Dental Hygiene Teacher of the Year

Kabani humbled by Class of 2020’s departing gesture
May 27th, 2020

Dr. Faizan Kabani

The past two years have been particularly noteworthy for Dr. Faizan Kabani, an assistant professor in the Caruth School of Dental Hygiene, as he picked up a slew of prestigious awards. But being named Dental Hygiene Teacher of the Year by far means the most.

“I hold this unique honor particularly close to my heart,” he says. “This distinguished award is voted on and presented by the student body and, in my opinion, is a measure of success an educator can be immensely proud of.”

Given the challenges that students navigated after COVID-19 prompted a transition to online classes, Kabani says their vote of confidence is especially significant.

“I have been able to develop special bonds with each of my students as we endeavored through these uncharted times,” he says. “I feel blessed and humbled by their recognition of me.”

Texas A&M College of Dentistry has become a special place for Kabani, both professionally and personally. In addition to bonding with students and alumni, he has built “warm rapport” with colleagues. He relishes inspiring future dental professionals and helping them become “culturally and clinically competent, evidence-based practitioners.”

The spark to educate others was instilled during his five-year stint in the special needs dental clinic at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. Along the way, those teachable moments motivated him to shift his career track.

Kabani earned his doctorate in public health in 2017 from the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth. He has a master’s degree in health care administration and a master’s in business administration from the University of Texas at Arlington. He received his bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene from Texas Woman’s University in Denton in 2011.

Just this year, Kabani also has received the Betty M. Unterberger Award from Texas A&M University, the Heart to Hands Award from Philips and RDH magazine and Texas Woman’s University’s Hallmark Alumni Award, as well as being inducted into Sigma Phi Alpha dental hygiene honor society by the Caruth School of Dental Hygiene. Last year, he accepted the Teaching Award for Interprofessional Excellence from Texas A&M Health Science Center, Junior Faculty Award from the American Dental Education Association and Texas A&M University College of Dentistry’s Teaching Excellence Award. In 2018, he won the prestigious Educator of the Year Award from the American Dental Hygienists’ Association.

Kabani is a fellow of the American Dental Education Association’s Leadership Institute and a fellow of the American Academy of Dental Hygiene. He belongs to the American Dental Education Association, American Dental Hygienists’ Association, American Association for Dental Research, American Association of Public Health Dentistry, and Special Care Dentistry Association.

Kabani and his wife, Sanya, love to travel and are enjoying their new role as parents to their baby girl, Nisa.

— Kathleen Green Pothier