What's happening at Virginia Commonwealth University's dental hygiene program

Oct. 23, 2017
Students at Virigina Commonwealth University share their ambitions for when they graduate.

RDH Graduate and Sunstar had an opportunity to learn more about the dental hygiene program and students of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond, VA. Ms. Michelle McGregor, MEd, RDH, is the program director. This dynamic program has three full-time faculty and 11 amazing adjunct professors who help with the 16 first-year and 22 second-year students. When we asked Michelle why they loved her students, her response made my heart smile!

She said, “We have high expectations for our students, and they rise to the challenge. I love seeing the development of their clinical skills, but more importantly, the professional growth, commitment to civic engagement, and leadership demonstrated by our graduates.”

We asked the students to share something great about their dental hygiene program, and where they saw themselves in 5 to 10 years. Their answers were heartwarming, genuine, and too numerous for this publication. All shared the same passion for serving their community and building life-long relationships with their patients.

Share something great about the DH program at VCU?

  • “When I look back at my choice to apply to VCU’s dental hygiene program, I feel as though I could not have made a better choice. Our faculty are incredibly knowledgeable and are always happy to sit down to help us whenever we are in need. We are lucky enough to have a DDS program within our school. We get the experience of working together in clinic side-by-side with dental students, just as we would in private practice. The most important reason why I’m happy I chose VCU is our clinic service learning rotations. Nine of those are in-school, where we get to learn from residents and faculty doctors within various disciplines of dentistry. Outside of school, we travel to 15 additional clinics scattered across the state of Virginia. This helps ensure we see an incredibly diverse patient pool, including many underserved areas. I’m quite happy to have been given the opportunity to represent such a prestigious program on these rotations, and I will continue to uphold their high standards as a proud VCU alumni.” —Matthew Brewer (2018 class)
  • “What I enjoy the most about the VCU DH program is how passionate our professors are in making sure that we succeed to the best of our potential. Also, the fact that we get to integrate more with the dental students and faculty in clinic makes the experience more challenging and unique.” —Mary Tran (2019 class)

Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years?

  • “In five years, I hope to be well established in a private practice, and within 10 years I hope to have completed the requirements for a master’s degree to teach.” —Amber Wilczynski (2018 class)
  • “In five years, I see myself working in a private practice clinic, or possibly getting my master’s degree in public health. In 10 years, I also see myself working in a private practice clinic or even working as a part-time faculty at VCU Dentistry.” —Maegan Simms (2019 class)

Kudos to all of the VCU students. Your future is bright!

*If you would like to highlight your DH program, please contact Jackie Sanders, Sunstar’s Manager Professional Relations, at [email protected].