Dental Teacher of the Year

Parker Allen’s creative bent drives unique approach in classroom
May 26th, 2021

Dr. Sarah Parker Allen relishes the creative aspects of her role in teaching removable prosthetics—from creating curriculum to making demo videos—which combines her love for art with science. That approach to teaching has earned her the Dental Teacher of the Year award.

Growing up, Allen says she loved to draw, sculpt and sew, which has dovetailed nicely with her scientific endeavors. She has always been drawn to teaching, starting with a job tutoring her classmates. She enjoys watching those around her thrive in the same way.

“Seeing these students create something, as well as grow in their skills and understanding, is amazing. This past year, watching the professors be so creative has also been amazing,” she says.

Allen earned an associate degree in applied science from Eastfield College in 2003 and graduated Summa Cum Laude with her bachelor’s from Texas A&M-Commerce in 2006. While attending dental school, Allen’s favorite courses were dental anatomy, occlusion and removable prosthodontics, courses she taught part time after graduating from Baylor College of Dentistry in 2010.

Shortly after receiving her prosthodontic certificate and master’s in 2014, she started full-time teaching in the Removable Prosthodontic Clinic and incorporated more CAD/CAM and implant treatments into the student’s clinical experiences.  She is course director for removable prosthodontic courses and oversees the school’s after-hours emergency services.

Allen has earned two Distinguished Teaching awards and has previously been a Teacher of the Year finalist. From 2018 to 2020, she obtained hospital privileges at Baylor University Medical Center and treated medically compromised and cancer patients at the Sammons Cancer Center Dental Clinic.

Allen is involved in numerous committees, including Student Promotions, Education Research Grant Review, Curriculum Revision Task Force, and Curriculum Committee, currently serving as chair. From 2017 to 2021, she was as a College of Dentistry faculty senator. She also participates in test construction and assessment for Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations as a prosthodontics content expert for the new Integrated National Board Dental Exam.

When she’s not working, Allen is passionate about spending time with her family, including cats Blue Cheese and Gouda, and she loves Scrabble and crossword puzzles. She also is a 2019 trivia champion, winning the National Trivia League Championship with her bar trivia team.

— Kathleen Green Pothier