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Member Monday Spotlight

Carol Spear

I have been a member of WVDHA since I graduated from WVU in 1969 thru 1973 and from 1980 until the present. From 1973 – 1980, I lived in California and was a member of the CA State DH Association. I have been a member of ADHA since my graduation in 1969. Initially, I was licensed in WV, VA, and CA.


Currently, I still maintain my WV and CA licenses. I feel strongly that a dental hygienist should be a member of ADHA. In fact, I feel it is a professional obligation.


What I love most about being a dental hygienist is how a hygienist contributes to the overall health of individuals.

It is difficult for me to pick one memorable patient experience. Most of my 41 years as a practicing dental hygienist were in education. I was a dental hygiene faculty member at WVU for 34 years and at Foothill Community College in Los Altos Hills, CA for 7 years and was involved somewhat in the faculty clinical practice at WVU. I have always felt such pride in the clinical progression of students. Since I primarily taught instrumentation and was clinical coordinator of the first clinical experience for the students, it amazed me to see how a student initially could hardly retract with a mirror and then, within two years, the student could manipulate instruments in difficult periodontal scaling.

I define success as picking a goal and working to achieve it.

The best advice I have ever received is to think positively. When I do that, I know that I will achieve my goals.

The following are leadership positions I have held:
• WVU Sigma Phi Alpha, Alpha Xi Chapter: Secretary-Treasurer, 1972-73; President, 1982-83, 2008-9
• WVDHA: VP, 1986-88; President Elect, July 1988-December 1988; President, December 1988 – December 1989
• WV Dentistry Alumni Board Member: 1970, 1981-83, 1994-96, 1998-2000, 2003-2006, 2007-2010
• Board Member of the WVU School of Dentistry Leadership Council since September 2017

I am proud of the following honors which I have received:
• Distinguished Alumnus Award presented by the WV School of Dentistry Alumni Association – April 27, 2001
• Pat Jones Award presented WVDHA for special recognition of 20 years of ADHA membership and leadership service to the dental hygiene profession – September 14, 2002
• WVDHA Distinguished WV RDH Award presented by WVDHA for recognition of 39 years of excellence in teaching – September 19, 2009
• Dental Hygiene Outstanding Alumni Award presented by The University of Michigan School of Dentistry Alumni Association to recognize honorees based on their professional development – selected in April 2020 and to be presented in the fall of 2021 because of the 2020 pandemic.

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