Willingness, encouragement earn Miller, Wyatt 2011 Teacher of the Year awards
|Dr. Amp Miller|
Dr. Amp Miller
Dr. Amp Miller is well known for his willingness to help with any and all aspects of dental school life. This means assisting students with their concerns even when they don’t pertain to a class he’s teaching. Miller’s dedication has led to his recognition as the 2011 Dental Teacher of the Year.
What’s even more impressive is that Miller doesn’t spend all of his time in the classroom. This professor in the Department of Restorative Sciences currently spends half his days working as director of dental curriculum in the Office of Academic Affairs.
“It is extremely rewarding to refine and contemporize our curriculum,” he says.
It’s no surprise that students seek Miller out for information and guidance, as he has acquired more than 40 years of experience in dentistry. After earning his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Southwestern University in Georgetown in 1969, he completed his dental degree at Baylor College of Dentistry in 1973 and entered private practice in Garland that same year.
|Dr. Amp Miller and Leigh Ann Wyatt at the 2011
It didn’t take long, though, for Miller to re-establish his relationship with the dental school. Shortly after graduating, he took on a part-time teaching role instructing students in the intricacies of dental crowns and bridges. He later completed a residency in graduate prosthodontics in 1980.
Hands-on experience working in the restorative practice of Dr. Jack Sweptson of Dallas in the 1980s gave Miller extra insight to share with students. Even after rejoining the dental school faculty full time in 1989, Miller has continued to maintain a limited restorative extramural practice in North Dallas.
Add to this his roles as current examiner for the Western Regional Examination Board, past chairman of the Department of Restorative Sciences and past president of the American Academy of Restorative Dentistry, and Miller’s passion for dentistry is clear.
For Miller, it’s simply his enjoyment of teaching and dentistry that fuels him to continue.
“Over the years I’ve had a chance to evaluate many dental educational programs and I continue to be proud of our school, our program and our graduates, whom I feel leave Baylor with a solid education and a significant amount of clinical experience,” Miller says. “I am very honored to receive the Teacher of the Year Award and all it signifies.”
|Leigh Ann Wyatt|
Leigh Ann Wyatt
Students who have been in class with Leigh Ann Wyatt, assistant professor in the Caruth School of Dental Hygiene, would probably not be surprised that this is not her first time to receive the Dental Hygiene Teacher of the Year award.
Wyatt’s ability to encourage her students led to her first award in 2001. Now, 10 years later, her ability to uplift and connect with her students has even deepened. This helps drive home her message that students should aspire not to be average hygienists but to become exceptional dental health care providers.
It’s very likely that Wyatt is able to connect with students even when she isn’t the one doing the talking. Her focus on making students feel heard and understood is something she believes increases their learning and growth potential—both during their time at Texas A&M Health Science Center Baylor College of Dentistry and in their professional lives.
“It is my greatest desire for students to leave BCD knowing they were not alone; that we as faculty are alongside them on their journey and that we want them to succeed both professionally and personally,” Wyatt says.
Wyatt’s diverse educational background has only strengthened her abilities as a teacher. Within a year of receiving her dental hygiene degree from the college in 1996, Wyatt quickly stepped into a new role with her alma mater as part-time clinical instructor.
By 2010, she had received a master’s degree in Christian education from Dallas Theological Seminary. Add to that more than 400 hours of a hospital chaplain residency and it’s no wonder Wyatt can reach out and connect with students, not to mention others, in need of encouragement.