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Teachers of the Year

Dr. Michael McWatters

Dr. Michael McWatters

Dr. Michael McWatters and Marylou Gutmann were named the 2008 recipients of the Dental and Dental Hygiene Teacher-of-the-Year Awards. This honor is voted on by students and presented annually by the alumni association at Texas A&M Health Science Center Baylor College of Dentistry.

McWatters, assistant professor in restorative sciences, has been a member of the HSC-BCD faculty since 2001. He teaches fixed prosthodontics to second- and third-year dental students. Additionally, he instructs first-year dental hygiene and Summer Predental Enrichment Program students.

“I like coming to work every day because of the friendliness and enthusiasm of the students, faculty and staff,” says McWatters. “I think teaching at a professional level like Baylor is special because the students are so bright and motivated and really want to be here to learn.”

A 1973 graduate of HSC-BCD, McWatters practiced general dentistry in Austin, Texas, for 28 years. While in Austin, he held every office in the Capitol Area Dental Society including president in 1989-90. He also has held positions on two state-level committees in the Texas Dental Association and has been a member of the American Dental Association and the Texas Dental Association for 36 years.

Since retiring from private practice, McWatters has taken annual dental mission trips to Central America with Christian Medical Missions, Inc. His trips involve traveling to remote villages to do extractions for indigenous people who otherwise would not have access to dental treatment.

Not ready for full retirement, in 2001 McWatters contacted longtime friend and HSC-BCD classmate Dr. Amp Miller, professor and director of curriculum in academic affairs, who offered him a position at the college.

“I owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Amp Miller for giving me the opportunity to teach at Baylor, and I no longer even think about retirement,” McWatters says.

Marylou Gutmann

Marylou Guttman

Gutmann, professor and graduate program director at the Caruth School of Dental Hygiene, has spent 27 years in dental hygiene education and an additional 10 years in private practice. She has taught at HSC-BCD for 15 years and at the University of Maryland for 12 years.

“In the past 27 years, I have had the privilege of impacting, of making a DIFFERENCE in, the education of over 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students,” says Gutmann. “It has been an honor and a tremendous responsibility, but I wouldn’t trade a moment of it for anything in the world.”

A dedicated educator, Gutmann was named Teacher of the Year in 1987 by her students in Maryland and previously received the award at HSC-BCD in 2003. She received the Texas Dental Hygiene Directors’ Association Teaching Excellence Award in 1995.

Gutmann received an associate degree in dental hygiene from Fones School of Dental Hygiene at the University of Bridgeport in Bridgeport, Conn. She later received a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene through the degree-completion program at the University of Maryland in Baltimore and a master’s degree in Instructional Systems Development from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

The author of more than 30 articles in dental and dental hygiene journals, Gutmann has contributed three book chapters to dental hygiene textbooks and presented more than 70 papers and continuing education courses in the United States and abroad.

“Because I am retiring this year, it is particularly rewarding to receive the Dental Hygiene Teacher-of-the-Year Award from my students,” says Gutmann. “What a positive way to end my academic career.”