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Awards & Honors


RoachThe first recipient of the new Ausmus Laursen Dental Hygiene Scholarship was selected this spring to 2008 graduate Jeanette Roach.

Roach graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene and is now a dental hygienist at Southfork Dental, a private general practice in Murphy, Texas.

Roach says the quality of her education is what she enjoyed most at HSC- Baylor College of Dentistry.

“When prospective employers asked me where I graduated from, I would proudly say ‘Baylor College of Dentistry,’ and they would get a great big smile across their face and practically offer me the position on the spot,” Roach says. “This increased my feelings of security tremendously!”

The Ausmus Laursen scholarship is designated for dental hygiene students such as Roach who demonstrate community service, academic achievement, financial need and the motivation for a long and successful career in dental hygiene. Roach is a dental hygienist with loft goals to benefit others.

While a student, Roach volunteered in the community to screen patients and teach oral hygiene. She visited local elementary schools – dressed as the “Tooth Fairy” (see photo) – and taught children oral hygiene and nutrition related to dental care. She would like to extend that outreach to individuals on the opposite end of the age spectrum.

“I have a great interest in mobile dentistry,” Roach says. “I feel that I would be able to reach people in underserved communities, such as the elderly, who are more in need of quality dental care but cannot make it to the office due to health problems or transportation issues. I could use my day off from private practice to volunteer my services.”

Roach currently volunteers at her church in the Central Dallas ministry, where she does home maintenance for needy families, such as painting and cleaning.

The Ausmus Laursen scholarship was created by Mary Ellen Ausmus-Laursen, a 1968 graduate in dental hygiene. She wanted to share her love of her profession with current dental hygiene students. Her idea began in memory of her father and sister. When the two both passed away in 1978, she suggested memorial gifts to the scholarship in lieu of flowers. She did the same when her mother passed away in 2004. The scholarship became endowed in 2003 with an additional gift from Ausmus-Laursen and her husband, Glenn.

Both the scholarship’s namesake and its first recipient expressed their fulfillment from the award.

“I’m really proud of the scholarship and glad it’s finally becoming the vision I had in mind,” says Ausmus-Laursen.

Roach says she values the education and experience she has gained at Baylor and she thanks Ausmus-Laursen for “ helping me achieve my goals and turn my dreams into reality.”