Dental Hygiene graduates

AVON PARK, Fla. – May 7, 2021 – South Florida State College (SFSC) honored eight graduates of its Dental Hygiene program in a traditional pinning ceremony in the Alan Jay Wildstein Center for the Performing Arts on the Highlands Campus in Avon Park on Thursday, May 6. The graduates had just completed their Associate in Science in Dental Hygiene program.

Receiving their pins were Kaitlin Brianne Alsvig, Tatyana Siara Haro, Jaylin Hope Maynard, Noel Donniece Henry, Sebrina Sue Gillilan, Earlnajah Taiwanna Collins, Lyric Elizabeth Antonio, and Chelsey Lynn Stephens.

Kaitlin Alsvig, 2021 class president, addressed her fellow graduates and recalled their perseverance when taking classes and exams through a pandemic. “We had some interesting times, but I know that they can be turned into stories that will inspire others to go after their dreams no matter what the challenges are,” she said. “My classmates are some of the most incredible people that I know. Without them, I would not be where I am today.”

Graduates were presented their dental hygiene pins by Dr. Deborah Milliken, chair of SFSC’s Dental Education program.

Kaitlin Alsvig, class president

On behalf of herself and faculty, Dr. Milliken said to the graduates, “Changes have occurred to you over the past two years. Parts of your bodies have changed. Your hands have learned the skills of controlling and manipulating tiny, sharp blades on soft tissue. They are stronger and they have learned how to make intentional movements that are effective in the treatment of patients. They have learned to be gentle, but sensitive to touch. Your heads have changed a lot. Your minds are filled with knowledge for a lifetime. Your minds are trained to think sequentially and organize information. But your minds are also able to critically analyze situations and come up with accurate conclusions. Your minds are accustomed to using sound judgment and making decisions about your patients. Above all else, you’ve been given the opportunity to learn compassion for each individual, wherever they are in life. We leave you with the words of George Washington Carver who said, ‘How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the wrong. Because sometime in life, you will have been all of these.’”

Upon completing the Dental Hygiene program, graduates become dental hygienists by passing the National Dental Hygiene Board Examination and the Florida State Clinical Licensure Examination. They can, then, work alongside a dentist as a member of a dental health care team.

For more information about SFSC’s Associate in Science in Dental Hygiene program, call 863-784-7225 or email