October 2020

Local Dentists Paving the Wat for MDCC Dental Hygienists with Endowed Scholarship

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A simple challenge issued five years ago will now bless generations of Mississippi Delta Community College Dental Hygiene students. MDCC Development Foundation fundraiser, Scott Poindexter met with Dr. Julia Hill of the Hill and Hardin Dental Group in Indianola and issued the challenge.
 
“Mr. Poindexter and I talked about how lucky we were to have a community college in our area and its importance,” Dr. Hill said. “He asked if we would be interested in doing something to help give back to the school, such as fund a scholarship. After discussing this with my partner (Dr. Cassey Hardin), we decided that we did want to do something that would help the school and hopefully impact a future student.”
 
The dental duo knew that helping give back would be beneficial to many.
 
“Moorhead has always been a pillar in our community, so it only seemed fitting that we would accept this challenge,” Dr. Hardin said.
 
Dr. Hill added, “Due to us being a dental office, we chose to direct our scholarship toward the Dental Hygiene Program. We have been impressed with the program, the facility, and the instructors. They do a great job preparing their students, and we have hired several of their graduates over the years.”
 
The school will soon take applications for the first student to award the scholarship.
 
“We finished endowing the scholarship this past July and are excited that it will be available to help a hygiene student this coming fall,” Dr. Hill said.
 
Mississippi Delta Community College has been training and providing dental hygienists for the industry since 2001. The program was founded by Dr. Arthur Richter. Catherine Dunn, RDH, BA, MDH, has been teaching and heading up the MDCC Dental Hygiene Program as its Director since 2002. The two-year Associates of Applied Science degree program takes the future hygienist through every step of the job getting them qualified and ready for the dental office challenge.
 
The students take the state licensure exam as well as a National Board Exam and MDCC has had a 100 percent pass rate on both boards for over a decade. The school is completely digital with its equipment but is looking for donors and grants to upgrade it all and continue teaching.
 
MDCC even has an on-site clinic where the apprentice hygienists are put into action in the real world of dentistry with actual patients. They are led by their instructors and professional dentists, so patients are properly cared for during the educational visits.
 
Though Drs. Hill and Hardin spent a majority of their educational journey at Mississippi State University, they like many before them, took summer school classes at MDCC to help lighten the academic load along the way.
 
“I took classes and Cassey did too. We were quite familiar with Moorhead,” Dr. Hill said.
 
Ironically, when she started the Dental Hygiene Technology scholarship, she had no idea her youngest daughter would be a student there.
 
“We had no inclination that Sarah Allyn would be interested in dental hygiene at the onset of this journey but it is funny how that worked out. This just makes us more grateful that we chose to pursue our endeavors toward the hygiene program,” Dr. Hill said. “We feel very fortunate to be able to give something back to the college and our community.”
 
All four of Hill’s children have been enrolled and taken classes at MDCC. The dental duo’s parents rooted the doctors as Trojans when they actually taught there.
 
“Dr. Hardin’s mother, Carol Rose taught in the English department there. And my dad, Dr. Walter Rose taught in the chemistry department there before going back to medical school,” Dr. Hill said.
 
The first scholarship will be awarded this upcoming fall for the Hardin Hill Scholarship for a student in the Dental Hygiene Technology school. If you’d like to learn how to endow a scholarship or contribute to an existing one, please contact Jim Aycock, MDCC Foundation and Alumni, at 662.246.6274.

If you’d like to learn how to endow a scholarship or contribute to an existing one, please contact Jim Aycock, MDCC Foundation and Alumni, at 662.246.6274.