Dental hygiene chairman receives Mentor of the Year Award


San Antonio (February 24, 2004) – Juanita Wallace, Ph.D, R.D.H., associate professor and chairman of dental hygiene at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, has received one of three Mentor of the Year Awards. The award recognizes exceptional dental hygienists who have mentored other dental hygienists and helped them develop and contribute to the profession.

The award is given by Philips Oral Healthcare and RDH (Registered Dental Hygienists) Magazine. The award is given to those who have raised the bar on the standard of care in dental hygiene. Dr. Wallace was nominated by her former student, Sharon Barbieri, M.S., R.D.H., assistant professor of dental hygiene at the Health Science Center.

In her letter of nomination, Barbieri said, “Through her words, philosophy and actions, Nita (Juanita) has been the example by which I have discovered opportunities in my profession that I never knew existed.”

Barbieri met Dr. Wallace at an orientation for the dental hygiene program at the Health Science Center in 1984. Dr. Wallace guided Barbieri in her education and career choices and was instrumental in helping Barbieri develop an internship project.

“As a result of her professional dedication, I have developed a profound respect for the capacity of my profession,” Barbieri said. “Every person with whom she interacts, benefits from the effects of her positive, optimistic attitude.”

Dr. Wallace also received a 2004 Presidential Teaching Excellence Award and in 2003 earned a Yellow Rose of Texas Award, given by the Constance Allen Heritage Guild for Lifetime Learning, for promoting quality in education. Dr. Wallace is a member of the American Association of Dental Schools, the American Dental Hygienists Association and the Sigma Phi Alpha National Dental Hygiene Honor Society. She earned her M.A. in higher education from The University of Texas at San Antonio and her Ph.D. in educational administration from The University of Texas at Austin.

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