South Florida State College’s honored 10 graduates of its Dental Assisting program in a traditional pinning ceremony in the SFSC University Center Auditorium on July 22.

Receiving their pins were Miranda Bennett, Jennifer Cochran, Kesso Diallo, Roxanne Gaitan, Amanda Hicks, Stephanie Martinez, Maribel Paz, Diana Retana, Diane Sanchez, and Monica Soria.

Dental Assisting Group

SFSC Dental Assisting program graduates on stage at the University Center auditorium after receiving their pins.

The graduates had just completed SFSC’s 16-month occupational certificate program in dental assisting. They can now work alongside a dentist as a member of a dental health care team.

Keynote speaker Norine Dowd, a dental hygienist with 27 years of experience and an adjunct instructor at SFSC, congratulated the graduates for their commitment to academic success.

“Each of you has so much potential,” Dowd said. “We have never had a more successful class. You are setting class records with your rate of passing the certification examinations.”

During the ceremony, graduates accepted their dental assisting pins from Dr. Deborah Milliken, chair of SFSC’s Dental Education program.

Before pinning each graduate, Milliken recited the poem “Heartprints,” an inspirational verse by an unknown author. Playing off the notion of leaving one’s fingerprints on whatever object is touched, she urged the graduates, by acts of kindness and concern, to leave prints of their hearts on the patients they touch.

Then, Bobby Sconyers, SFSC’s professor of dental assisting, called up each graduate to accept their pins from Dr. Milliken.

“These graduates were the hardest working class I’ve had,” Sconyers said. “They have accomplished more than any other class.”

Upon completing the Dental Assisting program, graduates can work as Certified Dental Assistants by passing the Dental Assisting National Board examination and qualify for Expanded Functions Dental Assisting Certification as well as Orthodontic Assistant Certification.

SFSC also offers a two-year Associate in Science degree program in dental hygiene. Upon completing this program, graduates become dental hygienists by passing the National Dental Hygiene Board Examination and the Florida State Clinical Licensure Examination.

For more information on the dental assisting program, contact Bobby Sconyers, at 863-784-7022 or email him at sconyerb@southflorida.edu.