submitting your essay for consideration?

KB: The course material and concept of Career Flow interested me. I am motivated to further develop my professional skills.

KH: What do you consider the most innovative "secret nugget" you gained from the Career Flow experience that you would like to share with fellow students/hygienists?

KB: I was able to meet some of the leaders in our profession and learn from them on an individual level. Their advice and experience were invaluable to me. I also learned that the sky really is the limit in our profession; there is so much we can do. The first step is to write articles for publication in the dental magazines. This helps us make a name for ourselves, and then more opportunities will follow. It is also important go to the national ADHA meetings and network with the leaders of our profession. They are great examples, and their career paths are amazing.

KH: How did you react to being notified that you had won the Sonicare Career Flow Scholarship?

KB: When I read it on the subject line of the e-mail, I was surprised and excited.

KH: When you are not thinking about, studying, or practicing dental hygiene, what do you do to relax?

KB: I enjoy spending time with family and friends, shopping, outdoor activities, and watching movies.

KH: How did Career Flow affect you?

KB: Career Flow opened a new world of possibilities and ideas for me. I met some of the leaders of our profession, and learned so much from their examples and careers. I became enthused and confident that I can achieve my goals, and I now believe I have the direction I need and know how to begin.

KH: What would you like to say to our readers?

KB: I would encourage everyone to attend a Career Flow retreat. The knowledge, networking, and direction you receive are invaluable.

KH: Where do you see yourself in five years?

KB: I will have completed my graduate education and published articles by that time. I will begin to speak regularly at professional meetings.