GODFREY – Lewis and Clark Community College Dental Hygiene student Lauren Michelle Kelly, 23, of Brighton, is the first in the history of the program to be selected as a district student delegate to attend the American Dental Hygienists Association (ADHA) Annual Session.
The Annual Session, a week of networking, advocacy, continuing education, fun and friendships, will be held June 18-24, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“I was not expecting to be selected at all. The district covers five states, and considering how many other dental hygiene students applied, I considered my chances slim, but I thought it was a wonderful opportunity and certainly worth a try,” Kelly said. “When our district representative called, I was thrilled beyond words! It took a day or two to really sink in.”
Jessica Upthagrove, of Hastings, Nebraska, is the student delegate for the district this year, while Kelly is the alternate, but both will be attending the event.
“The American Dental Hygienists' Association's annual session is the yearly business meeting of our professional association. Delegates from each state and district meet to decide on how they will vote on issues that will be discussed on the house of delegates floor for the remainder of the conference,” said L&C Dental Hygiene Program Coordinator Michelle Singley.
Leading up to the event, Kelly, who is currently president of the Lewis and Clark ADHA student club, will brush up on the latest in ADHA, so she can be prepared to share her educated opinions from a student standpoint.
“I have the privilege of adding my input to various student issues and giving my voice to issues currently affecting Dental Hygiene students and new graduates,” Kelly said.
Kelly is looking forward to networking with other students and hygienists from across the country, taking part in exclusive events such as the new president luncheon, and visiting Las Vegas.
“I hope to learn a lot about the past, present and future of dental hygiene. I absolutely love this field and I love the government and political aspect as well, so I hope to learn how I can play a role in the ADHA when I become a registered dental hygienist,” Kelly said.
L&C’s Dental Hygiene students, including Kelly, are preparing for their board exams and graduation in December 2014. Kelly finished the college’s Dental Assisting program in 2013 and after graduation took the Dental Assisting National Board exam to become a Certified Dental Assistant.
“Lauren is a very driven student, strongly focused on her education and being very successful with her didactic and clinical curriculum,” Singley said. “Her leadership skills shine when it comes to organizing tasks and events for her fellow students. This is a great opportunity for her to experience how her professional organization and the leadership of that organization works for her and all of its members. For the program, it means that we can continue to be a part of the representation of quality dental hygiene students at the national level.”