UC Blue Ash Dental Hygiene Program receives service-learning award

Each year, the University of Cincinnati’s Service-Learning Steering Committee recognizes a collaborative educational team or individual whose engagement in service-learning demonstrates collaboration, creativity, character and the potential to form lasting relationships.

The 2021 Jack Twyman Award for Service-Learning goes to the faculty and staff of the Dental Hygiene Program at UC Blue Ash College, led by Elizabeth (Biz) McClure, RDH, M.Ed. The program is an outstanding example of service-learning at UC because students gain real-world learning while providing real value to the community.

Next year, McClure and her team hope to expand their community outreach by sending dental hygiene students on an offsite rotation to treat patients at the Good Samaritan Free Health Center. Since the center relies solely on volunteers, McClure hopes that her students can provide more consistent dental care for those patients in this way.

Service-learning is a powerful approach to education that pushes students outside the classroom to produce work of real value in the community.

The University of Cincinnati has one of the largest service-learning programs in the country in terms of number of courses offered and student enrollment. In addition, about 400 students have benefited from the new Service-Learning Co-op program which converts otherwise unpaid nonprofit internships into paid work experiences.

As an undergraduate at UC, Jack Twyman was a standout member of the Bearcats basketball team. His accomplishments as a student-athlete led to a career as an NBA player and later analyst. In 1958, at age 23, Twyman, who was White, became legal guardian to Maurice Stokes, a Black teammate who had suffered a paralyzing brain injury during the NBA season. Despite the difficult climate of race relations at the time, Twyman put the needs of his teammate and friend at the forefront of this life-altering decision. The award is inspired by Jack Twyman’s character, courage and service.

UC’s Service-Learning program is housed in the Division of Experience-Based Learning and Career Education, which facilitates real-world work experiences for students, teaches students to prepare for their professional lives, and provides career services to students and alumni. The division also connects employers and external partners with the talent they seek in a variety of arrangements both inside and outside the classroom.

Feature image at top: Faculty and staff of the dental hygiene program at University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College. Photo/Provided

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