Polished to Perfection: Rock Valley College Dental Hygiene Class of 2024 Shines at Pinning Ceremony

“I don’t think we will ever forget the smell of the clinic. We conquered all of our fears here,” said Michelle Sanchez, student speaker at the Rock Valley College Dental Hygiene pinning ceremony. This milestone event marked the culmination of hard work and dedication for 15 graduates, each eager to embark on their professional journeys.


Dental Hygiene

Students celebrate during the Dental Hygiene Pinning Ceremony on Wednesday, May 15, 2024.

Her speech was a blend of humor and a heartfelt reflection of her time in the dental hygiene program. Sanchez, a first-generation college student, also provided her remarks in Spanish. “This is a tribute to the Hispanic families here with us today.”

Sanchez concluded, “I wish us all great success and luck in the new chapter we're about to write in our life stories.”

Sanchez's next chapter looks bright! Not only was she selected as the event’s student speaker, but she also received two awards: the prestigious Colgate Oral Pharmaceutical Award and the department’s Most Improved Clinician Award. The latter award highlighted her remarkable journey of overcoming personal challenges to become a competent and confident clinician.

Esmeralda Perez was honored with the Golden Scaler Award, which celebrated her exceptional clinical skills and compassion for her patients. Perez’s dedication to her craft and her empathetic approach to patient care set her apart as a true professional in the making.

In addition to individual student awards, the ceremony celebrated academic excellence through the Sigma Phi Alpha National Dental Hygiene Honor Society. The RVC Delta Chi Chapter recognized the achievements and scholarship of its members, underscoring the importance of academic excellence in the field. Hailey Hollis, a graduate with exceptional scholarship, was inducted into the society, joining a distinguished group of dental hygienists committed to lifelong learning and professional growth. Faculty member Kenosha Holland was also honored, highlighting her significant contributions to the program and her role in mentoring the next generation of dental hygienists.

As the event drew to a close, each graduate was called to the stage to receive their pin, a symbol of their entry into the professional world of dental hygiene. The ceremony concluded with a moving rendition of the Dental Hygienist’s Oath, led by the faculty, reaffirming the graduates’ commitment to ethical practice and patient care.

The Rock Valley College Dental Hygiene Pinning Ceremony for the class of 2024 was not just a celebration of academic achievement but also a testament to the personal growth, resilience, and camaraderie that had defined the graduates’ journey. As the ceremony concluded, Michelle Sanchez's words echoed in the hearts of the graduates, a reminder of the challenges they had overcome and the bright futures that lay ahead.