Congratulations to Parkland College’s chapter of the Student American Dental Hygienists Association (SADHA) on winning the 2013 Organization of the Year Award from the college’s Inter-Organizational Council (IOC) at its banquet May 6.
The student group won the award based on its exceptional work involving community education and fundraising. During the 2012-2013 academic year, these Dental Hygiene program students worked closely with local not-for-profit dental organization SmileHealthy to raise awareness of the importance of dental health and to provide access to dentistry and dental hygiene to under-served populations in Champaign-Urbana.
SADHA’s collaborative efforts included conducting six afterschool programs on oral health care education in Champaign’s public schools during the fall; hosting a “Miles for Healthy Smiles” walk event during April that raised more than $9,000 for SmileHealthy’s community programs; and helping conduct a “Day of Healthy Smiles” treatment day at Parkland’s Dental Hygiene Clinic in early May. During the treatment day, more than 110 patients who might not otherwise have proper dental care received fillings and extractions from volunteer dentists, periodontists, and oral surgeons assisted by the faculty/professional and student dental hygienists.
Peg Boyce, co-director of the Parkland Dental Hygiene program, said the students’ genuine heart to serve merited this award.
“All three of these events were new for this year, prompted by an excellent group of students willing to take on the extra planning despite the rigors of our program,” she said. “When they started learning about SmileHealthy and they saw the need in the community, they said, ‘Let’s do something.’ They inspired me to take those projects on.”
The IOC is an advisory group, facilitated by the Office of Student Life, which consists of representatives from each currently active student organization on campus. Its monthly meetings are an opportunity for communication between student organizations, Student Government, and the Office of Student Life. It presents annual awards at the end of spring semester, based on nominations from members of student organizations and their faculty or staff advisors. Recognitions include the “Outstanding Advisor Award” to the faculty/staff member who provided the most effective guidance and the “Outstanding Achievement Award” to the student organization officer or general member who provided exemplary leadership.
“Organization of the Year” is a coveted prize, as it includes a $200 allocation to the student organization’s fund to be used during the coming academic year. In 2012, this award was renamed the Cravens-Hackler Award in recognition of outstanding service to Parkland College by then Student Government President Tyler Cravens and Vice President Joey Hackler. Award winners are selected by a small committee of student and staff or faculty reviewers, each of whom has no direct tie to the nominated organizations, student members, or advisors.
“It's important for the College to recognize the amount of energy, time, and enthusiasm that students, staff, and faculty contribute to student organizations on campus," said John Eby, activities program manager in the Office of Student Life. “When they have academic responsibilities, work responsibilities, and family responsibilities, and they all choose to add co-curricular and extracurricular activities to their list of things to do--and they get it all done well--it's worth celebrating.”