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Tuesday, May 17, 2011 (New York) –Hostos Community College’s Dental Hygiene Program celebrated its graduating class during a pinning and candle lighting ceremony last Friday at the Hostos Repertory Theater.

Dr. Claudine Paula Drew, chairwoman of the dental hygiene developing program at Eastern International College in Belleville, NJ, was the event’s keynote speaker.

Dr. Drew was an associate professor in dental hygiene at the Ministry of Health-College of Health Sciences, Kingdom of Bahrain from 2007-2010. She also worked at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, first in the department of dental hygiene and then moved into the New Jersey Dental School as an associate professor in prevention, Department of Community Health.

Dr. Drew’s career spans over four decades and includes product manager for vital teeth bleaching, clinical research coordinator, allied dental program director, private practice in the United States, and Saudi Arabia, where she served as a visiting professor at the King Saud University in Riyadh.

The ceremony also included a special awards presentation to the following students:

Jhuma Haque received the Stevenson Award by the New York State Dental Association, for earning the highest GPA in the class.

April Walker received the President’s Award by the Dental Hygiene Association of the State of New York, for actively participating in professional activities and demonstrating a commitment to the future of the dental hygiene profession.

Monika Sekvencova received the Dental Hygienists’ Association of the City of New York Clinical Proficiency Award, for exhibiting a high sense of professionalism as well as superior clinical skills.

Grace Pena received the S.T.A.R. award by Colgate, for demonstrating dedication and enjoyment of the dental hygiene profession, exhibiting compassion in patient care and showing enthusiasm for community service.

Ismet Shala received the Johnson & Johnson Excellence in Dental Hygiene Award, for demonstrating high scholastic ability as well as outstanding professional manner when dealing with patients and fellow classmates.

Carolina Chicaiza received the Golden Scaler Award by Hu-Friedy, instrument manufacturer, for showing outstanding qualities in rendering patient care.

Cecilia Gomez received the Patterson Dental Supply Patterson award for overall outstanding proficiency, commitment to the future of dental hygiene and showing leadership potential in the dental hygiene profession.

Phurpa Lama received the Empire State Academy Cosmetic Dentistry Award for demonstrating great interest in the area of cosmetic dentistry and incorporating its value through patient education.

In addition Paola García will receive the Dental Hygiene Program’s gold medal, Tatiana Malaev, the silver medal and Erica Pilozo, the bronze medal during the Hostos Honors Convocation on Tuesday May 24.

The dental hygiene class of 2011 includes María Acosta, Shevon Andrew, Cassandra Babcock, Orquidia Báez, Jasmine Bampfield, Juana Campbell, Rafshan Caesar, Jennifer Cazares, Carolina Chicaiza, Viviana Cifuentes, Cristina Criollo, Katalin Farkas, Shahrzad Fazeli, Antonia Ford, Paola García, Nimsi González, Eunice González,-Goris, Cecilia Gómez, Jhuma Haque, Waynette Hill-Cross, Hanna Hosein-Brzoza, Eyra Ixcolin, Malinie Katwaroo, Hyunjung Kimok, Wai Yee Koo, Maria Laboy, Phurpa Lama, Iva Lippis, Tatiana Malaev, Susan Ocampo, Miryan Palacios, Krishna Pandya, Grace Pena, Erica Pilozo, Ivonne Rigaud, Nicole Rodríguez, Maricruz Romero, Mildred Rosa, Massiel Santelises, Monika Sekvencova, Ismet Shala, Jeanie Thomas, Erica Tubens, Sofiya Vynnykova, April Walker, Yan Zhang, Wanda Zorrilla.

About Hostos Dental Hygiene Program

The Dental Hygiene Program was conceptualized, written and proposed by Professor Anita Cunningham in 1969 who became the chairperson and energizing force. The Dental Hygiene program developed its philosophy and goals, became eligible for accreditation by The American Dental Association Commission on Dental Education, recruited diverse and committed faculty and accepted its first class in 1970.

The first class used dental facilities within the community. Grant funding later allowed the program to obtain six unit dental clinic and radiographic equipment. The number was later increased to 12, and a modern 15-chair clinic was installed in 1992. In the fall 2005 semester, a state-of-the-art, 24 simulation laboratories and a 24 operatory treatment facility opened that allows the program to serve an increasingly larger student and community population.

Today, the Hostos Community Dental Hygiene Program offers dental hygiene curricular paths that address the needs of a unique, diversified student population. As a result of the program’s innovative strategies and talented faculty, it can accommodate the student with language needs and the student who must take care of family or who must work. The dental hygiene faculty and Hostos Community College has a 37 year proven “track record” of helping students gain necessary college skills, enhancing motivation, establishing and “I can do” attitude and increasing self-esteem and self-reliance.

Hostos dental hygiene graduates serve as second generation role models and successfully enter the dental and dental hygiene professions. The program has graduated 41 dental hygiene classes and is proud of the students' performance on national and state board examinations. Movement into the 21st century will demand that colleges be prepared to serve generations of urban families who have diversified educational needs. At Hostos, the Dental Hygiene Program continues to develop strategies to help meet today's demands as well as future demands.

About Hostos Community College

Eugenio María de Hostos Community College, part of the City University of New York system, was founded in 1968.  Located in the South Bronx, the college currently serves more than 6,000 students.  In addition to associate degree programs that facilitate easy transfer to CUNY’s four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions, Hostos also has an award-winning Continuing Education and Professional Studies Department that offers courses for professional development and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. In four decades, Hostos has grown from a class of 623 in the fall of 1970 to the spring 2010 enrollment of over 6,000 students.  The college also serves an additional 10,000 students through its Continuing Education and Professional Studies Department. For more news and stories about Hostos Community College visit www.hostos.cuny.edu.

Media Contact:
Ana M. Carrión-Silva - amcarrion@hostos.cuny.edu                       
Soldanela Rivera - srlopez@hostos.cuny.edu
Phone: 718-518-6872


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