Dental students sweep awards at the National Oral Health Conference

Two dental students won awards at the National Oral Health Conference (NOHC) in Memphis last month.

The Annual Predoctoral Dental Student Merit Award for Outstanding Achievement in Community Dentistry is sponsored by the American Association of Public Health Dentistry. Each dental school is eligible to nominate two students for the award each year.

Alisha Jimenez-Thompson, a first-year dental and a dual-degree (DMD-MPH) student, won first place, and Jodie Smith, a second-year dental student received honorable mention at the NOHC. Both students made poster presentations at the conference.

Jimenez-Thompson’s presentation was titled “Assimilation of Dental Case Management into Medical Case Management for People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA).” Jimenez-Thompson’s work was the capstone project toward her master of public health degree; she will continue her work this summer by conducting a survey of opinion leaders among people living with HIV/AIDS. The next phase of her work will investigate the perceived barriers to dental care among people living with HIV/AIDS.

Smith presented her work titled “Effects of Racial and Socioeconomic Infra-structure on Health Professional Shortage Area Rankings.” Smith also will present her work at the International Association for Dental Research meeting in Vancouver later this summer.

Sena Narendran, associate professor in the Department of Community Dentistry, mentors both Jimenez-Thompson and Smith. Narendran also directs the residency program in dental public health and the dual-degree program in dental medicine and public health.