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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 10, 2014) – Teams of Daytona State College dental science instructors and students took service to heart this spring, putting their training to use as volunteers benefitting underserved populations.

Pam Ridilla, chair of the School of Dental Science, this semester took part with groups of students in a number of volunteer Dental Science professors, students volunteer their expertiseservice activities. During one activity, Ridilla completed nearly 70 oral hygiene screenings and referrals as part of her volunteer work with the Flomich Avenue Baptist Church’s Dental Bus.

In the same activity, students in Daytona State’s Dental Hygiene and Dental Assisting programs participated, gaining valuable experience assisting volunteer dentists in performing various procedures, provided free to patients. They included Marliz Figueroa, Kylee McDaniel, Nicole Woehr, Rebecca Echevarria and Shannon Young.

In March, Ridilla and Dental Sciences Assistant Chair Leslie Fehl took a group of students to participate in Mission of Mercy, a two-day event held at the state fairgrounds in Tampa, which was sponsored by the Florida Dental Association. Dental hygiene students who participated in the event were Echevarria, Jennifer Balduf and Thao Tran. Dental assisting students included Ashley Johnson, Stephanie Hall and Mary Rymarczyk. Collectively, event volunteers performed free dental procedures valued at more than $1.1 million, treating more than 1,600 low-income patients.

In other service work, dental assisting and dental hygiene students volunteered, along with community dental personnel, for “Give Kids A Smile” and “Early Head Start Dental Hygiene Clinic” to provide preventive and restorative dental services.

The students also provide ongoing oral health education to residents in two assisted living centers and a retirement community in DeLand. 

The college’s School of Dental Science offers a certificate program in dental assisting and an associate of science degree in dental hygiene.

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MORE: Offering more than 100 certificate, associate and bachelor’s degree programs, Daytona State College is the leader in education and workforce training needs of Volusia and Flagler counties and beyond for more than 60 years. The College enrolls nearly 25,000 students a year at its seven instructional sites, with graduates serving in critical fields including healthcare, emergency services/public safety, business, education, hospitality, engineering, technology, digital media, and more. 

Daytona State has been recognized as a leader in higher education numerous times, consistently by U.S. News & World Report, which ranks the College among the Top Tier Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. The U.S. Department of Education’s College Affordability and Transparency Center has ranked DSC among the top 50 most affordable public four-year institutions in the country, with less than half the tuition of the national average. Community College Week, a leading publication in higher education, annually continues to feature the college in its list of Top 100 Associate Degree Producers. And U.S. News & World Report has ranked DSC among its Top Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans multiple times.

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