Teachers of the Year 2016

Dr. Jay Groppe and Leigh Ann Wyatt on what they find most rewarding about their roles as TAMBCD faculty members
May 27th, 2016

The 2016 recipients of the Dental and Dental Hygiene Teacher of the Year awards include a three-time honoree and a biochemist passionate about taking the “pain” out of a subject matter often considered a challenging rite of passage in the professional school realm.

When they weren’t carrying the mace and Centennial baton down the aisle at the Meyerson — an honor reserved for Teacher of the Year honorees each year at commencement — we caught up with them to find out what part of their roles in educating students they consider most rewarding. Here’s what they told us.

Dental Teacher of the Year

Dr. Jay Groppe

“I most enjoy serving as a guide and introducing students to a field of science that is every bit as wonderful as being out in the beauty of nature, but on a microscopic scale. When I feel I’ve been able to guide them through a view of nature and, in particular, biological science in a way that’s not intimidating or unreasonably demanding.”

Dr. Jay Groppe, associate professor, biomedical sciences

Dental Hygiene Teacher of the Year

Leigh Ann Wyatt

“Year after year, seeing students go from being anxious beginner students to confident, competent dental hygienists upon graduation. The other reward is the relationships — both professional and personal — that I build with the students.”

Leigh Ann Wyatt, clinical assistant professor, Caruth School of Dental Hygiene and 2001, 2011 Teacher of the Year

— Jennifer Fuentes