Dental Hygiene graduates

The 2022 Dental Hygiene graduates (from left): Megan Anderson, Denise Garza, Jahirel M. Gomez, Vanessa Rodriquez, Deanna Sheikha, Jennifer Lopez, Keijhandra Singh-Truitt, and Jhoelle Tingle

AVON PARK, Fla. – May 10, 2022 – South Florida State College (SFSC) honored 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 Friday, May 6. The graduates had just completed their Associate in Science in Dental Hygiene.

Receiving their pins were Megan Anderson, Denise Garza, Jahirel M. Gomez, Jennifer Lopez, Vanessa Rodriquez, Deanna Sheikha, Keijhandra Singh-Truitt, and Jhoelle Tingle.

Jennifer Lopez, 2022 class president, addressed her fellow graduates: “This pinning shows that each one of us is capable of accomplishing our goals when we commit ourselves to them. Anything is possible when we put our minds to it. Dental Hygiene Class of 2022, we are champions, and in the words of Muhammad Ali, ‘Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them— a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have the skill, and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.’”

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

Dr. Michele Heston and Darlene Saccuzzo

Dr. Michele Heston (left) and Darlene Saccuzzo

During the ceremony, students and faculty paid homage to Darlene Saccuzzo, professor of Dental Education, in preparation for her retirement in June 2022. “When I think of Professor Saccuzzo, one word comes to mind — excellence,” said Dr. Michele Heston, dean of health sciences. “For some, excellence represents the impossible dream. However, not so for her. She continually instilled in her students the desire to strive and do better, to become the very best version of themselves whether in the clinic or the classroom. She radiated caring, professionalism, and compassion.”

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 Danielle Ochoa, Health Sciences advisor at 863-784-7027 or email