National faculty award for Kabani

April 16th, 2019
Dr. Faizan Kabani with first-year student Abbigale White in the dental hygiene clinic

Dr. Faizan Kabani with first-year student Abbigale White in the dental hygiene clinic

Dr. Faizan Kabani can add yet another award to his growing list of kudos.

The assistant professor recently returned from Chicago as the 2019 winner of the American Dental Education Association’s Junior Faculty Award.

Since joining Texas A&M College of Dentistry’s Caruth School of Dental Hygiene in June 2016, Kabani has immersed himself in the program and become a positive force on many levels, receiving Texas A&M College of Dentistry’s Teaching Excellence Award earlier this year and Educator of the Year Award from the American Dental Hygienists’ Association in 2018. His all-in efforts haven’t gone unnoticed by his students and colleagues.

“Dr. Kabani quickly made a name for himself throughout the school; his reputation always proceeds him,” says Leigh Ann Wyatt, program director and clinical associate professor in dental hygiene. She nominated him for the award, which is given by ADEA, the ADEA Council of Students, Residents and Fellows, and Colgate-Palmolive Co.

In her nomination letter, Wyatt outlined Kabani’s extensive achievements since joining the Caruth program, including revamping the school’s undergraduate research courses.

“His heart for students is that they find value in research,” Wyatt says. “He committed to overhaul our research program so that dental hygiene students could see their role as researchers and become lifelong learners for making evidence-based clinical decisions.”

Kabani also helped revive an introductory graduate teaching skills course by uncovering why students were unimpressed with the curriculum. His dedication includes serving on several college-level committees, including Faculty Development and Planning and Assessment.

With Kabani’s guidance, Caruth School of Dental Hygiene students have earned top awards for three consecutive years at the annual Texas Dental Hygienists’ Association meeting, including the school’s first-ever triple sweep of the research poster competition.

Dr. Faizan Kabani (center) accepts his award from Dr. R. Lamont MacNeil, the 2018-19 ADEA board chair (right), and Phyllis Martina with Colgate-Palmolive Co.

Dr. Faizan Kabani (center) accepts his award from Dr. R. Lamont MacNeil (right), the 2018-19 ADEA board chair, and Phyllis Martina with Colgate-Palmolive.

“Some educators never achieve in their entire career all he has done in several years on faculty at Texas A&M College of Dentistry,” Wyatt wrote.

His gift for outreach goes far beyond the college’s walls; his partnership with educators at Aga Khan University has helped the Karachi, Pakistan, university raise standards in its dental hygiene program.

Kabani’s professional path and passion for dental hygiene started with a five-year stint in the outpatient dental clinic at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas, where he mentored dental hygiene students on working with spina bifida patients and other special-needs children. Sharing his insight and research has been the cornerstone of the tenure-track professor’s impassioned approach to educational outreach.

“My favorite aspect of being a dental hygiene educator is embracing the continuous challenge of igniting a love for learning within the hearts of my students,” he says. “My goal is to help facilitate and inspire a genuine desire to serve humanity.”

In addition to his bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene from Texas Woman’s University, Kabani holds dual master’s degrees in health care administration and business administration from the University of Texas at Arlington and a doctorate in public health from the University of North Texas Health Science Center.

— Kathleen Green Pothier